It\'s been a while, but I\'m still here

Posted on: Wed, 05/07/2003 - 1:47pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I can't believe it has been over two years since I last posted on this board, although I have been visiting periodically to read posts, gather information, or do a little research. I just re-read all my old posts with a few tears in my eyes. One statement I made was..."What am I going to do when it is time for my son to go to kindergarten?!" When I posted that message, my son was 2 1/2 and now he is almost five and we are getting ready for kindergarten.

I am embarrassed to say that I had gradually widened my comfort zone as no reactions had occurred and my son had starting asking about the safety of something before he ate it...especially if it was unfamiliar to him. Then the week before easter my worst nightmare visited. My son took a bite of a Snickers shaped like an Easter Egg. It was in a treat bag with special treats brought in by the students in his pre-school class. I'm still kicking myself over this because the teachers in his class are generally VERY careful and just happened to overlook this unusually shaped Snickers. They had even handed me the bag so I could check everything before the bag went into Joshua's hands (usually I dump it all and replace with safe snacks). But, as I was talking to them I handed the bag to Joshua to hold without even thinking. Joshua promply went just out of eye-sight and snuck a bite. I went to find Joshua (were only talking seconds here) while continuing the conversation and immediately went into a panic. It looked like only one bite and I had him spit the majority of it into my hand. I scooped him up and headed for the car where I immediately gave him Benadryl and headed for home where I called the doctor. The DR on-call for my allergist told me to watch him closely for about 2 hrs and if he started a reaction take him to the emergency. Two hours passed with no reaction...I was thinking maybe he had outgrown the allergy (hoping anyway). So I called my mother-in-law to tell her what had happened and that Joshua was fine and now asleep on the couch. While talking to her (we were at the 3 hour point now and I was feeling very calm and safe) I heard Joshua make a funny sounding cough. I looked and him and he was swollen, bright red and wheezing. I hung up immediately and called 911! (Poor Grannie-Annie was freaked and too far away to help!) While on the phone with 911 I picked Joshua up to take him where I had the epi-pens and he started vomitting. The lady said help was on the way and to hold off on the epi-pen for now but to stay on the line with her. Paramedics arrived in less than 3 minutes. Everything from then on is just a blur...the nurse later told me I was good at providing info on Joshua and glad that I was quick with Benadryl. After a long afternoon and evening, we brough Joshua home hyped on steriods that would continue for the next week. It was strange that evening, he would "pop" a hive and then it would disappear as quickly as it appeared. I guess it was a sign that his body was still reacting and the medicine was still working but it concerned me just the same. My husband and I took turns watching him sleep that night. Ever since this incident a short time ago, Joshua seems more sensitive. We have problems in the grocery store and the mall where we have never had problems before...wheezing and red spots on the face. I feel as though I can no longer take my son anywhere which leads me back to the question I asked 2 1/2 years ago...how am I going to send him to kindergarten?

A mom with a tightened up comfort zone and seriously considering therapy for herself ...Cheryl

Posted on: Wed, 05/07/2003 - 2:14pm
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Cheryl, I hope your son is OK now. It broke my heart to read your post. It brings the terror I felt during my sons anaphylactic reactions all back, and I know exactly how you feel. I hope sharing here has helped you a little bit, knowing your not alone.

Posted on: Wed, 05/07/2003 - 9:49pm
maddiesmom's picture
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Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

Cheryl-
It broke my heart this morning to read your post. I am so very glad that your son is ok. My PA daughter is the same age as your son, and I know that they do things in a split second without time for us to respond. Those pre-schoolers are quick! My daughter almost ate a "goodie" from a neighbor and I was standing right next to her also.
Thank you for sharing your story, it is great to educate all of us on the time it can take for a reaction to show up. I always assumed that if my PA DD would have a reaction it would be within minutes of her digesting the item. (I know they tell us it can take up to 4 hours-but it just seemed it would show up quicker).
In regards to kindergarten....I have panic attacks when I think about this fall. I think I have found a kindergarten that will be safe for Madeline (kindergarten is not in the public schools in NH) The current "peanut free" preschool she is in will not be where she will attend next year. It is a long story... I understand your stress about kindergarten. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Thank you again for sharing your info and story. I learn so much from all of you.

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2003 - 12:00am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Cheryl, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to Joshua.
I want to thank you for sharing your story on the board, because it really does help everyone here in learning how to treat this allergy. So many of us would have thought that we were also home-free as you did when you put Joshua to sleep.
Something that has been discussed before on the various message boards is the intense emotional fallout after a serious reaction.
It's a very difficult time and those overwhelming feelings can take some time to cool down.
Be sure to come here and unload if there's a time when you need to.
Remember that you and Joshua are far from alone.

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2003 - 2:30am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

Cheryl, river and Maddiesmom are right, so many people can learn from what happened to you and your son. I was thinking more people might see it if you posted under Reactions. If your up to it, it would be the silver lining in this.

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2003 - 5:29am
esmom's picture
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Joined: 07/25/2001 - 09:00

Oh I feel so bad for you, that could be any of us!! it seems that when you think your doing ok this $#%^&%&^ allergy smacks you in the face...I guess it is a one day at a time. We can all help each other

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2003 - 5:54am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Cheryl, I'm offering you my {{{hugs}}} as well. Please don't be embarrassed that your comfort zone had widened: that is a natural transition that happens for many of us when our kids have been reaction free for quite some time. I am so sorry to learn of Joshua's reaction and the fact that now he is showing greater sensitivity to exposure.
I agree that we can all learn a lot from your story. One thing that concerned me was that the 911 operator told you to hold off on giving the epi-pen. I don't think that was good advice. Just wanted to point that out for people dealing with a reaction in the future.
I am so glad that joshua is "O.K." now. I totally understand your fears. I sought therapy for myself when my anxieties about my daughter's allergies became overwhelming for me. It helped a lot. I have heard that Lisa Cipriano Collins - the author of "caring for your child with severe food allergies" - is available for phone consultations. I think there may be a thread about this on the boards. That may be a good option for you if you think you may just need some short term help.
Good luck to you and your family. - Miriam

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2003 - 11:06am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cheryl,
I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to son. It's just awful you had to go through that, how scarry. I hope all is well now. Thanks for posting your experience.
My son, who just turned 5 had a two hour delayed reaction to peanuts when he was two. It was his first reaction (knock on wood) and only reaction.
I too am stressed about my son entering kindergarten this fall. Although the school will be placing all of the PA kids in the same peanut free classroom. I will still prepare a 504 plan and be one of those overly protective and paranoid mothers. Thank goodness, our school district is pretty allergy aware.
Take care and good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 05/08/2003 - 11:23am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

oops...double post...sorry
[This message has been edited by B's Mom (edited May 08, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/09/2003 - 6:12am
virginia mom's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2003 - 09:00

I am so glad that you posted your experience although I am also so sorry that you had to go through it. I've known about my daughter's allergy for four years, but I am still learning new things about PA every day. I would have never expected that a reaction could show up hours later. I swear, I think I have my daughter's school scared that at one bite of peanut, she would immediately fall to the ground like sleeping beauty! Your child is lucky to have a mom like you who knew what to do and was there to take care of him. My daughter just finished her kindergarten year in a school where she is the first student they have ever had with PA (!?). I gave them the Food Allergy Network Binder which gave them all sorts of info and a video to share with the staff. The video is only about 20 minutes long and is an outstanding tool for getting our point across about PA. It saved me alot of emotional explaining about my daughter's allergy.

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