How Did PA Affect Your Day To-day?

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2000 - 3:22pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

In our day-to-day lives, PA may not seem to affect us at all. Then, there are other days where it has a great impact on us, for whatever reason. Aside from visiting this site, how did PA affect your day to-day?

I'm speaking for Thursday. Of course, I visited the site first thing this morning.
I had my Pillsbury plan I wanted to post, which I did. I then called Pillsbury Canada to check the safety of certain products that are currently available in our stores. I checked on One-Step Brownies and the slice and bake holiday cookies. They are both imported from the U.S. and not considered "safe". However, they are not re-labeled when brought into Canada. With this information, I was back in here, posting it wherever I thought was necessary so people would know.

I realized that Jesse has a Christmas Party at school next week and these are potentially something another parent would "make" for the party. I called and left a message for his teacher to call me. When she did, I told her what products were not "safe" and asked her if she wanted to allow them into the classroom or not. She definitely did not because she considers her classroom a "peanut free zone" which it is. Tonight, in Jesse's knapsack was a notice about the offending products. Kudos to Jesse's teacher! This woman is simply wonderful!

I had many e-mails to answer to other PA parents. Although our discussion now is not limited to PA or may not even include PA, our connection was originally made because of PA.
It was with great pleasure that I was able to contact each person I did to-day.

I sent a package to a PA parent in California with some "safe" candy from Trebor-Allan. I was sending her Jesse's school picture but decided to include the candy for her daughter too.

I had to fill out Jesse's choices for Winter Activities for the school to-day. Aside from the usual decision making involved with this, I also had to write down very clear instructions, because his three choices included leaving the school premises. I had to be clear that both Epi-pens were to go with him and that he have a designated seat on the bus that was cleaned just before he got on it. For me, filling out the form was not as "simple" as for other parents. It had to have very clear instructions re PA. Also, last year, the school decided at the last minute (the night before) that they could not guarantee his safety at his first, second or third choices and we had to opt for a totally different one. This year I'm hoping the choices will be considered "safe" by the school. Cross-country skiing is his 2nd choice and in the description for it, it says that there will be a snack served. So, of course, I had to write that if Jesse had to go with his 2nd choice, the school would have to ensure that all students attending the 2nd choice were provided with a "peanut free" snack.

And, I think, finally, Jesse had his picture taken to-day by the woman that is writing the article for our local newspaper re PA. I had had to speak with him before I could tell her whether it was okay for him to have his picture taken or not as he does not like unwanted attention drawn to him. I explained the possible consequences of having his picture in the paper, i.e., recognition because of his allergy, etc. and he was okay with it. I also explained to him that this article would help other people understand PA and maybe help other children with PA.

Most importantly I think, I was able to tell my just turned 5 year old son tonight that I was very proud of him and his decision to have his picture taken to-day. He seemed very proud himself and for that, I am thankful.

I am also thankful for this board for being able to share this PA-packed day, and especially that important moment, with whoever reads this post.

What about everyone else? This question isn't solely directed at positive aspects of PA affecting our day. I just happened to have a "good" day. Had it been the day before, well....

Just wondering, as always, and I'm sorry, I couldn't restrain myself for longer than a week before I asked another question! Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited December 15, 2000).]

Posted on: Thu, 12/14/2000 - 11:38pm
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This whole allergy thing has shaped my life in a way only you out there could understand. I call myself Head Cook because I spend my life in the kitchen cooking safe food with the phone hanging off my ear to some customer service person.. We have pn and soy allergy, and while pn is scarier, the soy allergy is much more difficult and it is a serious one (RAST 4+). And my other son is lactose intolerant. So yes, it has shaped my life, and after doing it for 9 years I am worn out and am anxious to turn some responsibility over to my sons. But not at the risk of something happening.
Yes this allergy stuff is more life altering than anyone, but people doing it, could imagine.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 12:05am
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I live my life a lot more carefully now that I know I have PA. It's something that I think about every day, because it's necessary for survival. It's a pain in the butt a lot of times, but when I hear of the problems that some people have in this world (cancer, paralysis, accidents, whatever) I feel extremely lucky to be a healthy person. The allergy also affects my family, particularly my husband-to-be as he can only eat peanut prducts when I am away on extended trips (and he LOVES peanuts!). It also dictates where we go to eat when we go out to dinner. I almost hate trying new restaurants out of fear, but I refuse to live my life scared. I try to look at the bright side, which is I love to eat, and I would probably be fifty pounds heavier if I could just eat whatever I wanted!

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 12:48am
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It didn't. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 1:11am
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Cindy, I am replying to this topic because, today I was in school with Bobby to help him decorate gingerbread cookies.
It started off last week when the teacher changed the recipe so Bobby could enjoy & have these cookies.(which I thought it was very nice)
Then they called me with the decorations they would be using (M&M's). I then bought pez for the cookies(which are safe).
So it brings us to today-I went to class &
they moved his desk away from the other children so he wouldn't have any contact with the M&M's. All the children took a bite from the cookie & I started to cry because, I felt so bad he was seperated from the other children but, he was fine with it.(he completely understood).
One of his classmates asked, "Bobby why are you sitting way over there." Bobby replied,"I am allergic to peanuts, you know that." He didn't even care, he was being very silly about his reply.
Why do I get myself so upset? I guess because, I am his mother & I don't want him to feel different. I felt so bad the whole way home from his school-It didn't even effect him.
Just wanted to share this with you. Thanks for that question today because, I needed to let this out today.
Take Care.
Ronna

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 4:23am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Okay, I think part of what might bother people about my participation in discussions is that when I raise a thread-starter question, I will often come back in, like I am now and raise more questions for the people that posted a reply. Perhaps people simply want to post their reply and then be left alone. Having said that, I wanted to ask a few questions as I found all of the posts quite thought provoking.
Head Cook, I completely empathize with you.
What I was wondering, when you contact manufacturers on what seems like a really regular basis, do you write any of the information down for future reference or do you feel the need to re-check with the manufacturer again and again? Do you ever post your information here under Manufacturers? Do you find the Manufacturers section and the posts within reduce any of the "phone work" you have to do?
When I feel the need to call a manufacturer, which is not often, when I get the answer from them I will come in and post the information here. I am hoping that it will save someone else from having to make the same call I just made. But then I have pointed out in another thread that perhaps if we all called the same company and received 10 different customer service representatives we would all receive 10 different answers to the same question. I guess my wondering is two-fold, do the posts under Manufacturers make any difference to anyone in lessening their need to call the same manufacturer or do we each feel we have to get our own answers?
Yankee, are you recently diagnosed with PA?
It sounded as if it was something you had not grown up with.
MKRuby, if I had answered this question to-day, I would have answered the same as you did. However, I am wondering if this would be your answer every day. Do you have PA so under control and the situations at your children's schools and with manufacturers and everything so well controlled (and I'm not clear that's the word I'm really searching for) that PA is not a concern for you on a day-to-day basis and your answer would remain the same each day. Do you know what I'm trying to ask? Again, my answer, if speaking about to-day, would be the same as yours.
Caring Mom, if it makes you feel any better that you were crying about Bobby, so was I and he's not my child! It's obvious that Bobby is not in a "peanut free" classroom right? Is there any way that you could have nixed the bringing in of the M & M's (hindsight is a wonderful thing)? I'm trying to think of a good substitute, but even on Jesse's Ziploc bags for school, there is a picture of a cookie with M & M's on them.
There's no mistaking them, they are plumper than Canadian Smarties.
As you mentioned, it is you that was bothered by what happened to-day and not Bobby. I've found this out with Jesse too. So often, our children understand and deal with PA situations better than we do. That being said, however, I am NOT negating your right to cry and you not wanting Bobby to feel any differently than the other children. That's exactly where I come from with this. I, for whatever reason, felt really left out as a child and had very low self esteem. My husband was the same. So, it was our aim to ensure that our child did not feel this way in life. What do we get? PA. How can your child not feel differently than other children when they can't even eat the same things as other children. Okay, I also realize that that are far more serious things than PA, but I would like to remind everyone that we are on a PA site.
I'm sorry, I found your post really heart breaking so I'm not going to be much help to you at all. My only consolation for you would be that at least Bobby was okay with it. And while my heart often breaks for Jesse, he is usually okay with whatever the situation is too. It's our hearts that break and our children are okay.
The next possible time for children making cookies and decorating them, when could it be for Bobby? Valentine's Day is the next one that hits us, party wise at school. What I would like to suggest is that you sign Bobby up in the Canadian Smarties thread and get some Smarties that you can safely substitute for M & M's should they be chosen as the decoration again. I know that M & M's look great on the package on the Ziploc bag and I'm sure they are a great decoration. But, aside from not being as plump, I think Canadian Smarties would look just as great.
In fact, that's what I'm planning to use in my oatmeal chocolate chip muffins next week for Jesse's Christmas party rather than chocolate chips. We can get "safe" green and red coloured Christmas ones.
I'm really glad that you felt comfortable enough to come into this thread and post what happened to-day. I know exactly how you're feeling. Actually, Caring Mom, my heart is really feeling what you're going through right now and you'll have me in tears again!
I don't think anyone can find fault with us for feeling the way we do, especially given the fact that our children aren't "poor me, I can't have that". Our children are aware and do understand and do feel okay. It's just that we, as their parents, feel badly. And I don't think we can have those feelings negated. If our children felt the same as we did, then perhaps some would suggest we had a problem.
At any rate, I am sorry this post was terribly long again and I'm going to have people up in arms and angry all over again.
I can't help it. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 4:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Many days, it doesn't seem to affect it at all (mostly because we plan ahead and are so used to it). But on others, it really raises the tension level, especially when plans have to change abruptly. Example - the day before yesterday I spent the day at the hospital with my mom (long story - she's fine, but the sandwich generation thing is difficult!), and my PA son had to go to a friend's house after school. I hadn't planned on this, so I didn't send a safe snack. I was a wreck, trying to find a working phone to reach this mom to discuss food. (Like I wasn't already stressed enough!) I know that this could all be a lot worse, but it's the little stuff like this that eats away at you over time.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 4:40am
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With the holidays approaching, PA seems to be more of an issue right now. I was up at my son's school by 7:15 this morning to talk to the teacher about an activity they were going to do. They are making some holiday food next week and I found out by accident that they were planning to use mixed nuts in one of the recipes. Yesterday they made candy (noone checked with me)and of course it was using chocolate that my son cannot have. They also made a birthday cake this week for the teacher and used almond oil in the recipe! I am at the school all the time (I substitute teach almost daily)and they still didn't think to check with me. I have on many occasions asked for them to let me know ahead of time and I will be happy to purchase any ingredients that they need. When I bring it to their attention, they are willing to change plans but it has really been a challenge this year trying to get them to think of it up front. I think I need to get some literature to them to reinforce the severity of the situation.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 5:03am
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Anonymous (not verified)

PattyR, WHAT????? Is the school aware of your son's PA? He obviously does not have a "peanut free" classroom, right? Okay, this one I really don't get. Are there no guidelines in place, at all, to ensure your son's safety while he is at school? What grade is he in?
You just mentioned three or four or maybe even five incidents over the past couple of weeks that involved some kind of peanut or nut product. I cannot believe it. Is it because my son has a "peanut free" classroom that I don't understand the total lack of concern that other PA parents are faced with on a daily basis when sending their child to school?
I know a couple of months ago, I posted under schools about some literature to present at a Parents' Night. If you could find that thread, not because it's mine, but it had some REALLY good links in it for user-friendly information. When I deal with the school, I always give them literature from [url="http://www.oma.org"]www.oma.org[/url] (there's one on PA and one on Anaphylaxis). It's not as non-PA parent friendly as other literature, but it really gets the point across well and seems more "formal" shall we say, to be given to people at the school.
I'm sorry, I'm still trying to figure out why, especially given the fact that you're there almost all the time anyway, that you would not be given a list to pre-approve before anything was done in your child's class. Are they simply willing to have a reaction happen and then deal with it? Somehow I just thought that even if there was no school board policy in place, your child still had the right to be safe in their class and if the school and teacher is aware of his PA, they would be aware enough to check these things out with the parent of the child. Wow, do I need my eyes opened!
Amy Frankel, I totally agree with you. We probably go through most days not really dealing with PA because we have our environment controlled or our days planned out. It's the unexpected little things along the way and I truly believe these little things add up and add up and if we don't deal with them somehow (even if it means coming to this board to vent), our heads will eventually explode and we will be of no use to ourselves or our PA and other children!
I am very interested in receiving the parental stress survey one person posting here was sending me (and anyone else that asked for it). It should be here any day now and I am anxious to see their results when the survey is completed.
Last night, when going over the Winter Activities list with my husband, who is going to participate with my son, he thought that maybe I had worded the instructions that were specific to Jesse participating because he is PA a bit too strongly. When you and your partner even have a slight disagreement re how PA should be handled, automatic stress increase. I just looked at him and told him very clearly that the school had to be given these instructions to ensure Jesse's safety and that I actually found my instructions weren't as severe as they could have been.
I was simply clear and straightforward. I posted in my thread-starter what I had to put down on the Winter Activity Form. I know exactly where my husband was coming from, he doesn't like to ruffle any feathers at any cost, but when reminded that the cost could be his son's life in this particular instance, he let it go. But a moment of PA related stress between us there last night, definitely.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 5:24am
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Cindy-
I now know that I was PA all my life, but I had no real way of knowing since I always despised the mere smell of peanuts. However, I can now trace frequent stomachaches, indigestion, hives and vomiting to times I ate cross-contaminated foods (i.e plain m&m's, chinese food). As I got older the symptoms of my allergy got progressively worse, and now it's to the point where I go into anaphylactic shock.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 6:47am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Yankee, thank-you for your answer. It's funny, but I've hated pb since I was a child and I end up with a PA child!
The M & M's, wow! To-day! Jesse was talking about school and he said that one of the kids had plain M & M's in the class yesterday and was allowed to keep them in the "peanut free" classroom. Apparently the packaging was sent in with them. I have NEVER even checked the labeling on a package of plain M & M's because I simply assumed that they would be labeled and have a high risk of cross-contamination.
Now, I have to bloody check to see if plain M & M's, in Canada are labeled "may contain".
If they are, this opens up a whole other can of words at Jesse's school. "May contain" should not be allowed in a "peanut free" classroom and obviously if one parent thinks that "may contain" is okay to send in, then how many others will. So, as I said, I do have to check an actual package myself and see how they are labeled. If it is simply a cross-contamination issue that I have as a PA parent, it is quite different than a high risk of cross-contamination to the point of properly labeling and it being brought into the classroom may or may be of concern to me after I personally go out and check a label (and with two screaming beejeebees in tow with me, just grand!). I don't want another "issue" at the school. I'm not even going to go there until I can confirm if the bloody things are labeled or not. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 7:20am
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There are quite a few PA kids in my children's school and I am the most proactive Mom of all. I do not request a peanut free classroom for my child but do request that they not use nuts as part of school projects. They have respected that although obviously they have to be reminded at times. This is my son's second year at this school and it is just recently that a couple of problems have popped up. His teachers last year were wonderful. As we all know, this allergy involves constant education on our part and I will rise to the occasion. My son has never had a reaction at school. Since you have coined the phrase at this website, this is my comfort level and I am sure that you will respect that.

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 7:38am
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Anonymous (not verified)

PattyR., I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm very fortunate that my son's school board does have a policy re PA in place that ensures he have a "peanut free" classroom. Because of this, I feel I have the right to request that the school follow it's own school board policy guidelines. Now, if there was no policy in place, I'm not sure where I would stand on this, "comfort zone" wise.
I was simply surprised that so many activities would involve peanut/nut products in a class with a PA child. But, it looks as though you know how to deal with the school quite effectively and certainly don't need my two cents worth when I'm not in the same situation. I didn't mean to suggest that you did. I was simply voicing my surprise and concern at the activities and recognized that your son did not have a "peanut free" classroom. I did not question whether you had requested one or not or why or why not you would or wouldn't request one.
I completely recognize that each of us has our own "comfort zones". Actually, out of anyone posting on this board, I think you'll find that I NEVER question another parent's "comfort zone" and I certainly did not want to appear to be doing so in my post above. Again, I was simply voicing concern and surprise and probably shouldn't have since I am not in the same situation with my son's school. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 9:39am
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The last time I had to worry about PA was Thursday Nov. 30th when we went to a catered event and I noticed peanut butter frosting on a cake. So, when I answered "I didn't", I honestly meant it. Before that, I'd have to say at the start of school...can't remember. I don't have pb in the house, so no worry there and the rest, I leave up to my kids. They have been taught to be cautious and take responsibility for it, so, well, I trust them. Now, Cindy, when the kids were your kids' ages, I did worry about it on a daily basis, almost daily and I used that time period for their training in the real world. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 12/15/2000 - 1:21pm
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Well, since I don't get to these boards until nighttime I'll answer for Friday.
This morning I had a phone conversation with my mom about pecans. She had some that someone had picked in their yard, so she was sure there was no cross-contamination risk. She wanted to make Logan some cookies using them. I had to remind her that Logan is also allergic to pistacios, so we avoid all tree nuts. Also, because most nuts are such high cross-contamination risks it's easier to just avoid nuts in general rather than try to sort out which ones he's not allergic to and which ones aren't contaminated. That would be just too confusing for him and everyone else.
Today at lunch my daughter and I were eating at a local sandwich shop. About half way through our meal my throat and roof of my mouth started to itch and my lips were tingly. I looked around and sure enough the child sitting at the next table had pulled out a peanutbutter cookie - ugh. We moved to the other side of the restaurant and finished our dinner.
I picked my son up from preschool and, since this was the last day before the holidays, his box was loaded with goody bags from the other children. There were Reeses PB cups in 2 of the bags. I just threw the whole bags away.
Then tonight when my daughter was using the potty, I saw hives all over her legs. I wracked my brain trying to remember anything she might have eaten but then realized the hives were from the spandex in her tights and not from peanuts.
Oh, also I spent an hour at Wal-Mart reading labels on the candy trying to find something that was corn free and also did not have the peanut warning - I was unsuccessful.
Rebekah

Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 6:05am
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Today is not going so well for me today. I had nightmares about PA all last night. Then when I checked my breastfeeding support newsgroup, there was a mom trashing me for my response to a thread about peanuts and nuts. Basically, she had commented that peanut and nut allergies were unrelated to each other. The thread had started when one mom said that she wanted to introduce cashew butter to her 6 month old baby. A number of moms, including me, warned her that peanuts and nuts (and a number of other foods) were a potential allergin for many babies.
When I wrote in and said that even though PA and nut allergies were unrelated that it was important to be aware that PA persons are often allergic to tree nuts too and that cross-contamination is a problem, she just totally laid into me for being a fanatic. She said that none of the people she knew with PA were allergic to other nuts.
I stopped myself from replying to her snooty post. It doesn't do any good to talk to people who have decided that they know everything. I thought that she totally oversimplified peanut and tree nut allergies. I wrote that my goal was to help increase awareness to other mothers about waiting a few years before introducing peanuts and tree nuts. She told me to stop short of being a fanatic.
I cannot express the rage and pain and sadness I feel right now. Thanks for listening.
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 8:45am
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Amy..you're right and she's wrong and you did the right thing by not stooping to her level. You can give her my e-mail, as I have four out of five here allergic to peanut and some tree nuts [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Then she can know someone..lol Also...they say you shouldn't introduce any nut or peanut to a child until the child is around 4 years of age, because the proteins in the nuts and peanuts are too complex for their systems, which is potentially dangerous for children who already have a disposition to allergies. I wish I had known this myself before I gave my son pb on bread at the age of 9 1/2 months and saw him go into anaphylactic shock. Some people you just can't teach and well, it's their loss and/or their child's, and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it...just know you tried.
Man, am I blunt, huh? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 10:34am
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Amy, I know it's easier said than done, but please try not to let that lady's post bother you. You were trying to do the right thing and hopefully the original poster will take your advice. That's all you can do. People will only learn what they want to.
Back to the original question . . . I haven't really thought about my son's peanut allergy all week. We were snowed in the beginning of the week which meant no school and Thurs my son was sick which meant no school again. Yesterday my youngest son had to have tubes put in his ears, so I was with him at the hospital for the morning and we didn't go anywhere else the rest of the day.
Today my day started with a phone call from my MIL who wanted to tell me about this new experimental shot for peanut allergy sufferers. As she was reading the article to me, I could pretty much finish her sentences. She was telling me all the statistics for peanut allergy and how severe it really is for some people. I don't know if she really thought I didn't know all of this already??? We've been dealing with this for 2 years now and I guess it takes some stranger to give her an article to make her realize the seriousness of this. Go figure.
Then tonight we're expecting another snow storm, so my husband wanted to order chinese food and eat it at home. We decided it shouldn't be a risk to our son (since we wouldn't give him any) and just ordered chicken fried rice. We used to eat chinese food all the time before my son was diagnosed. Now it's just an at-home treat for us every few months or so. That was my day. . . now I'm just cleaning the bathrooms on a Saturday night! I need a life! Deanna

Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 12:37pm
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Cindy,
Thank-you for such a wonderful response. Let me ask you a question, I just received a form labelled Determination of 504 Eligibility/Accmodation Plan,(from the nurse & principal). It states that Bobby's classroom has to be TN/PN free & no one is allowed to use his classroom for after school activities(re:Girlscouts,boyscouts,etc.).
Did you ever hear of this or have something like this in Canada? My cousin whos child is PA told me about this last year & said I should request one when Bobby goes to school, well in any event the school approached me on this & I was very pleased to see that they are really up on the allergies. Their is a total of ten children in Bobby's school with PN/TN allergies.
I thought about the incident last night driving home from work & thought this may have been my fault. I should have said no M&M's. They would of agreed with me because, when Bobby started school they came to me with a snack list that the children had to buy from school (with all the ingredients of every item)& everything was peanut & nut free. I couldn't beleive this I was so excited that the school was doing this for him.
Also, what are Canadian smarties? I keep seeing the post & I wasn't sure so I did not reply.
I went on & on long enough but, thank-you.
Ronna

Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 1:22pm
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We went to a cattered event at church last night. Ricky asked everyone in the kitchen
if anthing might have peanuts and grilled the people in the kitchen if it was safe for him to eat. I'm glad he does that now instead of us. He made it pretty good thru the meal, but when they served the german chocalate cake they told him it was ok, he asked what was on the top of his and they told him it was ok,it was just heath bars. He did'nt eat it. When my wife and I went to the store we read the ingredients it had the may contain peanuts on it. I am sure glad he chose not to eat it.

Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 5:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Caring Mom, I hope an American person can answer your post "properly" re the 504. As a Canadian, I'm really not clear what it is.
However, if Bobby is allowed protection at the school, I would advise that you take it.
This is simply my opinion though and you may find others, even on this board that would disagree with me. This will ensure Bobby a "peanut free and tree nut free" classroom.
Also, by not letting other groups in after school, it ensures that his classroom does not get any peanut or tree nut residue in it after it has been cleaned by the custodial staff. I would definitely say to go with this one. Now, I may get blasted for this opinion and I'm quite open to that!
I was very fortunate that Jesse's school board does have a policy re PA in place. Had they not, I don't know what I would do and that's why I find it so difficult when I deal with another PA parent whose child is not ensured their safety at school. It's something that I cannot fathom. I can screech and scream about it and question, but I can't fathom it. My son did have a policy in place re PA with his school board, so I simply chose it to ensure Jesse's safety while he is in the classroom. It has made me feel 100% better about him going to school, although I certainly do not have a false sense of security.
Now, the M & M's, this one has me going now anyway. I just found out that another child in Jesse's "peanut free" classroom was allowed to bring in and eat plain M & M's on Thursday. Jesse told me about this and apparently the Mother had shown his teacher the label and everything and the M & M's were okayed for consumption. Well, I did check, through this board, and plain M & M's do have the "may contain" warning on them in Canada.
So, in fact, they should not be allowed in his "peanut free" classroom.
I think the most troubling thing about this though is that because the child's Mother had confirmed with the teacher that it was okay for her child to eat plain M & M's in a "peanut free" classroom, Jesse thought that M & M's were "safe" for him. He knows that he is not supposed to share anyone else's foods.
But, this started a questioning for him, whereby if so and so can eat this in my "peanut free" classroom, why can't I?
He understands why he can't eat peanut products. He knows that he is not allowed to eat anyone else's food. He knows that he is not allowed to eat foods that say "may contain". But, my soul, this little guy just turned 5 last week. If it's mind boggling to many of us half the time, how do you think it flows through their brains. By allowing the plain M & M's in, it was basically telling Jesse that they were "safe" whether he consumed any or not.
I have to deal with this right away too because his Christmas party is coming up this Thursday. It's bad enough that I already had to call the teacher re the Christmas party and the imported from the U.S. Pillsbury products. She was wonderful, the notice was in Jesse's knapsack Thursday night not to send any of those products to the party.
Now, I have another "issue" for her. I find this the most frustrating of all because you really do not want to enanger other people, other non-PA parents, the school, etc. And yet, I am going to have to tell her that plain M & M's are NOT okay in a "peanut free" classroom. I'm then going to have to determine how the other Mother considered them to be "safe". If it means that she thinks "may contain" products are okay, then how many other non-PA parents do? This will require, of course, some literature about "may contain" products. I already know what source I'm going to use so that is fine, but to me, it's simply another frustrating stressful thing to deal with and they seem to be popping up at the school all over this year.
At any rate, I have waffled on enough. You have to decide for yourself and Bobby if you want him in a "peanut free and tree nut free" classroom. I do know that there are other PA parents that chose for their children NOT to have the classroom "peanut free and tree nut free". However, for me, since I do have the policy in place for Jesse, I used it to ensure his safety and to lessen my stress level while he is at school. If you have been offered what I consider the same protection for Bobby, I would take it. And, I'm quite willing to get bonked on the head for my opinion by anyone on the board.
People have worked very long and very hard to get certain things put into law or different things enacted so that people are "safer".
Why not take advantage of something that was probably worked on very hard to achieve and will help ensure your child's safety. It's up to you, as his parent, not to acquire a false sense of security about his situation at school and it's also up to you to explain to Bobby that this doesn't mean that he's totally "safe" at school. But these are things that you can deal with with your son.
But, again, I'd say if you have protection in place for your child, take it. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sat, 12/16/2000 - 5:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Canadian Smarties - very much like plain M & M's, but not as plump and not as brightly coloured, I would say. Also, Jesse's teacher is from Kentucky and she told me that she misses her M & M's because Smarties aren't as sweet. I suppose there is the possibility for confusing the two, but I would say not.
Smarties are flatter and their colour is not anywhere near the same as M & M's brightness wise. Perhaps you could actually post that question in the Smarties thread and see if any of the people that have received the Smarties find them something to be confused with plain M & M's. I really don't think they would be.
I also think you could probably show some plain M & M's to Bobby and then show him the Smarties when you got them and he would clearly know the difference also. It's amazing what our children can grasp that we sometimes can't, and especially with regard to their PA. Just as you said that he was not bothered by what happened at the school the other day, it was you, I really maintain that a lot of times are children "get it" better than we do and deal with it much more in their stride. I'd sign Bobby up for the Smarties, but again, you may want to see if they are confusing with plain M & M's. I would say no, but I've never actually purchased plain M & M's. We always had Smarties so to me it was "why bother?". Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 12/17/2000 - 12:36pm
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PA definitely affected my day yesterday. My company had a children's holiday party yesterday. I asked one of the coordinators in advance if any of the food being served had any peanut product in it including peanut oil. She called the caterer and assured me that no nut product or nut oil was being used. The caterer mentioned a child once had a severe reaction to almond oil so now they don't use any nut product. I told the coordinator that I was talking about peanut products specifically and that peanuts were not actually a nut. She reassured me that there were NO NUT products. She obviously wasn't understanding that I wanted to know about PEANUTS. She seemed annoyed with me too that I was questioning her answer.
So we got to the party yesterday. The first thing I noticed that there was a long table with hot servers on it. Shelled walnuts and almonds were being used as decorations and were all over the table. My husband then went to find the caterer who told us to stay away from the pizza because there was chicken on some of the pizzas and the chicken was cooked in some sort of thai sauce.
For dessert they had the kids decorate their own gingerbread man. They had butterscotch chocolate chips and plain M&M's. Of course, the caterer didn't think to mention these products to us. Needless to day, we were very careful with what we fed my son. I was a bit of a wreck when I really should have been enjoying the party. I was very annoyed that I asked questions in advance and tried to be prepared for this party. I was told twice that all the food was safe, only to find out that there were both peanut and nut products.
I plan to talk to the party coordinator tomorrow and tell her I was disappointed. I really want her to understand how serious this issue is and that she really need to be more certain next time. If not for my son, for someone else.

Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2000 - 10:34pm
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Cindy,
I had to tell you this story because, their is good people in this world. Yesterday (Monday)-Bobby was home sick & I received a phone call at 8:00am from one of the moms that were at school with me Friday. (Her 2 year old is PA & her 5 year old is a diabetic.) She proceeded to tell me she baked cupcakes for Bobby that were peanut free because, she was so upset that he sat by himself on Friday while they decorated the cookies. I was so touched that this women did this for my son.
Also, she asked why did I allow the M&M's in the class? I explained to her that it was my fault-she explained that 504 form in depth to me & said that his class is technically peanut free & that they probably did not know that M&M's have a "may contain" label & I should educate them on this.
I feel 100% better now with the situation at school & I know my sons rights.
Thanks again.
Stay Safe
Ronna
Thought this would be a positive about my day with PA.

Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2000 - 11:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Excellent "positive" to share with us to-day, Caring Mom. The other woman sounds wonderful! See, I wasn't the only one who felt sad about Bobby besides you! I think this is wonderful and I also think it's really great that you shared it with us because we need to hear the "good" stories too as well as the bad. I know I started the thread off on a fairly positive note, but it wasn't my intention that it be either positive or negative - simply how did PA affect your day that day, but it sure is great to see some positive stuff coming into it.
I am so happy for Bobby and for you too that you have found this other caring, concerned woman, who is also dealing with PA.
The M & M's still interests me. Of the stores I checked yesterday, the plain M & M's were labeled "made in a facility that has peanuts". I didn't see any that said "may contain". So, now I have to find out who makes the bloody things to begin with and call them and see what they mean by that particular labeling. Then, I'll know whether or not I should speak with Jesse's teacher about HER allowing them into his "peanut free" classroom or not. Someone else also gave me a really good thread to check out here on the percentages of food, when tested, that is labeled a certain way that actually does contain peanut products. So I have to check that out too.
Also, I'm really pleased that someone was able to help you with the 504 because I am still unclear about what it is.
Thanks for an upbeat message for the day, Caring Mom and I hope Bobby enjoyed his cupcakes! Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2000 - 6:01am
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Cindy,
I know M&M Mars Company makes the M&M's here in Hackettstown, NJ-which is only 5 minutes from my house. I wonder if they import them to Canada? I can do some research for you & get back to you on that.
Ronna

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2000 - 6:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Caring Mom, yes, I called the New Jersey phone number this morning but only to ask them for a Canadian phone number! I did find out the information that I needed re M & M's plain, they're not "safe", just as I thought.
If they were "safe" we wouldn't have a Smarties sending thing going on! I posted the information I received from customer services at Mars Confectionery in threads under Manufacturers, the "may contain" and "made in a facility" thread under Main Discussion and the Canadians thread under Main Discussion.
So, the packages I checked yesterday were labeled "manufactured in a facility where there are peanuts". To-day, I check packages in a different store, and they say "may contain trace peanuts". However, yesterday, I had checked a blue packaged M & M's and the tube one and to-day I checked a brown package.
I did speak with Jesse's teacher after school tonight and she said that if the other child did have M & M's in the classroom she was unaware of it (and this woman is aware of everything that goes on around my son!) and when I told her what child it was supposed to be that had them, she said that he was probably teasing Jesse. I'm not even going to think about that now, okay? Otherwise, I can already start to feel myself getting upset and no time for that right now, and besides, I'm in a good mood!
I will think about that later and probably post more about that later, but just not right now. At any rate, the M & M's were not eaten or opened in the classroom, so, once again, no big deal.
Caring Mom, what a drag to live so close to a candy manufacturer and yet you probably can't ingest ANY of their products! It would be great to live close to say Rowntree (Smarties, KitKat - Canadian, Aero, Coffee Crisp). Well, actually, not for people that can consume four chocolate bars at a time like I can, but.....
Thanks so much for offering to help with this one. I really appreciate it. Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2000 - 7:59am
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Cindy,
I emailed you probably when you were replying on the M&M's topic in this thread. At any rate I learned more about M&M's today when I did some research.
Take Care, talk to you soon.
Ronna

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2000 - 12:45pm
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

What did you learn?
------------------
Stay Safe,
[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2000 - 12:21am
Caring Mom's picture
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I posted the M&M Mars Co. under Safe & unsafe food.

Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2000 - 12:58am
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Caringmom, Thank God you were there for your son when he was moved away fromt the rest of the class. I think at the small ages Christopher would have been so upset because of this whole thing. We never had this happen,but if my son had come home and told me this story I would have cried because I wasn't right there to get him through it. There are other options besides M&Ms. I don't expect anyone to bow down before me or to roll out the red carpet,but they could have used somethingelse. As Christopher always tell me"mom you worry to much I am fine". I forget he knows no other way of life than to avoid things. Whereas I have not. I am glad your son is o.k. and understood why he had to move. It is amazing how well they care for themselves so young. take care claire

Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2000 - 2:32am
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Today I attended my PA child's Holiday party at school. I am room mother and I baked cookies. Two other moms also made cookies that did not contain nuts or peanuts. My son only ate our cookies. Also, a parent sent in american smarties and small boxes of the mini-m & m s. I felt ok about the others having them, but my son only took smarties. The children could pick 2 things to eat. Some did choose the m & m s. this is a peanut/nut free classroom and the teachers have bent over backwards. Daily snack is a community snack off a small approved list of specific crackers and pretzels that I made up. Even with these safe snacks, my child is only allowed to eat what he brings in his backpack each day. "May contain " foods are not allowed, either. I guess I goofed saying the m & m s were o.k., but I really felt that a one time treat for the others that my son would not eat was fine. I do feel plain m & m s are a cross-contamination risk for my son. Our allergist, who is wonderful with food allergies, said that our son would be fine sitting next to plain m & m s, but should not eat them due to the possibility of cross-contamination.
I guess I am writing in order to gather my own thoughts. I think of us as having a lot of knowledge, we call companies regularly, do not have peanuts/ nuts in the home, and have a daily care plan for my child at school that only allows him to eat what he brings in to school. My child was fine with not having the m & m s and he did not have to separate from the group simply because they were there. I definately would not have been o.k. with peanut m & m s or any other outright peanut candy or product.
Any thoughts??
carrie

Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2000 - 10:52am
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Carrie-I feel the same way as you. My 10 year old son's holiday party is tomorrow, and I called the 3 parents who are sending treats to see what they are bringing. My son does not have a peanut-free room per se, but his teacher is really good about keeping peanut products out of the room. One of the moms was going to send Pillsbury sugar cookies (Pillisbury being a bad company for cross-contamination) and another one was making cookies with M&M's.One had already bought Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes which are not safe. I am not comfortable going through the whole cross-contamination issue with nonPA parents--(do you ever feel like you're going off the deep end trying to explain some of this stuff?) so I am sending my own treats in plus coaching my son to either politely refuse or bring them home and we will dispose of them here. Now if a parent wanted to bring PB cookies or peanut butter cups etc. then I would ask them to reconsider. I always tell them, I have no problem sending a safe snack for my son, the problem is when the rest of the 24 kids have peanuts smeared on their hands and faces and desks. So far everyone has been very cooperative and we have had no problems. I do feel bad when my son doesnt get to eat what everyone else is having, but I think it bothers me a lot more than it does him.

Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 12:57am
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Since I originally started the debate about M&M's I thought I should add my two cents here. A few years back when I contacted Mars Candy, the lady told me that sometimes if they had leftover chocolate from the peanut m&m's that they would use it for the plain m&m's. The leftover chocolate contains crushed up peanut in the chocolate, from what I was told on the phone. Of course, this was before the companies started to be concerned with peanut and nut allergies.
Now..with that said, my kids will never eat m& m's whether they have changed their practices or not, because I just plain don't trust that particular product. I look at it as Russian Roulet.
Now, I do have to say that I allow my kids to be around them, as they are candy coated and I don't feel it is a risk for my kids (of course, I let my kids sit next to other children eating pb anyway). I don't worry about them handling them either, as I know they will not eat them and I know they are too afraid of what could occur to put themselves at risk.

Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 1:20am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Carrie, I think your questioning yourself about whether you should have allowed the M & M's in is okay. I just learned this morning that some of those Lunchables lunches have M & M's as the treat part. I never look at those things anyway so I'm not clear.
I believe it really has to do with you, your child and your child's school. I could very well understand your part about what was wrong with the other children having a treat when your son was not adversely affected by it?
My only problem with allowing M & M's into my son's "peanut free" classroom is would it simply be M & M's or would there be something else that someone tried to bring in that is essentially against the rules of the "peanut free" classroom. I was also concerned last week because Jesse felt that because M & M's (plain) were allowed in his "peanut free" classroom this must mean that they are "safe". This involved a discussion between him and I whereby I explained again that he cannot eat other people's food at school, no sharing, and that even if something comes into the classroom that does not mean that it is implicitly "safe". I explained to him that I do not consider M & M's safe and that he will never be eating them.
Now, this was easily solved by my talking very clearly to my son. However, again, my original problem would be that it may send a mixed message to the non-PA parents whereby they would start sending these things in on a more regular basis. But again, your decision really is based on you, your son, and your son's school.
I'm actually sad to say that I don't have the same level of comfort that MKRuby does. I would be completely wigged out, at this point, if Jesse were to sit beside another child eating pb. I'm not clear if that will ever change, for me.
To-day, I had to check all of the Christmas party food that was sent in for their Christmas party to-day. It went really well.
There has only been one time that I had to request that some chocolates be removed from the "treat" table and sent home with the other children separately. There have never been any blatant peanut products brought into the classroom. It is only from being on this site, that I even considered the "what ifs" about cookies that had been homemade (i.e., what if the cookie sheet had previously had peanut butter cookies on it?). Other than that, I am usually not terribly nervous about home baked goods. I must say that the non-PA parents seem to deal with PA in their child's classroom really well. And, my son's teacher is absolutely wonderful. Even though she wants me to come in and check the food, she is also quite comfortable checking the food herself. We talked about this this morning.
When she had her first Hallowe'en party last year with Jesse in the class, she was terrified. Now, she really feels she has a handle on it. I have little glitches in my stomach right now since there is food in his class to-day, but obviously not enough to keep me off the computer (and tying up my phone).
I can't really say how I would have responded about the M & M's because I haven't been placed in that position yet. I'd like to say that I would have allowed them in the classroom too and hope that this wouldn't have distressed Jesse. I'm not clear though.
Again, for me, it's an issue about whether you should allow any unsafe products into a "peanut free" classroom at any time. Jesse's teacher and I discussed this last week also when I had to call her re the Pillsbury products imported from the States. I asked her how she would like to handle it. I told her it would be okay if people did bring those treats in (slice and bake cookies, and One-Step brownies), just that Jesse could not have any. It was HER that was adamant that her classroom was "peanut free" and she did not want the products in her classroom. She sent a notice home that afternoon in their knapsacks.
Also, there are the legalities involved. If you okay a food to be in your child's "peanut free" classroom when you know it is not "safe" and your child does have a reaction, the school, obviously, would not be held accountable for this. You would be. I think I'd also factor this into MY decision about whether I'd allow the product or not.
I've waffled on far too long here. I actually think you made the nicer decision.
The other children were able to have a treat and your son was not affected. However, with Caring Mom's Bobby the other day, it didn't work out as nicely and that would be where the debate really is. Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 5:49am
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How has PA affected my day today? My PA son will be 2 next month. With the holidays approaching, I've had to deal with his new found love...cookies. Fortunatly, I keep a stock of Oreos on hand (they're still safe, right?) At work today, I've received 2 boxes of candy, a box full of "specialty brownies," and a tin of 3-flavored popcorn, all from business contacts. None of this will be allowed in my home, and I'm not upset that I will be giving it all away. Today, after I explained why I was giving the popcorn away to fellow employees, a woman at the office began telling me that she saw a news report today about a shot being tested to "cure" PA. (I plan on trying to watch that news report tonight. We're in Cleveland, OH, and it was supposed to be on one of the local news reports if anyone else wants to try to catch it.) As I begin sharing with everyone the information that I know about the tests being done, another package was delivered for me. Can you guess what it was? A tray full of mixed nuts. How has PA affected me today? None of this stuff has bothered me, because I will keep it away from my son. However, I've become a little sad. I know this allergy is going to get harder in the future with him as he grows and begins school. Reading all of your posts, I know you know what I'm thinking. I feel sad for Jonathan and all of your children. I get mad when peple say "poor Jonathan" when I tell them he can't have something. I always reply, it could be worse. Now, here I am feeling bad for him for the future of having to deal with this allergy. Am I crazy?

Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 6:21am
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I'm sorry to post again. I mentioned in my last post a story on PA in a local news report (see above post.) I just spoke to the woman who told me about it to clarify where she saw it. It seems that she's not sure, now. It wasn't today, and she thinks it was a program "like 20/20 or Good Morning America." I just wanted to let you know so that you didn't go searching for something that may not be there. Or it could be something that ran a while ago.

Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 2:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Jonathan's Mom, I don't think you're crazy at all. You simply had a bad day dealing with PA. That's okay. There will be many days where you may not deal with it at all, or it will be so much a part of the order of things in your home that you won't notice that you're dealing with it.
I had an interesting conversation with my PA son at dinner tonight which almost had me crying, although I didn't want him to see that. He had said last week that a child in his class had had plain M & M's in the "peanut free" classroom. I spoke with his teacher and she did not see them. She told me to-day that she only found out that they are part of the Lunchables packages as the treat part. I'm not clear if there were M & M's in the classroom or if the child had simply said to Jesse that he had some in his knapsack or whatever.
I had to do my little speech again that he can't share other people's food and that M & M's, plain, are not "safe" for him to eat.
He asked me if I had ever had plain M & M's and I said no (which is true). I said that I had always had Smarties instead. Then, he said something about well, you're 41, you had to have eaten peanuts sometime (thank-you dear child for remembering my age! and he knows that I have eaten peanut products in the past). I told him again, that yes, I had eaten some peanut products in the past but I would never eat them again.
He told me that when he grows up and doesn't live with me anymore that I can eat peanut products again. I told him that no, because of what they could possibly do to my Jesse, I will never eat them again (I know some people think this is weird, but it's just how I feel and I never liked pb anyway). Then he said that he wished there were no peanuts because then he wouldn't be allergic to them. Fine.
Jesse is an extremely smart little guy with an excellent memory. He does not have to ask me again if I ate peanuts in the past because he already knows the answer. I sometimes wonder if he's testing me in some way. At any rate, the conversation did progress as far as could he die?, the answer of which he already knows too. I said, yes, if you had a reaction to a peanut product and did not have your Epi-pen shot, then you could die. But, I would not let this happen.
The thing I find difficult about this conversation is that it isn't the first time we've had it and I always wonder what triggers his re-questioning of his allergy.
Did someone say something to him? Is he tempted to eat a peanut product? What is it exactly? He knew ALL of the answers to the questions he asked me tonight and yet he still asked me the same questions again. Why?
Fortunately, for me, my husband walked in the door and all focus was directed to Daddy and the peanut conversation ended.
I guess that was how PA affected me to-day really and I wouldn't even have posted that if I hadn't been trying to respond to you, Jonathan's Mom, and tell you that no, you are not crazy. I think, for all of us, it's a process. PA seems to affect me differently now than it did say last year or the year before and I'm sure it will affect me differently next year. It always seems to present some challenge that I'm ready to deal with.
Heartbreaking, yes. Always? No.
Season's Greetings and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 3:50pm
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Good topic Cindy, I would have to say for myself that it's been a rotten month for PA here in general. I'm finding the holiday season stressful this year, more so then last year I guess because Wade is not a "baby" anymore (no longer confined to a stroller) but a very active almost 3 year old.
There were several "days" this month when I felt so overwhelmed with this blasted allergy. Lets see, first there was the pre-school party which was held in the evening, called "international desert night", I played it over in my mind over several days and came to the conclusion that it was not an event I would consider "safe" for Wade to be involved with. We as parents were asked to bring in a peanut free desert. Well I know by now that most parents a considerate of this allergy, but I guess what stopped me was the cross contamination issue...there are so many foods (namely chocolate) which appear to be safe to the average person yet as we all know are potentially dangerous for PA kids. I decided that these parents would look at the peanut free warning from the school as simply that...peanut free. They would not consider a product unsafe unless it specifically said so. So we stayed home.
Then there was my husbands work Christmas party for the kids. I originally was going to allow Wade to attend, but thought better of it when I remembered the fact that they serve bakery made cookies to the kids. The room the party is held in is not very big and the kids run all over the place and the cookies end up everywhere. At 2 1/2, Wade is not yet old enough to understand that just because something looks good does not mean he can eat it. So my husband took my 2 other kids and Wade and I stayed home.
Then there was my daughter's Christmas concert at school followed by a party. As I've said before, the school is supposed to be "peanut free". I guess I should not have been the least bit surprized to find that there were many unsafe foods served at the party. I had brought Wade with me and had to leave.
Then we all had a bad bout with a nasty stomach virus (yes all 5 of us) and Wade was particularily sick, I went to the local pharmacy to see if I could give him pedialite to replace some of the fluids he had lost. Not one bloody person there was able to tell me if this product is safe for a PA child...so he ended up drinking flat gingerale. Not the best choice I know but he is not a water drinker and it was a better alternative to a trip to CHEO.
Last but not least, I finally got out this past week to Christmas shop and was SOOOOO frustrated at the lack of choices offered to people with PA in terms of little treats I could buy for their stokings. Buying from the Vermont Co. was not an option this Christmas ($$$) so the kids will each get a box of Smarties in their stokings, even the candycanes had a warning on the #%^&%$^& label.
Sorry to carry on so much but I guess I've been pretty bummed out ovet this, probably why I've not been on in some time.I know I should count my blessings, it's just that some days it seems harder then others.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!
Regards,
Katiee (Wade's mom)

Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 4:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Katiee, I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a hard time of it this month re PA. I think probably a lot of us are in the same boat but maybe haven't taken the time to post it.
The only consoling thing I can say to you, other than the fact that you kept Wade safe through all of this is - flat ginger ale apparently replaces electrolights as well as Pedialite. I was told this by a public health nurse I had visiting after I had my daughter as my son would definitely not drink Pedialite. Have you ever tasted the stuff?
Even though they say it's bubble gum flavour or whatever, it is still ghastly. Now, she did say that ginger ale was just as good.
Personally, I have found it very good after a severe migraine as far as settling my stomach and getting my system as back to normal as I can expect mine to get!
Again, I'm sorry you had a horrible month. I'm very fortunate in some ways in that we do live in a very small town now in a very controlled environment. My husband works with only two other people so there is no large Christmas party to attend. The only one who had a Christmas party was Jesse, that was to-day at school and everything was "safe".
I hope you and yours have a safe, wonderful Christmas and happy as well as safe New Year.
Season's Greetings and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/21/2000 - 11:44pm
Head Cook's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/19/2000 - 09:00

Cindy-
Okay you asked this question ages ago, but I am just getting up to speed. Why am I always on the phone to manufacturers? Not usually peanut actually. Soy and dairy gets progressively harder to avoid. Soy is in everything, and as these companies change and get gobbled up they change recipes. It got down to only Duncan Hines cake mixes were free from dairy and soy, and now they have started using soy flour in some of the flavors. Don't ask me for the technical explanation (because every dr. explains it different) but soy allergic people are often sensitive to MSG (and my son gets asthma and migraines from MSG), because often it starts as soy or something, and I have to watch for that too, and its disquised. "Natural flavors" is very often butter or MSG.
So most of my phone time is regarding dairy and soy related questions, but I get in plenty of peanut complaints too!!!

Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2000 - 6:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Today we saw a childrens' play called Little House of Cookies. At the conclusion, all the kids were invited up on stage to sample Mrs. O'Brien's famous cookies. While everyone else dashed up to the stage to sample them, I sat there with my son (eyes brimming over with tears - I'm sure you can picture it), explaining to him (even though he really knew) why he couldn't have them. Then the overwhelming smell of PB started circulating - most of the cookies were PB cookies - so we high-tailed it out of the theater. All it took to really put a damper on the outing was the 2 minutes it took to distribute the cookies.

Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2000 - 6:40am
PattyR's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

Amy, I am so sorry that happened! I know the heartbreak that you must have felt for your child. We have all been there and understand. I think it is a bad idea for them to give out food like that. The same effect could be gotten from giving out a paper cut-out of a cookie or just allowing the kids to come up on the stage.

Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2000 - 8:40am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Amy, wow, this was really hard to read. I'm so sorry for both you and your son. I'm not sure, but I think that what's equally frustrating is that we all seem to be trying so hard to make sure our children enjoy and lead "normal" lives. And then something like this creeps in and that's it.
I guess my point is that you tried and that you and you and your son did have a good time until the last two minutes. I don't understand why food has to be a part of absolutely EVERYTHING, but I have lately begun to question my sanity to begin with anyway.
Last year, the circus (if you could call it that) decided to come to our small town and I was bound and determined that we were going.
I had actually never been to a conventional circus as a child and when I saw one as an adult, it was Archaos (or something, about 10-15 years ago, can't remember) and of course, then, I wasn't thinking about peanuts. So, I didn't even realize that there would be peanuts anywhere or I thought if there were they would be sold outside like all the other food/drinks - big DUH to Cindy.
Anyway, you know the rest - peanuts everywhere. And not 'til we got inside and seated and they began bloody flogging them.
The other thing that irritates me about any special thing that comes to town or towns nearby is that the children are automatically given a free ticket/pass in their knapsacks.
So, of course, all of the children want to go. My girlfriend is having a heck of a time explaining to her three why they're not going to each and every little thing that happens to hit this small area. Her reasons are different.
Again, my point would be, at least I tried.
I tried to take Jesse to the circus and he did enjoy it. It was his father and I that were doing major freak-outs inside because there were peanut shells everywhere, peanuts everywhere and the whole place smelled of peanuts. We ended up leaving at intermission. I also came in here and posted and I got a lot of great advice about how to take your PA child safely to a circus.
Amy, you tried. You and your son did have a good time except for at the end. Maybe you could write to the people who put on this production and explain how it was for you and your son at the end. Maybe they could re-think handing out cookies as the other person posted above - hand out something else not food related. But, they won't know that anyone had any problem or not even a problem, but an upset with it if someone doesn't bring it to their attention. You could simply write and tell them what happened and give them simple alternatives to the cookies. That's what I would do.
You're a good Mom, Amy. You tried to-day. You explained very well to your son why he couldn't go on stage, and you know what, I bet he "got it" better than you did. That's what always happens with Jesse and I. I'm crying or about to cry and he's like "it's okay Mommy" or "next time Mommy". They seem to have an almost inherent understanding of it, or Jess does at this age anyway.
Season's Greetings and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2000 - 8:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I had this really weird blip of PA cross my mind yesterday. Our power went out for about an hour. It was okay. My husband had JUST bought a mini flashlight for such occasions and I always have a candle hanging around.
However, I decided to eat some new Tostitos I had bought yesterday, the Quesadilla flavour.
I had checked the label in the store thoroughly of course when I purchased them.
Then, in the dark, or mostly dark, I realized that we were eating something totally new that Jesse had never tried before and what if? What if?
Would I be able to see a reaction well enough in the near dark? Would I be able to follow through with all the other steps should one occur?
My advice here - never try a new food product, despite having read the label before purchasing it, during a power outage. It was not a pleasant thing to start worrying about when you're already worried about how long is the power going to be off, how long will we be without heat, etc.?
Season's Greetings and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2000 - 9:20am
davidsmom's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/02/2000 - 09:00

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about this allergy.
Every day my family is affected by it. I had to quit work at the place I had been for 15 years because I was afraid that it was too far away from my son. For the past year I have stayed at home (which affects us financially) so that I could be assured that he is safe. I feel guilty when I think about returning to work, and I feel increasingly out of touch with my profession the more I am away from it.

Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2000 - 1:04am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Davidsmom, Oh how I can relate to your feelings! I, too, quit work after being with the company 14 years. I was an executive secretary and the last call I received from daycare that Rescue was on it's way because my son had been *touched* by another child with peanut butter on their hands and his eye was swelling out of his head and covered with hives, I was in the middle of typing board reports. The stress was overwhelming and every time my phone rang at my desk, I would jump thinking it was daycare.
I can certainly relate! (I don't miss a thing about *rush hour* traffic though) LOL!
Hang in there!
------------------
Stay Safe.

Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2000 - 1:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks for all the sympathy (sniff, sniff!). He seems to have forgotten all about it today, and even said that going to the play was the best thing he did yesterday.
Cindy, BTW, I did mention our problem to the house manager as we were leaving the theater. Maybe they'll rethink their position, but, I doubt it.
Amy

Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2000 - 2:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

See, Amy, your son was fine! I have had this happen on more than one occasion with Jesse. I'll be the one that is upset and he is absolutely fine.
However, having said that, I'm not saying that you don't have a right to cry when something like this happens or to feel the way that you do about the situation. You do.
I think it would be pretty hard to toughen up that much whereby things that we consider hurtful don't hurt us when it happens to our child (even if our child isn't hurt).
I do think it's something that they grasp really easily and I'm not sure if it's an age thing - how old is your son? Jesse just turned 5. He has been like this for awhile.
Things that bug me re his PA that he learns about (which are rare) don't bug him. I'm not sure if this changes when he gets older and it does start to bug him as much as it bugs me, especially because he does seem to have the same sensitive nature that both his father and I have.
Also, that's why we can type and come in here and post and our children aren't in here yet!
We feel things that they don't and we need to get them out and get rid of them to carry on.
There are so many things that I find absolutely heartbreaking and yet they aren't heartbreaking to Jesse yet. When I posted about disappointment at the treats at his Hallowe'en party, one person did ask me if Jesse had had a good time at the party. Yes, he had. It was me that was upset.
I think it's okay for us to get upset on behalf of our children and how they may (or may not) react to a particular situation re PA.
And again, you're a good Mom, Amy. You are trying. You haven't automatically isolated your son because of his PA. You're trying to get out there and do things and you are able to explain when a situation arises that he can't participate in. I think that's wonderful and also probably why your son is able to take it in stride.
Season's Greetings and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2000 - 2:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Amy, I must have scrolled down one too far because I totally missed your post about your son. I think this is one of the hardest parts about this allergy. My son (age 6), who in the past has been VERY good about coping, is now in the *well that's not fair* stage and *can I please just try it* phase. I hope everything we have taught him thus far will not go out the window!
Your son sounds like a trooper! It sure does tug at your heart though! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
------------------
Stay Safe.

Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2000 - 9:25am
WoozerMom's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/28/2000 - 09:00

My hat is off to all of you parents of PA kids. I am a 61 year old with PA who has probably had this allergy forever. I did not start having reactions until I was about five. I am also allergic to several types of tree nuts. In addition, I am mildly allergic to many, many foods and to a large range of environmentals. These include trees, dust mites, some shrubs and most weeds, etc.
I want to tell you that your kids will be fine Things that you think will scar them for life will in the long run just be a blip on the screen for them.
The older their friends become, the more they will try to accommodate your children because they will understand the allergies better. In fact, your children will be moved to tears by the many kindnesses they will experience.
Keep educating the schools. Keep educating your families and friends. Start making your kids responsible for themselves at an early age -- hard to do, but absolutely essential.
In some cases, it could be helpful to have an allergist speak at a school staff meeting or a PTA meeting. Possibly getting the media to feature the allergies in some of their publications.
So how did PA affect my life today? It didn't and seldom does. I have avoidance down to a science and it works. My neighbor brought some rolls containing walnuts over tday and left them on the porch with a warning note. (I am in a new neighborhod and already have them all trained. LOL) When I go to a potluck, I take something I can eat. Doing without is not so bad, especially when you know the results of eating the wrong things. I have explained the use of the EpiPen to all my friends and relatives.
Anyway, take a deep breath and remember that things will be easier down the line. At least there is more awareness now than when I was a child.
------------------
WoozerMom

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