Doctor Office Peanut Reaction

Posted on: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 11:35am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

I had to take my non PA child to the doctor today for a checkup and my PA son came with. Well the doctor (who is also my PA son's regular pediatrician) gave my son a "doctor's kit" to play with to keep him occupied. He was playing with it and YUP a sneeze, eyes watering, nose running. I asked the doctor if any peanuts had been in the room. She called the nurse and of course nobody knew. We gave him Benadryl in the room and that seemed to calm things down.

I am so frustrated at this point. How in the H*ll am I supposed to keep this kid safe in a school that serves PB sandwiches for lunch everyday. He keeps having these mild contact reactions...this is the second one in 2 weeks! I am scared to death to send him to kindergarten next year and I feel so anxious tonight worrying about it.

I guess the good new is the doctor saw a reaction from contact, so she would be another good source (besides the allergist) to write a letter if necessary.

Sometimes I feel like my son is the most allergy sensitive child on this planet. Does anyone else feel that way. How am I going to protect him?



Posted on: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 1:10pm
Lori Anne's picture
Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about the reaction.
Second, you are not alone. We are in the same boat.
My dd had a reaction last Tuesday at ballet class--no food was present at all. She had sneezing, a watery, slightly puffy eye, and a couple of hives on her cheek. Benadryl took care of her symptoms too.
She has had these types of reactions before too. I can think of 5 of these kinds of reactions in 8 months. I've told the doctor about the reactions and he didn't even include info on them in the letter to the 504 committee.
(DD is also going to kindergarten next year.)
Now I'm worried about asthma. Her last cold required an inhaler and we're at a "let's just watch her carefully when she has a cold stage". Guess what--dd has cold symptoms tonight. I've been checking on her every 15 minutes!
So, I'm not trying to hijack your thread. I just want you to know that you aren't alone. I think a lot of us are seeing the same things in our children. At least we have each other to lean on and people who have been through this can offer us advice.
So I'm here to offer you support--we'll get through this together. Now I'll let someone else offer the advice.
Now go have some kind of comfort food. Let's see on this site people have mentioned chocolate....or tea....or merlot.... [img][/img]
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited January 07, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 3:15pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

We had a great, very wise old allergist who had been a FA specialist for most of his many years of practice. (We were sad to lose him to retirement after just two years...but new doc has is razor sharp with research experience... trade off)
Anyway, this doctor looked me in the eye one time and said to me (this is when DD was about 3 and we were just where you are) "Having one of these kids means never having to check the expiration date on your Benadryl... it will never expire at your house."
*Sigh* I've been trying to prove him wrong since, unsuccessfully. On the other hand, you do get used to it after a while. We have tried to cultivate an awareness in our DD so that she tells us if something doesn't "feel right." This usually indicates that it is more serious... but it is not 100%. We still have about half a dozen of these little incidents each month. My daughter is now nearing 7 years old.
I appreciate that allergist's last office visit with us, in which he very kindly told us that while nobody had the right to tell us to home school, there are some kids for whom it is absolutely the best thing. Our child is definitely one of them, in our opinion. I strongly suspect that she is one of the most highly atopic kids in the practice. "A specialist" is how the young gun allergist refers to her, w/r to her allergies to foods. Fortunately, this means she is interesting, as we are known as "difficult" parents. We ask lots of questions without answers. We are crazy protective. And some days it still isn't enough.
Wish I could offer more than misery loves company, but I can't. You just get used to it after a while and you spend a lot of nights sleeping with one eye open on the kid you've moved into your bed with you.
I can tell you that if you don't yet take a daily antihistamine (non-sedating) you probably should. It makes about 50% of the aerosol and very light contact reactivity pretty much go away. And it damps down the atopy in general so that their eczema is controllable, they don't need asthma meds all the time, etc. Once they develop environmental allergies, you know that high pollen days are going to pretty much be Mr. Toad's wild ride, and you avoid everything you can (grocery store, restaurants, etc.)
Hope some of this helps. [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 02/02/2006 - 10:12pm
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Thank you both for your encouragement. I just thought maybe I would be one of those parent who would be able to say "we haven't had a reaction in over a year!". Well, since that is not going to happen, perhaps I need to focus on "we haven't had a reaction today!".
I understand that these contact reactions tend to be on the mild side. He becomes uncomfortable, but for the most part the benedryl seems to be taking care of these. It will just be hard to educate the school as to when epi is necessary and when to just stick to benedryl. Any suggestions?
Yep, he slept in bed with me last night because last time he had such a reaction a few weeks ago, we ended up in ER with horrible croup. The allergist said that the croup was probably so severe because of the inflamation already present in his body. He seems fine this morning.
He does take Clairtin and Singulair each day and that does seem to help. What are your children taking on a daily basis? We also have lots of asthma meds for his reactive airway...but that is another post [img][/img].
I feel so fortunate to have this amazing group of people here to help me through these trying times. Thank you...Thank you...Thank you... I feel better already [img][/img].

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 12:59am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by notnutty:
[b]I am so frustrated at this point. How in the H*ll am I supposed to keep this kid safe in a school that serves PB sandwiches for lunch everyday. He keeps having these mild contact reactions...this is the second one in 2 weeks! I am scared to death to send him to kindergarten next year and I feel so anxious tonight worrying about it.[/b][quote]
Boy, can I relate.
[quote]Originally posted by Lori Anne:
[b]We are in the same boat. [/b]
We were too.
My daughter had multiple contact reactions and I was always worried. The year before kindergarten, Mariah had 24 or 25 contact reactions. There were times I felt like we had a stalker in our lives... never feeling safe, never knowing when "it" would strike. Days when I wouldn't want to leave the safety of home. Sometimes the reactions triggered her asthma, and we seemed to be constantly tweaking her medications to adjust to her needs. Sometimes her asthma required courses of predisone, and the behavior changes she experienced were just awful. That was a very hard time in my life. I felt like everyone thought I was a little crazy, myself included. In retrospect, I think I was dealing with some depression too. I felt very lonely and scared.
I kept a log about Mariah's contact reactions on my computer, and would also try to take photos of her when I could. I think this helped me in several very positive ways on several different levels.
First, it gave me a sense of 'control' in what was a pretty powerless experience for me. Somehow. having this down on paper-- sometimes with a photograph-- gave me a reassurance that I needed that I wasn't really crazy. This was 'real', because I had some 'proof'. Looking back, it makes me sad that I needed 'proof', but I did. The initial feedback I received from both our pediatrician and allergist was, well, [i]under[/i]whelming.
Documenting Mariah's reactions also provided me with some insights. It seemed that reactions would cluster together. Once she had a contact reaction, it was followed by one or two more. Then there would be a longer period where she was reaction-free. This eventually helped us manage her asthma meds better.
I would always share this information with our allergist at our appointments. He would review my log with me and he included whatever I brought in to him in Mariah's medical record. We reviewed medication plans... constantly. He was interested in and appreciated the information and photographs, and that in itself was a very positive experience for me. Over time, our relationship with him really grew. We continue to have a very special doctor-patient relationship. This really came into play last spring when I called upon his support to write a letter for Mariah's 504 designation. I couldn't have asked for stronger or more active support. He was even willing to attend Mariah's 504 eligibility meeting if I felt it was necessary. Just thinking about this now brings water to my eyes. He has made a huge impact on my family's life.
That log also proved valuable working directly with the school during our kindergarten enrollment. With our permission, the school nurse used one of the photographs in her staff training. I believe the log helped us because the school principal got an accurate glimpse into what our life was like, and she couldn't help but feel empathy.
The most number of contact reactions Mariah experienced was that year preceding kindergarten, now seven years ago. She's 12 and in 6th grade now. Last year she had a total of 3 contact reactions, all on the very mild side. [img][/img] I can't remember the last time she's been on steriods for her asthma. Clearly, her frequency of contact reactions has lessened. I can't tell you why, but they have.
So I can definitely relate. We've been in that boat. But somewhere on the trip over the last 7 years we got out. You will too. You'll be able to protect your child. We all find a way. I still go a little crazy every once in a while dealing with it all, the worry is still there, but I feel comfortable meeting the challenges now.
It gets better. [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 1:30am
2BusyBoys's picture
Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by notnutty:
I am so frustrated at this point. How in the H*ll am I supposed to keep this kid safe in a school that serves PB sandwiches for lunch everyday. He keeps having these mild contact reactions...this is the second one in 2 weeks! I am scared to death to send him to kindergarten next year and I feel so anxious tonight worrying about it.
Sorry to hear about the reaction.
I am wondering if you've had any contact with the school/school district about the lunch menu and serving of PB everyday. If so, what kind of response did you receive?
We also live in MN in a district that serves PB everyday as an option although the surrounding districts do not. Our PA son will start kindergarten in two years so I'm trying to get a head start on things [img][/img]

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 2:05am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I feel so bad that your sonn had a reaction and in all places your dr office. The last time I took my PA/EA son to his pediatrician there were pecans on the floor. I steered way clear of those and took him in the well waiting area. It is so confusing because I would just never feed my children straight nuts, but I guess some people do. We just have to keep our guards up and hope our wonderful children do not come in contact. Just last week when I was buying my son a wagaon at ToysRus, I let him try one out. Low and behold there were peanut butter cracker crumbs in the bottom. You could see the pb! Oh well, glad your son is ok.

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 5:33am
Naturemom's picture
Joined: 09/30/2004 - 09:00

Yes, I also have a child that is very sensitive. We had so many contact and inhalation reactions when we went places(between the ages of 1 and 5) that we were beginning to believe that Benadryl was its own food group. It was very disconcerting, because we never knew how serious it would get.
DS is 9 now, and although he still reacts sometimes, it is not nearly as often, and since he is older, we are better able to determine if it may or may not be serious.
I think that a few things contributed to the reduction in reactions. 1) he knows not to touch his face when he is touching things in public 2)he no longer plays with little kid drooled on toys or on the ground with food spills. The places that young children generally go have the remnants and residue of the food that other young children ate and spilled; and he is much more aware, so he can avoid places where people have eaten 3) children his age are less messy and eat fewer snacks 4) with practice, we have become better able to recognize when a reaction is not serious (ie hives from contact - wash area, sometimes benadryl; congestion or cough, sneeze leave the area, sometimes inhaler. 5) he better knows how he feels. 6) wipes - for tables, carts, and other places where food had been eaten AND for him to wipe his hands after playing in a public place.
So yes, we were there, but it is much better now.
Take care
[This message has been edited by Naturemom (edited February 03, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 5:58am
jtolpin's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Im sorry about the reaction... but a question, of course...
How do you KNOW it was a 'peanut reaction'?
I mean -- There could be many 'things' a child sneezes to, kwim?
I mean -- you do not KNOW for sure, right?
When things like this happen, I just bank on the fact it's a 'mystery reaction', because I just don't know WHAT it was.
Anyhow, you DO need to relax. I hope you do.
[b]* Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 6:18am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I agree with your underlying fear...
one of the reasons we don't ever leave my daughter in anyone else's care (other than my mother for a few hours, who comes to our home and never feeds DD anything we haven't specifically provided and okayed)is because quite frankly, it is almost impossible to know when its "just a Benadryl moment" and when it is going to turn much more serious. Which our experience has taught us these things can do... in seconds. So it isn't an idle question, but I have no idea how to answer it with one of these kids. Our allergist doesn't know either... the truth is that if you gave them epi every time it was indicated by the strictest guidelines, you'd need your own reserved room at the ER. And a rubber room upstairs for you as parents, LOL! [img][/img]
And no, Jason, this really isn't just hyper-parenting. It really happens to some of us, and I think the question relates more to "what on earth do I tell other caregivers about this?" For yourself, you just learn to DEAL, after a while, KWIM? I never thought about this that much until I asked my mom one time when she would give DD epi... her answer and our conversation really got me thinking about it. My mom would give her epi WAAAAY before I would. Probably unnecessarily in 80% of cases. AM I OK with that? Yes, but DD doesn't spend time with her every day. School is a different matter.
Edited to add: I think also that if you have one of these types of kids, even if they have a lot of allergies, you just KNOW when they get exposed. They know, too. My DD knows the difference between pollen caused troubles and those that are food related, and I haven't a clue how she does it. But she seems to, and she can tell an egg reaction from a pn one. Again, *I* can't but she can. Lots of experience, I guess. She just KNOWS. And has since she was very, very little (probably 2 yo).
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 03, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 02/03/2006 - 10:30am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by jtolpin:
[b]How do you KNOW it was a 'peanut reaction'?
I mean -- There could be many 'things' a child sneezes to, kwim?
I mean -- you do not KNOW for sure, right?
When things like this happen, I just bank on the fact it's a 'mystery reaction', because I just don't know WHAT it was.
Anyhow, you DO need to relax. I hope you do.
Well, Jason, I CAN'T relax because I am the only one protecting my child. Perhaps your child is not a sensitive to peanuts...perhaps your comfort level is different from mine...perhaps many things are different between your child and mine.
I do KNOW it was a peanut reaction because it is the same EVERY time he is exposed to peanuts. Times I can absolutely positively say it was peanuts. The symptoms and his behavior are exactly the same each reaction. It is not just a "sneeze". As I stated in the original post "a sneeze, eyes watering, nose running" instantly after playing with public toys. Enough of a sudden reaction that the doctor was concerned enough to call the nurse and get the benadryl. What I didn't mention was his eyes get puffy right away and his face turns red. He is not allergic to anything else...Peanuts, that's it.
I guess I am just irriated at the tone of your reply. I was looking for ideas, suggestions, support from this online community...none of which was offered in your reply.
Nope, I don't need to relax, I just need to figure out how to deal with this life-changing allergy effectively.
Thanks to the rest of you for your great ideas and suggesstions. I really appreciate it. I will use many of your ideas (taking pictures of the reaction is a good one).
Take care,


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