I\'m obsessed - and not liking it!

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 12:53pm
nycmom1's picture
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Ever since Dr. told me about 15m/o dd's PA (6 mos ago), I've become obsessed with keeping the slightest traces of peanut away from her. We have almost nothing in the house that was manufactured in the same facility as peanuts and, when we do, like a loaf of bread from a bakery, I spend WAY too much time cleaning away crumbs and flour from the bread, even though I know there is no peanut - I'm afraid it touched something with peanut/peanut oil. I'm afraid to have other kids in the house bc I don't know where they've been - I think about whether they've sat on something with peanut and then on my dd's rug, and what if. . . . I can't wash my hands anymore, can't clean anymore. How do you make yourself "relax" - or do I need professional help?

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 1:05pm
mom2boys1975's picture
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That's sounds like how I was feeling at first... utterly overwhelmed and paranoid. Iam a worrier, I frequently have to talk myself down from being totally scared about situations out of my control so this is my solution for the peanut worry.
I've come to the understanding that:
1. I will do everything in my power to keep my son safe that I can do without losing my sanity.
2.I will keep only safe foods in the house for him, with the exception of peanut butter and the jelly used with it. Those are boldly labeled and used only under strict rules.
3. I will educate everyone that has contact with him, watches him, and anyone in the general public that will listen about peanut allergies. Including him and his brother in an age appropriate manner.
4. I will surrender to the thought that if I want him to have the upbringing that my dh and I want him to have despite taking all reasonable (in our minds) precautions he may still have a reaction again.
Some things happen outside of our control despite all the precautions. You can choose to let yourself feel overwhelmed and lost, or you can educate yourself and others, do what you can, and live your life.
You don't know what tomorrow may bring and it doesn't do any good to worry about it, just prepare.
That's just MHO, it's what I've been doing to calm down the last few weeks... so far, so good.

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 1:25pm
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Thanks so much for that. I'll try to heed your advice. Maybe I'll start by not cleaning so much invisible peanut!

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 1:41pm
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NYCmom -
My comfort zone sounds like yours. Pretty tight. And frankly I think it needs to be. But trust me...my son is not in a bubble. We go to bday parties and have play dates.
In regards to the things you mentioned. I do NOT worry about crosscontamination of crosscontaminated things. I don't let my son eat anything that was made in a facility with peanuts...but I don't worry about him sitting next to someone who is.
We are washing hands more and are always ready with benedryl and epi's. We do not let any nut products in to the house.

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:37pm
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DD was diagnosed with PA in May and she is 20 months old. So, I completely relate to your post. I get so paranoid. If we eat out anywhere I think every food in the restaurant is cross contaminated with peanuts. So, I bring her food so I don't have to worry about what she is eating.
At home, I agree with the other posters. The peanut products we have in the house have been there since before she was diagnosed and we haven't eaten them since. We probably should just throw them out. I am not sure I ever will feel comfortable with people eating PB in our house. Then I will be really paranoid. As for items that contain traces or processed in the same facility as peanuts, I am less concerned about issues with those. I don't allow her to eat any of them and I rarely buy those items. If I do buy them, DH and I are careful with our handling of it. I clean off counters but don't get overly paranoid. I am not concerned if she is in the presence of other people eating those items as long as there is no risk of her getting those items into her hands.
In my mind, the presence of PB or Peanuts in our house is a true threat. If you don't clean up after yourself carefully, you could have a reaction. The traces items I don't worry as much about because I figure the chances of a reaction are much less.
Nonetheless, I figure the safest environment for DD is a peanut free environment. So, I have stopped buying almost all items that have a peanut warning on them. This way we have little chance of causing an accidental reaction.

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 3:42pm
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One other thing...about kids spreading PB traces after they have eaten it, this makes me paranoid too. We were at the library today and I kept wondering if the library books could have PB traces on them. I try to wipe DD's hands after outings like this. I am calmer because we haven't had a reaction from an incident like this. The day we do, I will probably try to put her in a bubble. Until then, I don't want to keep her from living her life and I just try to take necessary precautions. So, for me, it's sort of blind faith that she won't react.

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 11:44pm
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Joined: 02/26/2006 - 09:00

nycmom-
im going to have to agree with (edited) here, dont have anything in your house that has peanuts or may contain peanuts! your child needs to have a safe haven in your home. you dont need to clean constantly if you have only safe food in you home. we have a sign at our front door that reads " do to a life threating food allergy we do not alow any peanut or tree nut products in our home. please wash hands oppon entering."
sounds kinda over board but ive had several people say "oh, i just ate a bunch of peanuts on the way over" in fact ive had people take peanut butter snack bars from there purses and leave them on the porch so they dont bring them in.
you can never be to safe.
mom2boys1975-
as far as having a jar of peanut butter and the jelly that is used with it in your home
you are only asking for trouble.
think of peanuts like bees,
my one son is allergic to bees but my other one isnt. so i only have a honey bee hive in my kitchen under strict supervision. but dont worry the bees only go near the child thats not allergic.
dosnt make much sence does it?
try sun butter it tastes the same as peanut butter and if you dont tell your other kid that its a substuite they wont know the diffrence.
im sorry if i sound like a jerk, but you have to keep your child safe. its only peanut butter! its not like you are depriving them of air or water or love. its just peanut butter.
just my opinion.
erin

Posted on: Sat, 08/11/2007 - 11:54pm
notnutty's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

You could drive yourself crazy coming up with an endless list of "what if". It takes time to develop a comfort zone and for each of us it will be different. I follow these rules:
1. Our house is completely free of peanuts, peanut butter, made in facility, and all cross contaminated products. We do this because my son is not old enough to read and I want him to be able to eat anything in our home without worrying.
2. We wash our hands when we get into the car after any outing.
3. We attend as many family events as possible. It is not possible to attend certain events because of the risk involved.
4. We try to educated schools, family and friends whenever possible.
5. WE live knowing a reaction is possible and carry epi and medications everywhere we go.
6. BUT...WE LIVE a normal life and enjoy it to the fullest.
You too will find your comfort zone, give yourself some time.

Posted on: Sun, 08/12/2007 - 12:43am
mom2boys1975's picture
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Well I have to say this is the first time I've seen such judgement on this board...
quote:
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Originally posted by mom2boys1975:
2.I will keep only safe foods in the house for him, with the exception of peanut butter and the jelly used with it. Those are boldly labeled and used only under strict rules.
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YIKES!
That's like saying this and doing that.
We keep ds out of the rooms where we painted the walls with pb... gimme a break!!! Precautions can be taken to make this safe.
quote:
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4. I will surrender to the thought that if I want him to have the upbringing that my dh and I want him to have despite taking all reasonable (in our minds) precautions he may still have a reaction again.
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DOUBLE YIKES!!
What reasonable precautions are you taking with a jar of pb in tha house?
Specific place to eat it, he just eats it does nothing else, plate and other implements used immediately washed with paper towel, towel thrown away, area eaten and made immediately scrubbed, sandwich made on paper towel, teeth brushed with special toothbrush kept in specific area, hands washed well. Etc Etc Etc
quote:
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Some things happen outside of our control despite all the precautions.
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Some things (reactions in this case) *can* happen when you are in control too. Atleast when you think you're in control. . .
Ummm ya, just the point I was making. Despite having smoke alarms you could still die in a house fire.
quote:
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You don't know what tomorrow may bring and it doesn't do any good to worry about it, just prepare.
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EPI's ready? Mine would be!
Nah I never carry an epi, he can wait 30 minutes or so... DO YOU THINK I'M STUPID???? We have 2 epis ready to go and benedryl everywhere we go... I figured carrying an epi goes without saying.
Having a bad day? PMS? I didn't pee in your sandbox stop taking it out on me!
(edited)
Sarahb
Member
Posts: 392
Registered: Jan 2007
posted August 11, 2007 11:41 PM
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NYCmom -
My comfort zone sounds like yours. Pretty tight. And frankly I think it needs to be. But trust me...my son is not in a bubble. We go to bday parties and have play dates.
In regards to the things you mentioned. I do NOT worry about crosscontamination of crosscontaminated things. I don't let my son eat anything that was made in a facility with peanuts...but I don't worry about him sitting next to someone who is.
We are washing hands more and are always ready with benedryl and epi's. We do not let any nut products in to the house.
[This message has been edited by mom2boys1975 (edited August 12, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by mom2boys1975 (edited August 12, 2007).]

Posted on: Sun, 08/12/2007 - 12:58am
booandbrimom's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by nycmom1:
[b]I'm afraid to have other kids in the house bc I don't know where they've been - I think about whether they've sat on something with peanut and then on my dd's rug, and what if. . . . I can't wash my hands anymore, can't clean anymore. [/b]
These are the parts of your post where I thought "hmm". You are going to have to figure out how to have kids in your house for the sake of your child.
The last part to me sounds like you're overwhelmed. Does it feel obsessive and/or hopeless? If so, you have your answer about the professional help thing.
It's very hard to tell where the line is with peanut allergy. We all have different comfort zones, and what feels obsessive to one doesn't to another. (For example, we do have peanut butter in our house as well.) I think you have to go with your gut regarding whether this is negatively impacting your life so much that you need to change your behaviors.
One thing that helped me while I was going through this was developing a written plan that my husband and I discussed and agreed upon. We talked about whether we thought it was necessary/desirable to do things like have children wash their hands when coming in the house, or designate a certain place in our house for eating peanut butter. When I felt like my thoughts or actions were getting out of control, I'd refer back to the plan. It helped me to let go of obsessive behaviors that weren't really helping my son.
I also tried to practice was what my mother (the therapist) called "positive self-talk." When I felt out of control, I would remind myself - out loud if necessary - that I knew how to deal with a reaction if it happened and that I was following "the plan."
One word of warning: this place can reinforce your fears. You will meet people here with all levels of comfort zones, and some of them will imply that you are not doing enough to protect your child. Just please remember that there is a wide range of zones. Each parent has to decide for themselves what the right balance is between safety and real life. You will find your balance - give it time.

Posted on: Sun, 08/12/2007 - 1:10am
mom2boys1975's picture
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Joined: 07/19/2007 - 09:00

booandbrimom- Even though it wasn't for me thanks, I need to remember that and not take things so personally.

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