Hello and an introduction

Posted on: Sun, 07/16/2000 - 8:13am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Hi, I have been reading through the messages on this board for a couple of months, and finally decided to register as a user and post an introduction. I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and possibly sesame seeds. She was severely allergic to milk as a baby (thank goodness she outgrew that), so our allergist instructed us to wait to introduce nuts and peanuts until she was 3 years old. The first three times I gave her peanut butter she didn't have any (noticeable) reaction at all. The fourth time, she got tiny hives around her mouth. The allergist told us to consider her to be allergic to peanuts, and to make sure to totally avoid them. We did, but felt thankful that she must not be one of the kids with a life threatening allergy. We were successful at total avoidance until about 10 months ago, when she was 4 3/4, and a neighbor child gave her a peanut butter filled pretzel while the other mom and I were talking in another room. My daughter had eaten pretzels in all different shapes and sizes so many times; she never considered that the pretzel could have been unsafe. I decided to wait and see if she got hives around her mouth again, when lo and behold, she began to have a very severe reaction, involving her respiratory system, skin, and gut. It was very scary. Our allergist has told us that if she ever accidentally gets any peanut or nut product again, she wants us to administer the epi-pen at the first sign of any reaction at all. Needless to say, I now do consider her to have a potentially life threatening allergy to peanuts. She reacted to walnuts twice when she was 3 1/2, with major vomitting; she has had no exposure to walnuts or any other nuts since then. More recently, she developed hives around her mouth after eating a sesame seed product. We are now totally avoiding sesame seeds, too. She starts kindergarten this fall, so I have a lot of worries about how well she will remember not to eat anything that hasn't been O.K.d by me or the teacher. We will have an emergency plan and emergency medications at school; I will just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best, as we all do. I also have a 7 week old baby boy. I am exclusively breastfeeding him, as I did with my daughter. I am mostly avoiding dairy in my own diet, and am totally avoiding nuts, peanuts, and sesame seeds. A pet peeve I have is when people (including our own pediatric allergist!) say "I hope the baby won't have any food allergies" right in front of my daughter. I know they mean well, but how do they think that makes the allergic child feel? We try to convey a matter-of-fact attitude about her allergies, and not make her feel that she's such a poor thing to have food allergies. I look forward to communicating with other parents; this is one of those cases where "misery loves company", isn't it?!

Posted on: Tue, 07/25/2000 - 10:47pm
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

Hi, welcome to the board. Misery does love company! It helps to know that others feel the same way we do and share similar experiences. This allergy is so consuming that sometimes I think I am obsessing about it so it helps to come here and see that others think about it as much as I do. I noticed that you said that your child does not have a life threatening reaction. How did your Dr. come to this conclusion? I thought that anyone who has an anaphylactic reaction would be considered to have a life threatening allergy.

Posted on: Wed, 07/26/2000 - 3:51am
Linda-Jo's picture
Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Hi California Mom. Welcome to the boards. A great place to gain loads of support and information! I too have a 5 yo daughter entering kindergarten this fall and I am petrified! I think I'm getting more grey hairs as we get closer to Sept.! One thing I'm going to do is I applied to be a 'lunchroom mom' so that I can be there when she has lunch every day. Even if I don't get the job, I plan on being down there then anyway. Luckily in her school, it is acceptable. I also plan on being the 'classroom mom', so that I have control of all parties, etc. and designate what people can bring in during these times. I plan on being totally involved in her classroom, but still, I worry about those times when an accidental ingestion might happen. I have talked repeatedly about sharing foods and to only eat 'what Mommy gives you'. We survived 1 yr. of preschool OK, I'm hoping for the best! Please feel free to email me if you would like to trade kindergarten strategies (or whatever!) for keeping our daughters safe!

Posted on: Wed, 07/26/2000 - 3:30pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Thanks PattyR and Linda-Jo for responding to my introduction. PattyR, please re-read my post: I'm sorry that I wasn't as clear as I should have been, but what I actually meant was that I hadn't thought my daughter had a life threatening allergy when her only reaction was hives, but that I definitely do consider her to have a life threatening reaction, now. Linda-Jo, it is nice to "know" another mom in the same kindergarten situation. I also plan to be a "room mother" if possible, and plan to be very involved in my daughter's classroom. I look forward to participating on this board.

Posted on: Thu, 07/27/2000 - 12:16am
Sheila's picture
Joined: 07/22/1999 - 09:00

Welcome to the Board! You are so right about misery loving company! It always helps me when I check in with this board and know that others are in the same boat that I'm in. I have a 3 year old son who is pa and a 1 year old who I don't know about yet. I was eight months pregnant with the baby when my older child had his first reaction and I had been eating peanut butter sandwiches constantly during that pregnancy. So I'm afraid my baby might have it too, but I won't be giving him any peanuts anyway because I can't even stand to look at them anymore!

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