Intro and questions, questions, questions!

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 4:50am
Mir's picture
Joined: 02/12/2001 - 09:00

pHello, all! First let me say how EXCITED and relieved I am to have found this board. I can tell already I'm going to be here a lot..../p
pJust last week we had confirmation (via bloodtest) that my 13-month-old son is allergic to peanuts. He had been eating peanut butter without incident for about a month... and loved it... and then one day I gave him a piece of PB sandwich and he almost immediately started crying and rubbing his face. Within a minute his face was covered in hives, he was wheezing and crying, etc. I'm sure many of you have experienced similar (or worse) and know how scary that was for us. Anyway, we called the ped, gave him some benadryl, and in about an hour he was fine again./p
pIsaac has always been very "sensitive," for lack of a better word. He had reflux as infant (treated with zantac, and since outgrown), and has had trouble--in addition to the peanut thing--with milk, soy, and citrus. Whenever he experiences a food reaction he basically stops eating for a day or more, and although I had expressed concern to my ped on NUMEROUS occasions, including pointing out that he's not gaining well, it took the episode with the hives to get the allergy testing ordered. Now we know to avoid peanuts, but the soy and lactose reactions were borderline so I'm still trying to figure out what to do there./p
pSo, questions:/p
p1) I read the breastfeeding and father's peanut consumption threads with interest... I'm not a big peanut eater but my DH would LIVE on peanut butter if I allowed him. Could that have anything to do with this? Neither of us are allergic to peanuts and we have a daughter who isn't allergic. It just seems so mysterious./p
p2) My ped told me to keep Isaac away from peanut products AND all other nuts. Now that I'm researching it seems to me that other nuts might be okay, but perhaps I need to worry about other legumes? How do I figure this out??/p
p3) When I questioned my ped about the month where Isaac was able to eat PB without a problem, she said it's not uncommon for a reaction to build. Now I'm wondering if/when we should have some sort of home emergency treatment for him (like an epipen)... how is that decided? Do they only recommend that if the child has already had an anaphylactic reaction?/p
p4) Is it unreasonable of me to be annoyed with my ped for making us wait 2 weeks for the test results and then calling and saying "don't give him nuts, see you at his next checkup"? I had to ask for his reaction level (she said it was 3 on a scale of 0 to 5), and ask if he would be retested (she seemed unconcerned and said we "could" test him after he turns 2 if I like). I'm scared I'm going to accidentally feed him the wrong thing, now. I don't feel like I've been offered much support or guidance, you know?/p
p5) How do you keep your allergic child's food and other children's food separate? I feel like I spend the better part of every day running around going No honey, that's not your milk (Isaac gets Lactaid)... Isaac put that down, that's your sister's cup... No you can't have peanut butter for lunch--or, better still--Okay you can have peanut butter but don't touch Isaac and stop waving it around, etc. I'm exhausted! Does it get easier??/p
pI guess that's it for now. Thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to feeling less overwhelmed!!/p

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 5:12am
margaret's picture
Joined: 11/01/2000 - 09:00

Welcome Miriam,
I'm sorry to hear of your experiences with PA. You DEFINITELY need to carry epi-pen and benadryl at all times! Your child's life could depend on it. See an allergist asap and get in touch with The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) at They have many resources for you to educate yourself, your child, family, and friends.
The reason why it is SO important to avoid all other nuts is because of the risk of cross-contamination with peanut. They process most all of that stuff on the same equipment. The tiniest bit of p-nut protein COULD cause a reaction. Keeping a peanut free house is IMPERATIVE. There is to great of a risk of cross-contamination or accidental ingestion. You need to read labels thoroughly and DO NOT give your child any thing with any peanut whatsoever. This includes labels that something may contain peanuts/nuts or contains traces of p-nut/nuts. Be especially leary of chocolate. Also, many unsuspecting foods have peanut ingredients, such as Chex Mix.
Search this site. Check out FAAN and please get Epi right away.
I hope I haven't been to harsh, but this is so important. Best of Luck with your child.
P.S. I think it is totally unacceptable that your pedi waited 2 weeks to give you your test results. PA is potentially life-threatening.
I hope you will find this helpful.
[This message has been edited by margaret (edited February 12, 2001).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 5:16am
PattyR's picture
Joined: 04/12/2002 - 09:00

Hi Mir and welcome to the site. I am sure you will find the support that you are looking for here.
Your experience sounds very similar to those of many of us here. You may want to read the board about doctors needing more education about allergies. It sounds like your dr. may be one of them!
I would insist on an epipen jr. if your child weighs enough. I am not sure what the cut off is but someone here will. If your child is 13 mos. he is probably ready.
Did you see an allergist? If not,that would be the next step. I see that you had some testing done but it sounds like maybe it was done in the peds office. Definitely visit with an allergist. My ped didn't give us an epipen either. I finally insisted on seeing an allergist. He immediately prescribed an epipen and took the allergy much more seriously.
Most of all read as much as you can here. This is where I learned the most about PA.
You will come to find your own comfort zone. There is quite a variety here. I choose to have a nut free home. If my other kids must have peanut butter, they have to do so at school. I just want one totally safe place in the world for my child.
My son is allergic to peanuts and a variety of other nuts. Most of us stay away from tree nuts as well. Even if they aren't allergic now, they have a greater chance of becoming allergic to these things at some point.
I would also keep him away from other highly allergic foods such as shellfish if he hasn't had these food already. We recently found out that my son is allergic to shellfish.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 9:41am
Merri - Kim's picture
Joined: 01/31/2001 - 09:00

Hi Miriam! Welcome to our little world in cyberspace! All VERY good recomendations given above. Also, about the allergy testing, there is a gentler way for children. My allergist used a plastic base with prongs on it. At the end of each prong was a sort of brush thing. He dipped the board into the serum and put it on my son's arm. It was a little irritating, but not too painful. My son was diagnosed about three weeks ago, he will be 13 months on the 21st. We also have a daughter with no allergies. She's 27 months. This is a great website and discussion board. There is tonnes of information. Best of luck! Kim

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 10:10am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi Mir (is that like the space station? [img][/img]) and welcome!
My 3 year old daughter has peanut allergy and my 10 month old daughter has lactose intolerance, so I know what you're going through!
In my opinion, due to the very young age of your children, it might be best to keep peanut butter out of the house from now on. There are studies showing that very young children, who outgrow other allergies (like milk or eggs), and who have never had an anaphylactic reaction MAY outgrow peanut allergy. It is imperative that your son have no further contact with peanut products in order to even hope for this.
Peanut butter (PB) residue is sticky, invisible and FULL of the peanut protein that will cause your son to react. Your daughter may also kiss him after eating PB - all these "contact" reactions can be dangerous, not to mention uncomfortable for your son, due to the itching hives, etc.
To me, even though my older son loves PB, it is a matter of Cayley's health or my son's food preference - I choose Cayley's health! [img][/img]
Can you put Issac's milk in a sippy cup that is always the same colour? That way he gets used to always having the "blue" cup and his sister's milk can be put in the other colours, but never "blue".
Finally, read, read, read this site! I read posts for 2 months before I finally joined - it took me that long to get the information I needed! Great loads of info on the site. Welcome again! [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 11:53am
AnneK's picture
Joined: 01/04/2001 - 09:00

I'm also relatively new to this allergy and this board. This site is a great resource for information and empathy!
I would definitly try to get Isaac to an allergist and get an Epi for him. Emily was not prescribed an Epi Jr. because she is not yet 30 lbs. The allergist prescribed a 30 ml vial of adrenaline and syringes until she is closer the weight requirement.
I don't have any other children, so I'm not dealing with keeping foods seperated. I know if I have another child, regardless of their allergy status, my home will always be "peanut free". I did see some stickers in the FAAN catalog that are placed on food items to indicate if they are "safe" or "unsafe".
I would also get Isaac a MedicAlert (sp?) bracelet. I don't have the phone #, but I'm sure you can find it somewhere on this site.
I really feel this site is helping me keep Emily safe and I hope it does the same for you and Isaac.
Take care.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 12:12pm
katiee's picture
Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

Hi there and welcome. I know that this allergy can be overwhelming sometimes but you get better at it as time goes on.
I guess my biggest concern is your doctor's perceived lack of concern about your son's allergy. The fact that he told you to give him Benadril after your child's reaction is amazing to me. What he should have done is told to to get him to the ER ASAP. Benadril can "mask" symptoms and your child could have had a rebound reaction later on. The fact that his face was covered with hives, his emotional distress and the wheezing are clear warning signals of anaphylaxis. No one, not even your doctor, can predict how severely your child will react the next time. I would demand a prescription for an epi-pen JR (my son Wade was prescribed one at 18 months)as well as a referral to a pediatric allergist. In my opinion your doctor was being negligent in his treatment and could use some educating as far as life threatening allergies are concerned.
As for myself, I completely ridded my house of peanut and nut products after we found out about Wade's allergy. After finding this site I realized that there were just too many ways that cross contamination could happen (eg: knife with peanut butter on it put into the jam jar etc..). For me it comes down to not EVER wanting to see my son go through that ever again, not if I can help it anyway.
Good luck to you and the sites mentioned in other post are excellent sources of information. Another great site is the Calgary Allergy Network.
Keep your chin up! *S*
Katiee (Wade's mom)

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2001 - 1:05pm
Mir's picture
Joined: 02/12/2001 - 09:00

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has replied so far... I've had a very emotional afternoon with all of this, reading along and realizing how serious this could be, and being so scared for my baby. [img][/img] Your words have helped a LOT.
It turns out that when I was going through the lactose intolerance stuff with Isaac, another mom from my daughter's preschool told me her oldest was completely allergic to milk, and she helped me work through the whole soy/rice milk thing with Isaac. So this afternoon I called her up to ask who her son's allergist is, and in talking learned that he also has PA. So she had lots to tell me, an allergist to recommend, etc.
Hopefully we can get in to see the allergist soon. By the time I got through to the ped's office to get the referral, it was too late to call today. I will ask the pediatrician this, but is the minimum for the EpiPen 30 pounds? My kids are little and Isaac is having gaining problems to boot... he's barely 20 pounds right now and my almost-3-year-old isn't 30 pounds yet, either! What do you do if they're too little for the pen? I guess that's what I ask the allergist first.... (Whoops just reread the bit about adrenaline and syringes... well I guess it's good that I had to give myself injections all through my pregnancy, should I ever have to give him a shot with a regular syringe....)
Once again, thanks SO much, and perhaps when my head stops spinning I'll be a bit more coherent!
[This message has been edited by Mir (edited February 12, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/13/2001 - 12:31am
mcog's picture
Joined: 02/13/2001 - 09:00

To answer your qustion about other legumes: My 4-yr old is also severely allergic to lentils and split pea which are related to peanuts. Also potatoes as well (and other non-legumes like eggs, shrimp, and crab.) Homemade lentil soup sent us to the ER last fall after using our EPI-PEN.
As far as keeping other foods of your other kids away from the one who is advice...NO PEANUT products of any kind in your house period. This means checking all processed food products. Make everything from scratch and if making baked products that have items like choco. chips you must check with manufacturer for each product. Better err on the safe side.

Posted on: Tue, 02/13/2001 - 12:33am
mcog's picture
Joined: 02/13/2001 - 09:00

To answer your qustion about other legumes: My 4-yr old is also severely allergic to lentils and split pea which are related to peanuts. Also potatoes as well (and other non-legumes like eggs, shrimp, and crab.) Homemade lentil soup sent us to the ER last fall after using our EPI-PEN.
As far as keeping other foods of your other kids away from the one who is advice...NO PEANUT products of any kind in your house period. This means checking all processed food products. Make everything from scratch and if making baked products that have items like choco. chips you must check with manufacturer for each product. Better err on the safe side.

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2001 - 3:25pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Hello, I just have to say "hi" to another Miriam! I am very interested in the fact that Isaac had had peanut butter many times over a month period before he had a reaction. My daughter, Leah, didn't react until her 4th exposure. This has always seemed so unusual to me. You are the first person who has had a similar experience. I am glad you found this site, although I am truly sorry that you needed to. Good luck; I look forward to getting to know you.


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