Another new member...unfortunately

Posted on: Wed, 08/18/2004 - 2:23pm
sherkelsey's picture
Joined: 08/19/2004 - 09:00

Hi all, I am new to this and am so overwhelmed and scared. My son is 20 months and has had a few reactions which were mild, thankfully. It took me a while to "get it". But, I now know the seriousness of this allergy and find myself almost paralyzed by the fear of his accidentally being exposed to peanuts. Is it possible to live a long life with this allergy? Does anyone know of any "older" adults who have lived with this their whole lives? I feel like it will be impossible for an accident to never happen and with the consequences being so severe, I am panicking. Also, I am finding that everyone in my family says they take it seriously, but CONSTANTLY forget!!! For example my mom is taking my son to a friend of hers tomorrow for lunch and the friend said she was making him chicken and maccaroni, but guess what the rest of the group is having - carmel apple salad with peanuts! And my mom didn't pick up on it....uuuggghhh. How do we help educate our loved ones without making them think we are neurotic?
Also, does anyone have any national chain restaurants that they have determined are safe to go to? How can we make life normal for our kids without paralyzing them with fear everytime they eat? I am so stressed out, so thank you for any advise, support you can give.


Posted on: Wed, 08/18/2004 - 3:15pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Sherri, hi and welcome! I am sorry you have to join us, but since you do, the first thing you need to do is calm down, and not panic.
There are many p.a. adults on this board who have dealt successfully with this allergy. It is absolutely possible to live a long life with it.
There is lots to read here, but don't read too much at a time or it can overwhelm you. Ask any questions you need to, even if you think it is stupid. The Peanut Allergy Answer Book is a good resource for you and your family. You can find reviews and posts about it in the Books forum.
As far as national chain restaurants, you should call and check for yourselves, concerning your specific area. For us though, we trust McDonalds, Burger King,(they both have good websites listing allergens,etc.) Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
It will get easier, and just become a way of life for you and your child. He is young enough that he will just think that this is the way it is supposed to be. One of the bigger concerns at 20 months is watching that he doesn't just grab food off of a counter, table or someone elses plate. Teach him to always ask you before he eats something. You may want to clean out your fridge and cupboards and remove any p.b. ,etc, and any may contains so he doesn't get them accidentally.
Do you have EpiPen Jrs? You should ALWAYS have at least 2 with you, no matter what, wherever you go. Don't leave them in the car, carry them with you or whoever has him. Make sure his caregivers know how to use it.
You may also want to look into getting a Medic-Alert bracelet for him too. My son started wearing his young, and now he doesn't even notice he has it on.
But again, stay calm, he will be fine! Learn what you need to learn, implement it, use it, and he will be ok.
Do you have a good allergist?

Posted on: Wed, 08/18/2004 - 9:58pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Sherkelsey, I understand how your feeling,but things will be just fine. You ask a question that has never even entered my mind. Can a child live a full life? Oh Yes they can. My son is 18 and handles his allergy just fine. You just have to raise them carefully and be strict with your ways for a while.
Teaching him NO is very very important. I think if anything his allergy has helped keep him in touch with reality.
You will also find out that you have to be firm with people like your mom. If she doesn't get it then she doesn't get him! She may get angry but it is your babies life and you will see how quickly you'll learn to speak up to people like that.
MY son did almost die from a couple of nut exposers when he was little but fortuatly he was ok. He was given a treat in Church school class in first grade. I had just got done explaining the severity and the teacher gave him a Snickers bar assuring him it wasn't. it had a christmas wrap on it and it was a miniature bar and had no words on it. He would not have been able to read anyway. Normally CHris wouldn't have taken food from anyone but this woman promised him she knew it was safe.
That is when Chris realized that what mom had taught him about taking food from people was so important. It was a very bad experience for us.
We manage to get through these times somehow but don't think we will.
As far as eating out we have a couple places we go but not very often. we completly avoid Friendly restaurants.
I am wondering if your aware that pizza also can contain peanut oil. That is one that we were surprised with when he reacted to it. Just be sure to check with places before ordering any food.
I promise you will get through this even though you probably feel you won't.
Good luck to you. claire

Posted on: Thu, 08/19/2004 - 4:48am
mommyofmatt's picture
Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

Hi, sorry you had to find us. Try not to get too panicked, your son will learn from you how to deal with his allergy. We're here to help you through it as you learn and he grows.
I calmed down by learning as much as I could, preparing an emergency action plan, and coming here. We've been at this for a year, and I feel like I have his food situation under control. You'll get there, I promise.
Your child will have a long and healthy life, will probably learn to be more compassionate and more independent from peer pressure due to his allergy.
The estimated number of deaths per year from food allergy are between 100-200 I think. I read somewhere that more people die in car crashes. So, as long as epi pen is always close at hand, your child will do fine.
That doesn't mean that you won't be scared or upset along the way, I still am, but I honestly don't think my child will die from this. Good luck, we're here when you need us!
Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA

Posted on: Fri, 08/27/2004 - 8:04am
Faithfullyhis7's picture
Joined: 07/25/2004 - 09:00

Hi! I am adult PA dx as an adult though. My Dr. said my peanut allergy is very mild and he isn't worried about me. I don't take it lightly though. There are a few rest that I will eat at. I am in TN. Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Back Yard Burger, Applebee's, Outback Steakhouse, O'Charley's,Huey's,cracker Barrell, used to at subway( never had a problem--just they serve peanut butter cookies there!), The Butcher shop, and corky's BBQ. But, also check with your rest, mgr, server, or chef.

Posted on: Fri, 08/27/2004 - 10:54am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I was diagnosed with PA when I was 27 and I am 51 now.
I do not eat in restaurants and do not eat any manufactured foods. I eat fresh meats, vegetables, pasta, fruit, cheese milk, orange juice, lots of water.
When I ate manufactured foods, I would crave for salts and sugars. I quit the sugars cold turkey and don't crave them anymore and do not miss them.
I am a lot healthier and have lost lots of weight getting the unhealthy, manufactured foods out of my diet.

Posted on: Mon, 09/20/2004 - 2:08pm
Childrenalllergic2peanuts's picture
Joined: 09/16/2004 - 09:00

Hi there,
I am also new to this site. I have an 8 year old and 5 year old. Both are allergic to peanuts. Both of them were young like yours when it was discovered by me.
Please be careful around the holidays. Places deep fry turkeys in peanut oil. Also, the restaurant chain Chick-fil-a cooks their chicken in peanut oil.
You are not alone. We are here to help.

Posted on: Tue, 09/21/2004 - 5:33am
Lisa V's picture
Joined: 03/12/2002 - 09:00

Hi. I was inspired by your fear to post to you. When I found out about my son's allergy, I too was absolutely panic stricken. I felt like hibernating in my home with him forever.
Once I got over the shock, and came to terms with it a bit, I devised a plan. I comforted myself with information. I made a "one a day program" for myself. I needed to do one pro-active thing each day. Whether it is learn a new safe restaurant, write (yet another) email to Oprah Winfrey to please cover peanut allergy on her show, buy stock in companies that are looking for a cure, inform one person about the severity of peanut allergies. It has helped me find some control in a seemingly out of control, overwhelming situation.
I think you will also find that with time, peanut awareness become much like a 6th sense. You can keep an eye out for bad situations while remaining calm.
I try to arm my son (now 3)with information and the tools to keep himself safe. I try not to instill fear, but respect for the severity of the allergy.
take care, things will get better, Lisa

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

You already know that if you or your child has a peanut allergy you need to avoid peanut butter. Some...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...