\"But My Child\'s PA Isn\'t Severe\"

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How many times am I going to hear this sentence uttered by other PA parents or about other PA children/people? How many other people have heard this?

First of all, I would like to say that when Jesse was first diagnosed as PA, I didn't realize the severity of it. His first reaction was very slight. I did, however, have a prescription for an Epi-pen filled. When he had his first anaphylactic reaction, I recognized it immediately for what it was. It was only then though that I tightened up my comfort zone to what it is currently (as an aside I would like to say that his reaction had nothing to do with my comfort zone).

Now, when I first met with Jesse's principal re the implementation of a "peanut free" classroom for Jesse at his school, she did say that she had one other child at the school, much older than Jesse, but their PA was not severe (I chose not to argue or go into it).

Then, thinking I had found out who the other child was, a child that lives three doors away from me, it turned out that it isn't even this child. The school is not aware that he is PA. The child, himself, about 12 years old has said, my PA is not severe. I only break out in a rash. I did, however, make sure that at Hallowe'en he received peanut free treats and he did say that he did go through all of his treats when he got home. However, this child remains anonymous at school. I know that a lot of parents decide that this is okay.

The pharmacist that re-filled my last Epi-pen prescription VERY quickly when Jesse had his third reaction (2nd anaphylactic) has a daughter who is PA. I had been meaning to send him information re this site. I had sent him the school board policy for this area so that he could have a "peanut free" classroom implemented for his child. Recently, he was speaking with another PA parent that posts on this board and basically said that he didn't need to use this site because his daughter's PA wasn't as severe as Jesse's. He, of course knew, that Jesse had had an anaphylactic reaction.

To-day, I was in a store and was speaking with the shopkeeper. She also knows the severity of Jesse's PA (or the two anaphylactic reactions he has had). She has a child that will be a year old next month and is wondering how she could determine if the child is PA because both of her sisters, with no history of any allergies, both have PA children. And again, I heard, but their PA isn't severe.

I went on to explain to this person that I have read on this very board about adult PA people who may go 20 years suffering from what might be considered "slight" reactions and then one day they have an anaphylactic reaction.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I actually had to see Jesse's second reaction to realize the severity of PA. This was before I had a computer and the wealth of information that is to be found on-line re PA. It was before I had a doctor say anything to me about it at all, except I never had a problem getting an Epi-pen. I realize that I was terribly ignorant.

It took Jesse's Father witnessing his third reaction, where he almost died, for his Father to get over his denial of the severity of Jesse's PA.

I'm wondering a couple of things. Do we, as parents actually have to witness our child in anaphylactic shock to finally "get it" (I actually believe if I had found this website when Jesse was first diagnosed I may have been different, but that does not excuse me)?

And also, when we are dealing with schools and non-PA parents, how much more difficult is it for us when you do have PA parents saying that their child's PA isn't severe? Is that why the people posting here are considered fanatics by some?

I know that there are people posting on this board whose children have never had a reaction period. I know people posting whose children have never gone into anaphylactic shock. And they all seem to deal with PA the same way the parents of children who have suffered anaphylactic shock do.

But, how are we to educate people when there will be PA parents that come out with the phrase above? I tried very hard to get across to this woman to-day that you never know about the next reaction. I even went so far as to explain that because Jesse's last two reactions were anaphylactic, I'm expecting his next one, should there be one, will also be. But, I told her that this is also wrong. That his next reaction could be considered slight. That you never know.

Is it even possible to get this message out there? I'm just wondering if a lot of people are going to have to go through first, the hell that I went through to recognize the severity of my son's PA (and the guilt, etc. that accompanies that). Then, having educated myself about PA and enforced what I consider a fairly strict comfort zone, how do I get it across to non-PA parents and people at the school?

I'm not wishing that any of the children whose parents have uttered this phrase ever suffer any more than a "slight" reaction. I just wish the distinction wasn't made and PA is recognized for what it potentially can be - life threatening.

Any thoughts?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 21, 2001

Cindy, this is something that has bothered me as well. I have mentioned to you about the little girl in my church school class allergic to nuts and milk. Well I will not give her anything obviously because of this. I am very careful when I do bring in a snack on account of her. I have assured the mom the child is safe with me. The last party we had when i told the child something one of the children bought in"unexpectedly" was not safe and she could not have it. She told her parents and they came in to tell me that she could have whatever she wanted as long as I kept an eye on her. She also takes peanut butter sandwiches to school. She eats bakery goods as well. I can not figure this situation out. When I talked to the mom I asked her about her reaction she said that she only had one so she will be fine. These parents are totally confusing anyone that will be watching their daughter. She has an epi-pen,but they will not give it to me. The parents keep telling "Well she is not as bad as your son" I feel that if she had a reaction once you figure she may have another one. These 2 parents really act as if I am mean to their daughter,but I told them I would not have any child go into a reaction well I am caring for them. Cindy, don't try to figure these 2 parents out because I think we would go crazy. Best wishes to you and the kids claire

On Feb 21, 2001

Cindy, I can hear and certainly understand your frustration. All you want is to save people from the heartache you've experienced, and your reward therein is basically being told that you're an alarmist and they want no part of your separatist world.

Thanks to this site, and other research I've done, and speaking with the allergist, I am just assuming that if Isaac has peanuts again it WILL result in an anaphylactic episode. I feel that this is a reasonable way to proceed. I also know that a lot of people around us--and to some extent, my own husband--think that I'm being melodramatic. Hey, the kid had some hives, he wheezed a little, no big deal, that sort of thing. Well, that's tough. I don't enjoy their ignorance but my first priority is to my child's safety.

On the other hand, I can understand why people WANT to believe there is such a thing as a mild PA. I am not enjoying my newfound role as peanut-free vigilante. I wish I wasn't so worried all the time; I wish I wasn't confronted with this issue a hundred times a day in ways I never would've imagined. A part of me (okay, a LARGE part of me) wishes I was still ignorant. I'm sure in many ways it's easier!

Any parent with a PA child who isn't "taking things so seriously" as you are is basically being threatened by your evangelism. First of all you are a threat to their current comfort level and peace of mind. And secondly you are trying to help but what they're hearing is "you're a bad parent for not doing what I am doing." It's sad but these are very touchy issues.

I guess my point is that yes, in many cases, those people WILL have to experience an anaphylactic crisis to get the message. You could make yourself crazy over this or you could just accept that to some extent this is human nature. Continue being a good example... continue to educate where your voice is welcomed (like here!)... but then let it go, gracefully. Trust that they will be taken care of as you and Jesse have been protected.

I dunno; maybe I'm just cynical, but I've so often seen evidence of people needing to really live through something to get the message, that the fact that this seemingly unwise mindset applies to PA as well doesn't surprise me.

Miriam

On Feb 21, 2001

I have encountered this from different people with regard to their child's PA. You make a good point about witnessing an actual "severe" reaction. The "only" reaction I ever witnessed with Wade was severe and makes me wonder how I would have reacted had it not been.

What I question as well for people who believe their child only has a "mild" allergy is what exactly their doctor has told them. Our allergist said that there is no such thing as a mild peanut allergy and explained how any reaction/exposure to peanuts can be potentially fatal. I would hate to think that a child could suffer dire consequences from accidental exposure because of misinformation provided by a doctor.

This also brings to mind a thread I posted last week "How can I make them understand?" where a PA child in my non PA dd's class frequently consumes "may contain" products and shouted my dd down when my dd questioned the safety of doing this. I think I only got one response to the thread. What I've decided to do is arrange to show the "It only takes one bite" video to my dd's class and have a handout as well as a discussion on food allergies.

I still believe the key to understanding this allergy is education. I know that it's hard to admit that your child's life is in danger because of something as small as a peanut. However, we are not in a position to be off our guard, are we? If more people with PA children had access to accurate information, there would be less of a chance that those children could be put at risk.

I know that because my dh did not see Wade at his worst during a reaction, he has been slow to come around but fortunately for me he trusts my judgement and follows through on what needs to be done to protect Wade. I think he would have had a different attitude had he been the one to witness anaphylaxis first hand.

Take care!

Katiee (Wade's mom)

On Feb 21, 2001

Well, my thinking is that it's the phrase "potentially" life-threatening that keeps parents from fully appreciating the fact that it can become severe. We can also "potentially" get killed driving our car or skiing down a hill - but most people don't really believe they will.

It's also the school of thinking that teaches "It can't happen to me, that kind of stuff only happens to other people". It's our own personal comfort zone, where we prefer to dwell until something comes along that threatens it.

One can't change people's thinking about this - it DOES take a personal experience to make an impact. I probably never would have waited 'til Cayley was close to 3 before giving her peanut butter, if I hadn't experienced her having an anaphylactic reaction to milk formula when she was a baby. "Peanut allergy is rare - it can't happen to my family - what are the odds? - no one else in my family has food allergies... etc. etc.".

The pharmacist in question is well-educated, but he can't help but compare his daughter's mild reaction to your son's almost fatal one. His daughter does have Medic Alert bracelet, an EpiPen and they do check labels and avoid peanut products. I don't really think he's endangering his daughter - his daughter has never had a bad reaction and he's taken the appropriate steps to prevent a severe reaction from happening. I know it's the "mild" PA label that's bothering you, but to him, that's what it is, compared to Jesse's "severe" PA - based on reaction experience alone.

An aside - Isn't it a small world, Cindy, where we've never met, by chance meet on a website support group, and end up having known the same pharmacist on a first name basis for years? But I digress...

My PA/TNA asthmatic adult friend doesn't even have an EpiPen. She has a prescription for one, but has never filled it. Once Cayley was diagnosed I said to her "Gee, you should probably have an EpiPen". She said "Yes, I probably should". But she still doesn't, and thinks she can treat her reactions with her inhalers. If I lecture her, she'll think "Great, I've lived with this my entire life, and the new kid on the block wants to tell me how to handle it". It won't get me anywhere, so I don't harp on the issue of the EpiPen. Someday she might get one or maybe she won't - it's her decision. Am I a little upset that if she suffers a fatal anaphylactic reaction, she'll leave behind her husband of 17 years and their 3 children? You bet, but lecturing her won't change her mind, neither will a guilt trip, or even giving her educational material.

"It won't happen to me". Sure it won't, until it does. In the meantime, if people don't get it, there's nothing I can do to change their thinking. Just my 2 cents...

On Feb 21, 2001

I would just like to say that yesterday, when trying to educate the shopkeeper re the potential severity of PA, I did it in my usual calm, quiet way. I would not be perceived as a vigilante. I do everything very quietly. I am, in no way saying that PA parents who chose to say this about their children are "bad parents" or "endangering their children's lives". I'm just trying to understand it.

Now, had someone more educated re PA come along when Jesse was first diagnosed, I know that I would have listened to what they had to say. I would not have seen them as extreme or a zealot. I would have recognized them for being what they were - more educated re PA then I was and certainly would have welcomed ANY and all information they had to give me. This may actually have prevented my child from suffering the anaphylactic reactions he did (although, again, both were accidental and not due to my comfort zone).

Also, Cayley's Mom, I was surprised that you made the connection that you did in your post. I am not prepared to question what you posted in this thread. I think that's about all I can say without this being a thread gone bad rather than trying to be the informative thread I had hoped it would be.

I would like to make the point again, quite strongly, that if we are dealing with other PA parents that treat their child's allergy in this way, then we, as parents of children who are DEFINITELY severely PA, have a harder time dealing with schools and other places where we would like our children to be included. I think until you've reached the point where you are dealing with schools and potentially other PA parents that disagree with you, then it's really hard to say how you would deal with other PA parents that say this.

I, fortunately, have not had to deal with any other PA parents at Jesse's school (well, one because their child's PA isn't severe and the other one because, well, they're anonymous).

I also have a friend that should be carrying an Epi-pen for a shellfish allergy. However, this is a 40 year old woman who has made the choice she has made. I don't feel the need to educate her. She has made it to 40 years of age, as I'm hoping my son will, and I'm certainly not going to try to educate her re this.

I'm trying to ensure the safety of a child who cannot yet accept responsibility for his allergy. I believe this is very different from an adult who chooses, for whatever reason, to take this risk with their lives. I hope that I will educate my son to the point where he won't take such a chance when he is an adult.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited February 21, 2001).]

On Feb 21, 2001

I think that there are two things that come into play with parents like this. #1 A much more relaxed comfort level and #2 That thing that isn't just a river in Africa - DENIAL. You can talk until you are blue in the face and some people aren't going to hear what you are saying. Of course, who amoung us wanted to hear that our child could die from a peanut. Maybe we are the strong ones because we listened and we continue to learn about this allergy.

On Feb 21, 2001

Hi everyone, I am one of those moms of a kid with a "mild" peanut allergy, and possibly no allergy at all. He had one reaction to walnuts (a little swelling of the lips) that I would consider mild, and no reaction to peanuts. I do know that I get more freaked out by him being near walnuts than peanuts, because I KNOW he may react to them and I feel that the reaction cold be anything.

I don't think I ever describe Ben's allergy as mild. I think what I say is that he's not highly sensitive. What I mean by this is that I am confident he will not react to touch, smell, or trace amounts. I don't let him have "may contain" items, but I don't think he would react. Assuming he is allergic, he may someday become more sensitive meaning he would react to a smaller amount. Assuming he is allergic, I believe he could have any reaction, including anaphalactic, to actually ingesting a whole peanut or some peanutbutter.

If I tell someone he doesn't have a high sensitivity, it's because they are somewhat educated and fear that he's going to die if he touches the monkey bars after a kid with peanut butter residue on his hands. So I tell them, well thankfully, he's not that highly sensitive. I think that now I will start adding "at least not yet."

I think I do kind of understand the mentality from both sides. I don't worry as much about the peanuts (but take many of the same precautions as the rest of you), but with walnuts, I really do feel that if he ate one, anything could happen. I'm not really sure why people describe their child's allergy as mild.

As for schools, and making parents of highly allergic kids sound like lunatics, I almost always describe how I may be ok with Ben being around someone eating peanutbutter, that's just my comfort level with him, and with lots of other PA kids, that would cause big problems. I try to always explain that my son's case is not "the norm" for reactions (or lack thereof.)

This is really long, and I'm still not sure I've explained myself well. I guess I don't really understand why someone would not let the school know their child is allergic, or why they would let their supposedly PA child eat peanutbutter.

On Feb 21, 2001

I got a call from another parent after school on valentines day. turns out she had given her daughter chocolates to give to the kids and the teachers made her bring them home since they had a "produced in the same factory" warning on them. Her teachers are very vigilant, by the way. Well, this woman CLAIMED to be calling me to tell me that another mother gave her kids unwrapped chocolates to give out and the teacher let them give those to the kids and that her best friend's kid is peanut allerigc and SHE lets her kid eat things run on the same lines and that we should keep our daughter away from ALL chocolate since they are ALL run on the same lines. I said thank you for your concern and called the school and the teachers told me apparently this mother was really pissed off that her kid ahd to bring the chocolate home. THey said sorry, its not just my daughter, its the school rule! THe other mother swore she had read the ingredients of the chocolates and it had no warning but the teachers were not comfortable with that either but gave those chocoalates out to the other kids (not my daughter) when they were leaving. I understand taht mothers anger, she thinks she is beign responsible by doing what her best friends mom does for her PA kid. Unfortunately, my daughter reacts severely.

As it turned out, she had been having some coughing, possibly her asthma flaring up but I had sent her to school anyway so she wouldn't miss the valentines festivities. She ended up coughing and throwing up in class. A reaction? who knows, her teachers swear that she didn't nor COULDN't eat anything w/nuts. she has been out of school since last wednesday. took her to the doctor on sunday as her coughing was not getting better. she was givne antibiotics for it, sounded like broncitis and is now much better. the baby, by the way also has been having fevers, cold and croup like symptoms. its just so hard to tell what is food allergies, allergic reactions to other stuff or jsut plain colds!

On Feb 21, 2001

Bensmom, I think you made yourself really clear. I also think there is a big difference between saying your child isn't "highly sensitive" and saying he is "mildly allergic" or "not severely allergic". I think not highly sensitive is actually a good way to put it, especially with the people that you do this with.

Also, I've popped back in after reading the other posts again to mention this that I just remembered. Now, the shopkeeper I spoke with yesterday, her nephew has always had a "peanut free" classroom. Well, this year, apparently the teacher said that he couldn't have one (I asked her to get me the school board's name and I would get a copy and go over the school board policy, because, I know, for a fact, that a teacher cannot make that decision in this province. A principal is able to make the decision about whether the school is "peanut free" or not, but as far as a classroom being "peanut free", it is not up to the teacher. She didn't really seem to hear what I was telling her - that I was really good at reading school board policies and felt that her sister's child was probably ensured a "peanut free" classroom. This kinda bothered me too, but then, I'm not about to rant and rave about it).

However, she mentioned that because her nephew is now not in a "peanut free" classroom he has begun to come home sick a lot and the sister thinks he is having reactions to peanut products being eaten in the classroom. However, having said that, and assuming that her child is not actually consuming any peanut products, how can she then turn around and say that her child's allergy is not severe? It sounds to me as though he is reacting to contact or smell.

But again, I wasn't in a position to make the woman hear me about the school board policy or anything else re PA. I simply offered my help, as I always do, in a quiet fashion. If she could provide me with the school board name, I would do all of the work thereafter. Now, I know that her nephew is, in fact, guaranteed a "peanut free" classroom.

I guess what baffles me is that this parent now has a child coming home from school very often sick and recognizes that it does, very likely have to do with his PA. But, she is not going to the school board - she is simply taking a teacher's word for the lack of a "peanut free" classroom for her child and she is still labeling her child as "not severely allergic to". I'm sorry, I just find it strange.

I think creek14 said it perfectly and quite succinctly, which I really wish I could, I really believe a lot of people are suffering from denial. The sad thing is, for most of us to overcome our denial our children have to experience an anaphylactic reaction. Isn't that a helluva thing to wish on your child simply so you can "get with the program"?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 21, 2001

Cindy, I don't know if some of what I said was the reason you felt the need to reiterate some points above, but I just wanted to add my own clarification.

I in NO WAY meant that you are a vigilante, evangelist, pushy, rude, etc. I'm sure that you handle these situation with the greatest aplomb and calmness. My point was that people get defensive easily and even your very PRESENCE will be--for some--a threat or blow to their parenting choices in some way. That's THEIR problem and certainly not yours. I'm sure it causes YOU much more aggravation than it does them, hence my recommendation to work on letting it go, because I'm sure you (like everyone here!) has enough aggravation already.

I also wanted to say that I can sympathize but I guess not fully understand the impact these sorts of dynamics have when you're dealing with school officials and stuff. I'm not there yet. Heck, I'm a newbie to this whole scene. But I thought the issue you raised here was more one of human nature than of dealing with administration among adversity. Now I'm feeling like I somehow wasn't qualified to respond because my son isn't school-aged yet... perhaps I just misunderstood what you were getting at.

These are emotional issues. In rereading the responses I thought everyone was being supportive and "on the same side." I'm a little puzzled by your reaction. I just wanted to say I hope I didn't say anything that upset you. (I try not to tick people off until I've been on a site for at least a month, LOL.) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Miriam

On Feb 21, 2001

Well, count me in on the "baffled" part, Mir.

Cindy - You said you didn't want the thread to go bad, but by not explaining how the "connection" (what connection?) I made in my post offended you - I don't know where I went "wrong".

I thought my post sounded very similar to creek14, with a whole bunch more unnecessary words thrown in. Puzzling...

On Feb 21, 2001

Hi Everyone

A lot of people ask me if my son is severely allergic my response is:- "You cannot tell how severe a child is, any child with a nut allergy has to he treated as serious as you never know what kind of a reaction he or she will have. One reaction can be mild the next severe or visa-versa. My child is not sensitive to smell or touch but that may change in time." Personally I do not think it is a good idea to say a child is not highly sensitive because for the uneducated (I don't mean this in a derogatory way)this means they have a mild allergy. I have no idea how sensitive my son is but I know that he COULD die and therefore I will not take any chances.----I could survive a gunshot wound but I'm not going to shoot myself to see if I can survive!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 21, 2001

I don't really have an answer, or even any adviceon how to deal with this, but I just wanted to share my little story, and a theory.

I saw Matt react to pb at 6mo with facial swelling. I didn't eliminate peanut products from the house then. I just didn't give him anything with pb or peanuts. A couple of months later a friend of mine told me she had met a woman at a playgroup that had a PA son and that she carried a "shot-pen" because a peanut allergy was "one of the worst ones to have". Instead of saying well, Matt isn't THAT allergic, and going on, I asked our dr about it and was told basically that an epipen was not needed, just don't give him pb sandwhichs. A couple of months later he had an anaphylactic reaction (though I didn't know what that meant at the time) and I threw out the pb and quit buying peanut stuff.

A year went by and I literally stumbled onto this site, and again instead of thinking to myself, "Matt isn't THAT allergic, none of this pertains to us...", I immediately started reading all I could here and elsewhere on the subject and started posting the night. From there, we went on to getting epipens, reading ALL labels, and asking questions when eating out.

My point in all this is... even though Matt has only had 2 MILD reactions (I do still consider them mild), I never once made the distinction between having a "mild allergy" or a "severe allergy", and never once ignored or tossed aside information regarding PA. When people started responding to my posts and expressing concern over us not having epipens, or telling us that PA is life-threatening, or that we needed to read EVERY label, etc, I did NOT feel threatened, less of a mother, or looked down upon. I simply felt the need for more knowledge and more medical advice and attention.

My theory is that there different types of people and that it depends on the individuals personality as to whether or not anyone else CAN help them. There are some that will tend to 'blow off' medical conditions (or other problems) and then get upset when someone confronts them and tries to offer advice and information in order to HELP them. There are others that will only accept something as a fact, or a risk, etc from professionals (i.e. medical doctors when health is in question, carpenters when they are building a house, plumbers when their toilet is stopped up, etc). And then there are others that will willingly accept any information they are given and then maybe do a little research on their own.

I, personally, am one of the latter. I'm this way in every aspect of life. If I'm told that I can get long distance for 3 cents a minute with such and such plan, I look into it. If someone suggests an easier way of cleaning the stove, I look into it. If someone says "you know what? I know someone that has the same type wrist pain as you do, and they found out it was carpal tunnel", I'll look into that.

I'm thinking maybe these individuals (the pharmacist, the shopkeeper, the parents of the PA child in the school), have either the type of personalities that do NOT lend way to doing their own research, OR the type that minimalizes everything in general. I really think that the issue isn't whether or not these parents have witnessed a severe reaction in their child, I think it's more what their personality type is. I've seen mothers of children with very serious medical conditions (be it asthma, allergies, birth defects, cancer, whatever...) that have the same lacksadaisical and "not my child" attitude as well. These are mothers of kids who are in and out of hospitals all year round! It's like they totally forget what the last time was like...until it happens again. They don't seem to learn from their mistakes or experiences.

I do. In the past 2yrs, there's been several things that I should have learned more about "the first time around" and didn't, and ended up regretting it later. Enough is enough. I don't ever stop with the first 'answer' when it comes to the kids' health anymore.

On Feb 21, 2001

Mir, NO you certainly didn't post anything wrong. I thought your post said what you had to say very clearly and perfectly. I don't think anything you posted had anything to do with why I posted two subsequent posts.

Also, you don't have to be a parent of a school aged child with PA to already be dealing with this phrasing coming from other PA parents' mouths! You could be hearing it anywhere. My point was, and I didn't mean to offend those of you who have not gotten to school yet, but, it certainly does make it more difficult to deal with administration at school when another PA parent has said their child's allergy is "not severe" or their child is "mildly allergic".

I know this firsthand from dealing with my son's principal. She did have the one PA child in her school, that she was aware of, but had been told that the child's allergy was "not severe". Therefore, when I was the FIRST parent of the FIRST PA child with a life threatening allergy to peanut products to approach her, it was difficult for her to understand why I was so adamant and at some times, in my early dealings with the school, a little bit emotional. I was the first parent that had requested a "peanut free" classroom for my son, which is guaranteed by his school board policy. I quickly came to understand that I was, in fact, "paving the way" with this particular school re PA and please let me tell you, it is not an easy task. It can be quite daunting.

Now, I was very fortunate that when I did run into difficulties with the school at the end of the school year last year, there was a wonderful PA parent posting here, MKRuby. She walked me through a principal meeting on the telephone. It was through her wisdom and advice that I was able to learn how to deal with the school effectively. It is a difficult thing to learn, and I truly believe made more difficult if you have other PA parents referring to their child's allergy as "mild". I know another PA parent who did run into a problem at her son's school this year when she ran up against another PA parent. Thankfully, for both her and her child, her child is not attending that school next year.

Cayley's Mom, I wasn't clear why you made the connection with the pharmacist I was speaking about and also then, yourself, as the other PA parent that had dealt with him. I guess it is really a question of his "comfort zone" and it is simply out of my concern for him, because he is a wonderful person, and his child, that I wish he would perhaps understand this a bit better. Also, you mentioned that he is well educated. I beg to differ about well educated - he is, of course for his profession, I do not think he is as well educated as he easily could be about PA. That's all. But, I didn't want to bring that discussion into this.

No, Mir, I wasn't responding to you when I used the particular words that you had also used in your post. In fact, I find none of them offensive. I just wanted to be a bit clearer about the type of person I actually am in "real" life and how I deal with people - not aggressively or pushy, just very quietly, calmly, and with concern.

Of course, all of this does have to do with what I originally posted - the feelings of guilt I have about my own ignorance re PA. That's why I would love, so much, for anyone/everyone to learn what I have learned the very hard way, by almost having my child die. I would just like people to recognize the allergy for it's potential seriousness. Then, of course, if you're fortunate enough never to suffer a serious reaction, as obviously the 12 year old three doors down from me hasn't yet, then that's great. But, at least recognize the seriousness of it or certainly don't compare your child's allergy as being "mild" and my child's allergy being "severe".

Now, it's interesting. When the emergency doctor who dealt with Jesse during his last anaphylactic reaction told me that Jesse had a very serious allergy and was unlikely to outgrow it, I didn't take offence. I appreciated that he had said the words so clearly to me because I believe people need to hear that.

Also, Matt's Mom, I totally agree with you and also believe that I am very much like you in my learning experience about PA. My comfort zone has changed drastically as I became more educated about PA, just as yours did. And, my soul, I would have welcomed any information so that I could have tightened up my comfort zone when I first learned of Jesse's PA.

Mir, I'll try to go back and re-read your post later and respond "properly" to you. I do know, however, that nothing you said had anything to do with my subsequent posts. However your good choice of words may have made it into my brain (which is dim, and blipping, as usual) well enough to end up in my other posts.

I think somehow this has digressed, but I don't think too far from the thread starter, which was, as all of my thread starters are, a sincere attempt at trying to figure out something that I come across on a regular basis (and, in this case, I consider it too regular). Also, Mir, I totally agree, that it is best to let these things go and I believe by posting the thread here, that's what I was actually doing. Otherwise, I am the type of person that would still be going over my conversation with the shopkeeper yesterday and trying to figure out if I was going to get her sister's school board policy and do the work and simply give it to her or figure out why she just didn't seem to hear what I was saying to her. I think she really didn't want to hear it, when I think back now, but I also wanted everyone to know that I didn't do it in an offensive manner. I was my usual quiet self.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 21, 2001

And, I'm sorry, this thread was very much connected to the thread where some of us are seen as fanatics. I truly believe that PA parents who consider their child as having a "mild" allergy are the ones that consider us, posting on this board, as having children with a "severe" allergy (whether or not that is, in fact, true) and also as fanatics because of the drastic differences in our comfort zones.

I think it is almost implicit in saying that your child has a "mild" peanut allergy that your comfort zone is pretty lax, regardless of MedicAlert bracelets and Epi-pens.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 21, 2001

I guess that I want to say that I wasn't speaking of anyone on this board when I said that some parents were in denial. If you are here, you certainly understand the potential severity of this allergy. Please accept my apologies if I offended anyone here, certainly not my intention.

On Feb 21, 2001

creek14, I didn't see anything in your post that would suggest that you thought any of us posting on the board were in denial. I thought it was an excellent post. It is people that choose not to come to this board because their child's allergy is "mild" that are suffering from denial and refusing to learn the POTENTIAL severity of PA.

I'd like to apologize for something I posted about one person's comfort zone in particular (not someone who is posting here). I usually do NOT question anyone's comfort zone and certainly do not on this board. I just wonder why people would have what I consider really lax comfort zones with regard to this allergy. Even when I was considered lax, I still did not allow my child to eat peanut products or "may contain". However, I did allow them to be in our home and for us to ingest them. This radically changed after Jesse had his first anaphylactic reaction.

Of course, now I've got myself thinking about another thread - Do You Allow Your Child to Eat "May Contain", but how many people would really feel comfortable answering that, especially after several of us have commented that it's like playing Russian Roulette with your child's life or them having a reaction (a nearly 1 in 5 chance). So, I can't ask that one. And, I guess it's not really something I need to know.

Again, I just SO much wanted to help this woman (and her sisters) yesterday without being overbearing but with the hope that they wouldn't have to experience what I did, or that their child wouldn't have to experience what my child did. And, in hearing that phrase again, it did bring up the whole school issue I have (I think I've explained fairly clear why it's even an issue).

Anyway, I am sorry to have questioned another PA parent's comfort zone, and the thing is, I wouldn't do it in person. I may state the 1 in 5 chance, however, simply because it is now something that I know.

I understand that this is a really emotional thing, but my basic point again would be, if we, as PA parents can't agree on something, aside from the fact that our children are all PA, then how are we ever to expect other non-PA parents to understand? It's obvious that we, as PA parents can't even agree, when speaking in public (and I don't mean anyone who is posting on this board or has posted in this thread), about the severity of the allergy. Some think their children have a "mild" allergy to peanuts, while other of us, either through finding out the hard way or simply finding out, recognize that our children have a "life threatening" or "severe" peanut allergy.

So, does that mean that the only thing we can agree on is that we all have PA children and that we should all simply accept that?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 22, 2001

Dang, now my head hurts. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Cindy, thanks for letting me know that I didn't say something that upset you. I was concerned.

If I've learned anything since coming here, it's that there are a lot of variables and lots of unknowns about allergies, and even the "well known" stuff isn't as "standard" as we'd like. So far I've been very lucky; the only other PA child we know in real life (as opposed to the ones I know of from this board) has had several anaphylactic reactions and his parents are appropriately vigilant. I am already getting used to ignorance from the non-allergic but I don't really know how I'll handle some of the stuff being described here from fellow PAs.

I do think (hope!) that everyone agrees that that we each have to do what we feel is best for our child(ren). It'd be great if everyone with a PA child was in perfect agreement about how to handle things, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Miriam

On Feb 22, 2001

Mir, I thought your above post was great! You word things so beautifully and very clearly. That's why I was able to use some of your words from your earlier post when I posted again yesterday! LOL! My brain doesn't do words as easily anymore!

I completely understand if different PA parents have different comfort zones re PA. I, in fact, never question another PA parent's comfort zone, not even on this board when sometimes I would like to. It is not my right to do this about PA, just as it isn't my right to do this about anything else re parenting, such as discipline, etc.

I just wish we had a bottom line agreement that encompassed more than we all have PA children. Do you know what I mean? I would like it if we were all able to say "I have a child with a potentially life threatening allergy". However, after reading calm posts such as yours and others in this thread, I also understand that that is probably not an expectation that I should have. Some PA parents will never feel comfortable saying those words, for whatever their reasons, and I certainly cannot change that. And, I guess, in saying that they don't feel COMFORTABLE saying the words, perhaps it's part of the "comfort zone" thing again, although my definition of "comfort zone" is different than that, so I shouldn't be questioning it or commenting on it in the first place.

I think also, in PA parents who say their children's allergy is "mild", someone had indicated that they may feel that I was saying they were a bad parent because of the information I was trying to provide them. But, in turn, what they're actually MAYBE saying to me, because my son has had two anaphylactic reactions, and he is "severely" allergic as far as their labeling, then, I'm in fact, a bad parent in their eyes. It's a two way street on how this comment can actually be interpreted as to who is the bad parent.

I think, when this happened the other day, it was another example of it having happened to me, and, as usual, I come here to post about it. I was curious as to whether this happened to other PA parents and how they felt about the phrase, in itself, and how they dealt with the situation.

Now, Claire provided a perfect example of how other parents that don't "get it" can potentially be endangered and also make us look like extremists. There were also several other people who posted who had run into difficulties because of this terminology. The person with the older child, non-PA, but who knows that her PA sibling cannot eat "may contain" and is confronted with another PA child who is eating "may contain" (I believe it was Katiee's daughter). This must be terribly confusing to not only the non-PA sibling involved, but among PA children.

I know the language of communication with Jesse. I know that I will be able to explain to him, along the way, why so and so can eat these things and he can't. I also know that I would be able to explain to another PA child why Jesse can eat certain things and he can't.

Again, I had just wondered if anyone else had run across this phrase, and how they dealt with it and if it had affected their lives adversely in any way. And I think I got wonderful answers. I'd like to thank this site, as always, for being the place to come to, to essentially question when I'm presented with a PA "thing", as I was the other day. And, I'd like to thank the many people who took the time to post who helped me to understand that it does happen to other people, that it does encompass a range of emotions when we are the "severely" PA child's parents, and that people have actually thought about why other PA parents would choose to phrase their child's allergy this way. That's what is so great about this board. It gave me the insight I wanted and needed when presented with what I originally considered another baffling situation re PA. Otherwise, it's something that simply stays in my head. It isn't discussed with my DH or any friends. I come to this wonderful site to talk about it and get a perspective on it and for that I am always grateful.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 13, 2003

I'm re-raising this for Ginger and also for someone else whose thread I mentioned this very thread in this week as well. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I just re-read the whole thing and here's my position now, as I basically just posted to Ginger in Main Discussion.

I don't try to educate PA parents in *real* life that have different comfort zones than I do. I respect each person's right to have different comfort zones. I don't understand them and I almost shake my head in disbelief. But, I don't try to educate. I basically don't say anything.

And when I hear the expression "my child's PA isn't as severe as Jesse's", my head doesn't explode anymore and it just doesn't bother me.

Jesse has another PA child at his school in Grade 1. Her emergency medical plan is SO different than Jesse's. He has a TNA child in his class with a wonderful, caring, Mother whose comfort zone is totally different than mine. I just let them be.

What I do do is present the school with my written school plan for Jesse and because they have another PA child in the school that doesn't have a plan or even a comprehensive medical emergency plan (IMHO), I just kinda look like Psycho Mom from He** and you know what? I don't mind. Seriously, I don't.

I guess I just kinda leave people be and because I'm not in the really small town where I was getting the comments that I got above (the original post in this thread), I don't hear it as much anymore and it's really just not an issue for me anymore.

However, I can still understand why other PA parents would cringe when they hear that. I know I still do, but I just don't speak after I cringe. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 13, 2003

I know the origins of this thread are quite old, but when I read it, it really upset me because I'm positive I'm guilty of describing my DD's allergy as "less severe" when relating it to other PA kids.

I think maybe I need to redefine the word "severe" in my own mind, because I think of my daughter's allergy as life-threatening, but when I think severe, I think of all the kids whose parents have posted here who are always reacting to something they've touched or inhaled or ingested and have hives and eczema and stomach problems and asthmatic reactions on a regular basis.

When I read all the posts on these boards about these poor kids I automatically think of my DD's allergy as being less "severe" only in that she doesn't seem to exhibit the symptoms of reaction on such a regular basis. She has had two anaphylactic reactions. But I use the term "less severe" in my mind, because she didn't get to the point of having seizures or her heart stopping. Her reactions were curtailed before that happened. So, in my mind, her reactions were "less severe" than some I've read about and heard about.

But I'm NOT in denial. Half the time, I'm practically psychotic with worrying. And when any one asks me about her allergy, I always say it's potentially life-threatening. And I'm not afraid to say she could die if she doesn't get prompt emergency medical treatment.

I kind of assumed that anyone posting to this board was fully aware of the seriousness of this allergy and the MILD vs SEVERE was just a way of comparing how debillitating the allergy is to the everyday life of their children. I guess I was wrong.

On Feb 13, 2003

This thread is beginning to remind me of the whole "vaccination" issue. Sorry to get "off topic".

On Feb 13, 2003

Mommabear, was that directed at something I said in my post? I don't think I was off topic, but maybe I lost the trail somewhere. I don't see a reference to "vaccinations".

I'm not really on this board enough to be sure about proper posting protocol, so if I ever offend someone, I hope they let me know. I don't mean to.

Or maybe your comment was for someone else. I get paranoid because I seem to END a lot of threads!

Have a good day

On Feb 13, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by McKenziesMom: [b]I kind of assumed that anyone posting to this board was fully aware of the seriousness of this allergy and the MILD vs SEVERE was just a way of comparing how debillitating the allergy is to the everyday life of their children. I guess I was wrong.

[/b]

Hi McKenzie's Mom,

I do not think you are wrong. I had the same interpretation as you.

All peanut allergies are dangerous, as even someone who has a less "severe" allergy could still die in their next reaction.

If I am in a movie theatre and someone in front of me starts to eat M&Ms, a Snickers bar, etc, I will stay where I am with no problems. However, some people at this site have a more "severe" allergy so they would have a reaction just by sitting next to someone eating a peanut product, airborne/contact/etc, so going to the movies, etc is something that they avoid.

I would consider my allergy "less severe" as I do not have contact/airborne reactions as easily as others (although if I am at a Montanas and the floor is filled with hundreds of peanut shells it is a different story).

So I believe "severe" / "mild" is just an adjective to describe the typical type of reactions that each of us have. It does not imply what any future reactions will be like as we never know... unpredictable.

But even if I was to say my PA was "less severe" than others, this does not mean that my next reaction will be the same way, as it could result in my death. It just means on a general basis my reactions have been less severe than others.

And I don't want anyone thinking I have a "mild" allergy as I have had some severe allergic reactions. But I did work in a Laura Secord shop surrounded by peanut ice cream and peanuts and peanut chocolate and never had a reaction while I worked there so I would consider my allergy "less severe" than others who would never be able to work in an environment like that. (note- this was a long time ago)

But even with a less severe allergy, I know my next reaction could kill me so I always carry my epi-pen.

And McKenzie's Mom, your post did not end this thread. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Feb 13, 2003

cindy: i think it's ironic that the mother and tna child in jesse's class are benefitting from your efforts even though their comfort level isn't as tight as yours. they are lucky to have your son in the same class. otherwise, she might be so confident that a reaction might not occur at school. i know i wish jesse was in my daughter's class for several reasons (companionship and understanding AND to have you there taking care of things so i wouldn't have to. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] have you thought about the state of missouri? i know a great little town....)

your post is funny because i just heard that exact comment yesterday from someone....."my son's reaction isn't as serious as your daughters' reactions are..." a woman was telling me how her son "only swells in the face and has some wheezing" when he eats peanuts (which they do allow in small amounts!!!!!!). i tried to tell her i thought this would be indicative of pa but she told me "peanuts are just one of the many triggers for his asthma" and they "don't really have a problem with peanuts." i asked what school district they were in and thank goodness it wasn't ours! that's all i need is her coming in and telling my girls' school that it is no big deal and not to worry. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] joey

On Feb 13, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by joeybeth: [b] a woman was telling me how her son "only swells in the face and has some wheezing" when he eats peanuts (which they do allow in small amounts[/b]

Hi Joey...

This sounds pretty serious to me. Why would they allow peanuts if that reaction occurs? Crazy...

On Feb 13, 2003

Eric

I totally ditto your post. I too consider my PA to be less severe, simply because in general, my reactions haven't been like other people's (ending up in the ER). I have no doubt though that if I continued to eat peanuts and other nuts, they would continue to get worse, and likely result in a severe reaction.

Personally, I think that some of this has to do with allergists as well. MY allergist told me that my chances of anaphylaxis from PA was virtually nil, and made me feel like a total hypochondriac. He actually said that PA is rare, and that if I truly had it I would've ended up in the ER the first time. There is so much misinformation out there, and if your allergist acts like it's no big deal, I tended to think the same. That is, until I had a much more "severe" reaction. So I can see how that would put parents in a difficult position. What I learned on this site and what my doc told me were so totally different that I've had to draw my own conclusions.

On Feb 13, 2003

Mckenzies mom,

You posted:

"Or maybe your comment was for someone else. I get paranoid because I seem to END a lot of threads!"

THAT IS MY JOB. (Unofficially and merely by occasional observation----I could be wrong.) lol. You are in good company then. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

No, my post was not directed at you. It was just a personal observation about the entire thread. Parents on either side convinced (apparently) that they are doing their best managing their child's health and safety. It is just a general sentiment I got from the thread. Now, everyone please pay attention to the fact that my POINT IS that each side PROBABLY thinks it is doing what is best for their children. MY POINT WAS before, that, that sentiment reminded me of certain debates about vaccination. (I think I have mentioned before that sometimes similarities in other issues can aid addressing pa related issues. Sometimes. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ) I was typing aloud, so to speak, er, type. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] BTW, McKenzies mom, do you like Merlot? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Cayley's Mom: You ARE SO RIGHT ABOUT THE WINEGLASSES!!!!!!

On Feb 13, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] It was just a personal observation about the entire thread. Parents on either side convinced (apparently) that they are doing their best managing their child's health and safety. [/b]

Hi Momma Bear,

I guess I don't belong on either side since I am not a parent.. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

I am not even sure what this thread is really about anyway. I just posted my thoughts. I think there are 2 different thoughts being mentioned:

1) severe PA is dangerous, but if you have "mild" PA it is not as dangerous so you don't need to worry about a bad reaction

or

2) severe PA means that the reactions tend to be more severe than others with "mild" PA, but a person with "mild" PA could have a severe reaction anytime

My opinion is # 2.

Since there are more than 2 sides, maybe I am on the 3rd side. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

The entire discussion depends on whether you are referring to "severe PA" as in example 1 or as in example 2. IT is hard to discuss "severe PA/mild PA" without the context of example 1 or example 2.

On Feb 13, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Cindy Spowart Cook: [b]Do You Allow Your Child to Eat "May Contain", but how many people would really feel comfortable answering that, especially after several of us have commented that it's like playing Russian Roulette with your child's life or them having a reaction (a nearly 1 in 5 chance).

I may state the 1 in 5 chance, however, simply because it is now something that I know. [/b]

Hi Cindy,

I don't eat "may contains" on a regular basis, although I have at times (ie: Breyers vanilla ice cream, Mars dark chocolate bar, etc).

I was wondering about the 1 in 5 chance that I have been reading here at PA.Com in so many threads. Where did this statistic come from? Is this the USA? Canada?

I ate Mars bars for many many years (and Breyers vanilla ice cream too) even though they were labelled as "may contains". I did not consider it as being Russian Roulette as I do not think it would be a 1 in 5 chance or else I would have been dead years ago.

I think it really depends on the manufacturer. If it is a good name brand manufacturer with quality controls, I believe that it is not like Russian Roulette. I had a bowl of Breyers vanilla ice cream during the holidays and did not consider that I was playing Russian roulette.

I think that each manufacturer is different. Maybe a no-name chocolate manufacturer in Poland may have a 1 in 2 chance of being contomainated with peanuts, but a company like Breyers or Nestle or Mars might be a 1 in 50,000 chance.

I am not saying we should eat "may contains" and I almost never eat them, but if I had a choice of eating a "DARE" cookie that said "may contain peanuts" or a no-name cookie from a manufacturer which I knew nothing about and had no warning on the label, I would choose the DARE cookie with the warning. Why? In my research on DARE I have determined that the odds of their cookies being contaminated are extremely remote, but the other no name product without the waraning I know nothing about and it could be more risky.

Sometimes the product without a warning (made by a shoddy manufacturer with no quality controls) would be much more risky than a product with a warning (made by a manufacturer such as DARE with high quality stringent controls).

I think I have gone in babble mode.

Anyway, the entire point of this posting is to state that I do not think that it is like Russian roulette (1 in 5) when eating "may contain" products as it totally depends on the manufacturer. For some manufacturers it would be extremely risky, but each manufacturer is different.

And as I said, personally I do not eat may contain products except very occasionally and only if I research the manufacturer (ie: Breyers told me they make vanilla ice cream first thing in the day).

On Feb 13, 2003

erik: the mother that was telling me about the facial swelling/wheezing/and asthma-triggering peanuts (that her child, of course, was NOT allergic to. hmmmmmm) was...how shall i say this.....i can't think of a polite way to say it......hmmmmm....was very......oh heck...intellectually challenged. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] i feel sorry for the child but she was one of those people you could talk to for an hour and she'd probably still have that blank look on her face. (we seem to have a lot of that around here! haha)

mommabear: i think i may actually win the award for ending the most topics! haha. i was starting to develop a complex for a while. i was afraid to open my big mouth because i seemed to always say the wrong thing somehow. either the conversation just ended or a huge fight ensued. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]fortunately, everyone on here is very nice and i've found they are pretty accepting even when i DO say something unpopular. i've stopped worrying (and everyone else should too). no one here is going to fault someone for speaking their opinion; especially if it's done in the spirit of sharing info. now if this topic ends right here i'm going to have to seek counseling (which i probably need to do anyhow!). [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

to everyone: in general, i think of pa kind of like being pregnant; you either are or you are not. i have seen my 7 yr old have huge, ugly reactions to the smallest invisible amount of peanut and then much milder reactions to exposure that would seem much more worrisome. for that reason, i think it's hard to say for certain how "sensitive" a person really is. i've seen it vary too much to swear that i can always know what kind of reaction one of my two pa kids will or will not have. the younger one seems (according to testing and her doctor's opinion) to be much more sensitive but it's the older one that has had all the problems with peanut reactions. go figure. joey

On Feb 13, 2003

This is just so Joey won't end the thread ;-)

My son has a "less severe" severe allergy. Does that make sense? LOL didn't think so. It's getting late...

It's less severe cause he's never had a big reaction. Yet he's very protected so that he'll never have a big reaction! (hopefully). He's touch sensitive, so I don't even want to think about what could happen if he eats any peanuts...

Right where we are (vacationing in Florida, in case you missed it from some of my other posts) there's a 60+ woman with PA. She has no medication with her, and eats plenty of may contain, or even stuff that she knows has been in contact with peanuts. It only gives her a tingling feeling in her throat she says. Yet she made it to retirement age.

So that gives me hope on the "potentially" part of "potentially life-threatening"

Cleo

On Feb 13, 2003

MacKenzie's Mom, no, I wasn't even thinking about you when I re-raised this thread. I wasn't thinking about anyone here. I actually can't remember ever reading anyone posting here saying that their PA child's allergy didn't have the potential to be severe. Those are the words that are really important in this thread.

I understand that people can go through their lives only having mild or moderate reactions (and I wish to God that Jesse had been one of them [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ) but I also understand that even people with mild to moderate reactions can potentially have a severe anaphylactic reaction the next time they have a reaction.

That's what I couldn't understand about the comments that I was getting, at the time I started this thread, about Jesse. Yes, when people were speaking to me then, in the other town (where everyone knew everyone), they knew he had had two anaphylactic reactions. So, say, the pharmacist speaking to me about her two PA nephews (the one who ended up having what may have been PA reactions at school) and asking me about having her own child tested because both of her sisters had PA children, when she used, or the other people used the terminology, I just really felt that they didn't understand that even though their nephew, child, friend, whatever hadn't had a serious reaction that they couldn't possibly have one.

Did that make sense? I know I haven't gone into babble speak but I'm just not sure if I'm being clear enough in my language.

I thought that they didn't know that there was the potential (Jazz It Up, I really need told again how to do bold, please) for the allergy to be severe and life threatening, which to the best of my understanding, it is for every PA individual.

I felt badly that they didn't have this information just so that they could possibly ensure that their child (or whoever) wouldn't have a severe reaction and also because I didn't like hearing that about Jesse as if he was some alien life form.

We lived in a town where there were no other PA children at the time. By the time we left, there were 4 more. Or, there was the 12 year old down the row but he was anonymous and there was another anonymous child in Jesse's school. We didn't know anyone that was PA. I only knew other PA children and parents from this website. So, it did make me feel kinda bad for Jesse as well to be labeled by other people, whose lives had been touched by PA, as "severe", even though that is, in fact, the truth.

So, the comments that were being made affected me two-fold. I really felt the need, at that time, which I don't now, to let people quietly know that even if their nephew had *mild* PA, he did have the potential to have a severe reaction. And I also didn't want Jesse to seem all that unusual, because, he isn't.

I think all of us here understand that this does have a potential to be severe and life threatening. That was not why I started this thread. I just think that all of us come to understand, through gaining knowledge on this site, that it does have a potential to be severe and life threatening. That a person with a *mild* history reaction may have a *severe* anaphylactic reaction the next time. I, in no way, was commenting on how other members of PA.com label their children's PA. I actually haven't seen any members here using mild or other terms to describe their child's or their own allergy until this thread tonight.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend anyone at all. I just thought this thread might help Ginger's thread under Main Discussion.

Now, erik, as for the "may contain" question, that's a whole other ball game, my dear man, and I'm sorry, this tired old wench, famous for asking every question conceivable re PA, especially if it's raised within a thread, is NOT going to do it this time. You're going to have to. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I do agree with you. I know that I called Good Humour-Breyer's about their ice cream and the way they described their manufacturing I would have felt comfortable with purchasing it. But no, I don't buy any "may contains".

joeybeth, if I am having the problems I am having at school with Jesse, in Canada, where in Ontario at least we have a school board policy re anaphylaxis, why the he** would I move to the U.S.? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

See, you didn't end the thread (you know, I have NEVER even noticed anything like that - it has been mentioned twice by people to-day in this thread that they thought they were thread enders and felt badly and I swear, I have never noticed and never thought about it).

MommaBear, I revel or marvel (are they the same?) at your questions because quite frankly, I don't understand them half the time although I do keep trying and I do keep trying to answer, but I do believe, dear woman, you had to be more clear with your first post. You must admit it was mind boggling and even to those of us not drinking Merlot and those of us that don't drink at all. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 13, 2003

I have a mild peanut allergy. I will say this to folks with a clarification: "My allergy is not a severe, life-threatening allergy like most peanut allergies are, especially for young children."

My peanut allergy arose after I used peanuts to replace my soy consumption. I am anaphylactic to soy and react *severely* to small, dilute amounts. My peanut allergy was caught pretty early. I can have may contains (if they're soy-free) and peanut oil if I don't over-do it. In other words, I can eat boardwalk fries once in a month, if I so desire, with *no* ill effects. In fact, after a couple years of avoiding peanuts, most may-contains, and cold-pressed peanut oil, I might not even *BE* PA any longer. I'm not ready to challenge it.

If my husband eats peanuts and kisses me, I do NOT react unless they were cooked with soybean oil. If he consumes the smallest bit of soy, I react to HIM, without kisses.

I carry an epi-pen for my soy, papaya, penicillium, and latex allergies, all of which are life-threatening. I think it's easy to see why I consider my PA mild, but I would NEVER assume someone else's PA is mild, nor do I think y'all are freaks and fanatics. After I enjoy my boardwalk fries, I wash my hands thoroughly. I do this after I eat in public, anyhow, don't need to be getting grease all over products, doors, etc.

ygg

On Feb 14, 2003

Mommabear, (Sorry this is off topic!) I was introduced to Jackson-Triggs Merlot a few years ago when the parents of a child we took camping thanked us with a bottle of the stuff. Now it is a staple in my house, kind of like milk, eggs and butter. Because red wine is GOOD FOR YOU (That's my story and I'm sticking to it).I was given a bottle of Wolf Blass Merlot as a gift last Sunday. I can hardly wait to get into it! I usually get the Jackson-Triggs because I know I like it, but we also buy merlot in large quantities through a local winery - it only works out to about $4.00 a bottle and its pretty good quality.

Cindy - I didn't really think you were thinking of me in particular. I came on to this board late in my daughter's life, she was already 9 or 10 and when I read all the posts about how vigilant people were with their kids, it was a wonder to me how my DD survived. GUILT, GUILT, GUILT! I think that's why I took your thread personally, but I am really relieved to find that other posters share the same thoughts about their allergy (or allergic reaction) being "severe" or "mild".

I personally think the information you share would be invaluable for encouraging parents of toddlers who are unsure of how to approach schools or doctors or neighbors. I never had any of the school issues you've had, one of the teachers in my daughter's school has a PA daughter and he was always sending home information for us and was in charge of the Action Plans for the school, so I was lucky. He's retired now, but the teachers are pretty well trained.

But I definitely will be approaching highschool differently and you've given some excellent pointers and ideas and I will be starting this spring to find out how we're going to deal with that! It's a whole new ballgame. Thanks.

On Feb 14, 2003

McKenzie's Mom, your Merlot story would go well in the Wine thread of Cayley's Mom's under Off Topic as well. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I feel really out of the loop on this one since I don't drink alcohol at all. Oh well.

The high school years. I can't even begin to imagine them, but they are a few years away for us, so that's okay. I'm sure I'll start imagining well in advance.

I'm glad that you got some reassurance in this thread. I think that's really really important for everyone here to get, especially if we do feel there may have been a difference of opinion. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Feb 14, 2003

Cindy - I only put the merlot thing here because Mommabear asked me the question in this thread and I wasn't sure if you're supposed to answer a question in the thread it's started in or put your answer somewhere else and hope it gets read. Merlot and chocolate are my vices (heavy to the chocolate, and I do mean HEAVY!) Don't smoke, don't party, don't spend money on extravagences.

From something you mentioned way back earlier in this thread, can I ask if a parent chooses to make their child's PA "anonymous" at school, what is the school's liability? Would the child carry their own medication without the school knowing? Or are they without medication? Or do you mean that the teachers and staff know, but it hasn't been relayed to kids and other parents. Isn't this a really high risk situation? Very scary.

Linda

On Feb 14, 2003

I don't have any vices. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

And personally, your posts about merlot absolutely do not offend me in any way, nor do they seem out of place. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 14, 2003

I do think there is a difference and some have a more severe allergic response to their allergens than others. I suspect it is a physiological difference in the auto immune resonse overall, rather than particular to the peanuts. I think about the stats I read saying the asthmatic children are more often having more severe reactions and those with respiratory involvement. Whereas, my dd's allergy is obvious, she tolerated multiple exposures of quantities of PB before obviously manifesting the allergy, has not had asthma, and not had an anaphylactic reaction.

I imagine her adult life with the allergy to be very similar to Erik. Tolerates some things others might not, I do risk similar items because we were alwyas fine before knowing about the allergy, but do so rarely, since we have choices. His post is right on for me.

Now, our friend has a dd who had her first anaphylaxis at 6 months, and reacts very severely to any traces of any of her allergens. It is a whole different ballgame. However, as Joey said, allergy is allergy, with regards to PA, like pregant is pregant! You have to regard it as the whole deal, not just a little allergic(or a little pregnant!) because of the unpredictable nature.

It is this issue precisely, that I think is at the core of "people not getting it." The doctors need to all be on the same page and very serious about teaching the patients about the risks and dangers. The food service and manufacturers need this info. and need to embrace it, and lable well, and we can all function with much less stress! So frustrating! Great discussion, the last several posts. I did not have time to read all of the earlier ones. becca

On Feb 14, 2003

I think there definitely is a difference. When my allergist stated my daughter was anaphylactic, it was because she reactd with 2 different systems - respiratory and gastrointestinal. Once you have the potential to react with more than one system, I think it varies and the reaction could be minor or severe with no predictability.

On the other hand, my tree nut allergy is not anaphylactic and never has been. I have been allergic to walnuts as long as I can remember and always have reacted the same way - hives in my mouth within 5 to 15 minutes of eating walnuts. I have never had a more severe reaction. In the same way, my reaction to almonds is always gastrointestinal - vomiting or diarrhea within 5 to 15 minutes of eating almonds. These reactions have never changed.

So I think it is also possible for someone to have an allergy to peanuts that is consistent - for example maybe hives. If this were consistently the case and the person never reacted in any other way then I would be comfortable in calling this a less severe allergy as this reaction is not life threatening.

Oh - by the way I have also had severe asthma and eczema all my life but these are never manifested in my reactions to walnuts or almonds.

Just my opinion.

deb

[This message has been edited by DebO (edited February 14, 2003).]

On Feb 14, 2003

I read once that "Peanuts are the most potent allergen known to man."

I have an acquaintance whose mouth tingled when she ate peanuts, her whole life. At the age of 50 she ate fries fried in peanut oil and went into full cardiac arrest, right there in the restaurant. She barely survived! This from tingling for 50 years! to cardiac arrest!

Our allergist told us that any of DS food allergies could become anaphylactic without notice at any time.

Peg541

On Feb 14, 2003

PEg541, this is why as my DD gets older, I get more worried. Her last reaction was 2 years ago, when she was 10, and the one before was 7 years ago. I'm so afraid she's going to get too relaxed and forget how important it is to keep her medicine with her at all times. Although, the other day, I heard her telling a new friend that even a 100th of a peanut COULD MAYBE kill her if she didn't have her medicine and didn't get help in time." So I hope she keeps that attitude with her!

Worry, worry, worry, no wonder I hear the chocolate calling!

On Feb 14, 2003

I think there definitely is a difference. This is all kind of mind boggling to me! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I have a 7 yo son who I normally classify as having a severe life threatening allergy to peanuts. He is touch, smell and ingestion sensitive. He does not eat may contains, nor are they kept in the house. My daughter on the other hand... is 6 years old and also has what I always have called a slight peanut allergy. Comparing her to her brother is like night and day. He has had several anaphalactic reactions just this school year and is a 4++ on the skin tests. She has dropped to being barely a 1 on the skin tests and has never had a reaction (2 slight reactions that I am not sure of, but they could have been something else as well). At school I am very adament about him not coming into contact with even "may contains"... whearas she has had may contains at snack time at various times at school all year. I know that the potential is there for her to develop reactions and I personally am just as careful with her at home as I am with her brother. I just don't make such a big deal of it at school.

After reading this whole thread I may be changing that real soon and go back to sending her snack with her everyday as I did with her brother.

My son also has severe asthma, whereas my daughter had it as a toddler but has almost outgrown it.

I also have a 9 yo son who tested a 2 to walnuts. I have not previously stopped him from eating anything with nuts at school but after the valentines party the other day he developed a rash on his forhead... so maybe I should be more concerned there. He has only an allergy to dust and cats.

I do tell people that my daughter is not as severe as my son, but try to relate that she could still have a severe reaction even though she has had no previous reactions. It really is difficult as a parent to know if you are doing the right thing or not.

Sooooo confusing! Valerie

On Feb 14, 2003

McKenzie's Mom, I'm not sure, but I think you answer the question that a person posed to you in one particular thread in that same thread, even if it is off topic [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] What I did say was that your Merlot story would also make a good addition to Cayley's Mom's thread re wine (but in different words I can't remember now [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ) No, not meaning to say what words can or can't be written in threads.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Feb 14, 2003

I think a lot of it goes back to the education you get from your doctors. When Jamie had her reaction (lip swelling & rash) at 18 months, the doctor had us give Benedryl & then prescribed the epi-pen & said to avoid peanuts. That was it.

I had no idea until I started doing internet research about how her reactions could get worse or how she could die. I also didn't know about the lousy labeling by companies. I had no idea.

If you would have asked me then, I would have told you that Jamie has a mild allergy, nothing to get upset about. Just don't feed her peanuts or peanut butter.

NOW, I know better. Because of this website, I know she has the potential to have a severe reaction. I also found out about allergy testing & had her tested.

But, there again, I got lousy information. Our allergist told me that it depends on the amount she ingests as to how severe the reaction is...which I now know is not true.

I think that until Doctors & allergists start being educated correctly & with the same information, we will have parents out there who don't KNOW the severe potential of peanut & tree nut allergies.

That being said, I'd say my daughter's allergy to Peanuts & Tree nuts is fairly mild RIght now. She has never had an anaphylactic reaction & only 2 slight rashes from contact reaction. BUT I know that the next reaction she has could be anaphylactic! That's why I carry epi-pens everywhere with her! Because of her reaction history, my comfort zone is very wide right now. We go out to eat, we go to family get togethers where nut products are present, we even when to the circus where peanut shells were on the floor just 3 seats down from us. Now IF & WHEN she has a more severe reaction, I know my comfort zone will change.

Just my opinion, Lea (mom to Jamie (PA & TNA)(almost 3) & David - due 4-15)

On Feb 14, 2003

Lea and everybody,

There is something important I can pass on. My husband is a doctor. He is so very human and so not a god. I fear for people who think he is going to tell them everything they need to know.

I remember in nursing school I attended a mother in labor. She told me afterward that her doctor never told her it was going to hurt so much! Can you imagine that? Just waiting for the word from the doctor when she could have found out for herself!

My allergist never told us DS 4+++ PA was as dangerous as it was. It took me almost a year to find this out accidentally myself. I then realized I was as negligent as the mother in labor. I never went and researched the damn thing myself. That is the day I took over. I know more than the stupid allergist now. I ask questions or find out for myself.

My husband is a doctor and last night he gave DS a bag of candies from a candy shop here in LA. A bag of "May contains" I have begged him to not give DS these candies, and you know what? DS ate the whole bag. Idiots both of them. I only found out this morning. DS is 18 and should know better but wave a bag of scotchmallows in front of his face and off he goes.

I spent this past two weeks getting his college ready so he will be safe next year when he starts. What the heck am I doing all of this for, not sleeping, eating too much, worrying.... and he is chowing down may contains????

Just a reminder. Doctors are not gods. They forget things, make mistakes and do not give out the proper information. It is our job to know that and do our own research and be responsible for our own safety.

I also have a difficult time hearing someone has grown out of a peanut allergy. That is too scary. I'd just stay away from them forever. It just feels so wrong....

Peg541 who needed apparently to get a lot off of my chest!

On Feb 14, 2003

Klutzi, we were basically the same as you. When Jesse had his first reaction and we went to emerg they did diagnose a peanut allergy and I can't remember if the E.R. doctor gave me the 'script for his Epi-pen or if he told us to see our family doctor immediately to get one. At any rate, we got the Epi-pen. We simply thought that it meant Jesse couldn't eat peanuts or peanut products. I'm fairly sure that until he had his first anaphylactic reaction, he continued to eat tree nuts and sunflower seeds (the tree nuts are a definite NO now and sunflower seeds I'm just wary about for no particular reason).

I didn't have a computer or internet access at the time, so the best I could do was call AAIA in Canada and ask them to send me literature re PA.

However, it really wasn't until Jesse had an anaphylactic reaction that I "got it". It wasn't until he had his second anaphylactic reaction and almost died that his Father "got it" and lost his denial over the whole thing.

Along the way, I've dealt with a few doctors and one allergist and not one of them has given me the information that I have gained from being a member here. In fact, our last family doctor in the small town (you can't get a family doctor where I live now), would look at me as though I was quite strange when I asked him any questions related to PA. I suspect it was because he didn't know the answers but he looked at me as though I shouldn't even have the sense to ask the questions.

Peg541, I'm so sorry to hear what happened last night. I am surprised by your husband, since you have been dealing with this for so long (his profession doesn't matter) and I'm also surprised by your son. I'm actually frightened for your son, especially since it's been really clear from your other posts in different threads that you have been teaching him, long before you had the internet, how to take care of himself properly. It's sad to say but could it just be one of those situations where 18 year olds think that they're never going to die (or, in our cases, have a reaction)?

I remember clearly all of the stupid things that I did when I was 18 years old and nothing to do with PA and I hope that my children don't do the same stupid things. I hope even more that they don't do the more serious stupid things that their Father did. But perhaps they will.

The scary thing for me, in that mix, is that I didn't have PA involved when I was drunk in a bar. Jesse does. Well, I have 11 years to worry about that (except for teenage drinking before it's legal to drink [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ).

I feel badly for you to-day, Peg, but I hope you'll be okay.

It also brings to mind another expression - "guys will be guys" (although I don't really agree with that generalization) and again, in a PA situation it isn't acceptable, could be downright dangerous, and if I were you, I'd be angry with both of them right now.

Take good care of you tonight. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Feb 14, 2003

peg: thank you so much for that story. when i begin to feel like i'm over-reacting to pa (or others try to convince me that i am), i will think of the woman you wrote about. what a tragedy. i do not want that to happen to my girls. if there is even one speck of a chance it could, i will continue to reduce their risks as much as is i can while giving them as normal a life as i can. pa doesn't inconvenience us or anyone else enough to stop taking precautions.

by the way peg, i also agree with your comment about doctors. my dad is a doctor and he is the worst when it comes to pa and my kids. he has peanut products all over the place when we visit. he doesn't offer them to the girls but they are well within reach and have been since my kids were just babies. every imaginable candy and cracker and cookie - and i'm not even talking may contains. i'm talking reeses, peanut butter sandwiches, etc.. sometimes i fault him even more than my husband's family who we can at least use the excuse "they don't understand" for. my dad understands completely and frequently asks me if we carry epinephrin and if we understand what can happen if the girls are exposed to peanuts. he is of the opinion, i think, that the girls just need to learn how to live in the "real world" and become accustomed to protecting themselves. it's very frustrating because, as a parent, i see it more as an unloving gesture toward his own grandchildren (which of course is not how he sees it. he loves them very much.). you would think that someone like your husband and my father would be even more careful than everone else, given what they know. fortunately i am in control of how often we see my parents in their homes (which is almost never). joey

[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited February 14, 2003).]

On Feb 14, 2003

I made a comment about the doctors getting the message out about "PA is PA and never just a little allergic", so to speak. When I refer to doctors in that way, I mean the allergists responsible for telling patients about the risks and seriousness about the allergies they have. There are countless stories here where allergists are not informed as to the true risks of the allergy. I am a health care practitioner, a diagnostician in my field, legally, in my state of practice, and I do hold doctors to a certain degree of responsibilty, especially with regards to their specialty. I only refer to my background because I *do* understand that patients need to assume alot of responsibility for themselves and I wholeheartedly do believe in that. But, a specialist, like an allergist, should be up to date and well-versed in allergies and their dangers. This should be passed onto their patients.

That said, I do not hold my ped. to the same standard on the allergies, since he is a generalist in pediatric health by definition. I was quite impressed that he simple knew to test my dd to confirn my suspicions, and prescribed epinephrine, and referred us to an allergist. Pretty on target and speedy in his care at that.

So, to clarify, I was referring to the allergists who do neglect to give up-to-date info. regarding the risks of anaphylaxis, and minute exposures and each reaction is different. I also agree that parents and patients should do all they can, as we do here, to inform themselves. Becca

[This message has been edited by becca (edited February 14, 2003).]

On Feb 19, 2003

My son's PA reaction was hives on his face, and on his leg where crumbs fell. I consider his reaction to be "moderate" because he didn't go into anaphylactic shock...however he could with the next exposure. So I consider his allergy severe.

I've come across several other parents in the world who are in denial as to their childrens' allergies. Some of these parents aren't too bright. Natural selection is still at work.

But denial is a coping mechanism. When my son had his reaction at age 14 months, I secretly was sure he would outgrow the allergy. It was a temporary thing...like the outlet covers or gates or bedrail. I was vigilant to prevent exposure to peanuts for the time being.

When he turned 3 I requested a RAST test to find out if the allergy was gone. The RAST test came back negative. I was thrilled. But we went to an allergist to confirm and my son tested positive to peanut in a scratch test.

For several months I grieved. He isn't the same as other kids, and will miss some experiences. Growing up is hard enough even when you aren't different. I know there are worse things that could be wrong with him. But a mom will still grieve over this. So, I can understand in a way why a parent could be in denial. I think it is a stupid way to deal with the bad news, but we all muddle along in our own way.

I do try to educate.

Jean

On Feb 19, 2003

Now, granted, I've only just skimmed the responses on this thread, but I thought I'd share my take on this topic.

I distinguish between the allergy itself and the reactions to it. As far as the allergy is concerned, as has been said before, it is like being pregnant: you either are, or you are not. That's the first part. The second part concerns the reaction history of the individual. This is where I see the issue of severity coming into play. And as we all know, it is impossible to reliably predict future reactions based on past reactions. As for my DS, I would say that he is allergic, his allergy is severe (I consider all PA to be severe), but his reactions so far have been mild to moderate. Two different things, to my way of thinking. And because the allergy itself is severe, any future reaction may be severe, regardless of past reactions.

So if you take my DS and another child, say someone who has only had hives in reaction to peanut, here's how I see it:

They are both allergic, and it is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition.

My DS has had some swelling and respiratory symptoms in reaction to ingestion, and mild respiratory symptoms in reaction to contact, so he is quite sensitive to small amounts. Just because the other child has only had hives has no bearing on whether or not that child may have an anaphylactic reaction next time, leapfrogging over my child in terms of severity of reaction. It still doesn't change the potential for anaphylaxis in either one of them.

Make sense? Or am I just babbling now?

Nancy

On Feb 21, 2003

Just a clarification of my comment on doctors. I was not suggesting that doctor's are infalliable. I know they are human.

I just feel that as long as peanut allergy information is not standardized & readily available, a lot of people have to rely on what their allergist tells them.

I was very fortunate to be able to search the internet & find this group & other websites that had lots of info on peanut allergy. BUT before I looked on the internet, I did check with my local library & with my doctors & got very little information.

So I can understand why some parents of PA kids or people who have PA themselves do not think of it as life threatening or "severe".

Lea

On May 25, 2003

Re-raising to compliment williamsmummy's thread under Main Discussion...

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jul 26, 2004

reraising.

On Jul 26, 2004

I dont know why this was re-raised, but maybe it was for me to spin my wealth of knowledge on this topic.

Not that it matters whats severe and whats NOT severe..

I dont know if my kids are PA or not [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Sara was never tested... I think she had peanut products twice, with no reactions either time. Shes probably safe.

Caitlins never had peanut products at all, orally, while being BF, or in utero. Why? DW is anaph to peanuts.

The RAST at age 3, the firs time we did the nut panel, came back + for all nuts (peanut was only 47, while some were >100)

We have the Epi's anyways, so we're covered...

So sure, shes allergic to milk, eggs, wheat, etc... But is she anaphylactic to nuts/peanuts or not? No idea. Wanna find out? No way. Does it matter? Nope. Assume the worst...

Jason Caitlin 4-17-00 Allergic to Dairy, Egg, Wheat, Bananas, Grapes, Rye, Sesame, Beef, Garlic, Mustard, Onion, Peas and Avoiding Latex and all Nuts Sara 2-13-98 NKA (Avoiding Nuts) Meghan 2-28-03 NKA (Avoiding Nuts) [url="http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin"]http://community.webshots.com/user/jtolpin[/url]

On Jul 27, 2004

hang on , hang on!!! SOME people like my freinds dad has a mild allergy to peanuts and is not severe. he has NOT got epi! Why? be technically he DOESN'T have a allergy he has an INTOLERANCE and thats what alot of people get confused about! some people may call a intolerence a mild allergy 'cus they don't know the difference! so... maybe for some people thinking TAKE IT MORE SERIOUSLY maybe they might be talking about a PEANUT INTOLERENCE not a PEANUT ALLERGY! some people don't no the difference between the two and might end up calling a intolerence an mild allergy!!!

hope this helps!!!

On Jul 27, 2004

Every peanut allergy is severe in the sense that it has the potential to lead to an anaphylactic reaction. This is because the severity of the reaction depends on the state of the immune system at the time of exposure. This includes other allergies as well. Such as, if you are severely allergic to dogs and PB, and you thought you could get away with patting the dog, if he licked you and got PB on your, you're reaction to the PB would be worse because of the dog allergy. That may be an extreme example but just trying to make a point.

Being 'a little bit allergic' is like being 'a little bit pregnant'. You either are or your are not. Rule of thumb, as I understand it, expect reactions based on history but plan for the worst.

k9Ruby, I hope you're not confusing intolerance with allergy. The terms CANNOT be used interchangeably. An intolerance means your body lacks the ability to break down a protein. The "reaction" it causes does NOT involve the immune system. Food intolerances symptoms are things like congestion, stomach ache, headache, gastrointestinal distress, depression, anxiety, mental fog, rashes and heart palpitations.

An allergy means that your body is over-reacting to an allergen, be it mold, dust or peanuts, and it does involve the immune system. See [url="http://foodallergy.org/questions.html"]http://foodallergy.org/questions.html[/url] - question #7.

7. What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance? Many people think the terms food allergy and food intolerance mean the same thing; however, they do not. A food intolerance is an adverse food-induced reaction that does not involve the immune system. Lactose intolerance is one example of a food intolerance. A person with lactose intolerance lacks an enzyme that is needed to digest milk sugar. When the person eats milk products, symptoms such as gas, bloating, and abdominal pain may occur. A food allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to a certain food. The most common form of an immune system reaction occurs when the body creates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to the food. When these IgE antibodies react with the food, histamine and other chemicals (called mediators) cause hives, asthma, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

[url="http://www.atlallergy.com/pdfs/food_allergy.pdf"]http://www.atlallergy.com/pdfs/food_allergy.pdf[/url]

and [url="http://ific.org/foodinsight/1997/nd/allergyfi697.cfm"]http://ific.org/foodinsight/1997/nd/allergyfi697.cfm[/url]

HTH, Andrea

[This message has been edited by LaurensMom (edited July 27, 2004).]

On Jul 27, 2004

I didn't know you could have a peanut intolerance. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

I guess it's possible. I am lactose intolerant (very mildly) and I developed this very late in life (my life - over the age of 35).

But a peanut intolerance, I have never heard of. Am I the only one? And no, I don't feel like raising the question now. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Lauren's Mom, can't see how you'd get flamed by your post above. Maybe it's just me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jul 27, 2004

Did it sound like I was angry? Wasn't at all. Just posting info and since I contradicted a post, provided info. Wasn't upset at all and sorry if it came across that way.

I should have signed it with a smiley! :-)

On Jul 29, 2004

I forgive you!

On May 11, 2006

Simply re-raising for stephi13339. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk up to heaven and bring you back home with me.

On May 25, 2006

I wonder if you can have a peanut intolerance. A good friend of mine has a severe wheat intolerance developed as an adult. She went through lots of testing for allergies and celiac disease, and it's "just" an intolerance. She still can't eat it at all or she'd get extremely ill.

On May 25, 2006

Accoding to the Mayo clinic, you can have a peanut tolerance:

Peanut intolerance. If you have peanut intolerance, you usually can eat small amounts of peanuts with only mild symptoms, such as indigestion or heartburn, or no reaction at all. A peanut intolerance doesn't involve your immune system.

[url="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peanut-allergy/DS00710/DSECTION=2"]http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/peanut-allergy/DS00710/DSECTION=2[/url]

------------------ Ellen Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA

Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."

On Jun 7, 2006

My daughter is PA but she's never had a reaction to date. Her allergist feels that her numbers aren't life threatening per se, but I take her for annual bloodwork (she has other allergies too), she wears a medic alert bracelet and my comfort zone DOES NOT include anything that "may contain", etc.

Personally, I don't care what her numbers are other than the fact that she is allergic. We make no assumptions other than peanuts = bad and we stay away. Period. It's what works for us.

On Jun 8, 2006

I recently went to look at a preschool. Not the classiest place in town --- church basement. I went because I knew that a PA child attended. The director also had a child who was EA.

In my book, she did alot right. Epipen was taped to the door in plain view. She bought all snacks and did not purchase any with the 2 allergens. She had placemats for the kids thay they made and on the placemats she had their allergies written -- a good reminder.

But then she told me that peanuts made her itchy and rashy. I immediately went into "You should...." She brushed me off immediately. I think people do not like to think anything is wrong with them out of the ordinary.

So, I'd conclude she does not really have an understanding of PA.

On Jun 8, 2006

I found out a long time ago that people are either going to embrace PA or brush it off, even people living with it.

That's why when either my son or I teach others about his PA we start by saying something like [b]"You may meet someone who says PA is no big deal, maybe that is true for them but I have seen my son close to death too many times to say no big deal. So what we do is what we expect you to understand and respect."[/b]

Peg

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