Probable reaction at cabin


I believe DD had a PA reaction this past weekend while we were staying at my aunt & uncle's cabin. We all went with my mom & dad. I don't think my aunt knew that DD was allergic. We'd brought a lot of our own food and I didn't see the need to talk to her about it in advance; my mom had arranged for us to visit. So my aunt had made a cake with peanut butter filling, which my mom told me when we first got there. I said, "That's fine; we'll just keep it away from [DD]." I've never worried THAT much about other people eating peanut butter around her, although we wash up carefully if we have any. I told DH so that he would make sure not to give her any. The first day was fine. DH & I were a little nervous about forks with peanut butter on them going into the general dishwashing pile. At supper the second night, DD ate fried fish, au gratin potatoes, and one bite of lettuce salad, and drank milk. She'd eaten fine and said she was done, and I told her to drink her milk. After she finished it, she came to me and said, "I feel like I just ate peanuts. My throat hurts." She had red streaks on her chin. I washed off her face with soap and water, and it didn't look like the exact spots she usually gets with peanuts, but it was definitely splotchy, and she didn't eat any fruit, which sometimes does that to her. She continued to say that the back of her mouth really hurt the way it does when she eats something with peanuts. DH & I were really worried that she'd gotten a trace of peanut butter on a dish, probably a fork (although the glass is a possibility because she felt it right after finishing her milk). Then in a few minutes her redness went away but she said her stomach hurt. Well, her FAAP says to give the Epi-Pen with any symptoms after she eats peanuts. But we didn't know for sure that she'd eaten any, and her symptoms were mostly subjective rather than observable. So we didn't give the Epi or Benadryl (the Dr. has said that giving only Benadryl can mask symptoms while the reaction is still getting worse), but we went to the nearest emergency room. At first our intention was to just hang around in case of anything definite happening, but I decided I wanted someone to take her blood pressure and her blood oxygen levels, to check her out in ways I couldn't by just looking at her. So they did and she was fine and her throat felt better on its own after a little while, then her stomach ache went away. They gave her Benadryl and kept her for observation for an hour after that, which was about 2 hours after her first symptoms. I was a little concerned when the resident, who had a thick accent and who saw her before the doctor, asked her, "You feel like you have peanut butter stuck in your throat?" and looked surprised when I told him she's had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts before. But the Dr. understood, even about traces on utensils, so that was better. So nothing more ever happened. She got better on her own before the Benadryl. So we don't know if it was really a reaction or just that her throat felt funny and made her think so. But I don't know that she was even aware of the peanut butter cake and we certainly hadn't expressed any fear to her of her accidentally getting some, so I don't believe we projected our fear to her. And she hasn't been wrong yet about that feeling in her mouth and throat, so we're inclined to believe her. I think it was just such a tiny trace on a dish that it didn't cause a big reaction. We rechecked every label as soon as she felt it, so it's unlikely to be from the food she ate. So we'll have a different comfort level now about people eating peanut butter around her and sharing dishes. We'll bring plastic forks and prepackaged drinks along in the future. We were using paper plates, so it wasn't that. My mom talked to me in the camper that night, and said that my aunt obviously needed to change her dish cloths more often anyway, and that I should wash DD a fork for breakfast in the morning with a paper towel and to use a paper cup from the bathroom for her juice. I had given DD a glass of water using a regular glass from the kitchen when we got back from the hospital, and DH gave me such a look when he noticed that. He was right; I shouldn't have done that. It's funny: I'm usually the one to worry about things, but he's very convinced that she got a trace this time and that we need to be more careful. Last time when she had an anaphylactic reaction which was our wake-up call, he thought at first that I shouldn't worry so much, that DD was having symptoms because I was suggesting them to her. But after she ended up in the ER in bad shape and I passed along to him the information on how serious PA is, he was convinced and now I know he is really on the same page as me on this. He was more sure than I was that we needed to go to the ER this time. I do believe now that we have to be so vigilant about her food and what is eaten around her. This comfort zone is getting smaller all the time!

On Jul 25, 2005

bethc, how is your daughter to-day?

I am probably really quite strange, but I can't even imagine walking into a house that had a pb cake in it. I honestly can't. I would just be so freaked out.

I raised the question once about dishes and if people thought they would feel more comfortable with dishes that had been washed in a dishwasher versus hand washed (it's under Living with PA).

I think it sounds as though it was residue. I don't know if anyone on the face of the planet does dishes the way I do - I do a load, leave another load to soak, and then go back and do then after a period of time. Keep doing that 'til they're all done. And often times, I do have to change the water from the residue that has been on the dishes, if I haven't rinsed them immediately after eating because the water does get quite gucky.

I remember my best friend when I was little and I also remember the pb clinging to the sides of the dish water in her home (probably another reason why I've never liked pb).

No, as I say, I'm probably queer to begin with, but I can't even imagine entering a home where there was a pb cake and then you have to worry about the utensils and dishes and everything. I mean, that stuff is pretty gucky and lasts a long time (even on a cleaned surface).

There are people who have died from a utensil that was cross contaminated.

How was your Aunt after this happened?

I'm glad your daughter is okay, and again, you may only get one response like mine.

Best wishes! [img][/img]

On Jul 25, 2005

aunt obviously needed to change her dish cloths more often anyway,

beth could this be the problem? Did your dd or your family or everyone use this towel to dry off after eating the cake? Just a thought

((Hugs to dd)))

------------------ Love this site Synthia

On Jul 25, 2005

DD is fine today. She actually was fine that night (yes, I slept next to her and checked her breathing and pulse so many times that night) and she was fine yesterday (this happened Saturday night). I've never worried about peanut butter that other people eat before. Well, so I never worried about it until this spring when we found out how serious this can be and how little it can take. Then when we were at a birthday party this spring where someone brought peanut butter bars, my husband and I kept an eagle eye out in case someone got a trace on her, but she was fine. Then this time we worried a bit but obviously didn't take enough precautions. We're learning step-by-step. I'm a person who never wants to inconvenience someone else, so I liked the idea of "other people can have it, she just can't". But that probably isn't the case if she shares dishes or surfaces. My aunt didn't act different that I saw; she's a very calm, level person and she's a retired nurse. She didn't do anything wrong in making the cake, and she didn't think I was crazy in thinking Sara had a reaction. But when my uncle was asking her for a piece of cake that night after I'd gotten my girls ready for bed in the cabin, she said, "Not yet." He kept asking, and she kept saying "Not right now." So I asked my husband to take the girls out to the camper. I was in another room after that and overheard her tell him, "I didn't want you to have the cake while [DD] was still in here. It has peanut butter in it." He said, "Oh, I didn't know." She said, "And we're going to clean this tablecloth extra well tonight." So she didn't say anything to me, but she was extra careful in her way. They asked how Sara was doing the next morning. The dishcloth was used to wash all the dishes; they don't have a dishwasher in the little cabin. And the dishtowel was used to dry all the dishes, but hands were dried on a separate hand towel, which wasn't near the dishtowel. I really think it was on the dishcloth or in the water, or that it never got washed off of a fork between the tines. My mom and I did some of the dishes, and I was very thorough with the forks and my mom is a good dishwasher, but it is sticky stuff, and I've heard of someone having a reaction from a dish washed in the same water with peanut butter dishes. Boy, this allergy can restrict your activities! We love going to the cabin. We'll have to do some more careful planning in the future.

On Jul 25, 2005

It sounds like your aunt grasped the seriousness of this easily. How nice of her to think of those things on her own. I'm sure next time she won't make and serve a cake like that.

I'm with you--I think it was residue from the washing of dishes. It sounds like you have a good gameplan for the future.

On Jul 26, 2005

Yes, I was very pleased with my aunt looking out for DD after that. I also didn't see the cake or the cake pan the next day. And I don't want to suggest that she didn't wash dishes well, because she does. I've been in people's houses where the dishes weren't really clean before, and that was not the case here; everything was nice. It just goes to show how peanut butter traces can stick, I think, even when things are clean to a normal level.

On Jul 26, 2005

bethc, yes, pb residue can last on a surface, that has been cleaned, for up to six months. I definitely think it was the residue. How very frightening! And how wonderful your Aunt was. [img][/img]

Best wishes! [img][/img]