New and in Denial

Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2004 - 1:11am
seaside's picture
Joined: 08/20/2004 - 09:00

We just found out that my 6 year old son is allergic to peanuts. He has enviromental allergies, and the allergist never wanted to test him for peanuts because as a baby we would give him peanut butter sandwiches, and he never had any kind of reaction. He did not like peanut butter, so we never gave it to him after that. At age 3 we gave him a homemade chocalate covered peanut cluster. He immediatly threw it up, but we did not think about it, we just thought that he had too much for dinner. It wasn't until a year later at easter when he accidental ate a piece of candy that had peanuts that we realized that he throws up after eating peanuts. He would always say that his throat felt funny, and then he would vomit. When he said his throat felt funny, we just thought that it was the texture of the peanut butter. Also we thought he was throwing up because he really did not like the taste of peanuts. Like I said before his allergist said that he could not be allergic to peanuts because he use to eat it and have no reactions. A couple of weeks ago he needed to be tested for his other allergies because he is starting allergy shots. We made him test our DS for peanuts, and sure enough he is allergic. Our doctor did the skin test.

A couple of weeks ago before we knew he was allergic, we went to the grocery store. They had free samples of a low carb granola bar. I let my DS have the Cran Raision one. They were also sampling peanut butter at the time. About 40 minutes later my DS said that his throat felt funny, and he thought he was going to vomit. It didn't last very long, and he never did vomit. Now that I know of his allergy, I can't stop thinking about that day. We were in a hurry, and I was not interested in a low carb garnola bar that I didn't even pay attention to what brand it was. Did it have peanuts in it, or did the reacton just come from using the same knive.

We have gone through so many emotions. At first we cried for a whole week. We found this board and we were just frighened about everything. Then we felt guilty because we would give hime peanuts because we thought that someday he would like it. Our allergist told us how lucky we were that nothing happened. Now I think that I am in denial. These are my questions. Last week we went to a birthday party. It was our first since we found out. We ate before we went, and did not let him have any of the cake, m&m's and brownies. He is 6 years old. We have been to soo many parties, where he has eaten everything and had no problem. His sister eats a peanut butter sandwich 2-3 times a week for the past year. They sit right next to each other and he has never had a problem. We have eaten in many restaurants, never checked ingrediances for hidden peanuts, or peanut product, and he has never reacted to any of this. Should we start now? I don't really understant the slightly allergic. I have read that you can eat it 99 times without a reaction, then the 100 time you can die. This is what scares me the most. Another queston we have is when to give him the epi-pen. Would we have given it to him a couple of weeks ago when he said his throat felt funny. He had no trouble breathing. No hives, and he didn't even throw up. Now if he said his throught felt funny, I would watch him and the first breath that sounded funny, I would give it to him, is this the right thing to do or not. Can you be slightly alergic to peanuts? I know that we will start checking labels and not giving him anything that contains peanuts, but I don't know what I want to do about may contain peanuts right now. Should we take everthing away since he has never had a problem? We have emptied our house of all peanut products, and we will not alow anyone to eat peanuts or peanut products around him. He starts first grade next week. We are going in to meet with his teacher and nurse a couple of days before school starts. I know we do not have a peanut free school. Last year in kindergarden he never had any problems.

Any advice would be helpful.

[This message has been edited by seaside (edited August 20, 2004).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2004 - 7:22am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Hi seaside - first of all welcome to the board, it is a wonderful resource.
You bring up a few things I can directly relate to; how your son used to eat everything at birthday parties, and how he sat next to his sister eating peanut butter and nothing happened. I didn't get my son tested until a year after he first had a reaction to peanuts. I was completely ignorant - I thought a peanut allergy was like an allergy to strawberries - just avoid it and you'll be ok. In that year he had countless things that I now know are off limits - may contains, Carvel ice cream cake, bakery cookies, etc. We still ate peanut butter in our house, and he never reacted. (Of course, now that we know better, we realize how very, very lucky we were. God was truly watching over him during that year!) We finally had him scratch tested and learned what we neede to do to keep him safe. We always thought he must not be very allergic, since he never reacted to any of the may contains or to us eating pb around him - we were so wrong! He tested a 6, over 100%. We actually just had him tested this spring by blood test, and he is still a 6. So the fact that your son hasn't reacted in the past doesn't necessarily mean that his allergy isn't severe. Did your allergist give you any kind of a number indicating the severity of his allergy? Or did he tell you that his allergy was slight? As far as I know, all peanut allergies are life threatening and should always be considered as such.
As for birthday parties, well, they can still be fun. [img][/img] You're in a different situation because your child is coming into this a little older. But what many of us do is bring our PA child their own treat (usually a cupcake) to have instead of the birthday cake, and carry some "safe" candy. My son is so used to this routine that he doesn't even glance at the cake at this point!
Keep reading the board (a little at a time, or you may feel overwhelmed by it all!) The manufacturers thread is a good place to find lots of info about safe brands to use.

Posted on: Fri, 08/27/2004 - 6:57am
Faithfullyhis7's picture
Joined: 07/25/2004 - 09:00

Hi Seaside!
Welcome to! There is alot of good info here, but can also be overwhelming at times. Everyone here has a different comfort zone. I personally have a mild allergy to peanuts. On skin test I am negative and in the past can eat PB&J and nothing happened. I tested .16 on rast test and .15 or less considered negative. My Dr. said he isn't worried about me. I ate a peanut butter cookie after my skin test came back negative and my allergist advised me that I didn't have a peanut allergy. After eating, my throat felt numb but never swelled. I took Benadryl and was seen by my allergist whom gave me presidone to counteract any problems I might encounter later in the day. 3 weeks later my rast test came back positive. a couple of weeks prior to eating the cookie, I had been eating the Toll House choc chip sandwich cookies which are "may contains" and my face would break out a lil and I took Benadryl the last time and then I just quit eating them. So, My comfort zone doesn't allow may contains anymore. For choc baking goods and choc candy view vermont and ice cream chapmans/Philly swirl has some ice cream that is peanut/tree-nut free made in a peanut free/tn free facility.....***Not all their ice cream is peanut/tn free!!!!!!!!!
I have a lil boy and I am struggling with what to do about cakes!!!! this year I let him have one. I didn't eat it and it didn't affect me. However, the dr has requested that I not give him peanut products until he is 3 yrs old!!! my toddler is hanging on my legs crying! Gotta run.

Posted on: Mon, 08/30/2004 - 6:01am
coldincanada's picture
Joined: 07/28/2004 - 09:00

Hi seaside. I understand how you are feeling. My daughter (also age 6 entering grade 1) had a severe reaction last month after trying a bit of peanut butter on a cracker. Before that she always just hated the smell of it so we avoided obvious peanuts. Always ate "may or may not contains" and we have had no problems until last month. I have absolutely no advice for you but I am eagerly awaiting what others can tell you. This site really freaks me out! The more I read, the more scared I get. Luckily we are in a peanut-free classroom (met with principal) and there are lots of other kids with this in the school...but I still haven't adjusted to much - besides reading the obvious labels & carrying epi-pen everywhere. Good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 3:02am
seaside's picture
Joined: 08/20/2004 - 09:00

Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for the kind words. We have been through so many emotions (still). I have just started to calm down a bit. I do not want to go through life scared all of the time. On the other hand we are being much more careful.
Last week we went to a party and they had peanut butter balls covered in chocolate. We brought our son all his own food, this is something that we are doing now, and it is not so bad. Everyone knows about his allergy, and they seem to get it, but we are so concerned about other people eating it around him. The peanut butter balls just put me over the edge. Everyone was eating them with their hands. Could he have a reaction if it touches his skin, we don't know. In 6 years we have had no problems, but we now know every time is different. We are going to the allergist tomorrow. We are going to ask so many questions now that we have more info. The allergist never told us about any numbers, or how severe it is. We will ask him tomorrow.
Our DS started 1st grade this week. The nurse asked me if he has reactions to being around it. Once again we don't know, and it is the area that my husband and I are the most confused about. We did find out that our school is NOT peanut free, they serve PB&J sandwiches everyday in the lunch line, and there is not peanut free table. Our son ate lunch yesterday next to a girl who was eating a PB&J sandwich, and when I asked him why he didn't chance his seat, he said that he is not allowed to get up at lunch. Today he is going to talk to the teacher and tell her that he can not sit next to anyone eating PB&J. Does anyone have any experience with their child eating at the same table but just at the other end? Are you combortable with this? I am so afraid that if I push for a peanut free table, that he will be the only one sitting at it, and eventually be teased and have no friends. I know that alot of people will not agree, but like I said before we do not want to live in fear, and the thought of him eating lunch everyday alone is just too much.
Any thoughts?

Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2004 - 6:26am
mcmom's picture
Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Seaside, my son doesn't eat lunch in school yet, but I know that in his school what they do for the PA children is have them sit at the end seat of their table, and give them a disposable cardboard tray (as opposed to a plastic one) to eat off of. If one of the lunchroom monitors sees that a PA child is sitting next to a child with pb, they will switch their seat. I was talking to the principal yesterday and she was asking if ds was contact allergic. Like you, I have no idea, as he's never come in contact with it! At this point I don't have a problem with him sitting at the same table, just as long as he's not next to the person eating it. However, although his school isn't nut free, they don't sell any peanut products or peanut butter in the cafeteria, so I'll just be dealing with whatever kids bring it in from home.
I know that when my son starts eating lunch in school next year, I am going to volunteer to be a lunch monitor. (By then my younger child will be in school also). Maybe you could do something like that? I know at this age, kids are still actually excited to see their moms at school [img][/img]
Peanut butter balls would *definitely* put me over the edge too! Sounds disgusting, who thinks these things up anyway?

Posted on: Mon, 09/20/2004 - 1:47pm
Childrenalllergic2peanuts's picture
Joined: 09/16/2004 - 09:00

Hi there,
I am very new to this site. Please check out my story under the school section that tells my son was given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunchtime at his school.
I feel your pain and denial. Do you know how many times I glance at the lunchables with the butterfingers in them and say "Nope, not for our family".
How about Halloween, Christmas, and Easter? Candies wrapped in foils without labels to tell what is in them. Even if the candy is just chocolate, it may have traces of peanuts in it.
Both my children are allergic to peanuts. My children have "Jelly" sandwiches. I guess that is how they improvise.
Oh, don't forget that some turkeys are deep fried in peanut oil. Especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Also know that Chick-Fil-a cooks their chiken in peanut oil.
I wish you the best. Know that you are not alone.

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