Outgrew PA - rooting for the rest of you!

Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2004 - 11:23am
AmyR's picture
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Joined: 09/26/2000 - 09:00

Hi all,

I haven't posted on the boards in quite some time. Every few months/weeks though I have read some of the posts to keep in the loop. I haven't responded to anything because by the time I read the posts, the comments I would have added were already addressed.

We received great news this week. My son had an oral peanut challenge on Tuesday after waiting 8 months for this appointment. He passed with flying colors and is free to eat whatever he wants. I was a nervous wreck at the start of the appointment but my son was fine. I think because he doesn't remember his reaction, it was easy for him to be eager to try peanut butter. He kept asking me when he could be tested. The oral challenge was amazing. We were at Children's Hospital in Boston and had a wonderful nurse. My son, who is now 6 1/2 years old, was given a small amount of PB to eat right off a plastic spoon. He rubbed his tummy after the first bite declaring it was yummy. We waited 15 minutes and the nurse checked his breathing and looked over his body. He then ate a larger amount of PB and said he didn't like it. He started to gag because I think it was so dry for him. He was allowed a few sips of water to help wash it down. We waited 15 more minutes and then he was given a whole teaspoon full of PB. He didn't want to eat it because he wasn't enjoying the taste (no reaction whatsoever though). After the third 15 minute interval, he was given an even greater amount of PB that the nurse spread on graham crackers since Jason really didn't want to eat any more. We then had to wait one hour to make sure he was fine.

The doctor came in a few times during the testing and then again at the end. Here is what he said. Jason can eat as much PB as he'd like (no more that day though and then 1 1/2 tablespoons for the next three days). He mentioned that we should have him eat PB frequently and that there are studies that suggest a resensitization could occur if peanuts are not eaten regularly. He also said he wonders if those people truly outgrew their allergy.

Before the test, I wasn't sure I'd be able to let Jason eat PB if he in fact outgrew his allergy. However, after seeing how much PB he ate at the test, I was no longer afraid of it and realized that it is actually good for him to eat it regularly.

Our life has truly changed. I didn't realize how many foods we have been avoiding and we only had to worry about peanuts. Jason went into CVS yesterday and was grabbing at all the foods he couldn't eat before. It was like he never saw food before. I couldn't stop laughing at him. I made him peanut butter cookies but he didn't like them. What I am finding is that he doesn't like the raw form of PB but likes foods that have peanuts in them. Oh yeah, the doctor said we could take off the medic alert bracelet (Jason asked about that. He never complained until after the testing and once he knew he wasn't allergic, all he wanted to do was take the bracelet off. That bracelet had been on for at least three years). He also said we should still carry around an epi-pen (and at school, camp. etc.) for at least a few years.

Just so you all know, I hesitated in posting this news because I didn't want people to think I'm not a team player since I haven't been involved much in this website lately. Then today, I received an e-mail from a fellow poster asking me if my son outgrew his allergy and if I would share our story with her. She said having something positive on the website would be nice. That made me realize that I should post my wonderful news and share our story in hopes that it can help others.

Some of you already know most of my PA story but this person asked me to share the details so here goes. When Jason turned one, we served PB&J sandwiches at his birthday party. As far as I know, that was his first exposure to peanuts. We gave him a quarter of a sandwich. He seemed to really enjoy it so I went to get him some more. When I came back into the kitchen, our babysitter was standing behind Jason's high chair. When he looked up, I noticed all these large white welts all over his neck and a few on his face. He started grabbing at his throat but I think it was because it was itchy as opposed to not being able to breathe. We called the pediatrician and gave him benedryl. He was fine after that. (We didn't give him any of his birthday cake because I was too nervous. As it turns out, we ordered a cake for my daughter five months later and found out that the cake contained peanut flour.)

We then had the RAST test done and was told he was a Class 3. His score was a 5.46. Jason has never had a reaction since the one at his birthday party. We have always been extremely diligent in not letting him eat anything with peanuts or any may contains or processed on the same equipment, etc. If we weren't positive about the ingredients, we didn't allow him to have it. After the initial RAST test, we followed up with a few more skin tests and blood tests over the years. I believe when Jason was 4 years old, his blood test showed that he was still positive but it was "the lowest level detectable". This past December, when Jason turned 6, we did a blood test that came back negative as well as a skin test that also came back negative. That meant it was time for an oral challenge. We had to wait 8 months for this appointment. During that time, we started to allow Jason to have "may contains" since we were pretty confident he had outgrown PA. We never allowed that before. We still stayed clear of peanuts. I so badly wanted to find out if he outgrew his allergy but knew I had to wait until I was in a hospital setting.

I know we are one of the lucky ones. I think that everything was lined up for Jason to outgrow his allergy. He only had one reaction and it wasn't anaphylactic (sp?), he went many years reaction free (5 1/2 years), as far as we know he never ate peanuts, he wasn't contact sensitive, etc. I'm not saying that others aren't careful, it's just that Jason really seemed to fit the mold with the studies I've read about who typically outgrow PA.

This is such a wonderful board with so many great, caring people. I wish you all the best. I hope more people can share happy stories in the future. Be safe!

Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2004 - 11:54am
MQriley2's picture
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Joined: 05/25/2004 - 09:00

I am so happy for your son and your family. I thought it was cute the way you described him "seeing" food for the first time. I can only hope we can be as lucky and my son will also be able to enjoy life without being afraid.
I hope you stay safe and non allergic to those pesty little peanuts.
Renee

Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2004 - 12:22pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Congratulations!!! I am so glad this "nightmare" is over for you and your ds. It does give me some hope, too.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Miriam

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 1:39am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Congratulations! What wonderful news. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Amy

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 2:58am
melissa's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2004 - 09:00

That is wonderful news and thanks for posting...even though I know we have a less than 20% chance of outgrowing this, "knowing" someone who has is hopeful!
Melissa

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 6:14am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Wonderful! I love hearing such a story. I would bring dd to an ice cream stand. There is a huge one near where we live that has huge cones and all sorts of amusement as well! We have to avoid the place presently. becca

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 10:53am
pjama0502's picture
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Joined: 08/04/2003 - 09:00

Congratulations!!!! What a wonderful feeling it must be.
May I ask you a question. Did your child avoid legumes?
TIA
Jen

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 11:52am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Congratulations! It is absolutely terrific news.
It's amazing how many different feelings one can have at the same time. When reading your post, I was overcome with happiness, hope, sadness, and frustration all at once.
Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for rooting for the rest of us!!!!!!
------------------
Lynee', mom to:
Cade - PA, egg whites, seasonal
Carson - NKFA, seasonal

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 12:06pm
Lisa V's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2002 - 09:00

This is the story I hope and pray for every day. Congratulations.

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2004 - 1:19pm
AmyR's picture
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Joined: 09/26/2000 - 09:00

Thank you to all for being so happy for us. It is amazing how different our lives have become already.
We went to see Benji this afternoon. We usually let the kids get popcorn but as soon as my son got out of the car he said, "Can I have a peanut something". He really didn't care what it was. He just wanted to try something with peanuts. I think he is really enjoying his new found freedom.
I must say though although it is truly exciting to not worry about what Jason is eating all the time, it is still strange to us. In the past, I was always so annoyed when people around us were eating peanut prodcuts (i.e. at movie theatres) and then today, here we are sitting at the movies eating chcolate covered peanuts. I actually turned to my husband and asked him if it felt weird eating peanuts in public when we used to be so concerned about what others were eating around us. The thought crossed my mind that maybe we shouldn't eat peanuts in public just in case someone else near us was allergic. One positive about having lived with this allergy is that I am definitely more sensitive and caring of others needs. Although no one was sitting near us in the theatre today, I think that if someone was, I would have asked if it was o.k. to eat peanuts near them. I can tell you that no one ever asked us before. I truly believe that some people are ignorant when it comes to PA because they haven't been in our shoes. Having been there, my family is all the more caring for it. My daughter has a very good friend who is highly allergic to peanuts. Even though our house is no longer peanut free, I will do everything I can to keep our house safe for her.
Pjama0502, we did not avoid legumes although I'm not sure my son ever had any but that was not by design.

Posted on: Sun, 08/22/2004 - 5:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

AmyR., I am so happy for you and your family and your son! What wonderful news! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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