New and nervous

Hi all,
I am turning 50 next month and have recently become allergic to peanuts. Amazing! But I can believe it because I live with other Auto Immune conditions such as Celiac. I understand that these allergies, etc. are triggered after so many exposures. It's just amazing how it turned on so quickly. One day making my kids PB sandwiches. I eat a spoonful and start breaking out in hives, numb lips, itchy eyes and tight throat in 15 mins. I took benedryl and was fine. Two days later I made them PB sandos again, but didn't eat any. I had an even worse reaction from just breathing the PB fumes!
My skin test was not conclusive. No bump, but there was a red dot. My doc says that considering I have celiac and am also reacting to dairy, sesame, tomatoes I will probably become more reactive to peanuts as time goes by. He said I should be cautious at all costs. So I travel with an Epi pen and bendryl now. And there are no peanut products in my house and my family is also peanut free now.
BUT I have some questions...
Just how careful do I have to be in public, especially since I react to the smell. How do I go grocery shopping? What if someone is snacking on peanuts in the checkout line or an aisle I'm in? How do I go the farmer's market? How do I go to a friend's party or the county fair?
I'm going to Disneyland in a couple of weeks too. I know they are stellar about supporting food allergies. (I've been before on my celiac diet.) But how careful do I really need to be? Do I need to bolt if I'm standing in line for a ride and someone breaks out a peanut type snack? Ask them to put it away?
I am really nervous about just living my life now. Especially because I react to the smell. HELP!!!!

By acslobod on Wed, 03-27-13, 09:40

Every person's threshold is different. You will figure out how much you can tolerate over time. I have two kids with airborne anaphylactic allergies. Generally speaking, they can be around their allergens in individual portion sizes as long as they are not being heated, smell strong or releasing dust into the air. You will likely sense something is not right long before you see the trigger. If we see one of the kids itching or wheezing, we look around for the source and move out of the area. Our kids can tolerate more in open or outdoor spaces. Watch for nut roasting booths in malls and amusement parks, fairs, etc.. In homes, it can't hurt to ask the host to refrain from putting out peanut products. Also watch for bird foods and dog treats. Avoid letting animals lick you as well. Flying can be a bit tricky. Most airlines will agree not to serve peanuts if you call ahead. They can't control what others bring on the flight though. They generally will make an announcement asking other passengers to refrain from consuming nut products. Take a baby crib sheet to put over the seat and fly early in the day. Ask to board early to wipe seats down as well. For amusement parks, go to guest relations and ask for a guest access pass for disabiities. You might also look into buying a filtered mask. My daughter has an RZMask. There are lots of grocery stores that have open bins of peanuts. Keep an eye open for them when you first walk in a store. We won't buy produce from those stores since bins often get moved and are not cleaned out between uses. On that same note, never buy anything out of small coin candy machines or open candy / food bins for the same reason. Baseball games will likely be out of the question as well. Be preparred for the worse with epi-pens but, take precautions and use common sense. Be preparred to leave something if you need to but, don't let it hold you back. Education is key. LTFA are considered a disability and are protected by the ADA. So, you do have the law on your side for work and such. You may have to fight a bit for clear air but, it is worth it. Don't let it hold you back.

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