Discovered 14mo DD\'s PA yesterday- whole new world

Posted on: Mon, 06/23/2003 - 3:16am
Susanhopes's picture
Joined: 06/23/2003 - 09:00

Whew. I've been reading posts on several boards here this morning, and am starting to take in the change this is going to mean for our family.

Here's the scoop: We gave DD her first peanut butter on toast for snack yesterday morning. About 20-30min after she started eating, I noticed red blotches on her face and a swollen upper lip. She was also starting to act cranky. I bf'd her while DH went to find the benadryl. Gave her some and called on-call nurse. DD responded just great to the benadryl, hives were gone in 10min and then of course she took an early nap. Not a severe reaction, thank goodness.

What bugs me is I had a feeling she would have a PA. No one in the family has it, but my family does have a lot of hay fever, severe reactions to poison ivy, and some asthma. Was going to hold off on peanuts until she turned 3 but got pooh poo'd by ped and others whose advice I trust. I'm sad to think that this might have been avoided if I had trusted the most important person, me, her mother. You'd think that someone who is "still" breasteeding a 14mo old would have more stamina! Must have used it all up on my MIL, lol.

So now we dive into the world of reading labels, educating other parents and teachers, and most especially our families. Will be reading lots of other posts here and trying to educate myself before we see the doc. Should we go in right away or wait 2 weeks until regular checkup? So many questions! Glad you are all here.


Posted on: Mon, 06/23/2003 - 5:26am
NicoleinNH's picture
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

HI Susan-I'm sorry to hear about your DD. I was advised by a nutritionist (my below post gives more details about that) to give my then 14 month old daughter (who was bfing--breastfed her until she was 14.5 months) to introduce peanut butter. I did so with hesitation and I wish I had listened to my "gut". Anyway, she reacted similarly to the peanut butter as your daughter--she had hives, swelling on the face, but responded fairly quickly to the Benadryl. We went to an pediatric allergist in Boston a couple of months later (soonest I could get her in) and discovered she is allergic to eggs, peanuts, and all tree nuts. It really does your change your life very quickly. I also have a 3 year old boy who has environmental allergies, but no food allergies.
I just wanted to welcome you. Good for you to have found this site so quickly!!! I just recently found it. I've been reading many books and became a member of FAAN to be up to date with information.
Take care,

Posted on: Mon, 06/23/2003 - 6:08am
Danielle's picture
Joined: 04/08/2003 - 09:00

Welcome Welcome!!!!
I, too, had this wierd feeling that my DD would have a PA allergy and voila we were speeding to the ER a few days before her 2 year birthday. We had also just checked with our pediatrician and he said we had the green light for peanut butter. If I had only listened to me.
Anyway, I now live on these boards and am so thankful for all the information and support.
Do lots of searches and you will find so much information.
Stay safe and remember you will feel overwhelmed but it does get better. I still get overwhelmed but have a lot of great PA days.

Posted on: Mon, 06/23/2003 - 11:45pm
Susanhopes's picture
Joined: 06/23/2003 - 09:00

Hi Nicole and Danielle, thanks for your replies. It helps tons to know people who are in the same boat. Especially on the mommy guilt thing! I had a moment of clarity last night about trusting my gut. After today, I am starting almost two months of leave from my job to think about staying home. Tried to quit, was offered leave. I do love this job but have no fire in the belly for it anymore. So now I know that I have to follow my gut, not anyone's advice. Their advice is for their life, and while it may give me ideas for options in mine, it does not determine my path. So sad that DD had to be the instrument of my learning but there we are.
Is there any truth to the idea that if you hold off pnuts until they are 3 or so, they won't have a reaction as they would have at a younger age? Bet I'll find an answer if I keep reading! Many hugs to all of you,

Posted on: Tue, 06/24/2003 - 7:20am
choguy's picture
Joined: 02/20/2003 - 09:00

Hi Susan,
A quick answer to your last question: My son had his first taste of PB at 2 years, 10 months. We were advised to wait at least until age two due to his history of cow's milk allergy as an infant. We thought we were "clever" waiting until he was almost three. Long story short, my wife called 911, I rushed home from work to find two ambulances, a fire truck, and two police cars at my house. He had mild to moderate anaphylaxsis. Waiting longer to try PB guarantees nothing. Don't waste too much time second-guessing yourself. We did and it changed nothing. I'm sure you're a good parent.
Best of luck,

Posted on: Tue, 06/24/2003 - 10:55am
Jazz It Up's picture
Joined: 08/19/2002 - 09:00

Hi Susan and welcome aboard!
Please don't beat yourself up about your daughter's allergy. Choguy's post is right on as a food allergy can happen at any age. My SIL posts on here and her screen name says it all..."allergic@27." She ate peanuts all the time and at 27 bit into a Reese's Cup and had to be carted off in an ambulance.
The experts do say if there is a history of eczema or asthma in your family, not to introduce peanut butter before the age of 3 because the immune system is not fully developed before then. My DH's family has eczema and asthma on their side.
My mom first gave our son PB at the age of 10 months and his first reaction was facial swelling, vomiting, hives. We had never heard of a peanut allergy until our son was diagnosed and he is 9 years old now.
Did you call your daughter's Ped after her reaction? If not, I would definitely follow up with her doctor as soon as possible and request him/her to refer you to a Board Certified Pediatric Allergist. I would also make sure your Ped and/or Allergist prescibes an Epi Pen (Epinephrine) as it keeps the throat from closing up in an emergency situation.
Good for you for taking the first steps in educating yourself on peanut allergy. You may also want to check out the links board for some excellent information.
Being new to this is such a nightmare but you (and all the others new here as well) will be okay. Education is the key so that education can be passed on to your child. Education and advocating really makes this allergy a lot easier to handle. The more you learn, the less stressed you and your child will be.
Again, welcome to [img][/img] You will get some excellent support here.
Stay Safe!

Posted on: Tue, 06/24/2003 - 12:20pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

WOW you bring back some horrible PB and toast memories for this mom. That is exactly how we found out about Chris Whom by the way is now 17 and great. Still severely allergic but does just fine in life. You will have a whole new thing to learn but it will not be so bad once you have the routine in hand.
Just remember not to leave your PA child with any one that refuses to understand and carry the epi-pen with them.
Don't ever treat your child any different than ever before but be a little more food cautious. Things will be ok. Chris and I are so close that somedays I think that is why he and I were given this task to deal with. Through his allergy he has seen how much we love him and would loose friends and family for him just to keep him safe. Good luck to you and I hope her reactions are always easily cured with Benedryl. Good luck Claire

Posted on: Tue, 06/24/2003 - 2:49pm
Driving Me Nutty's picture
Joined: 05/01/2003 - 09:00

Welcome Susan. I'm also relatively new to PA (april). My now 2 yr old dd is >100 on CAP RAST. It is VERY overwhelming at first. It does get easier.
I highly recommend reading 'Caring for your child with Severe Food Allergies' by Lisa Cipriano-Collins. It is completely different from the PA Answer book. Her book is more about dealing with the emotional side of it. I was hooked from the first chapter when she wrote about how she decided that SHE was going to control the PA and not let the PA control hers and her child's life.
One point to also remember is to deal with today and not think down the road about field trips, b-day parties etc.. At 14 months, you have some time to find safe snacks and restaurants (you can bring his food in the meantime).
Good luck!

Posted on: Thu, 06/26/2003 - 12:26am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Welcome Susanhopes! Don't feel guilty. There is absolutely no evidence that parents 'give' children PA. This is only a theory.
Frankly with all the cross-contamination of foods I don't know how any parent could have their children under 3 totally avoid peanuts, without living within the strict confines of PA lifestyle. And even then---accidents happen.
If you haven't taken her to the doctor regarding this allergy, GO NOW! You need to be fully prepared with an epi-pen prescription. Most decent MDs will provide you with this even before the 'official' diagnosis by a qualified allergist.

Posted on: Fri, 06/27/2003 - 12:11am
Susanhopes's picture
Joined: 06/23/2003 - 09:00

Whew, what a week! Got the epi jrs, daycare briefed on its use and more instruction to come next week when I have the time. Peanut items booted from pantry. Will learn more at doc appt in 1 wk, scheduled 15mo, then will probably go to the allergist for tests.
DC is nervous about this, I can tell, don't think they've had a PA in a long time. They needed some time to adjust, too. Good thing DD has been there since she was 4mos, at least they know her and care about her welfare in a more personal way.
I appreciate all the no-guilt support. Guess that's probably a stage in grieving, isn't it? Best in-person support has been from a friend whose adopted DS has a cleft palate and lip. They have been in touch with all of the birth defect literature, and although their situation is different from that of birth parents they have been taking it all in. They have decided that their DS's happiness is more important than finding blame. So I can do it, too.
And I have decided that I love to bake, and I usually make food from scratch anyway, so this is no big problem! If baking for my girl will keep her healthy then I have the personal tools to manage.
Will let you all know what happens with the testing in a few weeks. Best,

Posted on: Sun, 06/29/2003 - 1:33am
Andrhia's picture
Joined: 06/28/2003 - 09:00

Susan, looks like we're in close to the same exact boat! Your story matches mine pretty well, in terms of age, exposure, and reaction, anyhow.
And I'm with you on the guilt thing. My problem is, I KNEW there was an allergy risk in my eating peanut products in pregnancy and while nursing, and I weighed the odds, and came down on the side of continuing to eat peanuts. (For what it's worth, my reasoning had a lot to do with the fact that I was nursing and having a lot of trouble getting more than maybe 800 calories a day into myself in the beginning, and was losing weight at a dramatic pace... but I digress.) I KNEW it was a numbers game, I KNEW there was a risk, and I did it anyhow.
But I just can't blame myself. There's no going back, nothing to gain by assigning blame, and there's no way to know if things would have turned out differently in our specific case no matter what I had done.
We should just look forward to keeping our litle ones safe. Please post the results of your testing when you get them, and let me know what your doctors say; it will be very interesting to see what is the same and different between us, since the situations seem so very similar.


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