Hi, my name is Andrea, and my 13-month old daughter MIGHT be (but probably is) allergic to peanuts.
I like to think I'm pretty allergy-savvy. I have a first cousin with such a severe milk allergy that had he been fed infant formula as a newborn, he would have died so fast they would never have figured out why. Even as an older child, he had a contact allergy to milk. So...being a reasonable parent, I had avoided giving my daughter obvious peanut products, with the plan of waiting until she was three.
Well, a couple of weeks after her first birthday, her daycare provider gave her a cheese cracker with peanut butter on it. ("I thought it would be safe now that she was one..." Argh!) So all of my reports of her reaction are second-hand. Apparently, she got a couple of red splotches, presumably hives, on her face, after just nibbling on a little bit of the peanut butter. They didn't seem to bother her any. Daycare called me, and we talked about administering Benadryl but did NOT because I wasn't sure if they had the infant kind, but I did tell them to watch her carefully to see if she had any trouble breathing. They called me back in about fifteen minutes to say that the spots has gone away on their own, with no medication. Whew!
So...I made an appointment with her pediatrician, who said that we should carry on as we had been, but didn't need to take heroic measures to avoid peanut, though he gave me an Epi-Pen Jr. prescription to make me feel safe. After some reflection, I made an appointment with a pediatric allergist anyhow -- better safe than sorry, right? He evaluated her, said she almost without a doubt had a peanut allergy based on the clear and visible reaction, gave me a prescription for MORE Epi-Pen Jrs., and told me we should both avoid peanut and peanut traces as best we know how, on the assumption that ANY amount might kill her, until we get her RAST results back. (Me, too, because she's still nursing.)
Long story short, Sasha got sick about two hours after that appointment and wound up diagnosed with pneumonia three days later. I haven't had a chance to get her blood drawn for the testing because I didn't want to when she was already sick, and now I'm not sure if it's OK to do with antibiotics still in her system.
So... has anyone else had a similar experience? Am I correct in thinking that the comparatively mild nature of this reaction doesn't mean anything, and her next reaction could very well be anaphylaxis the whole way because I kissed her after eating a Luna bar, my former every-day breakfast? I'm obviously trying not to make myself a nervous wreck over this. I'm the kind of person who likes a clear plan of action, and it's hard for me in this nebulous time of "Well, she MIGHT have an allergy, and it MIGHT be bad, but we just don't KNOW yet." Ugh.
Information, resources, advice, and moral support are all appreciated. Thanks.
On Jun 29, 2003
I'm an adult with food allergies. They originally started as an inconvenience, and while trying to figure out what was causing it, they got worse and worse. Eventually got to the point where sesame seeds caused anaphylaxis. Peanut continued to be a major inconvenience and I tried to completely avoid it in all traces. Goofed recently and had a more serious reaction, so obviously it's getting worse too.
So, basically what I'm saying is: a peanut allergy is a peanut allergy. A minor reaction this time doesn't mean it will be minor next time. Maybe it will be, but, why risk it?
Check all the boards here - Manufacturer's is probably a good one for someone starting down this road. There really is a lot of food you can still eat, but you'll learn a lot about what to avoid, and what is or is not safe.
Take care, and welcome to pa.com
On Jun 29, 2003
Thanks, AnnaMarie. It's really hard to grasp the sudden adjustments we have to make, and I'm trying not to drive myself looney with worry that I'm not going to figure out how to live with this in time.
On the one hand, it's hard to grasp that things that we've done every day of her life are now very dangerous to her (like eating may-contain products and kissing her) because she's never had any sort of reaction to that kind of exposure. I've only just convinced my husband that we do, in fact, need to remove the actual jars of peanut butter from the house, and never mind the chocolate and ice cream!
On the other hand, I'm lying awake and worrying about cross-contamination. Silly, I know, because at this point, her risk of a cross-contamination reaction is probably much worse in daycare or at home, and I'm fretting over the kid with peanut butter all over his hands who handles the peach that I then don't wash off well enough before I give her a slice... ugh. Fortunately for me, she's not on a lot of solid foods yet, anyhow, and I've never been in a hurry to wean her, for allergy reasons. Ugh ugh ugh.
How long is the learning curve, here? When will I start to get a handle on it?
On Jun 29, 2003
How long is the learning curve? Well, I'm going on about 15 years now - and I'm still learning.
Want some good news? You [b]will[/b] discover new products you didn't know about before - and lots of them are good.
Since you're in the states, the only safe ice-cream I know of is Phyilly-swirl. Looks delicious, and I hear it tastes that way too [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] .
Eventually you will decide for yourself what is risky, and what isn't. I]Personally[/I] I don't have problems kissing someone who ate a *may-contain*, but others here feel it's risky.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with the wealth of information, and the fear, and the everything else.
Maybe if you compare pa to a newborn baby. When you are handed this tiny little bundle, that you are totally responsible for it is overwhelming and scary. Self doubts can really keep you up at night. But, day by day, as you get to know this little bundle you realize - hey, I can do this. You get over the fear that you will drop the bundle. Or over/under dress the bundle. Or over/under feed the bundle. And one day you realize this perfect little baby is all yours, and you're both going to be OK, and you can sleep at night, and relax and have fun. Pa is kind of like that. Overwhelming and scary, but then, one day you realize - hey, I can handle this, everything is going to be OK.
And just like with the newborn, being OK with pa doesn't mean you let your guard down, you still read labels, and double check everything, but it just becomes a part of your life. (Not a good part, but a livable part.)
Boy, I hope I worded that properly. My son is kind of rushing me here, so I guess I better go.
BTW, you seem to have a pretty good grasp on things. Knowing to be careful what you eat while nursing is definitely a good thing. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
On Jul 1, 2003
Thanks for the vote of confidence, AnnaMarie. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] My little girl seems over her pneumonia, so we took her for her testing yesterday. Now we just have to wait for the bloodwork to come back.
I'm feeling a little more upbeat about it, now, though, in no small part because my daycare provider was very upbeat and positive when I gave her the Epi-Pen Jr. and showed her how to use it.
I guess it's very much a day-by-day thing. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]