Another new member

Posted on: Wed, 05/19/2004 - 3:38am
lemondrop's picture
Joined: 05/19/2004 - 09:00

New here, and honestly, I am kind of freaking out.

My 16 month old son had his first reaction about 2 weeks ago. He licked a spoon with some peanut butter remaining on it while at my mom's house. I took it away from him as soon as I saw what it was. But, several hours later (and back at our house), his face began to swell and turn red, and he broke out in hives all over his chest and back. I was home alone with him, and rushed him to the emergency room as I didn't know how severe it would be or would evolve into breathing difficulties. They gave him Benadryl and Oral Pred, then watched him for about an hour before sending him home. I threw out the jar of peanut butter and every other obvious nut product in our house that night.

Since then, I have been reading as much as I can, and am searching for a pediatric allergist so my son can be further evaluated. I have ordered two books (both recommended on this site's home page). I guess what is freaking me out is that the more I read, the more I wonder how I will possibly remember/learn to manage all of this information. As I said above, I threw out all of the OBVIOUS nut products, but as I read more and more, I learn there are so many NON-obvious food and non-food products that I also need to consider.

Also, I am wracked with guilt that I caused or worsened this allergy because I ate peanut butter practically every day of my pregnancy! Plus, I continued to eat peanut butter regularly during my son's first two months. At that point, he had developed moderately severe exczema, and his pediatrician asked about my diet (I was nursing him). He told me to stop eating the peanut butter immediately, and the exczema cleared right up. At that point, I realized that he might be nut-sensitive, and watched my own diet carefully as I continued to nurse him. We are just now in the process of weaning him. I fear that the peanut butter that I ate during my pregnancy, as well as any non-obvious nut products that I have continued to eat over the last 14 months have made this all the worse for my little one. I just feel so awful . . . Sorry for the long post. Any suggestions from PA veterans as to how to cope and how to integrate the information overload that I am feeling is appreciated.

Posted on: Wed, 05/19/2004 - 6:01am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

I know it's very frightening and overwhelming at first, but it does get easier to manage and reading labels and what to look for becomes almost second nature. You just need to give yourself the time to absorb and process everything.
We've been dealing with this for 1 yr now, and we've had our ups and downs. As far as your eating pb, I did too while I was pregnant. Interesting though, I have twins, and one ds has no allergies at all.
There have been a few threads on diets during pregnancy and nursing, if I had more time, I'd search and reference the thread for you. All us moms feel the guilt, but all we can do now is do the best we can to protect our kids.
I think there have also been posts here on recent studies stating that there is no confirmed link between what moms eat and what food their kids become allergic to.
I loved The Parents Guide to Food Allergies by Marianne Barber. You're absolutely on the right track to get your son to a pediatric allergist, and it sounds like you need a prescription for an Epipen asap.
Good luck, this board is a great resource.
Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA

Posted on: Wed, 05/19/2004 - 9:52am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Lemondrop.
I developed pa as an adult. I ate it constantly - including during my first two pregnancies and while nursing those two children. They have allergies - but not food allergies. One of them still lives on peanut butter.
Do you remember the first time you held a new born baby in your arms? I remember thinking - how am I going to remember everything? When to feed - how to feed - when to change - how to change - bath time???? yikes!!!! - what if he gets sick - how will I know - what will I do. It was so overwhelming. But, we get through it. It all becomes second nature. pa will do that too. Eventually you will hear the name of a company and think - nope not in my home; hear a different company name and think - gee I ought to stock up on that.
Good luck, and feel free to ask lots of questions here.

Posted on: Thu, 05/20/2004 - 12:53am
lemondrop's picture
Joined: 05/19/2004 - 09:00

Thanks mommyofmatt and AnnaMarie. I appreciate the additional book recommendation and will add it to my list. So far, I have ordered "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book" and "Caring For Your Child With Severe Food Allergies." I did get a recommendation yesterday for a pediatric allergist, and will call today to get an appointment. I appreciate the support, and will for now just gather as much information as I can so I can do my best to take care of ds. AnnaMarie, I liked your analogy -- hopefully I will soon feel more confident in my ability to manage this issue.

Posted on: Thu, 05/20/2004 - 1:14am
murrayaa's picture
Joined: 05/16/2004 - 09:00

Dr. Sicherer at the FAAN conference in Chicago stated that some research has actually shown that eating Peanut Butter during reduces the likelihood of a Peanut Allergy. He was very firm in saying that they just don't know enough about what to recommend and that mothers should definitely not feel guilty.

Posted on: Thu, 05/20/2004 - 2:34am
Suzy Q's picture
Joined: 05/20/2004 - 09:00

Welcome - You have come to the right place for support and good information.
The first year of this allergy is sometimes very overwhelming, but it does get better. I have been dealing with my ds (he's 2) allergy for almost a year now and I do feel more comfortable than I did in the first few months. I didn't find this website immediately but once I did, was very comforted knowing that other people were feeling and experiencing the same things as me. This website has been very informational and I visit it daily, if possible.
I would also recommend trying to find a local support group if possible and join FAAN. I also attended their recent Chicago conference and agree with the other comment - the doctors do not know enough about what causes this to provide recommendations to pregnant women. I talked to one woman at a local support meeting whose first child had a few food allergies. She avoided all of the big 8's during her next pregnancy and the 2nd child suffers from more food allergies than the 1st.
And even though I'm not happy to have this allergy to contend with, I feel fortunate that this has happened to me now because awareness is raising, more research is being conducted, action is being taken in some of the schools, etc., even more so than even 5 years ago. If my dd who is 12 had developed this allergy 10 years ago, I think it would have been even more stressful to deal with.
With all of the research, I am also very hopeful that something will be available in the not too distance future that will help all of those suffering from food allergies.

Posted on: Thu, 05/20/2004 - 2:51am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

lemondrop, welcome, Im glad you found this site. It will answer lots of your questions, and drive you crazy at the same time. And yes, it will get easier once you get into a routine, and know what to avoid, etc.
Now, I ate p.b. all the time while pregnant. My first son is not allergic and used to eat p.b. everyday for lunch. (We now have a peanut free home, so he eats Sunbutter now.) And my second is pa. That has happened with quite a few of us, so I don't buy into that whole stupid theory that eating it while pregnant causes the allergy.
Do NOT feel guilty! You are doing everything you can to keep your child safe now, and that is what matters! Good luck and see you on the boards.

Posted on: Thu, 05/20/2004 - 2:49pm
lemondrop's picture
Joined: 05/19/2004 - 09:00

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. I will be visiting this site frequently, reading as much as I can, will we picking up an Epipen prescription tomorrow, and have an allergist appointment next week. I am glad to have found this site so early on.

Posted on: Fri, 05/21/2004 - 3:20pm
mae's picture
Joined: 07/12/2002 - 09:00

lemondrop -welcome! [img][/img] Glad you found your way here! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 05/23/2004 - 11:25am
Danielle's picture
Joined: 04/08/2003 - 09:00

One of the things I wish I would have known is that it takes at least 6 months to feel at all sane again and it took me almost a year. It is the hardest thing that we have ever gone through but we deal with it every day and I have found my comfort zone (very strict) and that is how I get through my day. My kids have a very very normal life because I make it that way. It is not easy but this is how life is. You can get through it and do every single day. You do it for your children and altough it is very difficult, it can be done. Read everything on these boards and listen to what these people say (normally these board know more than Dr's). Just remember to call every company and check on the product. Lots of great information that you can find if you do searches. Ask any question and you will find support. We are all here for each other.
mom to PA daughter age 3 (we also treat her as though she is tn allergic but RAST tested neg to all)
Daughter 17 months allergic to wheat but never consumed it, blueberry, RAST test pos to egg but never consumed it, rice intolerance or allergy, possible barley intolerance or allergy, oats allergy and we treat her as though she is pn/tn just in case.

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