Peanut Allergy and Feeling Pretty Normal

Posted on: Fri, 10/12/2001 - 2:50am
sbd's picture
sbd
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Joined: 01/05/2001 - 09:00

Is anyone here only allergic to peanuts or does anyone here have a child who is only allergic to peanuts - no other allergies, no eczema and no asthma? I don't mean to offend anyone because I can imagine how stressful and traumatic it can be to have yourself or have a child with multiple allergies and/or asthma. I had a friend who died from an asthma attack. I am just wondering if there are any other parents in my shoes. My daughter had her first and only reaction to peanut butter at 12 1/2 months. She had a blood test which confirmed that she is only allergic to peanuts. She is now 22 months and we have not had any other reactions. I always have an epi-pen with me and she wears a medic-alert bracelet. She is going to be tested again when she is four. I am hopeful that because this is her only medical problem that she may be one of the 20% who outgrow their allergy, but I also realize that there is an 8%5 chance she will not outgrow her allergy. While I do read all labels, even on food that just my husband and i are eating, and am watchful of the children around her at the playground and music class, I don't feel much of the despair that I think a lot of other parents do. I personaly believe that there are many other risks out there, other than peanuts, and do my best to live as normally as possible. She is one of a set of triplets and I guess I just feel that I am so blessed that they were all born healthy and that none have any serious medical conditions that many people with multiples face. In the big scheme of things, peanut allergy, while significant, is small. Am I the only one who feels this way? Is there a reason I shouldn't?

Posted on: Fri, 10/12/2001 - 4:42am
McKenziesMom's picture
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Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

My PA girl is 11 and she is severely allergic to peanuts and reacted mildly (+2) to almonds, pecan, shellfish, trout (?!?) on her last scratch test which was this summer.
When she was your daughter's age she was allergic to milk and soy, and colicky and had severe ear infections and asthma.She never had eczema.
She now has been asthma-free (without any medication) for 6 years, and has outgrown her milk and soy allergies.
I can't even imagine how other parent's deal with multiple severe allergies/asthma/eczema, especially with more than one child.
I too feel very lucky that my PA girl is so healthy!
And if I start to feel sorry for myself, I remember that my daughter's best friend is an epileptic on permanent medication and that there is a severely disabled boy in her class who suffered a reaction to his first vaccinations and cannot speak or walk and has cerebral palsy.
Puts everything in perspective for me.
HOWEVER, I still regularly come to this website to share information and concerns with people who can understand. The last reaction she had was last November (her third) and I cried every night for a week. Coming to this website comforted me a great deal.
Hope it helps you too!

Posted on: Sun, 10/14/2001 - 1:19am
Sandra Y's picture
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Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

My son is allergic to peanuts and sesame. He has very mild asthma. He also has some other non-allergy-related medical issues.
You ask a valid question, but I think plenty of parents here are not deeply traumatized and have adjusted well to raising a child with severe food allergies. I think parents tend to turn here for support when they are facing problems with the allergy or when they need help. Often we post here when we're feeling weak or vulnerable about something. As with many web message boards, this is a safe place to vent, gripe, and moan. I have posted some complaints about school situations even though, in general, I'm pleased with my child's school situation.
I think it's great that you are comfortable and accepting of your situation--especially since your child is still so young. Mine is 5, and I was MUCH more worried when he was 2. As a parent who feels like you have a handle on the allergy, you have a lot to offer other parents here who are more fearful. Keep posting--it's important to have rational, reassuring voices around.
Food allergy is a constant issue in my life, but it's not an overriding focus. At this point, it's more of a nuisance than anything else, but I like to keep up with what's going on. On this website there are many viewpoints and ways of handling peanut allergy that I disagree with STRONGLY, but I realize we all have our own way of dealing with this. I just try to state my own views respectfully and privately roll my eyes when I read things here that strike me as being "over the top." We're all here for the same thing: information and support.
Best wishes, and I think you've made a valid point.

Posted on: Sun, 10/14/2001 - 1:52am
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Joined: 05/05/2000 - 09:00

sbd,
I very much relate to your perspective.
When I read of families dealing with multiple allergies, I count my blessings and use the examples on the few occasions when my kid gets angry about his few allergies. I can't quite imagine what it is like for those families.
Most of all, I want my child to grow up knowing that he has to be careful, but that he can do everything the other kids do, and that having a food allergy is only a tiny part of him. We try to minimize talk about the allergy, be very matter of fact (but firm) about it when talking to teachers, friends parents, etc. In my son's words, he doesn't want to "make a big deal" of it.
I often think the social issues are bigger than the medical issues. . . .
Your attitude is refreshing!
Helen

Posted on: Sun, 10/14/2001 - 12:08pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Keep in mind, too, that there is quite a spectrum when it comes to the *severity* of PA. I was far more relaxed before M demonstrated his first contact reaction. He didn't touch the stuff himself -- reacted to a smudge or something on a playmate's clothing. When that was followed two months later by a *third-hand* reaction, and another trace reaction just five days later than that -- well, we became some of the "over the edge" folks that Sandra rolls her eyes at. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
If all I had to be concerned about was M *eating* the stuff...? Piece of cake, compared to anaphylactic touch sensitivity with a not-quite four year old. Add a developing sensitivity to latex, and medical treatment for a reaction becomes a nightmare as well. At this point, he *can't* "do everything the other kids do". We have tried that, only to then find ourselves an hour later looking at our son, on a guerney, surrounded by medical staff franticallly trying to determine why he is "unresponsive".
I am thankful, truly, that you are not at the point where the peanut allergy feels like a "serious medical condition". For some of us, it does -- because it is.
--Sue

Posted on: Sun, 10/28/2001 - 12:53pm
G Stanfill's picture
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Joined: 04/01/2001 - 09:00

I understand how you feel!! I was starting to believe that I was the only one with this outlook!
My son was diagnosed at 9 months with PA. He is 18 months now. The only allergy he has that we know of. His reaction was scary enough for me to become as educated as I could.
It sounds like you and I have similar views about how we live with the PA. Now that my family and friends are educated too I am much more relaxed about his allergy.
I too thank the Lord above to give me a healthy bright little boy and try not to dwell on the PA.
Yes I'm cautious...Yes it's scary, but I can't let it control my life or my son's life.
I want him to have a normal childhood so we go anywhere and everywhere (except ballparks..peanuts everywhere)
Keep up the positive attitude!
Ginger

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 12:55am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I think this is an excellent topic. It shows that while all who post on this board "share a PA concern", we all have different levels of burden (or size of crosses)that we must bear each day.
M's Mom, your post really touched my heart. While my son (age 6)is considered highly allergic to peanuts, we have been truly fortunate up to this point in that we haven't had any issues of touch sensitivity yet. I'm not sure if it's because he is not so touch sensitive, or if he has just been lucky and hasn't been exposed to trace amounts. I hope your child outgrows this. That must be so difficult for you.
I sometimes have to stop from throwing myself a pity party -- Like those times when my neighbors get together at the last minute and it's only me who has to frantically worry about what my child can eat. OR another time when my child was invited to a birthday party and the mother was so proud of herself that she checked there were no nuts in the cake (but yet, she served as a lunch entree PB&J sandwiches to eight toddlers; OR when I invited a family to my pool, only to have them abruptly cancel on me and go to another friend's house right after I politely asked them not to bring over peanut butter sandwiches...AS you all know, the list can go on and on...
That is when I have to remember that ANdrew can run and jump and that he (and we) are truly lucky that he does not have multiple food allergies. God Bless you all in your daily struggles with food allergies and in all things.

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 3:10am
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Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

I could not have found this topic at a better time. I just got back from returning bottles. Anyway I had my 3 year old with me,and I had a lot of people ahead of me. That is ok because I feel teaching them patience at this age is great.
I suddenly realize that the people ahead of me are all Mentally challenged and there were two men in charge of them. They were actually very interesting for me to watch in the fact that they were all men and not acting a bit over a 3 year old level. A gentle man of the group came over and touched Stephen ever so gently on the hand and told me how beautiful he was. I thought I would cry at this point.He then gave him a butterfly sticker to wear on his coat. I know your all thinking about the stranger thing but that is not for this particular thread.
I then explained to Stephen what a wonderful man he was and that he was a stranger and he was a bit different than we are. I explained that the man is handycap and special.
After that the man says to me"mam I bet Santa will be really good to your little boy". At this point he really being a man that believed I talked to him about santa coming.
The men that were in charge of this kind person then started Yelling at him and through a bottle at the other one that was helping put the bottles on the counter. I was giving very dirty looks to them and I will report their behavior. However as I walked away I thought to myself how lucky I am to have such Healthy children. I told Stephen I wish he was old enough to remember the kind man and have it reflect on him in the future years. This poor man just needed to speak to us. I know I have to deal with the allergy things,but that is nothing like what those poor handicap people have to deal with everyday. Thank God my kids are not different in the fact that they can not learn. God bless everyone claire

Posted on: Tue, 11/27/2001 - 11:56am
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Joined: 01/13/2001 - 09:00

Yes, I think this is very important. I have wondered many times if some of the posts & concerns were more related to multiple allergies & asthma. Simply because I have so rarely ever found peanut oil or peanut ingredients in anything other than the obvious. When I first came to this thread I was terrified. I could not believe it was in dog food, toiletries, etc. I have searched many ingredient lists & I think in my area it is rare. I still check everything because I know it does occur. I have been fortunate in that I have never found it in dog products or toiletries unless it was obvious, such as peanut butter treats for dogs. In addition, I have not found any problems in restaraunts. Peanut oil is expensive so this is a deterent to using it. Also, liability-wise, companies are becoming more savvy-they are realizing it is in their best interest to be UP FRONT if they are using it. One place in the mall has it in capital letters on their sign out front. They use it in their speciality fries.
It is a real threat but definately manageable if, as you say, the only allergy is peanut. I do totally empathize if there are other ingredients such as wheat, egg, etc. that are so much more commmon. Also, Josh does not react to smell or second hand contact that I know of so we are very lucky. We always carry the Epi-pen & I always ask to be sure & I always check ingredients. I also get the address of the hospital when we travel. Besides that I let him go & have fun. I do feel fortunate he has no other problems.
GOOD THREAD. especially for those new to the allergy. I about flipped when I read through some of the threads when I was new. I thought it was everywhere & I have found it rarely (unless it is obvious life I said, Snickers, the like).

Posted on: Wed, 11/28/2001 - 12:32pm
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Joined: 10/02/2001 - 09:00

SBD - I know what you mean. My son is only truly allergic to peanuts as well, confirmed through skin testing. We have been cautioned by the Allergist to avoid all nuts, but he tested only a 1 for some of the tree nuts and a 5+ for peanuts. I look at it this way, people can have just as severe an anaphylactic reaction to bee stings, but they don't stop going outside. They do everything possible to avoid being stung and carry an epi-pen in case they are. We do everything possible to avoid peanuts (Jack does not seem to be airborn allergic) and we make sure that should there be an exposure we have all the tools we need to make sure he gets through it (benedryl, epi pens, emergency instructions etc), I belong to a support group for parents of children with food allergies and I hear the stories about their children who can't eat milk, soy, wheat or eggs and I wonder "what am I doing here?". I know someone who lost her child to cancer and someone else struggling to manage juvenile diabetes. We even know someone who's child cannot eat any form of protien or he slips into a coma... and I say to my husband, if this is the worst thing we have to deal with then we have it good. My son is a beautiful, happy, healthy, well adjusted little boy and i can't ask for more than that!!

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