OK, this story fits right in with one I read on here about a young woman at a restaurant.
Saturday we were grocery shopping. We were at the cash register being rung up when another customer comes up with a jar of peanuts and opens it to show the seal was broken. My son(14 yrs) quickly stepped backward away from the peanuts. THe cashier laughed and said he acts just like my nephew who is allergic to peanuts and other stuff. I said yes he is allergic and he doesn't want to have to use his epi-pen. The cashier then proceeded to tell me how he himself is allergic but he eats the h*** out of peanuts and peanut butter anyway. After all all he has happen is a few spots on his face. I could not believe what he said. So I turned to my son and said what do you think about what he said and my son said my life isn't worth taking those chances and shook his head. The cashier told us he has done this for ever and nothing bad has ever happened and he will continue to do so. As we left the store my son and my daughter talked about how they felt sorry for the cashier.
On Nov 12, 2007
it really is amazing, isn't it? here are a couple of recent similar experiences i've had with others. an employee of mine says that her son is allergic to peanuts. when i asked her if she carries an epi-pen, she said, "no, because peanuts only make him hyper"
then, just yesterday, i met a woman with triplets. her 14 month old son broke out in hives after having peanut butter the first time. since the mother didn't think it was so bad (well, he must just be *a little* allergic, so she thought), she gave him peanut butter again. his eyes swelled shut and a film covered them. she called the doctor, who told her to monitor him and make sure his eyes stayed open (?) when i asked if she had since been to an allergist and does she now carry and epi-pen, she said no and no. she said his regular check-up with the pediatrician is coming up and until then, she won't give him peanut butter and only give it to the other two girls.
am i missing something?!?!
and don't you just love it when people call it a peanut butter allergy???
On Nov 12, 2007
I have...or rather had...a friend who's daughter (who was a toddler at the time) had a peanut/tree nut allergy they discovered. I asked her if she had been prescribed the epi and she said No. I suggested she get referred to an allergist, explained about my son's allergy and how it could be life-threatening, etc. She never did any of the above suggestions and actually said she thought my son's doctors (the pediatrician and the allergist) were overreacting. Ha! I was trying to potentially save her daughter's life!
Then recently my SIL said a co-worker's infant was getting hives and swelling around her mouth everytime she had milk and my SIL asked it it sounded like an allergy. I said, yes it does; she should have her tested. I said it's a simple blood test. She said she didn't want to put her through that. Geez.
On Nov 12, 2007
That's where stories of actual individuals is so important to share. They need to hear the stories of those who have passed due to peanut allergy, the problem is there is no predictor of how severe a reaction will turn, why take the risk. Crazy stuff.
On Nov 14, 2007
I think many people don't realize the severity of the allergy. Also, many doctors don't explain to patients that your reaction last time doesn't predict what your next reaction will be, that it can go from "just some hives" one time to your throat swelling shut the next time. If doctors don't tell people, how do we expect them to know (unless they've been lucky enough to be educated by someone like us!)?
On Nov 16, 2007
Thankfully our second allergist did tell us that. His view, if the person has just one hive and NO other symptoms, then just give benedryl and watch, anything else, he wouldn't risk it and would give epi, then he told us the story of one of his former patients...a teenage boy who was allergic to peanuts. His only reactions were a few hives, so he never carried his epi -pen with him. He was at a friend's house one day and the Dad put out some chocolates and he ate one. Started to feel funny so he decided to go home. On the walk home he called his Mom and said he wasn't feeling well and she should bring him his epi-pen. She did and when she was giving it to him she instead injected her thumb! I don't remember if she had a second epi-pen and used that one on him or not, but it was too late and he died right there in her arms. It was all I could do not to cry as he told us that story, but I'm so glad he did because it certainly made me realize the seriousness and gave us a story to tell other people to make them understand.
As for other people not getting it... My husband's cousin has a son (he's 3) who had a reaction to walnuts. I think he was about 20 months old at the time of his reaction. Their pediatrician told them not to have him tested until he was 3 that the tests weren't reliable before that. So as far as I know she still hasn't had him tested because he hasn't had a reaction since. I'm not sure she gets the seriousness of the issue. Scarey stuff.
We also have a family friend who's one-year-old was recently diagnosed with an egg allergy and their allergist didn't prescribe them an epi-pen. The baby had a couple hives and threw up after eating the egg, but somehow the Dr doesn't think that's a reaction that warrants using and epi. Makes no sense to me.
Sorry for the long post! It's just so frightening how so many people are on different pages when it comes to these allergies!
On Nov 16, 2007
I'm so thankful to have found this site and hear that everyone carries the epi and everyone seems to be just as concerned as I am. I haven't had any experience with someone saying they are a "little" allergic, but I have come to realize that if we weren't moving I would be finding a different allergist.
While he is nice he really doesn't seemed as concerned about my 10-month DS's pa. He did prescribe epi and all that but when I try to talk about my concerns he really doesn't seem to care all that much. After my DS's SPT later that day he had the worst eczema he had ever had in his 4-months of life (he was 4 months when we found his pa) and I had chik-fila right before we went to his appt (I was NOT expecting a pa). I tried to tell his allergist that mabye it was the SPT and he kept telling me that was more or less impossible for a SPT to cause an allergic reaction like that, so then I thought is was the chik-fila then he told me how the peanut oil they use was also highly unlikely to cause a reaction but if I really felt it was that then just don't eat there anymore (said in a condesending tone).
With all my further research and reading I have read that the SPT CAN cause reaction and while the pn-oil at chik-fila seems a bit less likely it could too cause a reaction. He gave me a DVD for the twinjects and didn't go over ANY info on when to use it or when to use Benedryl....I really felt lost since he didn't seem concerned and wasn't really addressing my questions. Thank god I found you guys! I feel so much better now! Ok....I'm off my soapbox...sorry for the vent!
On Nov 16, 2007
just today i was explaining to a clerk at our grocery store that my daughter has a peanut allergy and it is essential for me to read all labels before i feed her anything. he said his neighbor's kid had a peanut allergy ... until he baked something with peanut oil in it and gave it to him and he didn't react. the gist of his story was that it was because the kid unknowingly ate the food that he didn't react ... in other words, PA is all in his little ol head and he only reacts when he KNOWS something has peanut in it!! (it didn't matter to him that i explained that sometimes those with PA will not respond to certain peanut OILS)
On Nov 18, 2007
The worst comment I ever heard when asking someone if their child has an epi "No, she's only slightly allergic...she just gets a little wheezing if she eats peanuts". A little wheezing?!?!?!?! Nothing says "you need an epi-pen" like breathing problems!!!
On Nov 19, 2007
how do you respond to someone who, upon hearing of your kid's PA, says, "well, my daughter broke out in a rash around her mouth after eating peanuts for the first time, so we just keep her away from them"? no, they haven't bothered to take her to an allergist and therefore, have no epi. it just seems like people think that if they don't face the reality of the situation, then it isn't real. so, do you try to educate these people??
On Nov 20, 2007
Regarding the dish with peanut oil, we all know that if the oil is 100% pure with no peanut protein then it will not trigger a reaction, most of us just aren't willing to play Russion roulette because it is alwys possible that a tiny protein may have tagged along for the ride!
As far as varying severity, I do think that some people will skin test allergic or have symptoms of intolerance without being severely allergic. I have the range in my own two kids. One [b][u]super[/u] severe with major contact, cross contamination, airborne reactions and a peanut IGE level greater than 100. And the other having skin-tested negative at age 4 and now at age 7 testing positive after eating 2 peanuts with no reaction last year and a peanut IGE of 0.61. To me they are two totally different cases with completely different needs. She carries epi, he doesn't (but we do have it at home and in a pinch he could use hers). She sits at the peanut free table, he doesn't. She has to have a carefully guarded life, he doesn't. She lives on Benedryl and is miserable much of the time, he isn't. Needless to say he lives in a peanut free home and does not eat them, but I think he is the kind of kid people are thinking of when they say they knew a kid who had a peanut allergy and it wasn't a big deal, or they grew out of it.
On Nov 20, 2007
i guess the question i am trying to pose is not are there differing degrees of severity (which i believe there are, although we all can agree that this allergy is pretty unpredictable ... hence, the importance of you having the access and ability to use an epipen on the not so serious child if needed), but the question of trying to educate these people who have not even been to the allergist yet (when their daughter has clearly had a reaction, however mild).