Hello there

Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2006 - 6:14pm
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Tom
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Joined: 01/22/2006 - 09:00

Just wanted to introduce myself and tell a bit of my story. I'm Tom, and I've had PA all my life. Tomorrow is actually my birthday, and I'll be 34. I haven't had a reaction in about 5 years.

I can remember the day my mother figured it out clearly, even though I was about 3 years old. We had peas as part of our meal for dinner, and I had a mild reaction. This led us to the Dr who prick tested me and confirmed the allergies. Peanuts, peas, and generally legumes. I also had problems with exzema when I was younger, and some animal allergies. The doctors always suggested to my parents that it was something I might outgrow later in life, but I can testify that this theory never came true.

I've never had extensive testing done, so I don't know any numbers or degrees. But I can tell you that I don't usually react unless I ingest peanuts. But when I do I get immediate swelling, breathing problems, and stomach cramps. I don't have problems with residue or breathing, usually.

I have poked around on the site and it's heartbreaking to read some of the stories of parents with children who have PA. I always thought I had it bad, but to read the stories of children who get reactions from touch, or even the smell of peanuts, I see I didn't have it so bad.

My biggest pet peeve is with the public in general. Most people just don't get it when you say you're allergic to peanuts. And when you explain the consequences are death, they try to laugh it off. This really bothers me, and I'm constantly trying to educate people and explain the best I can about the allergy. It's an uphill battle, though, and it angers me that people are so callous about a medical condition that threatens my life.

I am here to tell you that you can live your life in a relatively normal fashion and stay reactionless. As I said before, I've been reaction free for about the last 5 years. It takes a bit of work, but having lived with this problem so long, it becomes 2nd nature. I figure the best offense is a good defense, and I'm constantly thinking defensively when it comes to food. Thankfully, i've developed a good sense of peanut smell and that comes in handy. But first and foremost I always ask when not sure. Read labels, pay attention to what you're eating. Most of the time I try to steer clear of baked goods, since you can never tell what is in there. I think most importantly, I know what the consequences are if I do get a reaction, and I take responsibility solely for protecting myself and keeping myself alive. And it's been that way since I can remember.

I also think it's important to realize that most people don't know, don't care, and aren't looking out for you. As I said, people aren't real sympathetic to the pa sitaution. So you've got to take control. Like it or not, I am in the minority and it's up to me to know my limits and be on the lookout at all times. I don't like pushing the allergy off on others and asking the majority to change their lives for me. So I try to take responsibility most occasions. There are some circumstances where I can't do it myself, though, and I've got no problem making my pa needs known to those that it affects. I like going to baseball and football games a lot. Unfortunately people like to eat peanuts at these events, and like to throw the shells everywhere. While it's dangerous to me, and because of this I can't always go to these games, I have never thought it was fair to ask the whole stadium to stop eating a food that doesn't bother them. I know my limits and avoiding that problem means staying alive, which is a lot more important than going to the games.

So anway, just wanted to say hi, give my story, and there it is. Thanks.

Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2006 - 8:12pm
williamsmummy's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

happy birthday tomorrow Tom, welcome to this site.
sarah

Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2006 - 11:29pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

Hey Tom.... [url="http://www.ibiblio.org/team/fun/birthday/birthday.mid"]http://www.ibiblio.org/team/fun/birthday/birthday.mid[/url]
I'm an adult with peanut and sesame seed allergy. Developed them as an adult. I keep my home free of my allergens - although we do have *may contain* foods in the house, I don't eat them.
I think it's great that you took the time to post. For parents of kids with food allergies - it's always great to hear from an adult that grew up with it.
Make sure you check out the Manufacturer's Forum, and Peanut Free Businesses. You might find some companies that you didn't know about. And everybody deserves a little treat every now and then. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Gotta ask you a question. Do you carry around an epi-pen? Those of us with son's that have allergies worry about when they are older - will they always carry their epi-pens.

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 12:13am
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Joined: 01/31/2005 - 09:00

Hi Tom, Welcome - and happy birthday! There are quite a few grown-ups here on the boards. Some, like you, have had it their entire lives and others, like Annamarie and me, are adult onset. I have a lot to learn so any tips you share on how you live with PA will be appreciated.
You might also check out FAAN's web site, [url="http://www.foodallergy.org."]www.foodallergy.org.[/url]
Cheers,
Adele

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 4:37am
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Tom
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Joined: 01/22/2006 - 09:00

I carry an epi pen, but not on me all the time. Usually it's either in my briefcase/bag, or in my vehicle. I've never had to use the pen, I thank God. The last reaction I had, I didn't happen to have one with me at the time, so I did the Benadryl thing which worked just as well. The worst reaction I ever had when I was a kid I had to go to a clinic and get an adrenlyn shot. Honestly, I feel comfortable enough with myself that I don't carry one on me, I try to rely on my self taught screening mostly. But I do like to keep one handy just in case.
Thanks everyone!

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 8:16am
MichelleR's picture
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Joined: 05/14/2001 - 09:00

Hi Tom,
I am adult onset pa (6 years ago when I was 20). I just wanted to echo your comment about people not taking the 'medical condition' seriously. This is something that really bothers me, people making jokes about pa etc. I don't mind if it is someone close to me who I know takes it seriously making a joke or something, but when it is other people it really annoys me. If you had some other condition (eg some kind of heart condition) which could be potentially fatal, people wouldn't dare make jokes or make light of it, but for some reason food allergies are considered fair game.
Grrrr. Sometimes you just need to 'vent' [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Anyway, welcome. I better get back to work.
Michelle

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 10:39am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Tom:
[b]I carry an epi pen, but not on me all the time. Usually it's either in my briefcase/bag, or in my vehicle. I've never had to use the pen, I thank God. The last reaction I had, I didn't happen to have one with me at the time, so I did the Benadryl thing which worked just as well. The worst reaction I ever had when I was a kid I had to go to a clinic and get an adrenlyn shot. Honestly, I feel comfortable enough with myself that I don't carry one on me, I try to rely on my self taught screening mostly. But I do like to keep one handy just in case.
[/b]
Welcome, but I have to say that I take my sons LTFA allergies [i]seriously[/i]. I want other people to as well. The epipen is always carried on my person and he carries his own. Always. I'm not offering advice as to at what age, just our own personal situation.
By "adrenlyn" do you mean epinephrine?

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 10:40am
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

by the way, do you wear a medical alert identification?

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 12:41pm
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Tom
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Joined: 01/22/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]
Welcome, but I have to say that I take my sons LTFA allergies [i]seriously[/i]. I want other people to as well. The epipen is always carried on my person and he carries his own. Always. I'm not offering advice as to at what age, just our own personal situation.
By "adrenlyn" do you mean epinephrine?
[/b]
What is LFTA, and no it was an adrenaline shot. Which is basically the same thing. And no to the medical alert bracelet. And as I said, I carry an epi pen both in my bag and vehicle, both of which I am never far away from.
And I too take my allergy seriously. Deathly serious.

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 4:58pm
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[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000505.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000505.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000402.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000402.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000467.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/000467.html[/url]
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/001331.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/001331.html[/url]

Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2006 - 5:15pm
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Tom:
[b] What is LFTA, and no it was an adrenaline shot. [/b]
Life Threatening Food Allergy.
Quote:[b]Which is basically the same thing. And no to the medical alert bracelet. And as I said, I carry an epi pen both in my bag and vehicle, both of which I am never far away from.
[/b]
"Far" when one is in the grip of a reaction, can be a relative term. If my child is incoherent, unconscious, unable to speak for himself, or impaired due to an allergic anaphylactic reaction, I want what may save his life accessible. To him. [i]Or to those who may save his life if he cannot.[/i] Currently, he is always in a situation where there is a [i]backup[/i] as well. Very soon, I am considering purchasing a device that would allow him to carry *two*.
May I ask why you do not wear a medical alert identification? In addition to other wording, my childs medical alert identification, which he wears in a conspicuous and among one of the expected places one might find one, states: "Carries Epinephrine".
By the way, his medic alert identification looks fantastic. I'm almost afraid it looks *too good*. He's never anywhere without it. It carries an obvious symbol.

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