4 year old daughter just diagnosed with severe PA - does life ever get "normal" again???

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Of course, my first concern is her health...but what about her happiness? All of a sudden now she can't go to ice cream shops, fast food, chinese food in the mall, no treats at birthday parties with the other kids, etc... I know these are all things she "can do without", but it's such a major change. We also have a 7 year old who does not have the allergy. I just feel like I got punched in the stomach.

By jenniferbfab on Mar 4, 2009

Don't worry--things will improve! I know the initial diagnosis can be overwhelming. I have a similar situation, 2 boys ages 5 and 8. The older one has no food allergies. The younger one is PA. We now have a peanut-free house and are very accustomed to it.
We make our own ice cream with a Cuisinart ice cream machine. Some PA families feel comfortable buying it at the supermarket. I think Breyers vanilla is an ice cream some people feel comfortable purchasing. Fast food may not be off-limits. Plenty of families feel ok with BK or McDonald's. We bring our own tasty cupcake to parties and for our parties, we can either do homemade or buy from a peanut-free bakery. (there are more and more of them)
Sometimes we buy special "may contains" snacks for the older boy and the younger one eats his special PA treats. We have found that some of those PA treats are actually so much nicer than the junk he misses out on! They're made of really high quality ingredients and are almost "gourmet".
Once you check the labels (and call the manufacturers, check the website or email), you'll quickly develop your own safe list. If you check this board and other boards, you can get tips on others' safe food finds. There is a learning curve with food allergies, but your PA knowledge will increase pretty quickly over the coming months, and you will feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Your child can enjoy almost everything she did before, just a bit differently (maybe different brands or more homemade). As another food allergy parent told me, "it's not what you can't have, it's what you CAN have."

Jennifer B. www.foodallergybuzz.com

By CONFUSED MOM OF PA CHILD on Mar 4, 2009

I completely understand. My 2 & half year old daughter has had peanut butter a million times! Never any reaction. Then she had a hives reaction to cashews, got her tested and they told us she has a peanut allergy too! I don't understand how she can eat this stuff all this time and suddenly be allergic? The scary part is, EVERYTHING has that label on it for peanuts.

By ElizabethY on Mar 11, 2009

My sympathies - I know how just you feel. It does get easier to live with, although I have to admit I still find it difficult to accept, just stubborn, I guess. What has gotten me through is hope. There are a lot of studies in the works right now - a vaccine and desensitization appear to be in the not so distant future. Hang in there, it's tough at first, life does get better, and have hope.

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