New to Nut Allergy & Freaking out!!!! HELP!!!

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I just found out that my 18 month old daughter, Allison is severely allergic to Peanuts. Two months ago, she had an allergic reaction to a peanut butter cup of mine that she took a little bite out of. Shortly afterward, her upper lip started to swell and she started wheezing. I gave her benadryl and that seemed to take the swelling and wheezing away. She then started throwing up for 1 1/2 hours. We watched her the rest of the evening and she was fine. We took her to the Allergist and she had a RAST test done, her level was 22.80 - severely high. What now??? I've done a ton of research (thank God for this site), I sent a very detailed e-mail explaining the sensitivity of our situation to every single person that I know, I baught a couple of books, called about 20 food manufactureres and local restaurants, and baught an Epi-Pen (will get another. Does this lifestyle get any easier? Do people eat out anywhere? What about McDonald's or Wendy's? I've spoken to so many restaurants and food manufacturers, but I don't know what to believe anymore. HLEP! Anyone out there in the Western suburbs of Chicago?

------------------ Nancy

Allison 12/18/03 PA Brandon 11/12/01 NKA

On Jun 24, 2005

Welcome, Nancy! Sorry to hear about your child's allergy, but glad you found us. To answer your most urgent question, yes, believe it or not, things do get easier. The "high alert" adrenline rush starts to fade, and dealing with a peanut allergy becomes second nature, like using a car seat.

It sound like you are doing all the right first steps - getting an epipen, letting everyone know, checking ingredients. After that, it is a matter of deciding your own "comfort zone." For example, some parents avoid restaurants, but most don't. They talk with the waitstaff and restaurant managers about ingredients and possible cross-contamination and decide when the risk is low enough to eat there. McDonalds and Wendy's are often seen as "safe" places, but even then, with the "mixings" that are available in the desserts, it is a matter of comfort zone (you can check out how different parents view these places in the "Restaurants" thread).

With your little girl so young, you still have a lot of control of what she eats, so don't be afraid to take it slow. And most of all, don't worry if other people think you are over-protective - when in doubt, trust the "Mommy instinct".

Again, welcome. You're doing great.

Tracy

On Jun 24, 2005

Nancy

I am sorry to hear your news, but there's plenty of helpful people and information here. It is very overwhelming and scary at first, but it gets easier.

On Jun 24, 2005

Nancy,

Sorry to hear about your daughter [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I have a 6 1/2 year old ds with pa and it just so happens that I'm VERY close to where you live. I'd be more than happy to help you figure anything out with pa [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (I've been dealing with pa since my son was 17 months old).

I'll email you.

On Jun 24, 2005

Mommy2BAR

So sorry to see you here. But so glad you found us.

I remember when I found out my dd was PA. She was diagnosed at 14 months.

I cried and cried and cried. Then I joined a support group, and I still cried.

I read everything I could, then found this site.

I would literally stay up reading old posts (other people's stories) until 4 a.m.

I cried so much over this damn allergy and when I would read about somebody's tragedy, I was terrified.

Then I would read a positive story, some good news, or perhaps about a stranger who "got it" and it would give me hope.

My dd is now 7 1/2 and about to finish grade 2.

As the years go by, it does actually get easier, some days more than others, but it does.

Good luck, and stay with us. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Sep 1, 2005

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to thank you all for welcoming me to this wonderful website! We are finally past the stage of being "overwhelmed" and we are just dealing with our dd's peanut allergy one day...one meal at a time! Thanks again for your support!

On Jan 9, 2006

Hi, I am new hear but have some experience in dealing with this. My wife and I are Paramedics. I am also an EMS instructor and EMS coordinator for my Fire Dept. Your situation sounds like a mirror image of ours. Our 2 year old has had 3 anaphylaxis reactions. The advise I have is to have plenty of Epi-pens in multiple locations.ie. relative and friends houses frequented and in your purse. If you daughter has a reaction. As early as you can use it. Childeren handle Epi very well. Our pediatricians said at the first signs of hives on the face or slight swelling of the lips is when to give it. Childern do great and then get bad quicker then adults. So early tretment is key. Now some good news My pediatrician told us about a vaccine that is up an coming soon. I believe it is called FAHF-2 that just finished trials on mice and FDA is going to ok for humans. Supposedly this might be a cure. Keep your ears open. Jim

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