Feeling Overwhelmed.....

Posted on: Sat, 04/14/2001 - 1:18am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pHi, just found my daughter, who is 13 months old has a peanut allergy (getting a 5 on a scale of 6). First, I have to say I am so glad that I found this board. It has been very useful, although in a way overwhelming me more. How many of you contacted every possible manufacturer you have in the household because of the labeling issue? I have contacted a few, some helpful, some haven't even heard back from yet. Am I overreacting? Thanks, any suggestions of help might help my overwhelming feeling of worriedness./p

Posted on: Sat, 04/14/2001 - 1:55am
MattsMom's picture
Joined: 09/17/2000 - 09:00

When I first leared the truth behind peanut allergies (I knew my son was allergic for a year, but had no clue it went beyond not giving him pb+J sandwhichs), I immediately went through my pantry and got rid of anything with peanuts hidden in the ingredient (I hadn't been reading labels) or with a warning of some kind. "May contain" and "Processed in same facility as" warnings, basically.
Of all the foods I checked, I only had to throw out the vanilla ice cream in the freezer (peanuts listed in the ingredients about halfway down the list). I was still scared though, because of all the info I'd read here about how sometimes companies don't put ANY kind of warning or mention of peanuts on the label, when in fact, that "hydrolyzed vegatable protein" could be peanuts, or whatever. I didn't really want to spend a week calling EVERY manufacturer, though, so I made a compromise. Most of the products we buy are two different brands...either Great Value or Sam's Choice (budget makes this necessary), so I called Wal-Mart's headquarters and finally found a person who could help me out with questions about ingredients. I gave her a (LONG) list of all the different products we use and she told me whether they were safe (processed in a nut-free plant, did they have dedicated production lines, any hidden peanuts in the ingredients, etc) on some of them that day and then called me back after doing research on the rest of them.
The products that were a different brand I decided to go ahead and use, but to do so carefully. If I saw something suspicious on the label, I would call first. If I did not, I would go ahead and serve it, but watch Matt very closely for any possible signs of a reaction. If he had a reaction, obviously that food would be out, but if he had a couple of red spots or something and I couldn't tell for sure whether he did or did not have a reaction, I would call the manufacturer to see about peanuts or contamination.
The manufacturers who can not, or WILL not give me the information I need, lose my business. The ones who can answer my questions to my satisfaction (even if it proves the food in question to be unsafe) move up a little on my "Manufacturers I Like" list.
It's taken me a little while to settle into what's right and comfortable for us. (I was super paranoid the first couple of months!) I'm sure that with time you'll be able to figure all this out too. It's difficult for awhile, and it's not exactly EASY even when you have established your own comfort zone, but it is doable.
I don't think you're overreacting a bit, just trying to feel out your own comfort zone. =) If these boards get to be too much for you to digest (happens to a lot of us from time to time), then take a break from them for awhile. Take a week or so and try not to think about this allergy any more than you HAVE to (i.e. making sure foods and situations are safe for Nickie) and then when you're feeling less stressed, visit the boards again. The important thing to remember about these boards is that NOT everything will pertain to YOU and YOUR comfort zone.

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2001 - 3:06am
Joined: 03/17/2001 - 09:00

Hi mom2nickie! just to let you know, my son was diagnosed at 2 1/2 yrs old. He is now 8 1/2 yrs.old. He had one accidental exposure at preschool at 4 yrs old with none since. Bottom line, it takes a little extra time but reading labels and sticking with known "safe" foods can help calm the fear. I do read labels but I must be honest and only called one company in all these years. Please don't think I am complacent about this since obviously he hasn't had a reaction in 4 yrs, but I try to teach my kid that the world cannot stop revolving because he is PA. He has to adapt to the environment as it exists (except school of course!)There are many days I'm petrified and a parent must do what they have to to keep there precious child safe. For me, it's sticking with the tried and true. For someone else it might be to call every company. It's purely your "comfort level". No one should ever be accused of overreacting. With this allergy or any anaphylactic allergy, there is no such thing as overreacting.
Blessings to you and B-well! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2001 - 7:10am
andy's picture
Joined: 04/26/2001 - 09:00

Hello and welcome. You are not alone. Almost everyone feels overwhelmed at first. I am 47 and PA is no big deal in my life. It has never stopped me from doing anything. It is just something that I have and deal with. Education is power and the more you educate yourself the better you will be able to deal with this. When I say it is no big deal, I mean I do not let it restrict me in how I lead my life. I am very busy, often go out to dinner and travel, but I keep my epi pen close and try my best to understand exactly what I am eating. Andy

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2001 - 10:11am
MyNick's picture
Joined: 04/13/2001 - 09:00

Hey Andy this question is for you. You said you are PA and you travel alot. I do not know if this question belongs on this post, but did you ever go on a cruise?? My 5yr old is PA and TNA and I would love to travel with him, but I am terrified to take him on a plane, or a ship. I feel I have no control of his food if we were away. On a cruise I could see peanut butter everywhere. Am I the only Mom who feels this way??

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2001 - 11:13am
keilley's picture
Joined: 03/28/2001 - 09:00

Hello and welcome. I am glad you found this site. It has helped me a lot. My son was 14 months when he was diagnosed with peanut and egg allergy. He'll be 2 in a few days. The first major trip to the grocery after his diagnosis was the worst. I found some manufacturers (like General Mills) are more conscientious than others. Keep a sense of humor, you'll find that reading labels will become second nature.

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2001 - 10:32pm
ImStillSharon's picture
Joined: 02/28/2001 - 09:00

I was recently diagnosed with PA at the age of 50 and initially felt the same as you do.....it IS overwhelming at first because it's new, but think of the many new things you have had to do in your life and how successful you have been......
The only thing that truly bothers me now, is having to take more time shopping.....I really hate to shop and having to spend even 3 more minutes in a store feels like a punishment....... *laughing* but I recently moved and had to shop for all types of new things for the house and felt the EXACT same way and it had nothing to do with my allergies!......
I travel, go out to eat a great deal, socialize, attend dinner parties etc.......at first I didn't want to eat out with others as I was embarrassed to discuss my restrictions....now, I am quite comfortable with others knowing and actually ensure that somebody is always aware in case of reaction.....I never leave the house without my EpiPen.......
I guess what I am trying to say is that, I lead a very busy, happy and active life and my frustrations, disappointments etc are no easier nor worse because I have this allergy.
Good luck
[This message has been edited by ImStillSharon (edited April 16, 2001).]

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