We are experiencing some communication problems with the ol'MIL. In stead of getting with the program and working with us to protect our dd she is being argumentative, stand offish and stubborn. She is the one who exposed dd to PB and I think she feels very guilty b/c of it. She knew very well we were keeping dd away from it till 3 b/c of her eczema but she exposed her anyway resulting in a reaction. Never ONCE did we every say "you are to blame' but she is acting like we have. MIL states that a first time exposure does not result in a reaction. I have not argued the point but I am pretty sure I have read somewhere that a first time exposure could result in a reaction. She says that I am at fault b/c I MUST have exposed her before she ever gave her the PB. : ( We were VERY particular about her diet and was never even given any candy other than known peanut free smarties for potty treats. This has added to an already huge rift in the family. It all started 7 mo ago at her fighting over baby proofing her home for our dd. It's so bad she has hardly seen or touched our new dd (6mo). Last night I got a disturbing letter from her so I arranged a meeting tonight. If the point of blame is to be raised by her AGAIN I want to be prepared. I am tired of her blaming me. Anyone have any info on the subject. Sorry girls with 2 babies and 4 hrs of sleep I really don't have the time to rifle through all my stuff to find the proper answer. If you have an answer and some info I really would appreciate it. Thanks a bunch and wish me luck. Gail
On Nov 13, 2001
Unfortunately, I don't have the book here to consult, but I do remember reading in the book "Caring for your child with severe food allergies" about a mom who gave her son his first taste of peanut butter shortly before his first birthday and he had an awful reaction- swelling, hives, the whole nine yards. My understanding is that a reaction can occur any time the allergen is present. Besides, regardless of when her first exposure or reaction was, shouldn't everyone who cares about her want to help keep her safe? I understand your difficulty though, as not everyone in our family understands the importance of keeping peanut products completely away from our DD. Our prayers go with you tonight as you talk with your MIL. Rebecca
On Nov 13, 2001
GPMac, I was sorry to hear about your whole situation. Your post so much reminded me that it's often our own families that don't "get it" rather than our friends or members of the community (i.e., school). And I believe because it is family, it's even harder to deal with.
From all that I have been told by doctors and read, you do not react on your first exposure to a peanut product. Now, with my son, who has had three reactions (two of which were anaphylactic), I was POSITIVE that the first time he had a reaction was also the first time he was exposed to a peanut product (Eatmore chocolate bar full of peanuts). That was how I just knew there was something wrong when he started to have a reaction because it was the first NEW thing in his diet that he had ever tried (at 18 months old).
So, to me, Jesse had his first reaction when he first ingested a peanut product.
However, since doctors and from everything else that I have read say otherwise, that they have to have been exposed ONCE before to even become allergic, my only conclusion is that Jesse must have ingested a peanut product through cross-contamination or a "may contain" item.
Of course, there will be some people that will tell you that you exposed your child when you were pregnant and nursing if you ate any peanut products. I'm not one of those people.
Also, if your child had been allergy tested previously to the reaction, some people consider allergy testing, if skin prick, an exposure. I'm not one of those people either.
How long ago did your child have the reaction with your MIL? Why does she feel it so necessary to place the blame somewhere? It's probably because she did give your child something that you had said that you weren't giving them until the age of three or later and she does feel terribly guilty.
To assuage her guilt, you could simply tell her that your daughter (I'm sorry, I'm pretty sure you said daughter) was just genetically predisposed to be PA and it would not have mattered who fed her the first peanut product.
I am fortunate in that with my son's first reaction, at least I was the one to feed him the chocolate bar. But I certainly don't carry any guilt about that. I carry guilt about his third and so far last reaction.
Do you have a support group for food allergies or PA where you live? Would your MIL be willing to attend a meeting with you?
From how you described your MIL's behaviour (standoffish, argumentative, stubborn), it really sounds as though she is guilt ridden and/or doesn't want to get with the program regardless. You will find family members like this even if they aren't guilt ridden.
My DH was in very strong denial re our son's allergy until he almost died during his third reaction. My MIL, I believe, is finally starting to maybe "get it" but not to the point where I would ever allow her to care for my child.
I don't know if I have helped at all, but you could tell her that you had one woman respond to you that believes, as you do, that her child had a reaction when he ate his first peanut product. I know that doctors have told me that this is not possible (and also, I did not eat a lot, if any, peanut products while pregnant and nursing so I'm not taking the guilt trip road there that most Mothers are taking and I feel so badly that they do) so again, his first exposure could only have come from either cross-contamination with a tree nut (which he had eaten - almonds and walnuts) or from a "may contain" or "made in" product. It certainly did not come from direct contact with a clear peanut product.
I do hope this helps a bit. Please let us know how the meeting turns out (it even sounds terrible that you have to have a *meeting* with your MIL) and good luck!
And, I guess out of curiosity, how active is your MIL in your lives right now? Mine isn't terribly active in ours, doesn't live that close, etc., so for me it's okay if she doesn't get it as much as someone who would be in close contact with my son on a regular basis.
Good luck, Gail and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
On Nov 13, 2001
I don't know if you have ever seen the following site before, but here's a VERY informative link. I just printed it out again because it's been updated since I last printed it. Be aware: it's 56 pages long - but worth it.
Good luck to you!
I hope the link works. I'll double-check. Worked for me!!
[This message has been edited by Lam (edited November 13, 2001).]
On Nov 13, 2001
I suggest getting hold of a copy of The School Food Allergy Program from FAAN. It is a great sort of information that covers more than just how to handle this at school. It is a great learning tool for anyone dealing with this allergy. There is info on what this allergy is, studies being done on it, types of reactions, statistics on reactions, including fatalities and how/when/why they occurred. This is what I presented to my family when we needed to push the seriousness of it into their heads. It worked great.
If your meeting is tonight, you obviously can't get a copy of this by then but maybe a local school might let you borrow it or pages from it.
On Nov 13, 2001
Had to pop back in here just to say that the real bottom line (IMHO!) is that she went against your wishes/request NOT to give your daughter PB before 3yo. Reaction or not, fault or not, doesn't matter (and the fault issue will NEVER be settled). The RULES were broken, and therein lies the problem.
Again, JMHO! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Tammy
On Nov 13, 2001
You are right rules were broken. This seems to happen often in my life. You know... something repeats itself untill you learn your lesson. My lesson is all about boundaries. FYI: MIL and I were pretty close up to the baby proofing incident. closer than I am with my own mother. Before that we would pretty much talk once a day and she would see us about 4+x's a week. Dd is very close to her and would go to her house often during the week. She is 25 mo right now. 6 months ago I was about to have my 2nd child and we needed to get things in order before our hands were going to be even fuller than they were at the time. We danced around the subject of baby proofing b/c every time we tried discussing it with her she just scoffed at us saying there was no need. As soon as we became more assertive with our desire to baby proof her house she pretty much halted the relationship with me. It happened when dh had to have a sit down with her. She now claimed that I was far too demanding to expect her to make chances to her life to accommodate us. It's not as if the woman was rittled with arthritis that she could not open a baby lock on a cleaning cupboard for crying out loud! Then the PB reaction happened in the beginning of Aug. She dropped dd off covered in a rash. I was more concerned about NOT making MIL feel guilty & uncomfortable that I delayed giving dd medication. MIL was being sooo bossy at the door that that she was telling me NOT to give her benadryl(sp?). I was such a whimp I just waited till she left and then gave it to her anyway. Now MIL is saying that my anger towards her at the door was uncalled for! What!? After that incident she would only come over to the house maybe-maybe twice a month. Another member who use to be close has only visited once and that was with the MIL. We drop dd off at her house b/c she missed her so much. But MIL has been so pig headed and over sensitive that she has totally sacrificed her relationship with her new grand daughter. She has pissed away 6 months of her life. Now my 6 mo old is dealing with massive stranger anxiety every time MIL shows her face. When I told her she needs to put her feelings aside for the sake of the kids I get a nasty letter discussing the issue of blame and such. Now she just wants me to drop her off the MIL's house if I want her to establish a relationship with dd. I am not subjecting my baby to that. I feel she should be visiting over here so dd can be in a secure environment and be with familiar faces when MIL visits. I can't just drop her off and let her spend her time crying it out with MIL. This whole thing is about boundaries or should I say the lack there of. She gets power and control in passive-aggressive ways. Everything was hunky dory till she doesn't get her own way. And I am sorry but our children's safety and happiness should not be disputed or compromised to save her over sensitive ego. These are our kids not hers. yha-yha-yha...save it for tonight Ms. Big Britches! ; ) Thanks for listening. Gail
[This message has been edited by GPMac (edited November 13, 2001).]
On Nov 14, 2001
On Nov 14, 2001
Sorry but no. I would say nothing was resolved by our little talk. But it's not all that bad. A lot of things came into focused for me. I really saw her true colors tonight. She is still in denile that dd has a PA. She lied and said dd never injested PB. She she made up excuses as to why she never made an effort to reach out to dd#2. When she saw she was clearly losing she made a personal attack on me. When she hit me with that I did get flustered for a few moments but then quickly realized what she was doing. I told her I knew what game she was playing and she wasn't going to suck me in and derail me. I told her every thing was hunky dory between the two of us till we stepped up and became assertive with her about baby proofing the house. This displeased her so she withdrew her love and affection. Her way or the highway. I pretty much told her that I didn't care what she thought of me and I was tired of her excuses. If she wasn't going to make an honest effort in establishing some sort of relationship with my dd#2 than we would not be dropping off dd#1 at her house anymore for private visits. That got her attention! Well as I sit back and recap the events it dawns on me that if she is still in denile about the PA then she is not to be trusted and not to be left alone with dd#1. She is pretty much capable of saying anything to prove herself right. What would stop her from giving her PB again!? Thanks for listining girls. It really helps. Sorry for my spelling this is the 3rd night in a row with only about 3 hrs sleep under my belt. I have no idea how I will face the children today. Gail
On Nov 14, 2001
I agree that you can absolutely NOT let your dd#1 visit your MIL without you or your husband to supervise. First of all, she refuses to childproof. Second of all, as someone here pointed out, she refuses to follow your rules about how to care for your children. She cannot be trusted with your children. Period. Family issues are so hard, and so emotional to deal with, but your children come first, and if it means that you no longer have a relationship with your MIL, so be it. She has made her choice about what is most important to her. With respect to your original question, my understanding is that you don't have a reaction on your first exposure to an allergen. However, who cares how your dd was first exposed? My daughter had a reaction the first time she ingested any peanut product that we know of, so I assume she was first exposed some other way. Her last allergist told me that I had probably exposed her while breastfeeding, which is what I had always thought. But it doesn't matter! If your MIL hadn't broken your rules, maybe waiting until she was three years old with a stronger immune system would have avoided a reaction. Good luck, and be strong!
[This message has been edited by Kim M (edited November 14, 2001).]
On Nov 14, 2001
Just to let all know our experience was this. Chris was given peanut butter on toast for the first time ever getting PB, and was rushed immediatly to hospital. First was as severe as last. MIL should mind her business and not feed your child unless you specified you wanted her to. She has raised her children and it is now time to watch and enjoy.I think your MIL is feeling guilty because she was wrong and knows it. She apparently does not like to be wrong,but she is this time. She needs excuses for herself because it is the only way she will be able to forgive herself. take care and good luck. claire
On Nov 14, 2001
Just a thought on how to improve your situation (maybe... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )a little. Clearly you have two major priorities here, and they are obviously in conflict right now. 1. Keeping children safe 2. Maintaining a good relationship with your MIL for the sake of those same children!
Yikes. I can sympathize. We went through the same nonsense with my MIL over her learning CPR... she refused, and we let it go, but our daughter was never alone at her house. Just as well, really, because she kept pb around and didn't believe in cross-contamination until recently. What turned her around ultimately was a combination of pretty much equal parts scare tactics (details about a few children's deaths, most notably Nate Walters'), casual matter-of-fact statements from our allergist about the importance of knowing CPR, and finally, an earnest plea from me (since I was the one with the better relationship with my MIL at the time) to make her only birthday gift to our daughter be a child CPR class for herself- our treat if she liked. Granted, this was about a six month campaign, and it was a single goal rather than a change in attitude as you'd like, but it had the desired effect in the end.
The biggest problem that dh and I both face with the grannies is that neither of them is really very happy about conceding that he or I have more experience/expertise about any "parenting" issue than they do. So we have inundated them with information and frequently tell them things that they didn't know... all with that passive/aggressive spin that they understand so much better than real assertiveness... heh heh heh. So instead of "are you going to put an outlet cover on that outlet by the front door?" its "Gee.... did you realize that household electrical accidents have killed more than 2,000 children in the US in the past ten years alone? Pediatricians estimate that most of those deaths could have been prevented by simply installing outlet covers. Do you have any or should we bring some by?" (I'm making up statistics for the purposes of illustration.)
Sorry this was so long- but maybe some of our tactics will work for you too.
Good Luck!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
PS. With my MIL, we are (gasp) actually grateful for her PA sometimes... my MIL would feed her nothing but sugary junk food otherwise. (Not kidding)
On Nov 15, 2001
Sorry to hear things didn't go very well. On a positive note, at least YOU have things all figured out. Now it's up to her to either take it or leave it.
Your rules govern your children, just as her rules governed hers. That simple.
And I wouldn't trust her either, until she understands that very simple fact - along with all the PA info, too, of course.
Take care, Tammy
On Nov 16, 2001
My allergist may be wrong, but he said that a reaction never happens on the first exposure. However, the first exposure may be the result of cross-contamination, air-borne exposure, pre-natal exposure (the pregnant mother being exposed to the allergen the allergen) or from breast milk (the mother being exposed to the allergen and it getting into the breast milk).
On Nov 16, 2001
i certainly thought my first pa daughter's first reaction was a result of her very first exposure to peanuts (a tiny taste of peanut butter off the tip of my finger that sent her immediately into a serious reaction). however, i was diabetic during that pregnancy and consumed peanut butter on a daily basis (one of the only forms of protein i could have that i liked). my next baby is also PA though i did not eat peanut butter during that pregnancy (by then it was banned from the house) : ) i wonder if my peanut butter consumption during pregnancy contributed to one or both of the girls having PA????
also...i have similar problems with both mother in law and my mother. both take offense to any suggestion or request i have regarding the care of my children (and, in fairness, i do have a lot of suggestions and requests). they have refused to put up the fire/smoke detectors i have bought for them, refused to cover their outlets with my supply of outlet covers, refuse to turn pan handles in when cooking, boiling and frying, etc... both take the immediate defensive position as though i am criticizing their ability to care for children. they both feel they raised kids that survived so i shouldn't tell them how to do anything. they are no better with peanuts. it's very frustrating. i have never been able to leave my children comfortably with them and they wonder why my children do not have much affection for them. i'm sure they both think it's my fault the kids are not closer to them. if they had wanted to accomodate my requests they would have been able to form closer bonds with my kids. i can't wait to be a grandparent one day ... i look forward to helping my children and their spouses relax and enjoy some time off knowing their precious children are in safe hands. i will be willing to do whatever it takes to make them feel comfortable leaving their children with me. what i wouldn't give to have that same kind of consideration. joey
On Nov 19, 2001
When my son was little he always had problems when we visited my parents house. My parents would put all the peanut products up when we were there, but when we were not there they ate so much peanut stuff that I don't think you could ever get all the peanut residue off of every thing.