How Do \"Additional Reactions\" Happen?

Posted on: Sun, 02/14/1999 - 1:23pm
KellyB's picture
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Joined: 02/06/1999 - 09:00

I have been reading messages from various places in the topics and I read how often your children have reactions i.e. 3 times in a year and half. My topic question is "how" has the additional contact with peanuts happened after you first learned of the allergy. My son has had only one severe reaction mainly because I am a stay-at-home mommy and I just recently let go enough to have a babysitter come in our home - haven't had courage to leave him outside my home with babysitter. He is 2 1/2 and enrolled for preschool this fall, peanut free facility. I realize "peanut free" can be misleading. What should I be aware of and maybe prevent happening from your experiences?

Posted on: Mon, 02/15/1999 - 2:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Kelly!</p>
<p>My son's second reaction happened at daycare. He was about 2 years old, almost three, and his TEACHER was eating peanut butter crackers in the classroom. She had left them on the counter (open package) and my son "helped" himself to a cracker. Thank God I only worked 4 minutes from the day care. (Rescue beat me there)! Coincidently, it was the teacher's last day there. His second reaction was also at the daycare. My son is also allergic by touch. I always packed his lunch and snacks and a little girl had pb crackers. She had some on the back of her hand (missed by the teacher during clean up) and she touched my son above his eyebrow. His eye almost swelled out of his socket. Hives all over his face...not as bad as the first one though. The third time (and hopefully the last),I caused it! My husband and I were getting ready for a date and my mother was coming over to watch the children (I also have an 8 year old daughter...non-allergic). I tried to make something quick and easy for them before we left and decided on a jelly sandwich and chips for my son, PB&J for my daughter. After I gave them their plates, I heard "No peanuts for Cam." As I turned around to congratulate my son for repeating what we had always drilled in his head, he was swelling before my eyes. I HAD SWAPPED THEIR PLATES!! That was the last day any peanut product came into my house. If it was that easy for ME to do, can you imagine someone not used to this allergy giving him something?! The only thoughts that went thru my mind were "I just killed my child." It was horrible! When I quit work last month, I pulled him out of preschool (he will be 5 in April) and decided to just spend as much time with him as I can before he starts Kindergarten. He had been in daycare since he was 15 months old and I just want him home with me for as long as possible. He can write his name, knows all of the alphabet and interacts with children very well so I don't think missing the next 5 months of preschool will do any harm. </p>
<p>I don't blame you about babysitters. It is much easier to control food in your own home. One of his former teachers babysits on the side and she is absolutely wonderful. My son adores her and it's nice to enjoy an evening out with my husband without worrying. I guess for learning experiences, I would highly recommend you pack all of your son's snacks and lunch and not depend on his preschool. Little Debbie snack cakes (which make great treats) contain peanuts in the ingredients. Since you also stay home, any time your son's class has a party, I would recommend you go and monitor the food. My former job was wonderful when it came to my son's food allergy. Anytime there was a special event at his day care, they would let me attend with no question. If your son doesn't have one yet, I would highly recommend a Medic-Alert Bracelet. Cam's bracelet says "Anaphylaxis to all peanut products." </p>
<p>Sorry for the "novel" but I hope it helps! </p>
<p>[This message has been edited by Connie (edited February 15, 1999).]</p>

Posted on: Mon, 02/15/1999 - 10:36am
KellyB's picture
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Joined: 02/06/1999 - 09:00

<p>Connie,<br />
Thanks so much for all the information, it helps greatly!!! I hope others will reply, too. I think we all can learn from what's happened "accidentally" in coming into contact with peanuts/products. I know it must have really hurt when you switched the plates, I almost gave my son a granola bar without checking the ingredients, and it did have peanuts in it! It made me sick to my stomache how fast a mistake like that can happen. I am happy for you that you can spend some time with your son before school starts, he will remember this time with special memories. How small do the medic bracelets come?</p>

Posted on: Tue, 02/16/1999 - 12:04am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Kelly,</p>
<p>I can't remember how small the Medic-Alert bracelets come but it will state on the form you fill out what size you need and you can call the Medic-Alert 800 number for their advice if the smallest size is still too big. I think when I measured my son's wrist, that was our problem. I'm sorry I don't have the 800 number or I would give it to you. My son was about your son's age when we ordered it. It needs to be small enough so it can't be taken off easily but big enough so it can be turned over and read without being removed. You can pick up the form at any pharmacy and the people at Medic Alert are very helpful and friendly. You also get Medic Alert Wallet cards with your emergency contacts and allergy history. My son's Medic Alert bracelet reads (and I stand corrected from previous post)"Anaphylactic Reaction to Peanuts" and on his medical card states "Anaphylactic Reaction to Peanuts and Carries Epi-Pen Jr." He is allergic to sulfa in medications and this is also stated on his Medic Alert Bracelet and wallet card.</p>
<p>Good Luck to you! I have learned so much from this web site and it is so nice to know we are not alone with this!</p>

Posted on: Tue, 02/16/1999 - 4:07am
Chris PeanutAllergy Com's picture
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Joined: 04/25/2001 - 09:00

<p>Hi Connie,</p>
<p>This is Chris from PeanutAllergy.Com</p>
<p>I WAS WONDERING IF YOU KNEW IF EPI-PENS CONTAINED SULFA!</p>
<p>I noticed your post on the main discussion board. Under> How Do "Additional Reactions"<br />
Happen?</p>
<p>I want to make sure you look into this. I called a pharmacy here near me and they said the Epi-Pens<br />
do contain!</p>
<p>They suggested you call your doctor!</p>
<p>Let me know what you find out.</p>
<p>I met a lady a few weeks ago and she carries something else not an Epi-Pen because she is allergic<br />
to sulfates!</p>
<p>I will be waiting to hear from you.</p>
<p>Stay Safe,</p>
<p>[email]Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com[/email]</p>

Posted on: Tue, 02/16/1999 - 4:57am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Chris, thank you so much!!! I will be calling my son's allergist ASAP and will report back my findings. It's amazing that both his pediatrician and allergist prescribe the epi-pen and his medical records indicate his allergy to sulfa. Anyway, thanks for the tip and I will let you know what I find out!</p>

Posted on: Tue, 02/16/1999 - 5:11am
tracy's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>Connie and Everyone,</p>
<p>I think this is a good example of why we always need to be vigilant and double check everything.</p>
<p>I was prescribed some medication while I was pregnant and fortunately I had presence of mind to read the entire insert (with teeny-weeny type) where it said, "not to be taken by pregnant women." Well, the doctor knew I was pregnant, but she hadn't read all the warnings on the drug.</p>
<p>In doctor's defense, it's impossible to keep up with everything, or to remember everything. So I try not to worry about hurting doctor's feelings when I ask the same questions over and over, or repeat things like, "You know he's got this problem... will that drug interfere?"</p>
<p>--Tracy</p>

Posted on: Tue, 02/16/1999 - 10:16pm
Christine's picture
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Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

<p>Are you sure that epi-pens contain "sulfa"? Sulfa medications are antibiotics. I cannot figure out why they would be in an epi-pen. Sulfites, on the other hand, are preserving agents and could very well be in the epi-pen. Sulfa and sulfites are entirely different. Can someone please post exactly what the offending agent is--sulfa or sulfites?<br />
Christine</p>

Posted on: Wed, 02/17/1999 - 12:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

<p>Hi Christine,</p>
<p>You are correct! The Nurse from my son's allergist's office called me back and advised the Sulfites in the Epi-Pen Jr are NOT the same as Sulfa found in some antibiotics.</p>
<p>The Sulfite found in the Epi-Pen Jr. is Sodium Metabisulfite.</p>
<p>[This message has been edited by Connie (edited February 17, 1999).]</p>

Posted on: Sat, 02/20/1999 - 10:16am
Art Liebscher's picture
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Joined: 02/20/1999 - 09:00

<p>Kelly,</p>
<p>I wish I could tell you that the need for vigilance will disappear in time. I've lived with this allergy all my life -- and I'm well into middle age -- but it still requires care. My work requires me to travel, eat in private homes not my own, and appear at banquets. I once landed in an ER because a substitute chef had put peanuts in a banquet entree that had been previously cleared with hotel management. Waiters will often tell you anything you want to hear, I'm afraid: "No, sir, no peanuts!" There are places that use peanuts as part of a "secret recipe." In 1997, a chef in San Francisco was amazed that I'd figured out his secret -- amazed, but then terrified when I headed out to the ER at St. Mary's Hospital.</p>
<p>This situation may improve with public awareness and time, but for now, eternal vigilance is the price of staying alive. Always have epinephrine available!</p>
<p>Art</p>

Posted on: Sat, 02/20/1999 - 10:35am
KellyB's picture
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Joined: 02/06/1999 - 09:00

<p>Art, Thank you for your "adult" perspective. You know, I look at my son and worry so much about "today" and reading your message makes me realize what "he" will deal with the rest of his life, when Mom isn't there to try and figure out does the waitress really know what she is talking about when she says "no peanuts" in this meal or reading and rereading ingredients of all foods coming into our house. Thanks again for your reply, stay safe.</p>

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