Please help me...I\'m new at this

Posted on: Thu, 09/21/2000 - 8:56pm
SueRN's picture
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Joined: 09/22/2000 - 09:00

My daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy 1 week ago.she is 31/2 years old I have 3 children and have never been thru this before. I'm so scared and so overwelmed but the lack of info I can find. Can anyone guide me in the direction of where to start? I ordered some books on the subject..but have not yet received them. I'm an RN in an er and see serious reactions frequently...but I'm not sure how to manage this at home. The info I've received is all so vague. Thank you anyone who get me started in the right direction.

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Sue

Posted on: Thu, 09/21/2000 - 11:48pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Sue:
You will gather a wealth of info. on this web site. Everyone here is very supportive. We found out my 20 mos. old son is PA two weeks ago. I have gathered more information from these threads than anywhere else. I just recieved my info. from the Food Aalergy Network earlier this week. If you haven't contacted them, yet, I reccomend you do. The also have great info.

Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2000 - 2:25am
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Welcome Sue.. I agree with Jonathon's Mom, read all you can here. I am also a nurse, but am a stay at home mom now. So I am sure you have your epi pens. I keep 2, one in the house, and one with us wherever we go. Keep an eye on the expiration dates. Always treat your child's PA as if it were severe. My son has only broken out in a face rash, but he has not been exposed in over 2 years, and I have learned here that each exposure can be worse. His rast test showed a moderate allergy as well, but it should always be treated as if it were severe. Food Allergy Network is a good place to go as well. Read labels, you'll get real good at it after a while! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Hershey's is a company you can trust. Please call them, and you'll see what I mean. Hershey plain candy bars and plain kisses are safe. Check out the Restaurant Board and read my "candy" responses. Hope this helps, and welcome!

Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2000 - 3:06am
care's picture
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We have also just found out that our 4yr old son is definately allergic to nuts (He had a reaction to peanut butter two years ago but family Dr didn't think that he needed to to be tested at that time.After prompting by my sister who also has a PA allergenic child we made the Dr refer us to an allergist.) We live in Canada and the RAST test is not done here apparently. I really want to have more info. We have thrown out the peanut butter which we have been very cautious with in the last two years but after the positive test it really HAD to go. My concern now is do we have to rid our house of all"may contain" products and those that have "Hydrolyzed plant protein"? We have 3 daughters who are not allergenic and love granola bars etc, if they eat those around him and touch him how likely is it for him to have a reaction? So far he has not had a reaction to smell but we have always been cautious with him and I know that reactions can differ each time.
My sister whose daughter is 3 and PA, is extremely cautious and has nothing remotely risky in her house but my sister-in-law whose son is 16 and PA is more relaxed about many products and her son has never(touch wood) had another reaction since he was diagnosed. (she may be feeling a false sense of security?)I want to gather my own info and not really on them as they both have different ideas on dealing with this problem. I only found this website yesterday but have already picked up a lot of valuable information.---Carolyn

Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2000 - 3:55am
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One of the first things you run into when your child is first diagnosed is having to establish your level of safety vs. normalcy. The ironic thing about this is that I know some parents who have children with severe allergies who are relatively laid back, and some with mild allergies who are very cautious. Only you will be able to find the right level for your house.
When your child is first diagnosed, you go through a mourning process, including denial and anger: "I'm sure this isn't as serious as everyone makes it" and "well, he'll outgrow it" and "why did this happen to my kid? Why are all these other parents/teachers/family so clueless about how this affects us?" Give yourself time to go through this process - it's not a little thing.
With regard to managing allergies with other children in the house, there is a very lengthy thread on the main board that talks about exactly this issue. If you do keep allergens in the house, we find it's helpful to clearly label EVERYTHING. We also read labels twice before we consider something safe, both my husband and I. I have found that reading them backwards or reading them out loud helps you not skip over information.
Regarding "may contain" labels...this is a level of comfort issue and needs to be gauged in tandem with the severity of the allergy. Some kids react to airbourne particles or extremely minute amounts of peanut. Others (the large majority) are not all that sensitive and can be around peanuts, especially "may contain" items which probably do not contain peanuts in any meaningful amount. A really good rule that we've started to follow now that we have a toddler w/o allergies is to restrict food to the kitchen and ensure that she washes her hands whenever she eats. That way you have no doubts, and the kids will put their fingers on each other no matter what the age.
Good luck to both of you "newbies" - do your best to find some support, because it's a given that someone will be unhappy with the choices you make. This is a very stressful condition for parents.

Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2000 - 6:21am
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Caring for your child with severe food allergies by Lisa Cipriano Collins is a great place to start your reading. It is a brand new book this year so it should be easy to find at a library or bookstore. Also, [url="http://www.cadvision.com/allergy"]www.cadvision.com/allergy[/url] is the best website that I have found in terms of well rounded information, currency and links. Take care. Email me if you want a pen pal (e-pal?) for friendship and support. Click on my profile above this message to get my email. Take care. Welcome to the boards.

Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2000 - 9:34am
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KSS
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Joined: 03/02/2000 - 09:00

General Mills is also a wonderful company that you can trust.

Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2000 - 8:20am
SueRN's picture
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Joined: 09/22/2000 - 09:00

Thank you all so much for your responses...I've learned more from this site than from 3 doctors. How do we convince our families to be as concerned about this as we are. Today I had a brunch over my inlaws house and I couldn't tell you how many no no items there were. With so many people in the house and so many children it was too much so I left. My inlaws assumed because they had a few "safe foods there for daughter it was okay to have all the bad foods. Does anyone else have this problem?
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Sue
[This message has been edited by SueRN (edited September 23, 2000).]

Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2000 - 9:23pm
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Joined: 09/19/2000 - 09:00

Welcome to the board. I'm fairly new here also. My 2 year old daughter is pa. I know what you mean about family and friends. My mother-in-law is always buying treats for my kids without even thinking. The last time she offered them peanut butter crackers, but my 4 year old son asked, "Is there peanut butter in them?" He even told her to take them back. My family lives out of state and we're going there for Christmas. I'm thinking it's going to be a food nightmare, since everyone will be baking for the holidays. I'm going to purchase some chocolate chips from Vermont Nut Free to take and do some baking of my own. I recently sent some articles on pa to my parents to read. I hope they learn something and pass it along to the rest of the family. They're all as ignorant as I was before I started the learning process, so I can't blame them much. I feel as if we need more public exposure so that the general public gets educated and not just the ones with allergies. I wish FAN (Food Allergy Network) would do some TV commercial, sort of on the line of drunk driving or no smoking commercials. But for now, we just need to protect our children as best we can and hope that someday in the near future, attitudes will change. Good luck with everything. If you need any leads on information, you can e-mail me.

Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2000 - 12:02am
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Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

There is a very big issue here that comes up over and over on this board (see the post about keeping PB in the house) which is the rights of non-PA family members vs. the allergic individual. For your family, only you can answer this question. However, your extended family is a different issue.
One of the first things you learn with allergies is that you cannot control the behavior of others and you must rely on yourself. While it may seem harsh, I believe strongly that my milk/soy/peanut allergic son must face situations where there are allergic foods all the time so he's ready to face them without me (as he's doing right now in kindergarten). Let me give you an example that will make you all crazy - despite training and a 403 plan, his kindergarten teacher habitually forgets that he can't have these foods and hands him M&M's for his math projects. My son said to me the other day "mommy, aren't the adults supposed to be the ones teaching the kids?" ABSOLUTELY!!! (and I'm still so angry at this point I want to slap her) but the important thing here is that HE KNEW WHAT TO DO! A child with no exposure to these allergens wouldn't necessarily have known. We got him to that point by drilling into his head that he never takes food from anyone except us (or if we've previously approved it) because we've learned we can't even trust adults, even when they're in the position of keeping him safe.
Diatribe aside, it's not feasible for us to require our families to restrict all these foods. Brian has had to learn that there will be safe foods and non-safe foods. He's had to learn to deal with the feeling of being deprived. After all, this is a life-long allergy (at least the peanut) and he better learn now so it's ingrained. Rather than dictate to our families what they MUST do, we've educated over and over, and explained that if we feel the environment is unsafe (like the open peanut shells at Christmas) we would take him home and no longer participate. They've gotten the message, but it's taken many years of education. However, this is a good lesson to all of us - people simply don't understand the severity of this situation and some of them actively are hostile, so you and your child are the ones who need to scan the situation and decide how to interact safely in the environment.
First thing you learn in therapy...you can't change the behavior of others, only yourself. However, when your behavior changes, others are forced to change. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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