Just found out today my daughter has PA

Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2001 - 11:32am
Michele Iadarola's picture
Joined: 05/29/2001 - 09:00

pI just found out today my 19 month old daughter has a peanut butter allergy. I am really SCARED and OVERWHELMED!!br /
Her allergist gave me this website as a good source of information and I am very happy he did. In reading other postings I am realizing May 29 2001 is going to be the day my daughter and our families' lives will be changed forever.br /
The questions "Where do I go from here?" keeps going through my head.br /

Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2001 - 12:50pm
Triciasmom's picture
Joined: 08/03/2000 - 09:00

Hi Michele!
Welcome to the boards! First of all, take a deep breath. It's going to be okay. I know it feels totally overwhelming at first, but once the initial shock wears off, you will "find your groove."
At least, that is how it is for most of us. My daughter was 15 months when she had a reaction to PB. It was very scary, and I was terrified. But we went to the allergist and got a couple epi-pens and a bottle of benedryl and tons of info. And then I went home and cleaned out all the cupboards and the refrigerator. Our house is a peanut-free zone.
If peanut is the only allergy you are dealing with, there are still lots of things that your child can have. There are lots of threads on the boards about safe foods and manufacturers. But if you need specific recommendations, I feel safe with Pepperidge Farms goldfish, Rold Gold pretzels, Ritz crackers, Nabisco Oreos, to name a few.
Take time to read the message threads on the boards. And don't hesitate to ask questions. There are no stupid questions.
All of us, at one time or another, get overwhelmed. It can get stressful. But you can do it. We are all in this together, and you can always come to the boards for support.

Posted on: Tue, 05/29/2001 - 3:01pm
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Our lives changed May 11, 2000 in the emergency room of St. Peter MN.
I sympathize completely with you! Where do you go from here?
Take a very deep breath- no, take three.
Then feed your daughter again and begin to let go of your guilt. You didn't do this to her, and you CAN protect her.
Clean out your cupboards and remove peanuts and tree nuts from your house! It is crucial for your daughter's development that she still have freedom in your own home. With a pa toddler, it is even more critical. My own comfort zone does not extend to allowing my child to run around loose in the grocery store or anywhere else that peanuts/peanut butter are ubiquitous, so we allow her to explore and discover at home instead of other places.
Our daughter suffered an anaphylactic initial reaction, but has been reaction free for over a year now. It does get easier, but with a toddler (as you already know) nothing is ever exactly EASY. Get a medic-alert bracelet if your daughter is at high risk for anaphylaxis (and it sounds like she might be). If she gets used to wearing one now, she is much more likely to wear it ALWAYS. (Our daughter never ever takes hers off. Ever.) She hardly notices anymore, but at two, she is able to say that it says "No nuts" (among other things- but its a start).
Think carefully about how to chart your course and the examples of good decision making that you set for your child.
As odd as it seems, I think that you have in some ways been given a very special gift today- you are forced to stop now and fathom the depths of your love for your child. It is too easy to forget how really fragile and precious your child is, but with pa, you never forget again.
Good luck! You CAN do this.

Posted on: Wed, 05/30/2001 - 3:48am
Liamsmom's picture
Joined: 02/21/2001 - 09:00

Our lives changed on February 17th, 2001. I'm generally lousy with dates, but I'll never forget that one. The last three months have been the most intense of my life, even more so than the period followng Liam's birth. There's so much to learn about PA, and you know your child's allergy isn't going to give you a grace period while you educate yourself about its management. But by finding this site, you've found an invaluable resource for learning about all aspects of the allergy, and for sharing your questions and fears with other people who know exactly what you're feeling.
I thought Corvallis Mom phrased it beautifully when she said that PA makes you realize the depth of your love for your child. I find it can be painful to love someone so much. But that love that will give you the courage to do whatever it takes to keep her happy and safe. Welcome, Michele!

Posted on: Wed, 05/30/2001 - 4:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Michelle, welcome! We found out our son was PA when he was 18 months old (I have tried to find a pattern re this particular age and PA). We didn't have a computer and I don't even believe this website existed even if we had. He is now 5-1/2 years old.
It was WONDERFUL that your allergist referred you to this sight. I think you will find, through the support of many many others in the same position as you are (having a PA child), you will find this less overwhelming and less frightening.
The great thing about here is that you can ask every question you feel you need to have answered, when you want to ask it. And, you will get answers.
The one thing I strongly advise against, and this is from someone who didn't find this site until their son was over 4, is that you don't try to read everything here right away.
It can be overwhelming and sometimes scary.
It's best to stick with what it is you feel you need to know for yourself and to protect your daughter and get the answers you need by posting.
It is going to be okay. You will find that some people are posting with children younger than your daughter and there are always people posting with children at each different age along the way, so it's really great. You kinda learn what you need to learn for say a 5 year old PA child by getting responses from the PA parent of a 7 year old child. They've "been there, done that" (although I hate that expression).
Again, welcome and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 05/30/2001 - 10:43am
Michele Iadarola's picture
Joined: 05/29/2001 - 09:00

Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom and support. I thank God there is a web site like this that people can turn to for help.

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