New and overwhelmed!

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 4:00pm
daddycool's picture
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Joined: 02/01/2006 - 09:00

My 5-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed as highly allergic to peanuts. where do I start? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] I'm utterly overwhelmed. I hear about safe places being unsafe because of employees' practices, I hear about peanut products which go by other names in ingredient lists ... Can someone tell me where I should start when it comes to re-evaluating our lives to protect my sweet girl? Feel free to email me, too. I see how helpful this community is to itself, and I'm eager to become part of it. Thank you!

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 7:56pm
williamsmummy's picture
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Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

welcome to the boards !
It can be overwhelming, but we are here to help and support.
Give us some questions , break down in to areas,
such as food labeling,
cross contamination
schools
epi pens etc
or feel free to e-mail me, ( but bear in mind I am from the UK)
keep posting
sarah

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 10:46pm
notnutty's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Welcome: I will try to answer your questions. My advice is to keep reading and posing specific questions or concern you have.
"I hear about safe places being unsafe because of employees' practices,"
----I am not sure I undertand this question. What type of places are you specifically worried about?
"I hear about peanut products which go by other names in ingredient lists ..."
----Check out the following link. You can purchase a magnet that hangs on your fridge that list all the ways Peanut is included. A new law has also passed that manufacturers must label for "peanut" instead of using other wording.
[URL=https://www.foodallergy.org/shoppingcart/cgi-bin/msascartdll.dll/ProductInfo?productcd=CPEA]
"Can someone tell me where I should start when it comes to re-evaluating our lives to protect my sweet girl?"
----Does your DD go to school yet? Has anything been set up at school? Has she had reactions? Do you have EpiPen and Benadryl available at all times (including school)?
I would also start by discussing the allergy with family and friends so they understand the importance and hopefully will give you additional support.
Let us know if there are other specific things you are worried about. Keep reading the Board, you will find that we all have many of the same situations. Good luck!
Donna
[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited February 08, 2006).]
[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited February 08, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 1:25am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

I'd recommend the book "The Parent's Guide to Food Allergies" by Marianne S. Barber. I've checked it out through my library system, and it was a great way to get an overview on everything regarding food allergies in a child. The author's son has PA (along with other food allergies), so she has a good perspective on that.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 1:53am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I echo the rec. about Marianne Barber's book. I also encourage people who are new to severe food allergies to check out Lisa Cipriano Collins' book "Caring for Your CHild with Severe Food Allergies" as this offers some pointers on maintaining good emotional health at this very difficult time.
You will certainly feel as though you need to know EVERYTHING right now-- no, yesterday. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] But you must allow yourself to be human, too. Humans need time to understand and assimilate information. Give yourself that time and it will feel easier. Just know that the first few months will be the most stressful of all.
It gets better, and you CAN do this. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 2:46am
nomorenutz's picture
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Joined: 10/28/2005 - 09:00

I have only been dealing with PA for about 4 months and I can tell you that it is already easier. The first few weeks, all I did was read, read, and read. Oh, and worry, worry, and worry. My son was diagnosed at 16 months after eating peanut butter and having his lips and eyes swell. He is in daycare and we/they are handling the allergy well. We, of course, feel safest at home and at our good friends homes -- a little concerned at restaurants, but for the most part -- it's been easier to handle then I originally thought it would be. The first few weeks were truly the worst. Of course, I'm sure there is an ebb and flow on the worry scale and there will be hard times ahead, but you can do this! Another good book is Complete Guide to Peanut Allergy -- there are also some children's books that I haven't used yet, but other parents here have read to their children to help them understand the allergy. You're in the right place to gain knowledge and people here are eager to help you. We all know what you're going through!

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 7:06am
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

Welcome! Lots of good advice here, and it really will get easier. Here is where I would start:
(1) Get an epipen jr. prescription for your daughter. Make sure it is always with her and anyone responsible for her care knows where and when to use it. This is her lifeline!
(2) Read labels every time - ingredients can change. Consider making your home peanut-free to avoid cross contamination (e.g., peanut butter residue not completed washed from a knife used to make pbj sandwiches)
(3) Consider avoiding restaurants until you get more comfortable about managing risks (if nothing else this might help your stress level)
(4) Consider joining FAAN [url="http://www.foodallergy.org/"]http://www.foodallergy.org/[/url]
And keep asking questions! I've found everyone here to be very helpful.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 11:38am
Danielle's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2003 - 09:00

Welcome and we all understand the feelings you are going through at this moment.
The above people gave you some great advice. Read, read read. I literally spent the first 6 months reading everything and I mean everything on these boards. I also read the above books and others. After about 6 months you will feel better and you will get a grip on things. The most important now is to never let your child be anywhere without epi's and a trained person that can use them. Make sure she is safe at school. Read your lables. Talk to her about her allergy. There are many good products now that are completely safe for your pa child. I am compulsive about it and beleive me there are foods that are completely safe. missroben.com is a great website for food.
Good luck and hugs...

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 2:19pm
daddycool's picture
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Joined: 02/01/2006 - 09:00

You ladies are most wonderful. Thank you!
The unsafe things I spoke of were in restaurants - I've heard tales of McDonald's workers deep-frying Snickers bars or nut toppings being left out on the counter.
Not being able to have her favorite, Chick-fil-A, has been the toughest.
Thanks again! I'm eager to hear all of your stories. I'm glad to have a peanut gallery to turn to!

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 2:04am
AJSMAMA's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by daddycool:
[B]Not being able to have her favorite, Chick-fil-A, has been the toughest.B]
She was eating Chick-Fil-A before without incident?

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 3:45am
daddycool's picture
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Joined: 02/01/2006 - 09:00

Usually, there was no effect from Chick-fil-A, but the past two or three times, she'd gotten stomach cramps after eating nuggets. I didn't associate cramps with peanut allergy at first.

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