Diabetic MIL with Peanuts in her car?!?!

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Since DS was BORN, I've always thought to myself that he was allergic to my MIL...seems after every visit, DS breaks out with a rash here or there. Well, now that he's been diagnosed with PA, I think I may know why he's allergic to her [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] She keeps a jar of dry roasted nuts in her car, cause she's diabetic?! DH told her she's NOT to eat any nuts before coming out to visit us now, but I told him her car is full of peanut residue, for sure! So, he suggested that maybe she leave a change of clothes here at our house.

She visited yesterday afternoon, and this morning, DS woke up with red eyelids and undereyes, and has three or four rashes on his hands. MIL did NOT change clothes, but I DO keep a shirt here for her because DS is sensitive to detergents and she won't wash her clothing in dye-free,fragrance-free detergent...but prior to her putting that shirt on, she came right in the front door and immediately went over and sat down on our couch and played with both my boys and she was picking up DS' Kix cereal and putting it back in his bowl for him, and I was in the kitchen making lunch, so I didn't see all of this til it was too late...I immediately told her to go wash her hands.

My question to all of you knowledgeable and experienced people, I'm still sooo very new to this, so I'm still clueless...am I right in thinking that MIL needs to thoroughly clean her car and get rid of the nuts, or if she feels she can't do that, does she definitely need to leave change of clothes here? I'm thinking that her just using the shirt I keep here for her is NOT gonna keep the peanut residue from her pants (touching the seats of her car) from getting onto everywhere in my house that she sits or walks. Am I right? I don't see her agreeing to get rid of the nuts, since she only comes out to visit bi-weekly or so(we live over an hour away). DS is also allergic to milk, and he got ahold of my other son's sippy cup of milk day before yesterday...there wasn't enough in it to get a drink, but he could have gotten enough residue of milk to cause a slight reaction, I suppose. Yesterday, he was redder around the mouth, but that's all I noticed, as far as a reaction of any sort...

So, could the additional symptoms of eyelids and undereyes this morning, along with more red rashes on the hands be a continuing reaction to his milk exposure, or would you assume it was MIL and her peanut residue from her car?

WHEN, if EVER, do you get over this feeling of feeling like a "heel" asking someone to, for instance, completely get rid of nuts in their car, or change your clothes as soon as you walk in my house? I know it's my son's life that's at stake, and I have no problems doing what I need to do, to get his home environment as safe as I possibly can, but still that deep inner gut feeling of feeling BADLY asking people to do things is there.

Any suggestions or thoughts about what to do with the MIL? She's an old broad that is NOT open to change and she's one that is NEVER wrong, so she's NOT taking to our decisions to "change" everything in our household and the way things are done...let's just say I think she's one that will NEVER "get it"...

Any thoughts, anyone? Has anyone developed ulcers over dealing with a MFA child? Just wondering.. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Mar 5, 2007

Do I have this right that MIL was touching the food that was going into ds`s mouth? That right there is a huge problem, whether she does or does not have nuts in her car. I don`t let dd eat anything that has been touched by anyone unless they thoroughly washed their hands first. It could be the residue on MIL from peanuts in the car, but if my dd ate something that someone had touched she would have an ingestion reaction if they had eaten something she was allergic to and not washed their hands. It is a good life skill to teach kids with food allergies, don`t ever eat something that someone else has touched. I know your ds is too young to teach that to, but I am just pointing out how unsafe it is for someone with any food allergies to eat something that someone else has touched unless that other person has washed hands first.

About the bigger picture about MIL eating the nuts in her car, personally I would not let her see my child as long as she was doing that. I consider it to be very risky. My dd is almost 12, so I have been living with this longer than most on this board. My child, my rules, period. "If you want to see her, the only way to safely do this is if you _____________." (fill in the blank with whatever you consider would be necessary to make it safe for your ds.)

On Mar 5, 2007

I kind of had a similar situation last week, for the first time. My moms hubby(grandpa) came over to watch my youngest two so hubby and I could go to the school to discuss food allergy issues(the irony is killing me!!) anyways, when we got home he was sitting on our love seat with the 2 kids. All was fine and dandy, until the next night, my 6yr old had his shirt off and was sitting in the exact spot grandpa had sat the day before.

I emailed my mom and even took a pic of his back, it was covered in hives and welts(I think pic's speak louder then words when proving a point...if you can snap a pic or 2 of a reaction after one of her visits)....but I asked if he had eaten anything(cereal, cookies, sun flower seeds) prior to coming over, of course all answers were *no*....but it had to be something?? I even chaulked it up to cat hair on his clothes(they have 3 cats!)...so who knows. Next time they plan to comeo over though, I will make it clear to grab some clean clothes, and to wash hands as soon as they come in. If it continues, then I will get harder with my rules. We don't go to their house often because of the allergy issues(both food and cats and dogs)....so if they can't follow a few rules in MY home, then maybe we'll have to meet at the park! Good luck!!

EDIT...here is the pic I sent her, I think *seeing* it helps, maybe, maybe not. I also had to comment on the car, I never worried about peanut residue in cars before, until hubby brought home an old Suburban(he's a sales manager for Chevy) but he was going to take the kids over to McD's and I got a little nervous abotu Jake riding in it...who knows what was eaten in there previously. It just made me think for a minute(he was fine, but I'd still like it to be extra cleaned before we start using the thing!!) Anyways, here is the pic if interested....all from sitting on our couch with no shirt! edit out pic....

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma) Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE) Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited March 05, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited March 08, 2007).]

On Mar 5, 2007

Your MIL's car needs to be thoroughly cleaned (maybe your husband can do it for her, or offer to pay to have it professionally detailed?) And she needs to be told in no uncertain terms that if she eats nuts in her car, she cannot enter your house. I would suggest getting your husband to talk to her, she may listen more to her own son.

I have a ton of family members with diabetes, it is not neccessary for her to eat nuts *in particular* in her car. There are other choices. My mom was diabetic, she used to keep candy and other things in her purse in case of emergency.

On Mar 5, 2007

Bi-weekly? As in twice a week or every two weeks? Either way, that is a lot of peanut residue from the peanut-mobile. No way...she should care more, first of all, she has alternatives, and she needs to wake up and smell the danger here...

I know to the rest of the world peanuts are just fine and no cause for hostility, but honestly, don't you just get tired of people and their %$%^* peanuts?

On Mar 5, 2007

Sorry, guess I should have typed "Bi-monthly"..she comes over ever other weekend! I guess Bi-weekly WOULD mean twice a week, huh? Sorry...

And YES, Carefulmom, my MIL was touching my DS' food without having washed her hands, and she had stopped and got "something" to eat on the way out here...so guess I should be mortified, right? So, not only do I not know if DS is reacting from her peanut residue, or the milk he might have ingested from brother, I have to worry about what she had for lunch on the way out here!

I agree with y'all that the peanuts in the car need to go bye bye or else she can't see DS. Guess I just need to get a backbone, and I mean a STRONG one, and set down "momma's law" and be done with it!

I guess I'm just too accomodating and "nice" towards others and I have got to get it through my thick head that it doesn't matter to be nice and accomodating anymore...when it comes to my son, it's MY way or the highway, regardless of how that makes others feel!

Thanks for all of your comments and advice...This website has been my rock the past few weeks...I'm glad I have someone to ask "silly" questions to, and someone who will set me straight and help my backbone remain strong!

And YES, I'm WELL aware that the peanuts as a "diabetic" thing is just an excuse for her...honestly, I think she eats them cause her hubby that died 9 years ago used to eat them in the car ALL the time...and she won't let go of them?! But, we'll see what's more important to her after I tell her they go, or she can't come over!

On Mar 5, 2007

Wow- sorry to hear about the peanut mobile... that would scare me to death! I think your hubby needs to do some talking (since it is his mom and she may respond better to him). In the past my inlaws have not been great but they are just recently coming around (after seeing my dd have a reaction to egg ingestion). What it comes down to is if they aren't willing to change to keep your kids safe then they will lose the priveledge of seeing them. I had huge issues at first with telling people what they can and can't eat in her presence but I don't anymore... I don't care who hates me - I'll do anything to keep my kids safe. It's hard but necessary. Some people just don't get it no matter how much you try to talk to them. Hope your situation improves. Good Luck!

------------------ Mom to: Sydney 4 1/2 EA and ana PA Noah 2 1/2 NKA

On Mar 5, 2007

I don't disagree with the any of the advice here, but be sure you try to coordinate with your husband on this one. Is he really prepared to bar his mother from his home? Because there is a real possibility that it will come to that. And you will have the best chance of making it work if you show a united front. He might also have some idea about the best way to win her over.

It is no small step to break ties to a parent, but of course a child's safety must come first.

Hoping for the best!

On Mar 5, 2007

My mom has basically understood the FA thing, but there are times it's tough. This last Thanksgiving she flew in on Continental (it was either going to be that or SW, so either way was going to be tough).

We were ready with the clothes change, but she didn't get that where she put her jacket was a problem. And her purse. I did have her wash her hands when we came into the house, and before that in teh car she used some wipes. And I wiped her purse as best as I could, but she kept absentmindedly setting it places--like next to DS' place at our antique wooden table (150 years old--I can't bleach it).

She thought I was overreacting, but I said, "My home is peanut free, and when DH or I fly, we remove our clothing and clean things upon reentry. I don't care if you think I'm overreacting. It's my job to protect DS."

Truth is, when I flew to Phoenix in January on Continental, I held my purse the entire time in my lap to avoid peanut residue. I let my briefcase go on the floor, but I can and did thoroughly wipe that down. I wiped down my shoes.

Even with folks who pretty much get it, you may have to offend them sometimes. Oh well.

On Mar 5, 2007

okay, now what would you ask of her to do when we go to HER house for a visit? knowing that her house is NOT a peanut-free house...she says she's NOT gonna buy any more pb...whoopie! but do i ask her just to vacuum really well, and clean surfaces? my DS is 13 mo. old EVERYTHING goes into his mouth, so I feel like I should fear taking him ANYWHERE, but also don't want to be a FREAK about things either...guess I just don't know where my boundaries should be when going to others' homes! If I can be truthful, I'd honestly just rather NOT take him to grandma's house, but that's not the answer, I don't think...I just need some ideas of what you guys' would expect the MIL to do, before you came over with a 13 mo. old with peanut/egg/wheat/dairy/soy allergies!?

On Mar 5, 2007

*when* we go to my MIL's(she lives 4 blocks awaya and we only go for an hour at xmas...) because she has like 5 dogs(all in the house) and she does NOT clean one thing...she serves what SHE wants to serve, including bowls of peanuts....and there is NO WAY I could ever ask her to do somethign in HER house, ever!! Honestly, she'd tell me to take a flying leap....

This is why we don't visit, and when we do, it's brief. We are by Jake's side the entire time, the kids don't eat ANYTHING...and when we leave, they strip out of their clothes and hit the shower running as soon as we walk in the door. Everything gets washed....they get Zyrtec before and after the visit...and we survive. This is the way it is, and the way it will always be. That is one line we do not dare to cross, or we just stay home!

------------------ Chanda(mother of 4) Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma) Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma) Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE) Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

On Mar 7, 2007

When I have been in this situation where people think their stubborness will make you change your mind-with family or even long time friends. I usually tell them I know they will come to my way of thinking. My daughter's reactions are very visable and quick. I usually say something like "I know the first time she has a reaction and you know peanut residue you brought into her home, HER sanctuary,is the reason she is clawing at her skin, swelling from head to toe and begging not to get a shot while gasping for breath-- you will stop bringing peanuts, even trace elements, around her." I have also come to the conclusion (after six years) that true friends and true family understand. Keep your chin up! It does get easier!!!! I have also found that articles from 'professionals' can help people understand you are not 'nuts'.

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