new, overwelmed, should i get a second opinion?

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 6:51am
batrice's picture
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Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

my 2 1/2 year old son had a reaction to cashews in december. he got hives, and his face and eyes got red and swollen. my pediatrician at that time told me to give him benadryl and made no other mention of it even though i asked questions about it. they said don't give him cashews. after the cashew incident, gabriel was given peanut butter twice and each time acted like his touch itched. i avoided pn after that. also he threw up after my mom gave him a fried shrimp. i went to another pediatrician in march (son is on medicaid and in louisiana they are using a new program so i had to change drs). when i asked him about the cashew incident, he asked why the other dr didn't send us to an allergist. so he did. the allergist did a very short interview with me and decided not to do skin tests because he says gabriel might react badly to the peanuts. instead he did a rast test only on the nuts and seafood. Gabriel is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish, but not regular fish. dr gave me the epipen jr and a brochure for faan, and told me the results and that is it. i have called twice since then (its been about 2 weeks since his diagnosis), and each time i get to ask questions to the nurse. i was not told anything about medic alert, what to avoid, what to do, etc... i asked if he could be allergic to anything else they didn't test for and they say if he didn't react to anything else, then no. i have never known anyone with food allergies before. some people are telling me he'll grow out of it, to get shots for it, etc. i did call the dr office and ask for his rast results as far as how reactive it was, and they told me nuts was moderate and shellfish was high. what does that tell me? am i not asking the right questions? how much am i supposed to avoid? they said just don't let him eat nuts that i don't have to completely avoid it (as far as letting siblings eat pb around him or not go certain places with pn) until he reacts to it. that bothers me. i don't want him to react at all. i am so confused.

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mommy to gabriel 11-25-02
who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish

step mom to:
isaiah 06-18-96
rebekah 09-13-97

expecting another son by july 13, 2003

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 7:56am
mom2cuties's picture
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Joined: 02/21/2002 - 09:00

Hi Batrice and welcome! I know exactly how you feel right now because I felt the same way about a year ago when my dd was diagnosed. I felt like I left the allergist clinic not knowing a thing!
The main thing is to read, read, read!! There is tons of info here and there are alot of great book out there too. I have *The Peanut Allergy Answer Book* and found that it was great. Another great one is *No nuts for me*. Your son would love this one, my daughter does.
I don't understand why your dr would tell you your son does not have to avoid peanuts! Peanuts are killers! Plain and simple!! Being pregnant as you are I would avoid peanuts too. Take care and keep posting!
Vanessa
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Mom of 2 cuties...3 yr old daughter who has peanut allergy and 7 yr old son who has no allergies.

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 9:41am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Welcome Batrice!
Take a deep breath. We've all been where you are right now.
Doctor's are notorious for not giving complete allergy information. Most of us were just given epipen prescriptions and turned loose, with no information about what foods to avoid, how to read labels, etc.
There's great information on this site, and FAAN has excellent materials on ingredients to avoid. Just for starters, avoid all scooped ice cream, since ice cream parlors use the same scoop for all flavors and you never know when the vanilla will end up contaminated with the butter pecan. Also, avoid bakery items since those are usually cross-contaminated as well. Read labels very, very carefully since "may contain" warnings are often in small print following the regular ingredients. Interrogate restaurant staff before letting your child eat.
Keep reading, and keep posting. And no, I don't think you are asking the wrong questions. I think you are just getting some wrong answers. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Amy

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 9:54am
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Hi batrice, this is tough news all on it's own. It's even tougher when you're expecting a baby.
This is what the Allergy/Asthma Information Association has to say about avoidance:
AVOIDANCE
Once you know what your trigger is, be extremely careful to avoid it. You can never take anything for granted.
Keep those foods which would cause anaphylaxis out of the house. The foods and additive most likely to cause anaphylaxis are: peanuts, nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and sulfites. Before eating any food, double-check that it does not contain your allergen because food ingredients can change in any prepared food. Be vigilant and assertive when eating away from home to ensure that you do not eat a food containing your allergen.
Here is the URL:
[url="http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/aaia/AAIAarticles/3as.htm"]http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/aaia/AAIAarticles/3as.htm[/url]
I hope this helps you.

Posted on: Mon, 04/14/2003 - 11:23am
batrice's picture
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Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

do you think i should get him more thouroughly tested? the allergist flat out told me that he was only testing for nuts and seafood.
------------------
mommy to gabriel 11-25-02
who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish
step mom to:
isaiah 06-18-96
rebekah 09-13-97
expecting another son by july 13, 2003

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 8:53am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Okay- deep breath. I don't usually do this, but you seem a bit frantic to hear some advice.
If you have not introduced other foods of the major 8 (fish, shellfish, nuts, peanuts, wheat, eggs, soy, milk) successfully, don't try now. Wait until your allergist recommends introducing them- which may be a few years away. I am guessing that you have already introduced dairy, soy, eggs, and wheat, since most families do by 1 yr old (you obviously never suspected food allergies might crop up).
If your child is regularly eating dairy, soy, eggs, and/or wheat, it is probably OK to continue unless you notice symptoms of something wrong.
Anything your child might need that epipen for needs to be removed from your house. That (it sounds like) is going to include nuts, all crustaceans (so crab, scallops, crawfish, lobster, etc. etc.) and probably pn. This means that your home will at least be the one place where you don't fear letting him out of your sight.
As for testing, there probably isn't a really pressing reason to do more for now- UNLESS you suspect a major problem with something else (for example, if being near the neighbor's dog makes your son's eyes water and he wheezes). Most allergists will tell you that until allergic children are at least 3, there is a greatly increased chance of both false positives AND false negatives in skin and blood testing.
As for the "how severe is the allergy," question, I know it is a huge worry for you right now, but it isn't that nobody WANTS to give you an answer- they can't. Both shellfish and pn allergy in particular tend to be of increasing severity with each exposure, but beyond that are highly unpredictable. So the next reaction could be one to "smell" alone and might require your epipen. Or not. (I realize that probably doesn't help- but at least you know that yoru physician isn't being evasive with you on this one. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
You should continue to try to work with different doctors until you find one that:
1. You are comfortable talking to.
2. Your son likes.
3. Is knowledgable.
I know, I know.... nothing like asking for the moon. This is the ideal- but two outta three ain't bad. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I hope that this helps ease your fears some- it WILL get better in a year or two, as your son becomes more communicative and more patient. (Impulse control is a big issue in the twos and threes [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Been there and SO done that!!)

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 11:10am
batrice's picture
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Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

well, i bake with eggs, gabriel drinks milk about 2-3 times a day (he asks for it), and i'm sure he has had the others in one form or another. so does that mean he is ok for now with those? i have gone through my cabinets and given away all the offending products, even the may contains, and have told dh and my mother (who lives with us) about reading labels and checking everything he might be offered. i am ordering the medic alert and will plan on joining faan as soon as we can squeeze it into the budget.
thanks for all the advice, i am startign to feel a little more comfortable the more i learn. does anyone know how i can find allergy kids in my city?
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mommy to gabriel 11-25-02
who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish
step mom to:
isaiah 06-18-96
rebekah 09-13-97
expecting another son by july 13, 2003

Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2003 - 1:35pm
Rae's picture
Rae
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Joined: 03/28/2000 - 09:00

Hi Batrice! I live East of Lake Charles, LA, about 45 minutes from Lafayette. I think you are finding most things out like the rest of us - from researching and reading!
What Allergist did you see? We use Dr. Fruge and Dr. Joseph at the Allergy and Asthma Clinic in Lafayette (we usually see them in Lake Charles - they see patients here once a month).
Rachel
[This message has been edited by Rae (edited April 16, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 04/17/2003 - 2:52am
batrice's picture
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Joined: 04/14/2003 - 09:00

we saw dr fruge here in lafayette. how do you like him?
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mommy to gabriel 11-25-02
who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish
step mom to:
isaiah 06-18-96
rebekah 09-13-97
expecting another son by july 13, 2003

Posted on: Thu, 04/17/2003 - 8:40am
SpudBerry's picture
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Joined: 07/23/2002 - 09:00

To start with - welcome to the boards! I hate to drag us completely off the topic, but aren't the dates between your two children only 8 months apart?
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Sherlyn
Mom to 3 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not.
Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

Posted on: Thu, 04/17/2003 - 9:31am
darthcleo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2000 - 09:00

From June 96 to Sept 97, that's 16 months...

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