Sad, Scared and in shock!

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 1:31pm
CindyB's picture
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Joined: 09/15/2008 - 18:50

Not sure where to start! So here is my story! I am the proud mother of 2 BBs! 4yrs & 1 yr. After my 2nd, I agreed to participate in a research study, regarding diabetes, at the teaching hospital where I gave birth. So we went 2 weeks ago for the 1st annual visit. They administered an allergy test on my 1 yr old and me! To my surprise and disbelief, he was allergic to peanuts, nutmix, milk and soya and I was apparently allergic to nut mix as well!! Well, I had breast fed my son until he was 10.5 mths, then had trouble converting to formula, so on the dr's recommendation we went straight to homo milk at about 11.25 mths. He took the milk no problem! He had been on milk for a good 3 weeks with no suspicion of any allergies. I had even given him a little lick of PB around his 1st b-day, when my 4yr old had it for lunch one day. He loved it! I am 32 and have eaten and enjoyed nuts as a favourite snack all my life, with no problems at all. So I was in denial. I thought they may have made a mistake! They said, if I did not feel concerned to continue with his diet as is, until I got into the allergist. Turned out our appointment was not until Jan '09! Then I panicked! Although, I wasn't taking any chances with the PB, I was still giving him milk, as that was a main staple in his diet! I did not expect it to take that long to see someone. I called the office to see if I could get advice on what to do... to continue with milk, if not soya, what else??? I had called on a Friday, and luckily they just had a cancellation for today! Turns out, he is not even allergic to milk or soya, but there was still evidence of the peanut allergy. However, I still wasn't convinced! He was a very understanding Dr and explained that sometimes the test results were not conducive to the actual results. So we decided to give him peanut butter right there and then! OMG!!! My son's 6th sense kicked in! He did not want it! The poor little guy screamed and fussed, even worse then with the pin prick tests. He did not take it. The Dr. suggested coming back in 2 days to try again. So as I was waiting out the 1/2 wait time to leave, he started rubbing his eye, then his eye swelled right up and his upper lip went super puffy. They had to administer benedryl and he was prescribed an Epi pen before we left! He must have had a little bit on his finger. I was in complete shock! Thank goodness we were there when it happened. Now that I have done a little research and have had a little more time to absorb what this means to my baby and our family I have so many questions! Our follow up appointment, is not for 18 mths!!! I don't know where to turn now to get answers. I am however; glad to have found this webiste as it seems to have a lot to offer. If anything, this was good therapy to get this out. Especially because my husband has been at work since all this happened! Sorry it was long winded, but it helped me stop crying for the time it took to put it together! :)

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 5:49pm
gw_mom3's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I'm so sorry. :( It is so scary at first. Maybe the doctor didn't explain it but typically, the first exposure does not cause a reaction. So when you gave your child a lick of pb, there weren't IGE antibodies built up in his system yet-they built up as a result of that first exposure. Here is a video that explains that:
[url="http://video.about.com/allergies/Allergies.htm"]http://video.about.com/allergies/Allergies.htm[/url]
There are so many resources on the web now but keep in mind that too much knowledge at once can be overwhelming and scary.
Where do you live? From your post I am guessing Canada, UK or Australia?

Posted on: Mon, 09/15/2008 - 11:51pm
doofusclo's picture
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Joined: 12/03/2006 - 09:00

Sorry your son has a food allergy. I know how you feel. We had no food allergies in our family until my daughter was born. She is PA, TNA, MA, EA, and has rice allergies. At first it is terribly overwhelming - our kids have a condition that can be deadly. I think I cried for the first four days after I found out about my daughters condition. I still feel like I am on the edge of panic several times a week. You can start here or get a good book and educate yourself. My daughters allergist is Dr Wood. He has a peanut allergy and he wrote Food Allergies for Dummies. There are several good books out there and if you do a search you can find a list.
A John Hopkins study said about 20% of kids with peanut allergies outgrow them. Plus they are starting to do really good research.
Cindy O

Posted on: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 12:39am
MommyOfTwo's picture
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Joined: 11/08/2007 - 09:44

I'm so sorry you had to go through that experience! Like you said though, thankfully you were there at the hospital!
It can be overwhelming at first but please know that at some point you will get used to the new way of life. It is perfectly normal and ok to be scared and in shock when you first get the news and realize all the things that have to change.
One of the things that helped me most was to read everything I could on peanut allergies (pna). I personally liked Dr. Michael Young's book The Peanut Allergy Answer Book, it is to the point with medical information but in laymans terms. This site too has wonderful resources and you can use the "search" capability if you have a concern about something specific.
What also helped me is to go through our house and get rid of all nuts and all "may contains, processed in/at/on" facility foods. This at least gave me peace of mind that our house was safe for him. When you go shopping make sure you read labels. You will start to get to know which brands you trust, what foods are ok, etc....although ALWAYS read the labels. Manufactures change their lines and process plants all the time, just because there was no warning on the box before doesn't mean there won't be next time. Hersheys is great at labeling for when you need that chocolate fix! I personally have never had issues with Kraft, but others on the board do not like them. This is when things begin to fall into your own comfort level.
A wonderful wonderful substitue for peanut butter is Sunbutter which you can normally find at Target. It is made in a pn/tn free facility and is made from sunflower seeds and is slightly sweeter than peanut butter. My oldest who was eathing PB&J's daily was a bit upset when we got rid of the PB. We tried a couple soynut butters but he hated them. He LOVES the Sunbutter and I used it for cooking and everything I would normally use PB for.
I know it is a lot to take in right now, but you will find your comfort level and things will become "normal" for your family, just minus any nuts! :-)
If you have any questions at any time, we are all here for answers!

Posted on: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 2:21am
cristym's picture
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Joined: 11/19/2007 - 17:26

It can be very overwhelming at first. Some people do best with only taking in a little info at first, and some need to find out as much as they can all at once. Either way is fine.
As one of the PPs (Previous Posters) menitoned, if you get rid of any Peanut / Nut products and the may contains and made in the same faciliy products in your house you will know that anything your son eats at home should be safe. Then read all lables while shopping, it will take longer to shop, but it is worth the time! It was the first step we made and it made us feel so much better. You mentioned you have an older child who eats PB, we have switched to SunButter which is a spread similar to PB but it is made from sunflowers in a facility that does not process nuts. My family loves it!!!

Posted on: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 10:28am
Mrsdocrse's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

I have to agree witht he others.. It is really over whelming...
But you will absorb it all and find a place where you are not in panic mode or crying daily.. It does get better. I promise.
Peanut allergies can be managed. My DS was milk and egg allergic as well and has out grown those.. I think a milk allergy or soy is muchharder to deal with personally.
anyway..
welcome
and I also recommend the peanut allergy answer book!

Posted on: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 11:55am
CindyB's picture
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Joined: 09/15/2008 - 18:50

Thanks to all for your support! Besides having Nightmares last night about my DS, getting into a jar of PB, and playing with my dog's KONG (usually filled with PB), today was a better day!
Gale, thanks for the video link! It explained it and the site itself is a great resource!
Cindy O, I saw that book recommeded on another thread! You are so lucky to have Dr. Wood on your side! I pray that our DS is of the 20% that will outgrow... thanks for the hope!
Thanks to Mommyoftwo for all the tips. Especially the part about manufacturers changing their food lines. I will faithfully watch everything from now on!
Christy thanks for the support! I think I got myself totally over whelmed last night and I am pretty lucky compard to you! My goodness you have your hands full with twins and all their allergies combined to watch! God Bless you!
Lastly, thanks to Mrsdocrse for the promise! With my husband by my side today and the support from all you posters I am realizing that we will be able to handle this! I am thankful we caught it in a controlled environment and now the wiser because of it.
For all the newbies outthere, don't try to learn everything in one night, espeically when if your in an emotional state! ;)

Posted on: Tue, 09/16/2008 - 12:00pm
CindyB's picture
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Joined: 09/15/2008 - 18:50

btw Gale... I am Canadian, but I have a lot of family in the states! (MI, OH, FL, NY, CO, OR) How did you know?

Posted on: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 3:12am
makisaki's picture
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Joined: 09/17/2008 - 09:47

Our son has a serious peanut and tree nut allergy. My confusion and anger is that the so-called blessing of legislation requiring labeling apparently isn't strong enough, isn't enforced, or isn't followed, due to accidental or purposeful negligence.
For instance, Hostess (in U.S.), obviously a major company, so you'd think they'd care about the legislation. Yet their powdered donuts for instance have no statement about allergens. So when you call them about chance of cross-contamination, they are very non-committal, citing various plants, blah blah excuses excuses!!! How can they get away with not labeling, even with a "cross-contamination possibility" statement!
Does an unsuspecting parent who doesn't see a warning who then feeds and kills their child need to be the impetus for change?!?!?
I guess the moral of the story is that legislation, laws, rules, etc.... well they're all made to be broken and certainly the government doesn't have the time to check and enforce the allergy legislation!
Btw, if you read this from Canada, consider yourself luckier... Canada is much more vigilant about allergy labeling... I swear my blood pressure goes down when I see such clear labeling (with graphics even!) on food (i.e. Kit Kats up there... some are safe and some aren't ... but the safe ones ARE CLEARLY OUTWARDLY LABELED!!!!!

Posted on: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 5:04am
heather_t's picture
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Joined: 08/30/2008 - 16:33

I recently contacted Hostess (Interstate Bakeries -- this includes Wonder Bread as well) regarding their policy. This is what they said:
September 15, 2008
Dear Ms. ,
Thank you for taking the time to share your concern with us about the use of certain ingredients which may be allergens for some of our consumers. If you or someone in your family has food allergies, please contact us directly for complete and accurate information. Our Toll Free number is 1-800-483-7253. We do not label for cross contact.
Sincerely,
Evelyn Rodriguez
Consumer Response Representative
I have done some research since my son was diagnosed a few weeks ago. It is my understanding that the law does not require a warning for possible cross contamination. I certainly think that it should. I do remind myself that we are fortunate to live in the age that we do. This must have been much more difficult to manage 10 or even 5 years ago.

Posted on: Wed, 09/17/2008 - 12:45pm
gw_mom3's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I think it varies regionally. I have seen plenty of hostess pkgs here that say 'may contain' for tree nuts/peanuts/etc. I don't think it's consistent though.
And yes it was much harder 10 yrs ago. My dd is 12 and was officially diagnosed at age 3 but had her first reaction at age 1. There are WAY more foods that are safe now than there were back then.

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