Help! I\'m spooked!

Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 3:22pm
jussjenni's picture
Joined: 02/18/2003 - 09:00

Hi There!

We are new to the peanut allergy world and a a lot, overwhelmed. One question I have is, now that I have this epipen, what is the likehood that we will have to use it. Our one year old had a reaction to peanutbutter with hives on his face. We gave Benedryl and immediately had him into an allergist. Today, he was confirmed to be allergic to peanuts. Thank goodness we have the epipen, but it scares me to even think of having to use it. How many of the reactions I am reading about are treated with the epipen and how many with other sources? Thanks so much!!!


Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 9:24pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Hi, We have been dealing with PA for a very long time. My son is 16 and has had pa forever. I can not tell you that you will or will not have to use your epi,but I can tell you that it is most likely at some point. It is extremely important that after using the epinephrine that you go right to the hospital after. My DR. told us that if epi is needed then so is a trip to ER.That way the child can be further treated if needed and watched for a period of time.
thing are never easy and i will not lie about that. The thing about having a little one with pa is that it just becomes a way of life and you learn to deal with it.
I am sure your scared but you will be ok. Do what I did and this gets me through scarry days. Say to yourself"God gave me this PA to deal with because he knows I can". it works for me. Take care and good luck to you. claire

Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 11:24pm
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I can say the same thing for my son. He is 18 and has been PA forever too!
We taught him right away that although the epi pen would hurt, it would save his life.
My son has only had three reactions and we have used the epi pen each time. I know there are some kids here who have tons of reactions, and I am not sure how they manage.
He has seen how quickly an epi pen abates his symptoms so we can get to the hospital or call 911!
The epi pen is your friend unfortunately. Do not hesitate to use it.

Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 11:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

jussjenni, welcome! [img][/img]
Well, I can't tell you that you're never going to have to use the Epi-pen you got. [img][/img]
However, what I can suggest, is that you gather as much information as you can, and slowly (so that you don't get overwhelmed or frightened) here so that you can perhaps find a "comfort zone" that may help your child not to have a reaction.
For example, you may want to think about having a peanut free home. I think most of us do here, I may be wrong (I see a question again [img][/img] ) but there would be some people that don't.
I think the most important thing is that you make sure your child doesn't eat any peanut products or any "may contain peanut products".
Then, the rest is really what you read here and think that you want to do to ensure that your child will be relatively safe so that you don't have to use the Epi-pen.
It will seem like there are so many things, but I have to say, it's great that you found this website so quickly after your child's diagnosis. You will find information here.
You will also receive support, caring, concern and encouragement which you may or may not receive in *real* life dealing with PA. It is a fabulous place to be.
And lastly, (I think [img][/img] ) the most important thing I really think when you're visiting this board is to remember that NO question you have cross your mind re PA is too stupid to post here and get a response to. NO question.
I've been dealing with PA for 6 years now. I have had to use the Epi-pen twice on my son, who is now 7. However, this was before I learned what I learned basically here re PA.
You'll be okay. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 02/19/2003 - 12:50am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

if it's any comfort, we have two pa children and we have never had to use our epipens. on two occasions, we should have but that's another story. i got two lectures from doctors and now i know better. the good news is that, even though the risks are there, with proper knowledge and care, your child will be safe. just learn, learn, learn so you are ready if you ever find yourself in a situation that you need to use the epipen and who to call, etc.. teach your child that it's very important for him/her to be aware of his/her surroundings too. my 7 yr old daughter has been more helpful than all the adults that care for her (at school) combined. just yesterday, for example, someone on staff called me to say that bryce was "insisting" they phone me over some sugar cookie dough they were using for a project. they tried to tell her it was "just sugar cookie dough" but she insisted she wanted mom's input first. of course, the sugar cookie dough was great value brand AND processed on the same equipment they process the peanut butter cookie dough and choc/chip walnut cookie dough on. (i think those are the other flavors). at any rate, it was clearly labelled as "may contain". i was very proud of her (and very upset that she once again had to set the adults straight all by herself). i am in the process of getting some things changed at school now (for obvious reasons). you will do fine. hearing other peoples' stories and suggestions, opinions, advice, etc.. has really helped me a great deal. i feel prepared and much more confident that i can handle the pa instead of it handling us. if you have a good ped. allergist, that will make everything else all that much easier. also, a supportive spouse/co-parent and relatives would ease your mind so much. we don't have those either...but again..i'm working on it. it's an ongoing process around here. [img][/img] hang in there. if i can do it, anyone can! haha. joey

Posted on: Wed, 02/19/2003 - 3:42am
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I think it's completely normal to feel overwhelmed at first. If you keep reading these boards they will probably make you feel worse at first and then as time goes on and you gain more confidence you will feel better. At one point I dropped off this website for a while and stopped reading because I was in such a state of anxiety over the allergy. But now I feel very confident and I read everything and make my own decisions. There are things I read on here *every day* that I disagree with and yet I often learn things here that I couldn't have learned anywhere else. You will start to be able to process things after a while and make your own judgments once you start feeling more "in charge" and knowledgeable about the allergy, and once you see how your child responds to different situations.
About the epi-pen (and I hope you have some back-ups, not just one) I remember feeling nervous about the idea of using it in the beginning. I've had it for six years and never yet had to use it, but I know I could do it in a minute. It gives me a feeling of security. It is not very painful (the needle is thin and very sharp and ejects's not like a big fat vaccination needle) and it works very fast in reversing breathing problems. Think of it like CPR. In an emergency it's a lifesaver and nothing to be afraid of. If you use it when it's not really needed it really doesn't do any harm--it will just cause a racing pulse and make the kid feel hyper, but it's not dangerous. Practice with an epipen trainer so you feel VERY comfortable with it. Use the expired pen on a potato so you know how the real thing feels. It's important to become very comfortable and familiar with the epi pen so you won't hesitate to use it in an emergency.
You will do just great. Feeling nervous right now is good--it means you're highly motivated to keep your child safe and learn everything about PA. You'll be fine. Good luck!

Posted on: Thu, 02/20/2003 - 12:35am
cynde's picture
Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Jennifer, I just want to echo what Sandra said about the epi-pen. It is a life saver and you should not be afraid to use it. I would strongly suggest getting a trainer epi-pen so you and your family can practice, you will also want to train anyone who will be spending time with your child. I hope you never have to use it.
When/if you do use the epi-pen call 911. When our DS had his last anaphylactic reaction we had 3 ambulances and a fire truck. Anaphylaxis is a top priority call for a reason. The ambulance crew will have the equipment to deal with an emergency, they can monitor BP, put the siren and lights on to get to the ER fast, they can radio ahead and have the proper staff standing by prepared for your child, and arriving in an ambulance gets you taken more seriously when you get to the ER.

Posted on: Thu, 02/20/2003 - 5:22am
Kay B's picture
Joined: 12/30/2002 - 09:00

Please don't be scared of the epipen! I've had to use it on myself, and it was so painless I wasn't even sure it worked until I pulled it out and saw the needle was extended.
I've had to use the epipen twice on my (now 6 y.o) daughter. In both cases she was tremendously _grateful_ for the relief it gave her. There was one time I should have used the epipen on her and didn't -- she is still angry about it, for not believing her! (And she was right, she did need it, and ended up sick for weeks.)
One thing my allergist says is that if we ever think we *might* have to use the epipen but we're just not sure, take it with us to the ER and just hang out there with it.
Having been in anaphylactic shock myself, I'm an "Epipen Now, Fast and Early!" type myself!

Posted on: Thu, 02/20/2003 - 1:04pm
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

sandra: just wanted to say that i also dropped off this site before due to the anxiety it caused me. i don't think i was prepared for all the info i got. also, i was kind of in shock and felt guilty for the way i had been doing things for so long. i'm better prepared now for all the info. i actually feel better, like you said, now. no more anxiety. now the more i know, the safer i feel for my kids. joey

Posted on: Sun, 03/09/2003 - 12:07am
McMelon's picture
Joined: 09/21/2002 - 09:00

Hi Jennifer,
Welcome to the place that helps me cope with life with 2 pa kids. I am fairly new to pa myself. We found out in 9/02. This is overwhelming in so many aspects. I would say to stick to single ingrediant foods for your child. I have had to use the epi-pen 2x's on my dd. The second time she thanked me later. She said I can breathe better now mommy. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again. She hates it but she knows it makes her feel better. My brother was diabetic at 12yo. I remember the daily injections of insuline and finger pricks. Then I feel less sad for my kids. We are still sorking our way through this. This site has been my salvation. It is so helpful to talk to other people going through the same thing. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you on the boards agagin, Melody

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