new here - Peanut Allergy Information

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Hey everyone, I'm Lindsey from Boston, MA. I'm 19 now but found out I was allergic to peanuts when I was just two years old, when my family and I were at Friendly's and I ate an ice cream that had peanut m&m's on it. Over the years I've of course had reactions here and there when accidentally consuming something containing nuts, but my most severe life-threatening reaction was two years ago. I posted about it in the "manufacturers forum."

I've never really talked to other people with a peanut allergy before, so I'm excited to meet and read stories from others who know what it's like.

By lindsey1119 on Aug 6, 2010

Hi! I'm not sure when I started carrying my own epipen.. I'm going to ask my mom and I'll get back to you. When I started getting to the age of sleepovers and what not, my mom just always made sure that my friends parents were aware of my allergy and she equipped them with my epipen!

Benadryl has definitely been a huge help for me a few times, even a few weeks ago I got an ice cream at a local place I always go to and it must have had traces of peanuts in it. I knew right away because the taste is so repulsive and distinct to me that I am able to spit it out as soon as it hits my mouth before I even swallow it. I think that as he gets older he will also be able to recognize it right away.

I know that even when I was younger, I always, when going to a restaurant and what not, asked the waitress to make sure there would be no nuts in my food and they often make note of it for the cooks. I think that would definitely be a great thing for your son to begin always doing, particularly when he's with a friends family rather than you.

I also know that I have a distant cousin who I believe is around the same age as your son, and I was told that they had him wear some sort of bracelet that ID'd him as allergic to peanuts when he was too young to be informed enough to let people know on his own. Maybe something like that would be good for your son?

By Mrsdocrse on Aug 5, 2010

Hi Lindsey Welcome. I am from Boston too. I have a son who is 10 that is allergic to Peanuts. My son has had one bad reaction but he was young when it happened. He doesn't really remember it. He has had several mild reactions ( contact reactions) Benadryl was all that was needed. As he gets older he needs to be able to take care of himself. He is immature and I am afraid to let him go anywhere with out me unless there is an adult that can watch out for him. How old were you when you started to carry your own epi pen? He wants to have sleep overs and go out with out me now that he is getting older. I am not ready to do that. Any thoughts?

By lindsey1119 on Aug 6, 2010

I don't think you are being crazy about this at all!! I have honestly come to realize that unless you or someone you deeply care about has this allergy, you just do not realize how serious it is! People think oh it's just a food allergy if he/she eats it, they will throw up and be fine. But it is just not that simple.

You should not feel guilty at all.. you didn't know he was allergic until now and now that you know, you can take the right precautions. I work in a bakery and it is certainly not nut-free so even when a customer asks about a product that isn't supposed to have nuts in it, I ALWAYS tell them that we are not a nut free facility and there is the risk of contamination. I feel that you don't have to keep him away from bakeries.. this awful allergy shouldn't keep anyone away from yummy cupcakes and cookies.. just definitely ask! Even try looking into nut-free bakeries in your area. I think they are becoming more and more common!

I don't have the experience as a mom, just as someone who has the allergy, but from seeing my own mom deal with it, I can promise you that your feelings and worries are not abnormal by any means. Like I said, I'm 19, and she still asks me if I have an epipen whenever I am going to certain places!

By ltsmom on Aug 5, 2010

Hi there, I'm Stephanie from San Diego. My 3 yr. old little boy just has a "significant" (per his pediatrician) reaction to peanut butter. His first...and last bite, so it seems. Three hours after he ate it, he had had an endless runny nose, swollen red ears, lips were swelling, red watering eyes, hives that were the size of my palm, horrible itchy and by the time he got medical attention he was starting to wheeze.

I'll be honest with you I've been putting up a brave "informed mom" front for a week. I am terrifed.

I am terrifed of what COULD have happened to him...and I am overwhelmed and paniced about his future. To the point, my family is telling me to stop reading about all this and just to keep him safe and wait until we see the Director of Immunology at Rady's Children's Hosptial here in San Diego..on Aug. 26.

I am just simply overwhelmed over what I should feed him, social situations, how he's been in places before (the day before the incident we were at Angels Stadium watching the Red Sox and traveled by train) and had no issues, what testing will reveal, what it won't, WHY my family isn't FREAKING out like me, wondering if his 11 mo. old little sister will suffer the same fate, deadly afraid of another reaction, and EpiPen obessesed really even when its in his backpack I physically look for it several times while we are out...just for reassurance, which chocolate chips do I use ..or do I, etc. Everything from the tiny details his future and adult life. OVERWHELMED.

I feel like the only one who really is understanding me is his private daycare provider. She runs a peanut free center. 4 out of the 12 kids in her care how have nut issues (he's the 4th one).

I know I am rambling. I am just so very scared. And ...sad. Is that normal?

I know information is power. Thus I am here. I just feel like isn't realistic for me to be with him 24/7 as he grows up...(although I'd like to be!) ...and literally been praying for his safety. ...and some answers. The 26th seems like forever away.

I have alot of guilt too.. as he's eaten at Chickafil, loves donuts, eaten chocolate cupcakes from bakeries all over the place, loves cookies, etc. And he has been fine up until last Th. I feel like a bad mom for exposing him to all that prior to his reaction. But how was I to ever know? Anyways...I ramble.

My mission: to be informed and responsible for his safety. BUT to make sure he feels like he isn't missing anything ...and see to it he has a "normal" childhood, etc.

Guess I am asking for any newbie advice. And reassurance that I can do wade through this crazy maze of the Peanut Free World. Thanks for listening.