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RECENT PEANUT ALLERGY

Hi. My name is Kristy. I wanted to join this site to maybe find out more info and for the support.

Wow!! I never expected to have a child with a severe food allergy. About a month ago, my husband had been eating a PB sandwich (he knew not to give him a bite, they say not to until age 2yrs) he gave our son a very small bite. Within 15 min, his eye swelled up and he was acting very uncomfortable, clawing his face and ears from the itching. I asked my husband, "DID YOU GIVE HIM A BITE OF PB??!!!" When he said yes, I took off to the ER. They gave him steroids and watched him. They sent us home about 2 hrs later. I wanted to make sure so I took him to a pediatric allergist. Got the results yesterday!! My son is a class/category 4 to peanut.
I just feel like crying constantly!!! I don't want anyone to watch him. We have decided I will quit my job to stay home with him. I will be home schooling when the time comes. I do not trust schools or other caregivers to take care of him the way I will. I feel bad for all the families out there dealing with FA. I never realized how detailed things can get.

By jenibop on Wed, 08-07-13, 21:04

Everything you just wrote was me 5 years ago! Right down to the homeschooling. My son at the time was 1 and I had a 2 and 3 year old as well. During lunch I fed the two older kids PBJ and I was in the kitchen preparing another meal for him. He swiped a 1/2 of his brother's PBJ sandwich and before I reached him he squished it between his fingers and placed his fingers in his mouth. I removed it from him and went into the kitchen to get a washcloth and seconds later he was struggling to breath and had welts and webbed fingers from the swelling and the white of his eyes were bulging over his blue eyes. Thankfully I lived down the road from the volunteer FD and they were at my home in minutes. In the meantime I gave him Benadryl and through him in the tub to get the PB off of him. They gave him 1 epi on the short ride to the hospital and prednisone. At the hospital he was monitored for 6 hrs and sent home. Weeks later (so we could get true results and have all the antihistamine out of his system) we found out he was allergic to peanuts, eggs, wheat, barley, seasonal allergies and cats and dogs. How did I not know you must be saying?? Yes he was my 3rd child so we were a little lax and he was born with "sensitive skin" and really bad eczema, so we just assumed it was a skin flare up not bc of something he ate. He didn't have bad diapers or vomitting. And these skin issues didn't become worse after he ate something. So fast forward a few years. He lost the egg, wheat and barley, however he is still anaphylaxis to PB and within the past 2 years developed hazelnut and almond allergy and melons. He started kindergarten this past year at our public school and I was neurotic. I was his class mom so I definitely had a hand on what was being brought in, but everyone was on board and aware of his issues. Epi-pen and benadryl travel with him, class trips I or the nurse goes on and he is not to eat ANYTHING w/o a label on it. There is a huge card in the front door of his classroom NO NUTS BEYOND THIS POINT. A letter went out to every parent saying a child (kept it anonymous) has a severe PB allergy and no snacks can be brought in containing nuts. There was never a problem-THANK GOD! It is so common. He sits at the Nut Free table and is allowed to bring a friend that obviously has a lunch PB free. But at times that kid can't go with him bc the nut free table is so crowded already with children with PB allergy. My school is A+ for how hard they strive to protect him. All I'm saying in this long post is give it a chance to settle in. It totally does suck, and you will find yourself doubting and second guessing yourself a lot with choices you make. I have all the holidays at my home bc I feel like I have more control over the food etc. But there are so many good resources and places like this that can help you and family and friends to keep your child safe. This is one of my favorites that is always updated and my school uses too: http://snacksafely.com/snacklist.pdf. I never wanted to fly with him or go on vacation, but I conquered that too, we took Jet Blue that didn't serve any nuts, however we were told they cannot prevent people from not eating PB/nuts but they will word it in such a way on the micraphone that people may not want to eat them, so they said "sorry folks today we won't be handing out nuts, there is a passanger with a nut allergy so if you want to get to your destination and not make an emergency landing please refrain from eating nuts!" We actually went to Disney and the level of service and products there to keep him safe was amazing. Every meal we ate the chef came out brought out a list of ingredients they have seperate kitchens. We ended up buying a Disney Time Share and have been back 5 times b/c that's how amazing it has been there. I learned about products from having it there in Disney! Also make sure you are using a pediatric allergist and immunologist. I'm not sure where you live but if you have a children's hospital perhaps there is one there. I am fortunate to live in NY and I go to Mt. Sinai and my son, now 6, is on the waiting list to hopefully be desensitized of his nut allergies. Hopefully one day this will happen for him. I know have a total of 4 kids and he is the only one with food allergies. I wish I could say he will be the 20% that lose this allergy but bc his numbers are so high and have increased year after year it is unlikely he will lose it on his own. He has 1 more reaction, not requiring Epi-Pen, from being in the park in a mountain full of leaves and there was shells from peanuts that that squirells must have enjoyed and the contact with the shells produced hives, but Benardryl worked! Good Luck and if I could answer any questions or you want to reach out to me feel free!

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By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Wed, 08-07-13, 22:29

Thank you so much for responding with all the information. I did live about 1 1/2 hrs south of Nashville, but over 2 years ago I moved to the middle of nowhere in Missouri :( I took him a few minutes away from Kansas City in Belton. When I called and asked if the Dr. was a pediatric allergist, they said yes we see pediatric patients. Is there a difference in that when it comes to allergist? I know that some Dr.'s may see pediatric pt's but that doesn't mean they are a board certified pediatrician. I want to have him checked for other things as well. What I have been reading makes me wonder if he is allergic to more things than just peanuts.

By gerilynn on Wed, 08-07-13, 20:47

I understand exactly how you feel, but please know that, although you will worry for the rest of your life, it will get easier and you will learn how to manage it. The most important thing I feel is to teach your child to advocate for himself and to learn how to manage the allergy. My daughter is 12 now and was diagnosed with a SEVERE peanut and tree nut allergy at 13 months, and she is doing great. She can't do everything her friends do or her sister does, but she leads a very normal life. We surround her with people we trust and she trusts. We have taught her from Day 1 that she can die from the allergy, which although seems harsh, it has taught her how important it is to be responsible. We have never home schooled her....we do, however take every precaution possible. They can't live in a bubble their whole lives...,so I think it is important not to start now....just my two cents.

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By reklawj on Wed, 08-07-13, 20:26

Asking questions is a great start! My 2 year old is allergic to peanut, dairy and egg and that feeling of anxiety you have will probably never go away! I think the best way to deal with it is education and awareness! When it comes to our family and friends, we make it known that our son has food allergies. He recently started daycare three days a week and it has been hard, but they have been accommodating. Just continue to educate yourself because new challenges when come everyday. Good Luck!

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By Jessica... on Wed, 08-07-13, 00:54

Hi Kristy!
I can relate to everything you wrote in your post. My daughter is now 3.5 yrs old, she was diagnosed with peanut/tree nut allergies at 18 mo. The day we had to take her to the ER was the scariest day of my life.
In the beginning I was so scared. The first thing I did was go though our cabinets and start throwing things out. I remember spending tons of time at the grocery store carefully reading all the labels.
Just know that it will get easier. Obviously, I can never be too careful and I still have to read labels constantly, but I now feel confident in my own ability to keep my daughter safe. She is very aware of her allergy, and will tell people about it. All of our close friends are aware, and they go above and beyond to keep her safe too.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Again, I will say...It will get easier.
Take care,
Jessica

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