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How Do \"Additional Reactions\" Happen?

56 replies [Last post]
By Luke's Mom on Mon, 02-15-99, 04:23

I have been reading messages from various places in the topics and I read how often your children have reactions i.e. 3 times in a year and half. My topic question is "how" has the additional contact with peanuts happened after you first learned of the allergy. My son has had only one severe reaction mainly because I am a stay-at-home mommy and I just recently let go enough to have a babysitter come in our home - haven't had courage to leave him outside my home with babysitter. He is 2 1/2 and enrolled for preschool this fall, peanut free facility. I realize "peanut free" can be misleading. What should I be aware of and maybe prevent happening from your experiences?

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By on Mon, 02-15-99, 17:21

Hi Kelly!

My son's second reaction happened at daycare. He was about 2 years old, almost three, and his TEACHER was eating peanut butter crackers in the classroom. She had left them on the counter (open package) and my son "helped" himself to a cracker. Thank God I only worked 4 minutes from the day care. (Rescue beat me there)! Coincidently, it was the teacher's last day there. His second reaction was also at the daycare. My son is also allergic by touch. I always packed his lunch and snacks and a little girl had pb crackers. She had some on the back of her hand (missed by the teacher during clean up) and she touched my son above his eyebrow. His eye almost swelled out of his socket. Hives all over his face...not as bad as the first one though. The third time (and hopefully the last),I caused it! My husband and I were getting ready for a date and my mother was coming over to watch the children (I also have an 8 year old daughter...non-allergic). I tried to make something quick and easy for them before we left and decided on a jelly sandwich and chips for my son, PB&J for my daughter. After I gave them their plates, I heard "No peanuts for Cam." As I turned around to congratulate my son for repeating what we had always drilled in his head, he was swelling before my eyes. I HAD SWAPPED THEIR PLATES!! That was the last day any peanut product came into my house. If it was that easy for ME to do, can you imagine someone not used to this allergy giving him something?! The only thoughts that went thru my mind were "I just killed my child." It was horrible! When I quit work last month, I pulled him out of preschool (he will be 5 in April) and decided to just spend as much time with him as I can before he starts Kindergarten. He had been in daycare since he was 15 months old and I just want him home with me for as long as possible. He can write his name, knows all of the alphabet and interacts with children very well so I don't think missing the next 5 months of preschool will do any harm.

I don't blame you about babysitters. It is much easier to control food in your own home. One of his former teachers babysits on the side and she is absolutely wonderful. My son adores her and it's nice to enjoy an evening out with my husband without worrying. I guess for learning experiences, I would highly recommend you pack all of your son's snacks and lunch and not depend on his preschool. Little Debbie snack cakes (which make great treats) contain peanuts in the ingredients. Since you also stay home, any time your son's class has a party, I would recommend you go and monitor the food. My former job was wonderful when it came to my son's food allergy. Anytime there was a special event at his day care, they would let me attend with no question. If your son doesn't have one yet, I would highly recommend a Medic-Alert Bracelet. Cam's bracelet says "Anaphylaxis to all peanut products."

Sorry for the "novel" but I hope it helps!

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited February 15, 1999).]

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By Luke's Mom on Tue, 02-16-99, 01:36

Thanks so much for all the information, it helps greatly!!! I hope others will reply, too. I think we all can learn from what's happened "accidentally" in coming into contact with peanuts/products. I know it must have really hurt when you switched the plates, I almost gave my son a granola bar without checking the ingredients, and it did have peanuts in it! It made me sick to my stomache how fast a mistake like that can happen. I am happy for you that you can spend some time with your son before school starts, he will remember this time with special memories. How small do the medic bracelets come?

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By on Tue, 02-16-99, 15:04

Hi Kelly,

I can't remember how small the Medic-Alert bracelets come but it will state on the form you fill out what size you need and you can call the Medic-Alert 800 number for their advice if the smallest size is still too big. I think when I measured my son's wrist, that was our problem. I'm sorry I don't have the 800 number or I would give it to you. My son was about your son's age when we ordered it. It needs to be small enough so it can't be taken off easily but big enough so it can be turned over and read without being removed. You can pick up the form at any pharmacy and the people at Medic Alert are very helpful and friendly. You also get Medic Alert Wallet cards with your emergency contacts and allergy history. My son's Medic Alert bracelet reads (and I stand corrected from previous post)"Anaphylactic Reaction to Peanuts" and on his medical card states "Anaphylactic Reaction to Peanuts and Carries Epi-Pen Jr." He is allergic to sulfa in medications and this is also stated on his Medic Alert Bracelet and wallet card.

Good Luck to you! I have learned so much from this web site and it is so nice to know we are not alone with this!

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By ballet1 on Tue, 02-16-99, 19:07

Hi Connie,

This is Chris from PeanutAllergy.Com


I noticed your post on the main discussion board. Under> How Do "Additional Reactions"

I want to make sure you look into this. I called a pharmacy here near me and they said the Epi-Pens
do contain!

They suggested you call your doctor!

Let me know what you find out.

I met a lady a few weeks ago and she carries something else not an Epi-Pen because she is allergic
to sulfates!

I will be waiting to hear from you.

Stay Safe,

[email][email protected][/email]

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By on Tue, 02-16-99, 19:57

Chris, thank you so much!!! I will be calling my son's allergist ASAP and will report back my findings. It's amazing that both his pediatrician and allergist prescribe the epi-pen and his medical records indicate his allergy to sulfa. Anyway, thanks for the tip and I will let you know what I find out!

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By CindyBarnes on Tue, 02-16-99, 20:11

Connie and Everyone,

I think this is a good example of why we always need to be vigilant and double check everything.

I was prescribed some medication while I was pregnant and fortunately I had presence of mind to read the entire insert (with teeny-weeny type) where it said, "not to be taken by pregnant women." Well, the doctor knew I was pregnant, but she hadn't read all the warnings on the drug.

In doctor's defense, it's impossible to keep up with everything, or to remember everything. So I try not to worry about hurting doctor's feelings when I ask the same questions over and over, or repeat things like, "You know he's got this problem... will that drug interfere?"


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By M's Mom on Wed, 02-17-99, 13:16

Are you sure that epi-pens contain "sulfa"? Sulfa medications are antibiotics. I cannot figure out why they would be in an epi-pen. Sulfites, on the other hand, are preserving agents and could very well be in the epi-pen. Sulfa and sulfites are entirely different. Can someone please post exactly what the offending agent is--sulfa or sulfites?

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By on Thu, 02-18-99, 03:49

Hi Christine,

You are correct! The Nurse from my son's allergist's office called me back and advised the Sulfites in the Epi-Pen Jr are NOT the same as Sulfa found in some antibiotics.

The Sulfite found in the Epi-Pen Jr. is Sodium Metabisulfite.

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited February 17, 1999).]

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By mbiggarm on Sun, 02-21-99, 01:16


I wish I could tell you that the need for vigilance will disappear in time. I've lived with this allergy all my life -- and I'm well into middle age -- but it still requires care. My work requires me to travel, eat in private homes not my own, and appear at banquets. I once landed in an ER because a substitute chef had put peanuts in a banquet entree that had been previously cleared with hotel management. Waiters will often tell you anything you want to hear, I'm afraid: "No, sir, no peanuts!" There are places that use peanuts as part of a "secret recipe." In 1997, a chef in San Francisco was amazed that I'd figured out his secret -- amazed, but then terrified when I headed out to the ER at St. Mary's Hospital.

This situation may improve with public awareness and time, but for now, eternal vigilance is the price of staying alive. Always have epinephrine available!


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By Luke's Mom on Sun, 02-21-99, 01:35

Art, Thank you for your "adult" perspective. You know, I look at my son and worry so much about "today" and reading your message makes me realize what "he" will deal with the rest of his life, when Mom isn't there to try and figure out does the waitress really know what she is talking about when she says "no peanuts" in this meal or reading and rereading ingredients of all foods coming into our house. Thanks again for your reply, stay safe.

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By scott's mom on Sun, 02-21-99, 05:12

Hi all :0)
Our daughter has contact and ariborne as well as ingested allergy to peanutbutter/peanut products. therefore, by simply walking into a room, in which someone is eating pb, she will have a reaction swelling nausea,slurred speech.
therefore making accidental contact for some people very easy.

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By on Sun, 02-21-99, 11:52


You and I think alike! Just yesterday I was telling my husband that when my son gets married one day, his wife better take good care of him and keep him safe! My husband replied "honey he will be an adult then and I think he will be able to take of himself." (I'm already planning his wedding and he isn't even 5 yet)! I need to learn to take this allergy one day at a time.

Stay safe!

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By sophiesmom on Sun, 02-21-99, 15:07

Connie - maybe your son can marry my daughter shes 3 and quite cute. Anyway it is funny the weird things we think of. I too thought of the day she would marry and what about this one. What do you do when a boy wants to kiss you - ask him what he ate for dinner. guess shes not dating till shes 30. OK by me.

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By CindyBarnes on Sun, 02-21-99, 18:22

As long as we're arranging marriages, let me put in a good word about my baby! My son is almost 14 months old and he's ADORABLE and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mommy. (Okay, maybe I'm just a teensy-weensy bit biased.) I will teach him to respect women. His father is a good influence -- he reads to him all the time, helps out around the house and he treats me well.

I'll let him get married in 25 years, after he's gone to college and maybe graduate school. He is also going to be the CEO of a large company, or a conductor in a well-respected orchestra, or an astronaut. My husband and I are having a hard time deciding.

So there you go.


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By sophiesmom on Sun, 02-21-99, 18:51

I bet he is cute too!!! And who knows when we all meet on our Island - sparks may fly!!!

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By CindyBarnes on Sun, 02-21-99, 20:57


This is Peanut-Free Fantasy Island (PFFI) you're talking about, right? :-)


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By on Sun, 02-21-99, 21:20

You guys are NUTS! oops, pardon the pun! My son, Patti, for the record, has blonde hair and hazel eyes and will be 5 in April. VERY CUTE! Tracy, hang in there...we'll find someone for your son...My son has first dibs on Patti's daughter (when they are in their 30's)!!! HA HA!

You both are so crazy...I love it! Relieves some of the stress, doesn't it?

Stay safe

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By mrmyles on Sun, 02-21-99, 23:51

Hi guys. It's been a while since I've posted.
It's good to read and get a good laugh. Match making our children are we? I guess it would solve any potential problems about whether or not to have peanutbutter in the house if both husband and wife are allergic, wouldn't it? I wonder what kind of chances the kids would have of being peanut allergic though? Oops I guess I'm really jumping ahead now, talking about kids. My son will be turning 5 too, in March, so I guess I don't need to worry about that for a while yet.
Anyway, thanks for adding some humour!


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By katiee on Mon, 02-22-99, 01:59

Hi everyone ~

I wonder if there was something in the air (like peanutbutter) the summer of 1993. My son was born spring of 1994 and [b]he too[/b] will be 5 in May! There is a few of us with 4 1/2 year olds.

Thanks for the giggles.


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By on Mon, 02-22-99, 02:23

Patti, I forgot to address the kissing dilema. Would it be in bad taste to tell our children they are forbidden to kiss?!!! Well, at least it was a nice thought. HA HA!

By the way everyone, when does the plane leave for Peanut-Free Fantasy Island, or are we going by cruise ship? My bags are packed!! Just point me in the right direction...I'm there!

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited February 21, 1999).]

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By Luke's Mom on Mon, 02-22-99, 04:29

Now I know I've been tooo busy cleaning my house this weekend and missed all the fun. OKAY for the record I have a beautiful 4 month old daughter with long black hair, still all in her head, and big green eyes (I don't have a clue where she got the hair, she's been accused of wearing a wig). Looks like she has a wide choice of older boys, she will come completely trained in the "no peanuts" area. Then there is my son who is 2 1/2 with huge brown eyes, and an endless sense of humour (can't imagine where he got that). So his male colleagues are Connie, Colleen and Nicoles 5 year olds followed by Tracy's 14 month old. Sounds like a good island to me.

To CB,
Seriously, CB you have a lot to deal with in that you daughter has an airborne allergy - it must be very scary for you to go into unknown territory. My heart goes out to you.Thanks for your reply.

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By Luke's Mom on Mon, 02-22-99, 04:33

Didn't scroll up far enough to see Patti's 3 year old daughter, my son loves older gals (ha ha)!

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By MichelleR on Mon, 02-22-99, 18:14

It looks like there are definitely more boys than girls with this allergy. We'll need to recruit a little more for females for this island. We have a 2 1/2 y.o boy (also cute of course). He does have a nonallergic 5 1/2 y.o sister though that knows everything there is to know about peanut allergy so she could be a match for one of the boys!

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By HelenG on Mon, 02-22-99, 18:51

My litte peanut allergic daughter is 2 years 2 months, light brown hair, beautiful brown eyes and a great personality - very available, would make a great match with any of the boys...

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By scott's mom on Mon, 02-22-99, 19:47

HI all :-)
Adorable,comical,brown hair, chocolate brown eyes, 4 yrold girl with this lovely allergy along with oters would have a blast on this island. Peanut free flight of course!

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By erik on Mon, 02-22-99, 20:00

Hey, let's hope some of these kids grow up and become great chefs and open up some peanut-free resturants, and also peanut-free daycares/schools!!!!

FYI- i have an adorable 17 month old girl i'll put in your dating pool!!!

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By nutfreegourmet on Tue, 02-23-99, 02:44

Hi all, I am personally hoping for a cure by the time my 2-1/2 yr old adorable red headed, green eyed son is a teenager. Don't you think that the peanut industry will be spending some big bucks toward this research, since this problem has come to the forefront in recent years?

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By on Thu, 02-25-99, 15:57

Hi All~

Maybe our children could all get together when they are older and start their own peanut free camp! Nice thought!!

We need a thread called "Parent Stress Release" ha ha!

You all are wonderful!

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By Dorie on Thu, 02-25-99, 17:31

Hi everybody, Gotta throw my 3 1/2 year old boy into this mix (not what you need, another boy). Liam has light brown hair, big hazel eyes and can do all the routines in "singing in the rain". He's a dancer, a singer, and could be the entertainment for those fun nights on PFFI.

Seriously folks, don't we all hope that there is a solution to this mess by the time all of our kids are 10 years old! We ARE allowed to dream and hope. Sometimes (aside from stress releases like the preceding conversations) it's all we've got.

Stay safe!


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By RitchiesGirl on Thu, 02-25-99, 18:40

Hey, I haven't been able to post for awhile, but I have to add ANOTHER 4 1/2 year old boy!!! Is that 3 or 4 of us now with 4 1/2 year olds? He'll be 5 in August and I, too, have already thought about how hard it will be to allow him to date and (God forbid!) move on to College, etc. I vote for a Peanut-Free University where all these kids can go, get a good safe nut-free education, and possibly meet a potential spouse in the process!

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By on Thu, 02-25-99, 20:52


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By MONTANNA on Fri, 03-12-99, 18:57

Hi all, I know no one has posted here for a while but I wanted to answer the original question of how do repeat reactions occur. The first was from a real (although extrememly small) taste of peanut butter. The second was from being in a room with a strong odor of peanut butter and the third was my fault. I know when I bought the bag of Chex Mix snacks that I read the ingredient label. We took it on a trip to the beach. The first day Brett ate some and nothing happened. The next day he ate a little more and within 15-20 minutes he had hives on his chin and cheeks. I gave him Benadryl and it went away fairly quickly. I had already thrown the bag away so I couldn't reread the ingredients. Plus I thought I had already covered that. Now, 6 months later I find this amazing website and offhand someone mentioned Chex Mix. I practically ran to the store to read the label and sure enough there is peanut flour! I couldn't believe it. Whe do they have to include peanut flour?? Regular flour not good enough? I learned my lesson to read and reread every label! Thanks again to all of you who take the time to write your experiences. I have learned so much!
Lisa M

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By becca on Sat, 03-13-99, 00:26

Hi KellyB and Connie, I was browsing through this page and saw that you were in need of the number for the medicAlert Foundation. The number is 1-800-668-6381 (this is a Toronto location so I hope it works for you where you are) I got one for my son last year. He was 31/2 and they had a silver chain linked bracelet his size. They also had a deal that if you bought the sports model which by the way will fit him into adulthood, you would receive the silver chain linked bracelet free. I was told by the jewellery store that they could add a link to the s.s. bracelet as he grows.
And by the way to all the other parents on this site my child will also be 5 this year. And I know alot of children this age around my home town that have allergies as well. There is one other child in my son Junior kindergarten class as well as another in the afternoon class. Scary isn't it. But at least I have alot of support and it makes the teacher stand up and take notice. I would also like to add my son to the list of potential batchelors. He has big brown eyes, blonde curls and is as cute as they come of course. Thanks for listening.

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By on Sat, 03-13-99, 01:59

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for the number to MedicAlert. Mary had given us their number on another post, but someone else might be needing it so you have helped them also.

Your son sounds adorable! (As all of our children do) ha ha!

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By TLSMOM on Sat, 03-13-99, 04:27

I'm not sure if this is a silly question or not, (I may just be trying to frighten myself even more) but how many of you have had to use your epipens for your little ones? We just got our first 2 epipens for our 10 month old baby boy (VERY, VERY attractive, I might add, and so far very single . . .) and are terrified of ever having to use them, yet feel a great deal safer with them as a part of the diaper bag etc.

Another silly question: (I could try to check all the other boards again for answers, but have no time . . .) how long would it take before we knew we had to give him the epipen? If he gets hives first, does that mean we should give him the shot just in case, or just the Benadryl? We're very new to this, so excuse the questions that may have been answered somewhere else.

(you all gave us a good laugh, marrying off your children as you have been. I've been marrying mine off to my friends' daughters so far, but that was before I read any of your posts!)

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By ballet1 on Sat, 03-13-99, 05:09

Just a note. There is a search option on these boards. I remembered another thread about Benadryl so I did a search by clicking on the word "search" near the top of this page. I quickly found this thread. Here is a link to it just click on it [url="http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/Forum3/HTML/000028.html"]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/Forum3/HTML/000028.html[/url]

[email]"[email protected]"[/email]

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By Luke's Mom on Sat, 03-13-99, 20:41

Hi Again,
I have been busy getting ready to move thus I've missed being able to keep up here. Carolynn, I think every reaction is different, eventhough my son has only had one that I know of. What my allergist said was that it is important not to give my son the epi too soon because he may go into another reaction before we reach emergency room. One of my epipens has expired and we plan to "stick" an orange to see what it feels like to use it. I also heard on another thread that the manufacturer of Epipen provides a free training kit.

I received my medicalert bracelet for my son and he absolutely hates it! (he is very 2) He is almost at an age where I can bribe him, therefore I need to make my arguement platform to wear the bracelet (ha ha).

Thanks for sharing additional reactions, take care and be safe. Hope to have more time shortly to read and reply.

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By becca on Sat, 03-13-99, 22:33

Hi kellyb, when I first got my son's bracelet at 31/2 he hated to wear it. I had put it on his left arm(he's right handed) and told him it was like wearing a watch like his big sister. Well, I'd like to tell you this worked but, for him no. He wrangled it off his arm. We struggled to come up with a bribe and then I decided to give him a choice. I told him he had to wear it by the time school started and i asked him which arm he wanted to wear it on. He held out his right arm and that is where he has worn it ever since. I realized that day that maybe children with peanut allergies find themselves without as much power over themselves as would there siblings or peers so they want to take control. Does anyone else find there peanut allergic child seems to be a bit more "strong willed" so to speak. But who's to blame them.

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By on Sun, 03-14-99, 03:01

One question - When does that PLANE LEAVE for the island!!!! I am soooo ready! I'll even pack one bag - this is never heard of! I know each of you can relate. I see smiles; I hear laughter; I hear there is no way I can pack only one bag; one bag alone will cover the shoes!

For one minute, forget the peanut allergy - okay back to reality...you guys are wonderful!

Stay safe!

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By on Sun, 03-14-99, 17:09


I too have a "strong willed" peanut allergic child. What's funny is I bought him a frame with his name on it and the "meaning" of his name...it reads: (highlights)

Cameron - "Always in control; He is strong-willed and won't back down if he feels he is right; will make a determined adult"

If this isn't him in a nutshell...no pun intended!

There are days when I know I "baby" him too much and am very over protective. I really need to be more conscience of it and stop my behavior.

Take care!

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By Luke's Mom on Mon, 03-15-99, 04:16

Hi Connie and Carolynn,
Connie, don't stop "babying" Cameron! I feel it is why whatever superior being or fate you believe in that these children are in our care - because we are over protective. I remember reading a while back a thread where someone was telling the story of a parent who seemed to be not worried in the least about their child's peanut allergy - I thought how sad and how many non-caring parents with peanut allergic children there must be in the world.

Just today I took my son to a new church and the friends I went with insisted I leave him in Sunday school with them and go listen to the service - well I kept reminding them as I went out the door the Epipen is there - don't let him ANYTHING - and I looked at the exit door during the service several times wondering if I should go check on him. But I didn't because I do trust these friends with him, but my long-winded point is to everyone - be proud to be paranoid!!!!

Carolynn, thanks for tip regarding your son and medic alert bracelet - firmness sometimes works!

[This message has been edited by KellyB (edited March 14, 1999).]

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By on Mon, 03-15-99, 12:14


Thank you for your words of encouragement!

Lisa, thanks for sharing your story. I had never heard of peanut flour until we discovered my son's peanut allergy and his allergist gave us a list of ingredients to look out for. In fact, I had never heard of an allergy to peanuts until my son was diagnosed. Talk about missing my peanut butter toast in the mornings with my coffee!! Small sacrifice though when another life is involved.

[This message has been edited by Connie (edited March 15, 1999).]

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By pratt on Mon, 03-15-99, 14:59

Carolynn: I sit here with tears in my eyes in response to your post about being scared to death to use the EpiPen. I am also afraid to use it but I know that not using it may certainly mean death to my child. My son is 16 months old and about 5 months ago, I watched him slip unconcious from an anaphylactic reaction. I had no Epi-Pen, as a matter of fact, I had no idea what was happening. I rushed him to the emergency room shaking him at every red light to try and wake him. Upon arrival they gave him a shot and then some Benadryl. His angel was with him that day, Thank God. He now wears a medic alert bracelet that says "Anaphlaxis to Peanuts & Eggs". The first one said allergic but the doctor said that it must say anaphlaxis so I had to order a new one. I believe that if I have to use it, no matter how afraid I am, I will. This can save his life. Please know that you are not alone.

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By ballet1 on Mon, 03-15-99, 23:36

Your doctor told you to wait to use the Epi-Pen?????????

Did anyone mention getting and carrying more Epi-Pen's?

Have you seen the research on the people who died and "waiting" to use the epinephrine?

Stay safe,

[email]"[email protected]"[/email]

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By scott on Tue, 03-16-99, 02:56

Kelly, I am glad Chris posted those comments about harmful delays and the need for more than one pen. I also could not contain my alarm at your doctor's comment re: waiting to use the pen.

At one of the Anaphalaxis Support Group meetings that I attended members who had had to use the pen talked about their experiences and the resulting advice from their doctors. Most of them when faced with a serious situation said that they were in strong denial that the situation was as bad as it was. In all cases, their immunologists/allergists recommended using the pen earlier than they had. Using it will not do harm but delay can kill. These are strong words and I don't want to create additional stress for you but I came away from that meeting and from a subsequent discussion with our allergist with the understanding that I should use the pen immediately if vomiting, breathing, a lot of hives, etcetera appear.

Finally both my husband and I carry an Epi-Pen with us always and Troy (age four) always has one in a fanny pack or in his back pack. In this way we always have at least two pens available to us. At school his teacher has one in her desk and Troy has one with him. The babysitter also has one at her house so everywhere Troy is there are at least two pens. Our allergist wrote a prescription for six pens after asking us about all of Troy's activities and caregivers.

Take care. Hope this information helps.

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By MONTANNA on Tue, 03-16-99, 19:19

I think I am totally confused now with the issue of waiting or not waiting to use the epi. I was told to wait to use it until I saw any change in breathing. According to the last post, waiting to use it until there was vomiting, breathing problems, excessive hives, etc. is still waiting right? I thought not waiting was when you inject immediately upon finding out the person may have ingested peanuts/pn products and there may or may not be ANY symptoms. I will definitely ask my allergist during our next visit what he recommends. If anyone can clarify this for me I would greatly appreciate it! Lisa M

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By louisem on Thu, 03-18-99, 06:41

Hi Kelly and everyone else!

Just thought I would join the 41/2 year old club - my duaghter will also be 5 in August!

Anyway, Kelly, just so you know - my daughter has been in a daycare in central Calgary for two years now. They make all of the snacks and foods served to the kids in their own kitchen and the only snack the kids have from home is in the afternoon - but two children are allergic to peanuts and two to other nuts so they avoid all nuts. Anyway, Peggy has not yet had a reaction there - her one reaction was at a "reception" in the lobby of our apartment building at Christmas time. The store providing the food said there would be no peanuts in anything and yet one of the cookies they had were made with peanut butter!

I am interested in knowing which playschool you have enrolled your son in and hope it works out all right for you too!

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By mbiggarm on Sun, 04-04-99, 04:11

It's been a bit since I've been in this discussion, but the thread about delaying epinephrine has caught my interest. My personal experience over several decades is this: Do not delay! There's always a temptation to wait until I have undeniable symptoms of anaphylaxis. By then, it's too late. Anaphylaxis will run its terrifying course. I'll need several hours of epinephrine, Benadryl, IV fluids, cardiac monitoring, and so forth.

If I take a dose when I'm still in the stage of the "anaphylactic apprehension," there's a good chance I can cut off the reaction. After the injection, it's absolutely important to be checked out by a knowledgeable physician, and I sometimes need a second 0.3 c.c. dose, but that may be all it takes.

Between 1975 and 1985, when I had epinephrine at hand but often tended to hesitate before injecting myself, I "anaphylaxed" five or six times. Two specialists predicted that I'd one day die of a peanut reaction. Since 1985, when I resolved to be more aggressive in facing the conditin, I've avoided full-scale anaphylaxis completely. I may yet die of the allergy, but my doctor is more worried about cholesterol these days. That's a heck of a lot less exotic than death by peanut.


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By nutfreegourmet on Wed, 04-07-99, 01:36


Thanks so much for this post. It really gives all of us hope when someone mentions avoidiing a reaction for as long as you have. And we will all pray for a cure/treatment for this condition so that neither adults or children face dying from peanut ingestion. Good luck to you.

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By mbiggarm on Sat, 04-10-99, 03:40

Well, I haven't avoided reactions but instead avoided full-scale anaphylaxis. Every exposure produces some systemic reaction. It's important to empty out stomach contents--not pleasant, but important--and some skin response may occur. Quick use of epinephrine sustains blood pressure, keeps respiration smooth, and quells generalized edema.

Some years are better than others. My last ingestion/reaction took place in July 1997, but that was the third encounter that calendar year. I'm on a clean run since August '97.

I urge everyone toward VIGILANCE and SPEEDY ADMINISTRATION OF EPINEPHRINE. That drug has seen me through scary episodes in various parts of the world--California, New York, Argentina, and Ireland. Regarding the last, have you ever heard of peanuts in a Waldorf salad? No? Well, neither had I.

Incidentally, I'm partial to the Ana-kit unit, made by Bayer's Hollister-Stier division. It's a pre-loaded syringe in a plastic case. Youngsters wouldn't do well with it, but it has the advantage of containing a second dose. You rotate the plunger to ready the syringe for the first injection. If a second seems necessary, you just rotate the plunger another quarter turn. My hypodermic technique isn't really smooth; I usually leave a slight bruise at the injection site. Ah, better a small bruise on my leg ... !


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