Probable reaction at cabin

Posted on: Mon, 07/25/2005 - 2:47am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

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!

Peanut Free Store

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