My name is Cheryl and Jason, my 4 year old son, is allergic to peanuts, among other things.
He has never had a life-threatening reaction to any of his allergens, and the worst, he breaks out in nasty hives, his eczema flares, he gets a runny nose and sometimes his upper lip gets puffy.
He has an allergist appointment on Wednesday, his first since starting pre-school, and I'm wondering if I should press the issue of getting an rx for an epi-pen. His allergist didn't think it was necessary last spring, after his allergies were diagnosed, but then he was just at home with me so it was easier to limit his nut exposure. I'm not even sure if our insurance covers Epi-Pens. We have Health Net and Epi-Pens are not listed in the formulary. DH and I are willing to shell out the cash for the epi-pens if the allergist thinks they're necessary. I know that just because he's never had a life threatening doesn't mean that there isn't a possibility of one in the future. He's also very senstive to crustaceans.
Am I being paranoid for wanting the epi-pens now, before he has even had an anaphylactic reaction?
I'm going to get him a medic-alert type braclet due to a drug allergy ASAP. Is Medic Alert worth the money, or should I get a generic medical ID kind of bracelet?
On Oct 15, 2001
Hello and Welcome, JasonandJoeysMom!!!
My first bit of advice - stick around this site. You'll learn more here than anywhere else, allergist's included.
Second - in reference to the Epi-pen... You asked if you should get one "before he has even had an anaphylactic reaction". I think it's safe to assume you'd rather get one before he has an ana. reaction, than after. If he has an ana. reaction, and you don't have an Epi-pen... You're not being paranoid about wanting one now - you're being SAFE!
Third - about Medic-Alert. I haven't felt the need to get a Medic-Alert bracelet. We have what you have called a 'generic' type of necklace for our son. When I say I haven't felt the need, I mean I don't think we need the phone service that they provide. The jewelry we have says all that's necessary, in our opinion.
Hope I've been of some help.
Again, hang around here - you'll learn mounds of information!!!!
Take care, Tammy
On Oct 15, 2001
Hi Cheryl, I agree that you need an epipen. We have been carrying one everywhere for over 13 yrs and never had to use it. You really need to be prepared for the worst even though it hopefully will never happen, as in my daughter's case. I don't see why an allergist wouldn't rather have you "safe, not sorry." As for medic-alert, we went that route when she was around 5 yrs old. The bracelet caused her wrist to break out, so we attached it to another type of band...the ID tag itself broke her out too. Over time she just stopped wearing it. The higher quality ones are too expensive for us. Recently we got a "generic" necklace which works out better for her. Good luck! Beth
On Oct 17, 2001
Just a quick story...I went to a family reunion this year with my 2 boys (oldest is severly peanut allergic) and didn't bring my diaper bag (2 epi pens somewhere in there under the crunched up diapers and matchbox cars)...got to find out they were deep frying turkeys in peanut oil. I had the sickest feeling in the world come over me. I had to leave because had my son come NEAR any of that meat or someones hands that had just eaten he could have died without that epi pen. We were 40 miles from a hospital.
You never know where (even at the seemingly safe places) your child's allergy could be put to the test. My 4 year old doesn't understand on his own yet what he can and can not eat. Your allergist should be completely supportive of an epi pen (or several if needed). Call your insurance carrier (I work in claims in an insurance company) after you get a written order from a doctor. As long as the doctor claims it to be "medically necessary" your regular insurance should cover it. Another tip...ask the pharmacy how many you can have under your co pay for RX's. Many prescriptions(although pharmacies don't have to disclose it to you) have to offer several for one co pay (mine is 5 for the co pay of $25). Also like most medications, they expire and need to be replaced yearly.
My opinion on the bracelet...it's a good idea. My pre schooler takes field trips that often include parent chaparones...if he had a reaction, and someone was with him other than the people that know about his allergy, the bracelet is his only voice to what is wrong with him.