RECENT PEANUT ALLERGY - Peanut Allergy Information

RECENT PEANUT ALLERGY

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Hi. My name is Kristy. I wanted to join this site to maybe find out more info and for the support.

Wow!! I never expected to have a child with a severe food allergy. About a month ago, my husband had been eating a PB sandwich (he knew not to give him a bite, they say not to until age 2yrs) he gave our son a very small bite. Within 15 min, his eye swelled up and he was acting very uncomfortable, clawing his face and ears from the itching. I asked my husband, "DID YOU GIVE HIM A BITE OF PB??!!!" When he said yes, I took off to the ER. They gave him steroids and watched him. They sent us home about 2 hrs later. I wanted to make sure so I took him to a pediatric allergist. Got the results yesterday!! My son is a class/category 4 to peanut. I just feel like crying constantly!!! I don't want anyone to watch him. We have decided I will quit my job to stay home with him. I will be home schooling when the time comes. I do not trust schools or other caregivers to take care of him the way I will. I feel bad for all the families out there dealing with FA. I never realized how detailed things can get.

By Jessica... on Aug 6, 2013

Hi Kristy! I can relate to everything you wrote in your post. My daughter is now 3.5 yrs old, she was diagnosed with peanut/tree nut allergies at 18 mo. The day we had to take her to the ER was the scariest day of my life. In the beginning I was so scared. The first thing I did was go though our cabinets and start throwing things out. I remember spending tons of time at the grocery store carefully reading all the labels. Just know that it will get easier. Obviously, I can never be too careful and I still have to read labels constantly, but I now feel confident in my own ability to keep my daughter safe. She is very aware of her allergy, and will tell people about it. All of our close friends are aware, and they go above and beyond to keep her safe too. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. Again, I will say...It will get easier. Take care, Jessica

By reklawj on Aug 7, 2013

Asking questions is a great start! My 2 year old is allergic to peanut, dairy and egg and that feeling of anxiety you have will probably never go away! I think the best way to deal with it is education and awareness! When it comes to our family and friends, we make it known that our son has food allergies. He recently started daycare three days a week and it has been hard, but they have been accommodating. Just continue to educate yourself because new challenges when come everyday. Good Luck!

By gerilynn on Aug 7, 2013

I understand exactly how you feel, but please know that, although you will worry for the rest of your life, it will get easier and you will learn how to manage it. The most important thing I feel is to teach your child to advocate for himself and to learn how to manage the allergy. My daughter is 12 now and was diagnosed with a SEVERE peanut and tree nut allergy at 13 months, and she is doing great. She can't do everything her friends do or her sister does, but she leads a very normal life. We surround her with people we trust and she trusts. We have taught her from Day 1 that she can die from the allergy, which although seems harsh, it has taught her how important it is to be responsible. We have never home schooled her....we do, however take every precaution possible. They can't live in a bubble their whole lives...,so I think it is important not to start now....just my two cents.

By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Aug 7, 2013

Thank you so much for responding with all the information. I did live about 1 1/2 hrs south of Nashville, but over 2 years ago I moved to the middle of nowhere in Missouri :( I took him a few minutes away from Kansas City in Belton. When I called and asked if the Dr. was a pediatric allergist, they said yes we see pediatric patients. Is there a difference in that when it comes to allergist? I know that some Dr.'s may see pediatric pt's but that doesn't mean they are a board certified pediatrician. I want to have him checked for other things as well. What I have been reading makes me wonder if he is allergic to more things than just peanuts.

By jenibop on Aug 7, 2013

Everything you just wrote was me 5 years ago! Right down to the homeschooling. My son at the time was 1 and I had a 2 and 3 year old as well. During lunch I fed the two older kids PBJ and I was in the kitchen preparing another meal for him. He swiped a 1/2 of his brother's PBJ sandwich and before I reached him he squished it between his fingers and placed his fingers in his mouth. I removed it from him and went into the kitchen to get a washcloth and seconds later he was struggling to breath and had welts and webbed fingers from the swelling and the white of his eyes were bulging over his blue eyes. Thankfully I lived down the road from the volunteer FD and they were at my home in minutes. In the meantime I gave him Benadryl and through him in the tub to get the PB off of him. They gave him 1 epi on the short ride to the hospital and prednisone. At the hospital he was monitored for 6 hrs and sent home. Weeks later (so we could get true results and have all the antihistamine out of his system) we found out he was allergic to peanuts, eggs, wheat, barley, seasonal allergies and cats and dogs. How did I not know you must be saying?? Yes he was my 3rd child so we were a little lax and he was born with "sensitive skin" and really bad eczema, so we just assumed it was a skin flare up not bc of something he ate. He didn't have bad diapers or vomitting. And these skin issues didn't become worse after he ate something. So fast forward a few years. He lost the egg, wheat and barley, however he is still anaphylaxis to PB and within the past 2 years developed hazelnut and almond allergy and melons. He started kindergarten this past year at our public school and I was neurotic. I was his class mom so I definitely had a hand on what was being brought in, but everyone was on board and aware of his issues. Epi-pen and benadryl travel with him, class trips I or the nurse goes on and he is not to eat ANYTHING w/o a label on it. There is a huge card in the front door of his classroom NO NUTS BEYOND THIS POINT. A letter went out to every parent saying a child (kept it anonymous) has a severe PB allergy and no snacks can be brought in containing nuts. There was never a problem-THANK GOD! It is so common. He sits at the Nut Free table and is allowed to bring a friend that obviously has a lunch PB free. But at times that kid can't go with him bc the nut free table is so crowded already with children with PB allergy. My school is A+ for how hard they strive to protect him. All I'm saying in this long post is give it a chance to settle in. It totally does suck, and you will find yourself doubting and second guessing yourself a lot with choices you make. I have all the holidays at my home bc I feel like I have more control over the food etc. But there are so many good resources and places like this that can help you and family and friends to keep your child safe. This is one of my favorites that is always updated and my school uses too: http://snacksafely.com/snacklist.pdf. I never wanted to fly with him or go on vacation, but I conquered that too, we took Jet Blue that didn't serve any nuts, however we were told they cannot prevent people from not eating PB/nuts but they will word it in such a way on the micraphone that people may not want to eat them, so they said "sorry folks today we won't be handing out nuts, there is a passanger with a nut allergy so if you want to get to your destination and not make an emergency landing please refrain from eating nuts!" We actually went to Disney and the level of service and products there to keep him safe was amazing. Every meal we ate the chef came out brought out a list of ingredients they have seperate kitchens. We ended up buying a Disney Time Share and have been back 5 times b/c that's how amazing it has been there. I learned about products from having it there in Disney! Also make sure you are using a pediatric allergist and immunologist. I'm not sure where you live but if you have a children's hospital perhaps there is one there. I am fortunate to live in NY and I go to Mt. Sinai and my son, now 6, is on the waiting list to hopefully be desensitized of his nut allergies. Hopefully one day this will happen for him. I know have a total of 4 kids and he is the only one with food allergies. I wish I could say he will be the 20% that lose this allergy but bc his numbers are so high and have increased year after year it is unlikely he will lose it on his own. He has 1 more reaction, not requiring Epi-Pen, from being in the park in a mountain full of leaves and there was shells from peanuts that that squirells must have enjoyed and the contact with the shells produced hives, but Benardryl worked! Good Luck and if I could answer any questions or you want to reach out to me feel free!

By homegrown5 on Aug 7, 2013

Start a notebook with all things allergy related. Keep all his prescriptions, allergy testing results and all information you receive. Keep track of his reactions. Make a section for recipes and safe foods. Gently train your immediate family! Go to www.allerbling.com and buy him a bracelet to wear at all times. Train him to keep it on as this can help speak for him when he can't. Take one day at a time! You are his best advocate!

By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Aug 7, 2013

Everyone is being so wonderful. Thanks so much for the replies and advice!!!

By coeja73 on Aug 7, 2013

I hear ya! I felt like food became the enemy when my 3 yr old was diagnosed. (he is now 9) Of course you feel this way...that's alright. It's a shock to your whole outlook, but in time, as you get comfortable with some food protocols, you will open up your bubble again. Your bubble will never be completely open, but you (and your child) can't live in fear....so...I now have 3 folks that babysit (NOT including my parents or inlaws strangely) and I did send my kids to school (we chose the preschool with the best food allergy policy in town)...etc. Hang in there. Take things slowly, and get to know this new resident in your house...by the name of "food allergy."

By gerilynn on Aug 7, 2013

I see you say you live in a rural area.....are you within close distance to a hospital in case of an emergency? That was always my big concern. Because I remember the doctor saying when my daughter was first exposed to peanuts, had we not called 911, she likely wouldn't have made it.

By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Aug 7, 2013

I'm about 20 min away from the hospital. That is something I was thinking about just to have a plan in place. Do I call 911 or do I take him myself? I truly think I could have him to the hospital before the ambulance could probably even get here. I'm actually feeling a little better by reading everyone's comments and advice.... but just a little ;) I think it will get better once I get used of things to do. When I read things like the 13 yr old dying after her dad, a doctor, gave her 3 epi-pen injections...... that's a little unnerving.

By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Aug 7, 2013

I didn't realize that peanut was not even a nut until all of this. So do I need him to stay away from peas, soybeans, chick-peas....etc.? Should he be tested for all of that also? What if ingredients say soybean oil? I'm just sooooo confused!!!

By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Aug 8, 2013

Thank you. I'm so sorry for you because I know the exact feeling you are having. It sounds like you are doing great. You have thought of everything. I am going to call the allergist today to see what else he will let me test for.

By kel22dd on Aug 8, 2013

Hi, my son was diagnosed at 2yrs (life threatening) to PN and TN, all seeds and soy allergies. He came very close to dying when he ate a bite of a cookie that had PN in it. But thank God the doctors treated him with lots of medicine ( epinephrine, steroids, h2 blockers, albuterol) and he was ok. He was also allergic to all legumes and peas and green beans. I didn't realize that peas, green beans and legumes can sometimes go hand in hand when it comes to peanut allergies. I was very happy that his allergist had tested him for all of those because I would never have thought to keep him away from those foods. He had a kidney bean by accident once and he swelled up and broke out in hives and had respiratory problems, but with treatment he was okay. So if you are able to have your son tested for these allergies I would definitely have it done. You can never be too safe. It will help you when it comes to choosing foods ( especially veges) and also with soy in a lot of food now it is a good thing to know. I know how you feel. It is so stressful and scary. My husband works and I stay home with our kids. My PN/TN allergy son is now 6 and he has a twin sister and also an 8 yr old sister who do not have food allergies. The twins are off to kindergarten next week and I am very nervous. This will be the first time ever he will be away from me (or my husband or my mom). I have taken all precautions, met with school principal and filled out 504 plan, have epi-pens galore at school in different areas, ordered allergy gear from a great site called allergyapparel.com, talked to my son over and over that he can't eat anything from anyone except what we send in, will also have a box of safe treats in the class. I also only live 2 blocks from school and can go there at anytime, which I will the first week (to recess and lunch) to see how the food situation is. Even with all of this I am still a nervous wreck. The feelings bring me back to when he was diagnosed. Stressed out, anxious, can't sleep completely worried that I can't protect him. Basically like I don't have control over his safety. It is such a scary feeling. I think this is just something that us allergy moms go through and can't really explain to non-allergy moms because there really are not words to describe how fearful we really are. I do have to say that I only felt like that when he was first diagnosed, then I became informed and really had no problems for the last 4 yrs. My husband I check all foods and speak up where ever we go about his allergies. I know that this week (and probably the next few weeks) too shall pass, as very hard as it is for me right now, it will get better, just as it did before. Change is very hard for me especially when I feel like I am sending out my baby onto his own and releasing my safety net, but I know with the support from all the moms here that have done this before me and all of their encouragement I will be just fine. I will look back at his first week on kinder as a good memory. The ups and downs of allergy moms. I think this is a wonderful website because I don't feel so alone and I have found a lot of answers to many different questions I have had. I hope that you are able to find many answers to your questions and all the support you need. Try to get all of the allergy tests you can, its worth it. My good thoughts are sent your way.

By mysweetpeanutallergybaby on Aug 8, 2013

Thank you. I'm hoping things will stop feeling so overwhelming soon. Reading what people are posting is a big help. I have made an appt to a pediatric allergist in Kansas City to check for other things, and find out more information. Not to comfortable with the first allergist we went to.

By donna0540 on Aug 8, 2013

Hi Kristy, My son was also diagnosed at 2 years old with a life threatening peanut allergy. He is also allergic to garlic, chicken, peas and poppy seeds. He has thankfully outgrown his soy allergy. Ryan is 17 years old now. I know exactly how your are feeling. The day Ryan was diagnosed I was so overwhelmed. For Ryan, this was all he knew. It was normal for him. He learned very quickly what to eat and not to eat. I educated his pre school teachers and at 3 years old Ryan taught his teachers how to use an epi pen! His friends and their parents were all so supportive. I remember thinking there is no way Ryan will ever go to someone's house for a play date, I will just always have them at my house. Well, that all changed by kindergarten. I finally allowed Ryan to go over to a friends house after school. When I went to pick him up I noticed on the refrigerator a list of foods that were "Ryan safe foods" and a list that were not safe. I cried when I saw this and was forever grateful to this mother who to this day is a dear friend and our boys are the best of friends still. I helped our school district to implement food allergy policies and was class mom from kindergarten through the sixth grade. Fast forward 12 years later and Ryan is entering his senior year of high school. With new worries of going away to college I have to be thankful that Ryan has always been aware of his food allergies and what can happen to him. Touring colleges is somewhat daunting and I go straight to speak with Student Life to find out what they have implemented for Food Allergies in their dining halls. I have to say I have not found one school yet that does not take food allergies very seriously and all the colleges so far seem to be very accommodating. Hang in there Kristy, it is very scary at first. Don't get me wrong we never let our guard down we have just learned to live in a world that has peanuts in it. Please do not hesitate to contact me for anything. Also, The Food Allergy Network is an amazing resource and helped me immensely during those early years.

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