i *miss* it

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There are times when all I want is toast with peanut butter. It was my favorite snack growing up and is something I ate a few times a week right up until I was diagnosed with the peanut allergy (1998 or 1999).

Giving up meat when I was 16 was easy. Sure, it was a choice *I* made, but I did crave pepperoni for awhile. After a bit, that craving passed as I realized I was just craving the spices used in it.

Giving up soy in 1998 was a hardship... Truly trial by fire. My diet consisted of daily servings of soy this and soy-that. I did it, though, because I developed a life-threatening allergy to it.

Six months later, the peanut allergy followed. I'm sure it was helped by the nightly handful of peanuts I ate after giving up soy. I didn't know that my RAST for peanuts (blood withdrawn at the same time I was tested for soy) was mildly positive. I probably could've eaten them less often--twice a week or less--and never developed the hives, throat constriction, and breathing problems that happened after eating them once or twice a day for six months.

Peanuts are so insidious. Peanut butter is such an integral part of US culture. It's is on the menu in most restaurants who have young clientele. There are roadside stands selling boiled peanuts throughout the South. Every snack bar/machine sells a small packet. It's an ubiquitous part of the soup kitchens I so desperately wanted to volunteer for. When I pass it up, I feel both betrayed and traitorous. My mother-in-law, a beautiful woman who means well, constantly forgets that I'm PA and sends me care packages of Reese's Cups. In another life, they were my favorite candy. In this one, they can kill me--a double whammy of soy and peanut. And she's a *nurse*.

If I visit my friends who have kids, I have to watch out for PB on the sofa, on the tables, on the chairs, on little hands. Soy washes off far more easily that peanut oil, so I can just ask even a three-year old to wash zir hands and not worry about reacting to soy sauce reside. The PB always seems to be there, no matter how much scrubbing mom does.

If, however, I receive one more peanut-alternative snack of raisins in the airplane with the warning "Contains traces of peanuts. Processed on same equipment," I *WILL* scream. It's not about not having a snack--I take my own. I miss those crunchy legumes and I resent the way they torture me by showing up even in the snacks I could normally have. None of my ex-lovers came to my wedding, why should my raisins contain peanuts?

I should feel lucky. I'm alive. Peanuts are so much easier to avoid than soy. And my soy allergy is far more severe. I can't use nor consume any additives made from soy: lecithin, vitamin e, vitamin e oil, HVP, etc. Peanuts are *usually* labelled more clearly.

Tonight, though... I *want* peanut butter. My husband is having a PBJ sandwich for lunch tomorrow. I'm too sick (nerve pain in the feet) and drugged (Vicodin) to make his normal lunch (reheatable dish or cold salad) today. And he didn't want turkey, though I offered to buy him some this week. So he gets to eat the PB he loves so much. He's not allowed soy anymore--I react to *him* if that happens. So far, my peanut allergy hasn't spread to *his* secretions. Normally we don't even have PB in the house, but we were scrimping for change one week and the almond butter I normally buy him was too expensive.

So it's nearly 5am. I'm awake--thanks to the jitters brought on by Vicodin--and hungry. I need comfort food, but standing up in the kitchen hurts. It would be so easy to toast some bread and spread PB on it while the bread's still warm, but I know I can't do that anymore. *sigh* I can't even make cinnamon toast because Giant didn't have any soy-free bread yesterday. When I wake up later today, I can probably ask a friend to give me a ride to the safe bakery, but that doesn't help me right now.

okies, enough self-pity for tonight.

i'm back for awhile, folks...

thanks, ygg

On Aug 9, 2001

So sorry you are having a tough time.

Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I had to give up PB about 4 1/2 years ago and there are times when I really miss it. As a child my favorite breakfast was toast with PB and a cup of tea. And boy do I miss those PB cookies with the hershey's kiss on top.

My fiance has PB&J once in a blue moon and knows it will never be made in our home \once we get married. He may keep a jar at the office so he can have it now and again. Just a part of life with PA I guess.

Hope you are feeling better today.

On Aug 9, 2001

Yeah - I miss the peanuts too!. I developed the allergy to nuts & sesame @ age 43! Doh ! At least PB and peanut products are not so prevalent here in the UK as in the Americas!

------------------ Nick (nut & sesame allergy sufferer)

On Aug 9, 2001

Yeah - I miss the peanuts too!. I developed the allergy to nuts & sesame @ age 43! Doh ! At least PB and peanut products are not so prevalent here in the UK as in the Americas!

------------------ Nick (nut & sesame allergy sufferer)

On Aug 9, 2001

I really feel sorry for you that you are going through this. I am not allergic,but as you know my son is and there is absolutly no nut products in our home. However I have been shopping so many times and thought how good it would be to buy a pbcup and a pb twix bar. Then i just take a look at Chris and just can not believe that one little peanut could kill him. Today he said to my "boy who would think a little bee could kill someone". I said right back"who would think a peanut that size could do the same thing. Boy he was really interested in the comment i made. I guess that it is easier for him having never been able to have peanut butter his whole life rather than to eat it for 16 years and be told he could no longer have it. I hope you will feel better and what ever you do don't decide to find give into the temptation. When you need to eat just mail one of us. take care claire

On Aug 10, 2001

I really miss the peanut butter and banana sandwiches. YUM!

On Aug 23, 2001

I guess I am lucky. My allergies were found so early that I never tasted peanuts, etc. Now my soy allergy on the other hand that is a hard one, unlike the original post I can have some of the soy additives but have to be careful. Soy has only sent me to the ER a couple of times but PA can kill me I usually only have about 20 minutes to get medical attention even with my epi. I wish manufacturers would wake up and realize they are slowing killing off their customers. Ever since Mars put the may contain peanuts on all the labels I have lost my two most favorite candy bars and I was already so limited to begin with. 37 years down and an eternity to go with this allergy.

On Aug 25, 2001

I don't know about your mother-in-law...PEANUT BUTTER CUPS????!! Is she crazy, or numb, or does she have it out for you??? My ex used to laughingly threaten to put peanut butter on my pillow case, and I think he was only half joking [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Seriously though, you need to accept your allergies and advocate for yourself, so that anytime anyone uses peanuts et al. in anything, they think of you and how you will DIE if they inadvertantly give you something that you are allergic too. Tell EVERYONE that you are around (ie. coworkers, people at church, YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW)how serious this is. If they think you are weird, so be it. It is your life, for God's sake. They must live in a hole somewhere not to have heard about the seriousness of some food allergies and peanuts in particular.

I know its hard. Just tonite at a church supper, there was this scrumptous looking bundt cake and I couldn't eat it because I couldn't track down the person who baked it to find out what was in it.

You take care of yourself!

------------------ Joyce

On Feb 8, 2002

Krasota, I feel very sorry for you. I share this allergy too. I'm almost 40 yrs and share this for 2 yrs now. I have been in ER 3 times now. The first time a half of a PB cheese cracker. The second time I should have known better. I had a Twix. The third time Grandma's Vanilla Creme Cookies. Erroneous labeling. I miss PB&J so much. It was the cheapest meal you could have. I can eat almonds, but this last year on Valentine's I found I was allergic to chocolate again. Well, that over for now. Hang in there, we all are with you. BE SAFE [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

On Aug 25, 2002

I know how you feel too, although my "missing food" is shrimp. For me, I have been allergic to peanuts since I was 3 (I am 31 now), so I never knew what I was missing. Occasionally I want some M&M's, but I NEVER EVER have them b/c I fear for my life. My mom found a manufacturer (Hershey's I think) that made M&M's like candy but without peanuts. I got them occasionally from candy stores, but I don't eat them anymore b/c I think there is some cross contamination b/c they make a peanut version. I've accepted it, although I get frustrated too, b/c I can't try certain things I normally could have b/c just about EVERY company has to have some kind of peanut product.

I miss shrimp but I can eat other kinds of shellfish. Scallops are the closest thing to shrimp, so I just think that I am grateful that I can eat them to sub for the shrimp!

I see a lot of frustration, not just in your post, but many posts on this forum. I see why, but I think it's easier to just accept that you have limitations. Things could be worse! There are days that I get annoyed, but for the most part, it really is no big deal-I know my limits and I know how to be careful and educate people on how to help me be safe. I think you will feel better if you just learn to accept it. Be grateful that PA and I think you said soy, are the only food allergies you have (assuming you don't have any other)!

On Nov 20, 2002

wow. i didn't expect to see a thread this old so close to the top. [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img]

i have accepted my allergies. i have several food allergies, not just PA and soy. I'm grateful that i'm not allergic to corn, which is truly ubiquitous.

that night i wrote, i was in sad shape. i was actually have an allergic reaction to the meds (vicodin), but was too drugged up to realize it. so i was itchy as hell (covered in hives), loopy, in pain, and wanting serious comfort food. [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif[/img] i was seriously frustrated.

i still believe that i shouldn't totally accept my allergies. i need the anger to fight for more recognition of anaphylactic allergies. a big one for me is natural rubber latex--if i eat something prepared with latex gloves, i can die. it's not fun. and going to the emergency room in that situation is even more dangerous for people like me.

even so, things could be worse. i know that. they can always be worse. they can also often be better. [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif[/img]

ygg

On Dec 15, 2002

I feel your pain. Over the past 20 years my allergies grew from peanuts only to just about everything. I am allergic to all animals, flowers, grass, nuts, soy, potatoes, vegetables (except broccoli, lettuce and cabbage), corn, molasses (sugar products), citrus fruits, alcohol, floride, most antibiotics, niacin, thiamine,... and the list goes on and on. I suffer from anaphylaxis reactions from digesting any of the above. My safe foods are rice, bottled water and lettuce. Yummy! I have a very boring diet, but I am thankful for each day I survive. When you're depressed about the lack of "decadent" food you can savor, be thankful that you do not get your nutrition solely from a feeding tube. I miss the good stuff too!!!

On Dec 29, 2002

I adore PB, I worship PB. Now my 18 year old son is allergic to peanuts. I am sure it is because I ate Peanuts every single day when I was pregnant with him.

Who can resist a hot English muffin with PB or Matzo with PB&J during passover? Well I can.....

I have no choice. But when I visit friends I always ask them to make me a PB&J for lunch. When I travel which is so rare for me I take a jar of PB&J to eat in the hotel room. Sick...... but it is like heaven.

IF I try to eat PB in the house while my son is at school the guilt is too much to bear. I assume I have contaminated all of the surfaces in my home with PB and I even take a shower before picking him up. So I refuse to have it in the house. It feels disloyal to have something so dangerous in the home so I don't..

Peg

On May 28, 2003

I started becoming allergic to peanuts at about age 25. I had skin reactions and itching in my mouth, but kept eating it anyway. For a year. I only stopped when I started getting swelling in my throat.

It's been hard to give it up--peanut butter was probably my absolute favorite food. In fact I wonder if I became allergic to it by eating so much of it. I haven't tried alternate things like cashew butter--anyone know if those are safe?

On May 28, 2003

scaryupamom, I would not eat any nut butters if I were you. They are often made in the same plant as pb and could be cross contaminated. Also, I would consider you to be at a high risk for developing tree nut allergies, since you have developed pa. If you can tolerate soy, I highly recommend soybean butter. It satisfies all of my pb cravings, and I have even made soybean butter cups (from a recipe here) that are very similar to reeses. I buy my soybean butter at Trader Joe's. There are a lot of threads about it here. I know some people use Soy Wonder. Good luck to all of you!!! Miriam

On May 28, 2003

I eat freshly ground cashew or almond butters and have no problems. I don't react to peanut residues, however.

My biggest complaint is that so many nut butters are produced in factories with soy. Soy is so darn present everywhere I look and it can *kill* me as surely as peanut can kill the kids here.

ygg

On May 29, 2003

krasota, I have to agree with you on that. Soy is everywhere - in everything. My sister is allergic to it, and it is definitely even worse than sesame seed to avoid. In Canada, soy is usually labelled (even in trace amounts) which is good, but unfortunately about 90% of all products list it.

On May 29, 2003

Yes, soybean butter is clearly NOT an option when someone has a soy allergy! Maybe a tree nut butter would be O.K. Who knows? I probably shouldn't be doling out advice as I am fortunate not to have any food allergies, myself. Miriam

On Sep 3, 2003

I truly understand your situation, and certainly wish you didn't have to feel that way. Of course, all of us understand in some weird way.

May I suggest Sunbutter? My children are highly allergic to PB (among other things), and I won't let it near the house. If it has PB, it doesn't enter my house.

Yet my husband desperately missed it! He would eat it on business trips, and away from the house, but never here. Then we stumbled upon SunButter. I think it was created because of people with food allergies. When I emailed them with a list of my concerns, they graciously replied (although I can't remember exactly the ingredients). To me, it tastes exactly like peanut butter (But to be honest, I haven't had a bite of it in 9 years---so my taste buds could be fooling me). My children have tried it and absolutely hate it (I guess if you've never eaten PB before, it's weird.)

But my PB&J-loving husband loves it!! They're website is [url="http://www.sunbutter.com,"]www.sunbutter.com,[/url] and you can order an inexpensive sample (under $2 mailed to your house). Of course, as always, PLEASE read the ingredients and make sure it works for you.

Good luck!

On Sep 4, 2003

I second the Sunbutter suggestion - I recently tried it an LOVE it - I hadn't had PB in over 6 years. DH who loves his PB isn't as thrilled as I am, but he did like it and is happy that he can have something similar to PB at home (he too eats PB when on business trips, when away from home, etc).

On Sep 4, 2003

Oh, I eat other nutbutters, but I still miss PB. I don't always miss it to the extent I did when I wrote that first post--I was in a lot of pain and having an allergic reaction to a med I was given for the pain. I needed serious comforting. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Sunbutter isn't completely soy-free, from what I've seen. My soy allergy is much more severe than my PA. I can't go near soy.

Only one of the sunbutter spreads appears to be soy-free and I'd still worry about cross-contamination as nut butters are so sticky.

ygg

On Oct 6, 2003

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[This message has been edited by Elisabeth (edited October 16, 2003).]

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