Moms (of pa kids) who don\'t get it!

Posted on: Mon, 07/29/2002 - 2:30am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

pI am feeling really frusturated right now. I just dropped Leah (age 7 1/2) off at a theatre day camp she will be attending for the next two weeks. I have been really pleased with the way they have been receptive to my pa concerns and feel very comfortable (well, as comfortable as anyone can feel!) that they will take good care of Leah. Anyhow, as I was showing the counsellors how to administer an epi-pen and explaining when to do it, etc., the mom behind me said "my daughter is also allergic to peanuts". The counsellors looked up at her expecting to get another epi-pen (I think). She said "but she won't ever need that". The counsellors said "Oh" with evident relief, and asked her what type of reactions her daughter has had. She said that her tongue gets itchy and swells and she gets hives. I was sort of dumb struck. All I could think of to say that could possibly be helpful and non-confrontational, and not just totally turn her off was this: "you know, the new research shows that peanut allergies are very unpredictable. You never know what type of reaction someone could have, based on their past reactions. So, it probably makes sense to have an epi-pen just in case". She nodded at me as though she knew this. By the way, one of the counsellors also said that she can't eat peanuts because she gets stomach cramps from them. She said that she will make sure if anyone brings anything in to share it will not have nuts or peanuts in it./p
pAt first I felt really worried about the other child. I looked at her and thought "OMG, this child could die some day from her peanut allergy, because her mother is in La La land." Then, after I got in the car I started to worry that the counsellors will now think I am an over protective, unrealisic mom. I don't think I came across that way, however, as I was feeling quite calm about the whole thing./p
pMost likely, they'll just think that Leah's allergy is much more severe than the other child's. It just bugs me so much that there are still people who are so mis-informed. Maybe it comes down to their doctors being uninformed, so they never stress to these parents how serious this allergy is. I guess they've also never seen their child experience what they think is a serious reaction./p
pThanks for the venting opportunity; I needed it! Miriam/p

Posted on: Mon, 07/29/2002 - 3:15am
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Miriam,
I can so relate.
My sister husband's really good friend is married to someone in La La Land as well. I know this person very well since before kids we all use to hand around and party together.
She is wierd anyway but she has a daughter who eats peanuts and her nose runs, eyes get itchy and red and puffy and she sneezes.
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that somethings up. My sister seen the daughter in the store eating the peanuts and visibly reacting. I have said something to the husband but he is just as duh, and I am terrible with people that are...well like, duh [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
Their answer to "Why give your child peanuts, if she is showing signs of an allergic reaction?"...."She likes them".

Posted on: Mon, 07/29/2002 - 6:04am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I sort of run across this less directly with a neighbor mom. Her dd has some kind of "sensetivity" to some tree nut as discovered by an itchy tongue, and confirmed by "blood work". Epi was prescribed, but the mom thinks it will never happen, and needs to see a bigger reaction to believe she needs it. It makes it hard for me to have her take my dd's allergy seriously, and they have a younger child my dd's age. Her younger dd(no allergy) and mine sometimes play, and the allergic one is a mommy's helper on occasion for me. I would like to "groom her" for sitting(she is awesome with littler kids), as she gets older, but fear with the attitude at home, I might have trouble training her about the allergy and epi pens.
I also get the quote from lots of people about PA, after mentioning my dd's, "I know someone who is *really* allergic... or *deathly* allergic...", like my kid isn't! I always explain allergic is allergic and usually they kind of understand, but this mom just will not get it. We have been over it, politely, a few times and she is not convinced it can be so dangerous without any indication. mish

Posted on: Mon, 07/29/2002 - 2:35pm
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

I have run across this also at my daughter`s school. In her grade but not in her class are pa twins. One of them has three reactions a year. The mother says he is mild. My daughter has had only one reaction in her life! (the WholeSoy incident with the imitation ice cream on shared equipment and not stated.) It was shocking to me that the mom did not request a peanut free class or peanut free table and I did. So out of the three pa kids only one parent is requesting peanut free class. I was also really worried that people would think I was overreacting. To the teacher and the nurse I said, however cautious someone is or isn`t, if a child is having 3 reactions a year it is the parent`s job to figure out what is causing them or talk to the doctor to find out and figure out what to do differently. I got nowhere. So my new tactic which works is "my daughter is so much more severe than the twins". Not that I believe that. I have no idea if the twins are severe or not, obviously I haven`t seen their CAP-RAST (actually they haven`t had them done). Otherwise it comes across like she isn`t a good mother. Of course we all have our opinions of people who are lax about the pa, but it seems to be more affective to put that aside and pretend I think my daughter is just more severe.

Posted on: Mon, 07/29/2002 - 3:41pm
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

This will sound heartless, but these people actually contribute to my peace of mind and my sense of security about my son's peanut allergy. The fact is, it has only been recently that parents of PA kids have learned to be hyper-vigilant, worry about cross-contam, carry epi, etc. Thirty years ago you avoided peanuts and hoped for the best. Some people still do little more than that. My daughter has a classmate who is PA--no epi, no special precautions, and the school doesn't even know about the allergy. Well, the fact is, the kid will probably be fine. Most people with PA do not die from it, even if they do have 3 reactions a year. Those of us on this board are different because we are trying to avoid even a small chance of a single reaction. Although I am much less vigilant than many who post here, I think I could even be less careful and my son would probably be fine. I think. But it's not a risk I care to take. Everybody takes some chances (I know I do--I just refuse to worry about gum and bread and macaroni & cheese and other foods that other people DO worry about and I refuse to agonize over potential minute levels of cross contamination, even though other people are concerned about them). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is there are people all over the spectrum. I'm happy to be somewhere in the middle and I'm happy that death from PA is rare and even the least vigilant people will probably be fine. My husband works with a guy who is allergic to peanuts. The guy is in his 50s and eats mixed nuts on airplanes (after casually inquiring to be sure there are no peanuts). A woman I know has a PA husband who loves Thai food and more than once has been rushed to the ER after eating out--he doesn't carry an epi! Sounds crazy (and I think it is) but the fact is most people actually do not die from peanut allergy. I find that very reassuring.

Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2002 - 12:04am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Sandra, I have actually been thinking about starting a topic, just to see how much variance there is in our "comfort zones". I find what you say to echo some of my feelings, though the more I read and learn, I find I tighten up because I feel like I cannot just ignore once I know there is a risk.
But, fact is, my dd ate PB sandwiches for a couple of months, several times a week, before the allergy obviously manifested itself. I continued to give her foods that were surely cross contaminated(I did not know it then). She was fine. Maybe I recall a random hive on her lip or cheek, and would wonder why(but I get a hive here and there all the time and have no clue why!).
My point is also that I find some comfort in seeing less careful situations where the children or adults are actually fine, even if I do not practice the same strategy, so to speak. I am sure there are plenty who would never be anaphylactice, but just are allergic, and those who are highly anaphylactic. The trouble is not knowing who is or isn't until it happens!
I have a friend who has a PA son. She just did not know how serious it is, and he just knows it makes him sick. He has always been fine! I was seeking advice from her now that I found out my child has PA, and realized she did not know the things I knew. I ended up giving her advice, which was well-recieved, BTW. Anyway, just sharing. I hesitate to really have a whole topic on it because I do not want to incite debate, but just curious to hear the spectrum without judgement. becca

Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2002 - 3:13am
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Joined: 06/20/2002 - 09:00

I know (somewhat) how you feel. My son was just recently diagonsed with PA and my brother's best friend's son is also PA. I thougth that this would be a great resource for me and that I could gather some information from them on PA, seeing that their boy was older.
Wrong. In one week I knew more about PAs, tests, safe and not safe places to eat, cross contaminations, etc due to this site, the FAAN site and the books that I picked up. When I saw them at a party with thier children I wanted to talk to them about it, and they did not know one thing. In fact--she was giving him M&Ms! They have an Epi pen but no idea how to use it, but no medi bracelet. In fact no testing had been done by their ped and he was two. He had reactions twice with hives and swollen lips.
I tried to tell her about bakery products, fast food places etc, but they just poo-pooed me along. My husband was with me, and he is a firefighter/EMT and could not believe how lax they were being on this issue. Seeing children and having treated children with severe allergic reactions, as he has done in the past, we are very serious about this.
I hope that nothing happens to her son of course, but they are not taking the proper precautions, and their other son is no PA, so they still feed him PB&J in the house.

Posted on: Tue, 07/30/2002 - 10:30pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Am I wrong in thinking that perhaps the doctors should shoulder alot of the blame for the inability of the parents to see the seriousness of PA? I know my one friend used a local allergist for her daughter who wouldn't even write a letter about peanut avoidance for the school. He didn't even write a prescription for the epipen (her daughter's allergic to peanuts and a few other things). She did get one a year later. I repeat only ONE for school. Gosh, I'm planning on four because it would be an hour before he would be in any hospital emergency room in our area. Our allergist (not local) really set us on the right path of how dangerous PA is and gave us instructions on how to proceed. Much of what we learned was from PA.com, but initially, he helped steer us on the right course.

Posted on: Wed, 07/31/2002 - 11:00pm
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Joined: 08/27/2002 - 09:00

My SIL is allergic to peanuts. She has had one anaphyalic reaction and was told to carry an EpiPen. I have seen her eat candy that was from a plate full of mixed homemade candies and talk about her mouth tingling. I thought if I ever get the chnace I will ask he if she wants her kids to see her choke to death. No wonder the family doesn't take our dd allergies seriously.
Connielynn

Posted on: Thu, 08/01/2002 - 1:57am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

Connielynn, not that you asked my opinion, and it's hard to tell on boards when someone is just blowing off steam or making a joke...but it seems like if you confront your SIL by saying something like that she will just become defensive. If your family is not supporting your decisions about your daughter's PA, I'd think the last thing you'd want to do is get into a power struggle with your SIL, an adult who has lived with her allergy and probably feels competent to handle it. After all, she's still alive so I doubt she'll change her ways--she most likely feels that she's handling it just fine. I know I would be furious if a family member told me I should stop giving my son ice cream or I'm not careful enough because he goes next door without his epi-pen. I like the idea a few of the women here have, of saying, "Oh yeah, but my child has a "severe" allergy." That way you don't have to come into direct conflict with someone doing things differently.
I hope you don't mind my saying this, because I do understand your frustration--it must be hard for you to have another PA person in the family who thinks PA is no big deal. But I just think confronting her could just make it harder--she might start taking more chances just to irritate you and "prove" that it's no big deal. But of course you know her personality better than I do, maybe she could deal with it. Anyway, good luck! I'm sorry you're having some problems with your family.

Posted on: Thu, 08/01/2002 - 3:15am
AJSMAMA's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

Maybe I am an obessive worrier but these la la land parents are not making me feel like my son's allergy is not that bad, they are making me worry about their kids as well as my own! I literally feel ill when my co-worker who claims her daughter is pa talks about how she is "just allergic to the actual peanut-not when it is in stuff or the oil or anything." She gives her child plain m&m's, bakery goods, never asks what oil things are fried in etc... I equate that with never holding your toddler's hand in a busy parking lot. Maybe they will get hit and maybe not, but who in their right mind would chance that?
Take Care.
Jaime

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