My 12 month old just was diagnosed with several allergies last week. We had given her milk and she broke out into hives which is why we went to the allergist. She turned out to be allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, corn & pork. The corn & pork were milder reactions so we are going to try to add them back in in a few weeks to see what happens. I am also still nursing her. I am weaning, but I can't eat anything now! I am reading every label, but am so afraid I will give her something she can't have! I just want her to have a normal childhood!
On Jan 25, 2006
Well, you certainly came to the right place! Most of us here are dealing with MFA (multiple food allergies) and many started out at about the same place you find yourself in. We REALLY know what you are feeling. Kind of like you just got off an hour on the Tilt-O-Whirl, huh?
I have good news:
1. You just got nominated to be "SuperMom," you know, the one who never misses a field trip, always makes a cake for a birthday party, and is NEVER "too busy" for her kid. Your child doesn't have to get very old before they notice. And appreciate.
2. As you already probably aware, most of those allergies will probably be outgrown before junior high school. So it almost certainly will get better from here on out. (But be forewarned, if you have a lot of allergies in your family, other things may be yet to come...)
3. Normal, Schnormal. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Your child sounds perfectly normal to ME. (And probably to most of the members here!) I've noticed that my child is mostly a real trooper about all the things that are either modified to extremes or just off-limits. It's the life she knows.
5. You already have a good allergist! Good for you. This is a real hurdle for a lot of us.
Now, the bad news is fairly grim right now, but it gets better year by year. You'll probably just have to eat as little allergenic food as you can until your baby is weaned. (To this day I HATE plain steamed rice.)
Give yourself permission to learn as you go. Paralyzing guilt when you make mistakes (and we ALL do) will not help. Learn from 'em and keep on truckin'. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
You have to trust your instincts. You already know your child better than anyone else, so you know the allergies better too.
Recharge so that you can keep being SuperMom each day. Find a way to relax that doesn't increase your stress level further. (A family member once suggested I needed to get out to the gym and leave my daughter at the free childcare for an hour... RIGHT.)
Don't let panic run you. It doesn't do any good, so keep taking deep breaths until it passes. (My acquaintances probably think I have some sort of nervous tic at this point, but I am well-oxygenated....)
Try to be on the same page with Dad, since flak from family and friends is almost a given. Your skin will thicken up with time, but it sure hurts. Makes it better if you have someone to commiserate with when a parent or favorite sibling seems intent on killing your child.
The practical side of things you'll pick up by reading here. Take it a little at a time and you'll do fine.
Welcome to another SuperMom! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
(I see from your profile that you are a pharmacist... that may really come in handy later [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Many of us here use daily meds to damp down our kids' immune system overdrive. )
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited January 25, 2006).]
On Jan 25, 2006
Well, it's hard to add anything to Corvallis' mom's post, can I cheat and just say ditto to what she said [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
We are in a similar boat as you, and found out around the same time. My ds is now 3 1/2, and I feel like things have finally turned a corner. He's enrolled in a phenominal preschool which takes great care of him, we do playgroup, and have lots of playdates, but are very, very careful. Epipen and Benadryl goes everywhere with us.
For us, the hardest part initially was avoiding all those sippie cups filled with milk. My ds had a reaction at a playgroup that way. Once we taught him to drink only out of his own cup (around 2 yrs. old?) that got less stressful.
Label reading for that many allergens takes a while, but you'll get there. Have you checked out [url="http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org?"]www.kidswithfoodallergies.org?[/url] Great site too! And [url="http://www.foodallergy.org?"]www.foodallergy.org?[/url] They were very helpful with label reading.
Last resources I'll recommend before you feel like your head will explode: "The Parent's Guide to Food Allergies" by Marianne Barber and "What's to Eat? The Milk, Egg, Nut Free Cookbook" by Linda Marienhoff-Coss.
Give yourself time to learn, be ready for a reaction, and you'll do ok [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Better than ok, you'll do great [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Meg
------------------ ***[b] ALLERGY ELIMINATOR*** [/b]
Meg, mom to: Matt 3 yrs. PA,MA,EA Sean 3 yrs. NKA
On Jan 26, 2006
Thank you all for the advice & support! My older daughter is 2 1/2 and has no allergies. She LOVES peanut butter! She eats it at least once a day. I have cut it out since we found out, but it is hard for her to not have it. Any ideas??? The doc recommended we not have it in the house. I don't want to risk it, but it is her favorite food. Also, do you all trust the labels, or do you also call the company to see if the food is safe? I'm new to all of this and am not sure how to go about making sure everything is ok - espically with the multiple allergies she has. Thanks!
On Jan 26, 2006
"I just want her to have a normal childhood! "
This will happen, my son is now almost 5 (we have been dealing with the egg & peanut allergy for almost 4 years & I have alway found a way to make a safe item or even for my son.
On Jan 26, 2006
Try to find a Whole Foods store, or similar natural foods grocery store. You will find allergen-free specialty foods there.
On Jan 26, 2006
Try Sunbutter for the older sister - we love it in our house. [url="http://www.Sunbutter.com"]www.Sunbutter.com[/url] Great stuff, and completely safe.
Just to try to help out with the nerves - my son had an anaphylactic reaction to his first pb&j sandwich when he was 13 months old. He just turned 6 and he hasn't had a "major" reaction since. So it can be done! Hang in there - read lots - give yourself some time to digest - then read some more.
And yes - do call food manufacturers. Eventually you will develop what we around here call a comfort zone. You will decide which answers you are comfortable with and which ones are unacceptable to you.
You will probably lose some friends - they won't think that your situation is worth their time or effort, and they won't be careful enough. But you will also gain some insights into your true friends, and it will become obvious to you just how much you do mean to them, because of the things they will do in order to keep your child safe.
You will make mistakes some days, and you will probably cry about it. You will have other days that the Super Mom in you will shine brightly, and you'll be really proud of yourself. Was it Oprah that said - You will have to find a *new* normal? Anyway - who ever said it, it's kind of how it will evolve.
------------------ Sherlyn Mom to 6 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not. Stay Informed And Peanut Free!
On Jan 26, 2006
Thanks for the info! I am so excited about trying the sunbutter! I looked at their website and ordered a big jar!! I know Madelyn will like it.