Here is a new one...

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 1:47am
Gwen 5's picture
Joined: 01/24/2003 - 09:00

I brought my dd to 1st grade today and a hear another little girl say to her dad that this little boy in the class is the one allergic to PB.

I see the Mom and make my way over to ask her if her son is allergic, she says Yes and tells me all the things he is allergic to.

Peanuts, walnuts, shellfish.

She tells me all about his reactions in the past ( I had asked how she found out he was allergic).

I ask her if he has an Epi at school- my way of findinf out some info...

She says "NO!!!!" I say really, hmmmm she says
"This is why I love my allergist- he says we need to practice avoidance- people rely to heavily on the Epi so they don't really practice avoidance as they should"

OMG!!!!!! This poor woman! I was speechless- he also eats almonds, macadamias etc.

She assures me that they carry Benadryl!

I was really shocked and not sure if I should talk with her again...she was so sweet!

What would you do????

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 1:58am
PAMomInPA's picture
Joined: 04/04/2006 - 09:00

I would have explained that you also practice strict avoidance but the epi is carried in case of accidental exposure (which can happen no matter how careful you are). No amount of benadryl can replace the epi for certain reactions. Better to be safe than sorry.

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 2:26am
bethc's picture
Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

That's so hard. Obviously, her allergist has told her wrong, and it's not her fault that she doesn't know the best way to handle this. But if you start criticizing her, will she just get defensive? I haven't figured out a good way to tell people what I've learned the hard way, and I have run into people who don't have a clue how to be really safe with a LTFA. I think I need to come out and tell people that I used to think that, too, based on what doctors told me, but that I've learned that an Epi is really necessary to have available at all times because mistakes happen. I've read many stories of people who didn't think they were eating anything with their allergen in it, but it turned out they were, and some of them died, especially if they didn't get an Epi quickly. Boy, that's just such a hard thing to communicate to someone you don't really know. I remember going to the Dr. for one of my DD's anaphylactic reactions, which we didn't even recognize for what it was, and the nurse said, "You're allergic to peanuts? So you can't eat M&Ms." And I said, "Oh, she can eat the plain ones." I sounded so self-assured because I had no reason to believe otherwise. I think, though, that each time someone planted a doubt in my mind, it stayed. I would act like I knew what I was talking about and everything was fine. But little comments added up to wondering if there was more I should know. I think you could start to make a difference for her if you tell her the basics about the importance of Epis. Maybe you could find a journal article or a page from FAAN's website that says that Drs. underprescribe Epis and explains the standards for who needs to carry one. Something from a recognizable authority, since she's comparing her allergist's opinion to that of a parent of a child in her child's class.

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 2:37am
Lindajo's picture
Joined: 10/14/2003 - 09:00

I'm glad I don't go to her allergist!

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 2:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

How scarey. That's like saying "we don't use seat belts because we drive carefully -- people rely to heavily on the seat belt so they don't really practice safe driving skills".

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 3:10am
Sarahfran1's picture
Joined: 12/01/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
[b]How scarey. That's like saying "we don't use seat belts because we drive carefully -- people rely to heavily on the seat belt so they don't really practice safe driving skills".[/b]
Great analogy!
As my DH says--it's better to have something and not need it than need it and not have it. That's why we carry the epipens with us!

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 3:34am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

If it were me, I might just approach it with something along the lines of,
"You know, we feel so fortunate that we've never needed to [i]use[/i] XXXXX's Epipen. But I wouldn't be without that peace of mind. Forgive me if I'm being nosy, but why does your allergist think you won't ever need emergency medications? We're extremely careful, too, but we still have accidental exposures because of other people's ignorance sometimes. I would find it a little scary to be without any way of treating a serious reaction."
Or [i]something[/i] along those lines. That way you leave it open for her to communicate with you about what you mean by 'careful' and 'other people's ignorance.' (And I'd mention cross-contamination risks with food prep in other homes and restaurants in particular there-- even FRUIT isn't necessarily 'safe.')

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 3:44am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

Some people just won't EVER get it matter how much you *try* to teach them. There are children at our own school, allergic to pb and they are over sitting at the cold lunch table this year(amongst the pb!!!). I spoke with 2 moms(at the social) that don't even bring Epi's to school!!! neighbor won't get an Epi for her son, because his mouth *just* gets itchy!!! These parents are everywhere, seriously! I jokenly(to my neioghbor) said "well, if *so-and-so* ever stops breathing, you know we've got plenty of Epi's on hand"...she actually laughed [img][/img]
I think(JMHO) it comes down to these people have to *witness* a serious anaphylaxic reaction before they EVER *get it*. Plain and simple...very flippin sad, but simple.
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma)
Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, all seeds(sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut, green beans/all beans, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE)
Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 4:03am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

What I've said is "Well, we try and practice avoidance but we've been surprised by the way peanut shows up in unexpected places. Like that poor little girl who passed away in South Carolina - who would have thought that egg rolls can have peanut butter in them?"
Both times I've used this line, the other parent got very quiet - I hope that maybe I've planted a seed.

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 4:43am
Lori Jo's picture
Joined: 09/17/2003 - 09:00

That allergist very obviously has never lived day to day with PA. It is a shame that she got such bad info. I would vote for the off the cuff remark about the child and the eggroll. That would not sound so preachy. I'm not sure I could not say anything, if I were in your place.

Posted on: Wed, 08/29/2007 - 5:09am
joeybeth's picture
Joined: 09/01/2006 - 09:00

boy, chanda, are you right. sometimes there is just nothing you can say to open someone's eyes if their mind is already made up as to how they want to handle something. and, i guess it's their right. but...i do feel sorry for the child because although he may never, ever need the epipen, what's going to happen to him in the event that he DOES need it?? i feel more secure about my kid's safety because we have ours handy at all times (well...not at all times...we actually don't have our kids wear theirs. if they are at recess, for example, they are technically "away" from their epipens...just the way we do things, but certainly not the only way and not the safest way. just the way we balance things. if there is ever a chance that obvious food will be present (as in lunchroom, school parties, snacktime, etc), the epi is at least just a few steps down the hall.)
i also choose at this time, to have my kids NOT eat may contains and foods that are labeled in anyway that would alert us to the possibility of peanut risk. while they are little, i think this is necessary (for us). when they are adults, they can re-evaluate this, although i hope they will continue to do things the way we do now so they won't put themselves at risk. while they are children and in my care, they'll be doing things the way i see fit - which includes avoiding anything that i feel uncertain about (including bakery foods, desserts in most restaurants, etc.).
i am actually glad my kids don't have class with or go to school with other kids with peanut allergy because i would rather have them know no one else with PA than have them knowing friends who have it and have parents that chose to avoid the necessary issues. there's a very good chance the child in your child's class will never need epi and never have a(nother)? major reaction but there's also the slim chance he will. same for my kids and yours. that's why we'll continue to keep our epipens and benadryl and our safety measures in place. i wouldn't someone else's lax measures affecting the way people see my kids' needs while at school.
[This message has been edited by joeybeth (edited August 29, 2007).]


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