Serious Denial

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After some time passes since the last reaction, do you ever start thinking maybe your kid isn't so allergic. Or maybe somehow it has magically gone away. Or maybe all this stuff isn't REALLY about your own kid. I do. It becomes sort of surreal. Almost like this big production is over nothing. I know this is not the case, but every once in a while I start to believe that my kid is going to be the one who beats this bad rap. And then at the same time, I get this guilty feeling that if my son "grows out" of it, that sucks up part of that 20%, and some one else's poor kid won't. Anyone have the same thoughts?

On Jun 23, 2002

YES! Especially when I deal with this publicly, like having to read ingredients in front of others while they look at you as if you are bonkers! I start questioning my methods thinking, "You know he ate this before I knew he was allergic, do I really need to take this precaution? Would he only react with ezcema and never have anaphylactic reaction?" "Is he really allergic or just sensitive?" I agree with you. It is surreal. Kind of nice to know others go through the same thought process, huh?

On Jun 25, 2002

Yes! Especially after an incident back in February. DH took DD to a family birthday party out of town, and one of the decorations was bunches of helium balloons weighted down to the floor by being tied onto candy bars. Every single one of the candy bars (from DH's description) had peanuts in it. If I were there, I would have reacted proactively and asked my SIL if it was OK if I switched off the candy bars (and I know she would have been fine with it since her son has some severe allergies), but DH just tried to keep a close eye on DD. It didn't work. He noticed she wasn't in sight at one point, and when he found her, she had unwrapped a Mr. Goodbar and taken a bite! So DH sat and waited to see what would happen, and nothing did. No reaction at all. He kept careful watch over her for the next seven or eight hours and still nothing. Now, this is a child who had a reaction from touching the wrapper that a peanut granola bar was in, so I know she's sensitive. And when she ingested peanut butter once a year or so ago, she had a full-blown anaphylactic reaction. So why no reaction to the Mr. Goodbar? I like to think that maybe she's outgrowing the allergy, but I know in reality that it was probably just stupid dumb luck. She probably took a bite that was just chocolate and by some miracle there wasn't enough trace of peanut to cause any reaction. But that one incident nearly five months ago has me hopeful that maybe what we're dealing with isn't as horrible as we think.

Sarah

On Jun 25, 2002

I've been through the same thinking. In fact, I had really almost convinced myself that Leah must have outgrown her allergies until I was knocked back into reality by the high scores on her cap rast test last December. Even so, now that it's been six months since the test I start hoping again that there is some hope! Needless to say we still take all the precautions and I don't tempt fate. Denial is apparently a powerful force.

On Jun 25, 2002

I do believe my son has outgrown his pa despite his level 6 CAP RAST last week. I am still every bit as careful and will never let on to anyone besides my husband (who is a pessimist, by the way, but agrees with me on this) that this is what I believe. I am waiting for the CAP RAST to go down or for a better test of outgrowing the allergy to come along!

On Jun 25, 2002

There are LOTS of foods my dd ate tons of before we knew of her allergy, and after, before we knew of all the cross contamination issues! Haagen Daz is a biggie, ice cream in general, both packaged and at stands. Cookies I made in my kitchen that surely had cross contam. form being near others. Heck, I even made peanut brittle for others the first year! I did not know it was an issue as long as she did not eat the stuff. After seeing the allergist, we learned about anaphylaxis risks, etc...

I, too, suspect my dd is outgrowing it. She has had no reactions since I noticed her first reactions to eating PB(and they were a gradually building thing over repeated exposures). Never had anaphylaxis symptoms that I am aware of. No medical intervention at all. I washed her off and her skin was better over an hour or so, and eczema cleared over a few weeks after I stopped all exposures.

What I think, is that some people never have anaphylaxis, but we never know who that might be, so we must all be vigilant. Also, as many can attest to here, some people are extrememly sensetive and can suffer severe reactions from simply smelling the stuff!

I do think my dd may outgrow. In our family, few adults have food allergies but many kids have. Seems they outgrow them(but none have been allergic to peanuts). My dd's numbers also went down much more than the allergist expected. He was very pessimistic based on last tests, but then sent a very encouraging letter after her Rast came back on her allergies this go round.

So, I sometimes do think I should lighten up. But, I won't. Mostly because it is different if I am with her at home, watching her like a hawk(like after an ice cream) than if others have her(school or friends and family). I just need to be crystal clear with her for the sake of her understanding and for others to understand. But I do have some feelings at times like it just isn't true. She really does not have this dangerous allergy. I hope someday we all can realize that dream. becca

On Jun 25, 2002

I was talking with a teacher I work with and was very interesting. She said that if she touches or eats peanut butter and other peanut items she gets hives. If she eats it she gets itchy mouth and throat and vomits. NOW the interesting part is IF she eats a PAYDAY candy bar---has peanuts in it---she doesn't get sick at all. Isn't that very very strange???

On Jun 25, 2002

Well, yes and not really all at the same time. I truly think plenty of PA people are out there eating all kinds of may contain type things and just have no clue and are not in the emergency rooms. I know that is what we were doing when we were ignorant of all the risks. I am sure many people do not know the risks and that the risk varies by each individual. The problem is there is no way to know, so once you learn what *could* be a risk, you are best off erring on the side of caution, right? That is how I see it. My dd has never had a serious(life threatening, I mean) situation, yet I am very careful.

I have a friend who always told me her son was allergic to peanuts. Now that I discovered my dd shared that allergy with her son, I contacted her for advice/support/to share strategies. She had never had him tested or seen by an allergist and said he had felt so sick from having PN once, he basically "policed" himself. She was surprised and somewhat shocked to learn some of the risky natures of the allergy from me and plans to have a RAST done now. We think he may be one who might have outgrown it because they have never taken any precautions outside of obvious avoidances(known PB or visible nuts). She even said, "the odd nut doesn't seem to bother him here and there."

Clearly, there are some who are just less sensetive. I just wish we could even isolate the ability to diagnose that as a step towards treatment and vaccines and all. I have also met people who get itchy mouths and cankers from walnuts or othr tree nuts and have no more known reaction than that and do not carry epinephrine.

Maybe when the PN are mixed with enough other stuff, this friend you have has less of a reaction. It is peculiar. Becca

On Jun 26, 2002

Hi Lisa V! I feel connected to you since our experience with the radio station and have since looked for and read your posts.

I can definitely relate to the surreal nature of this disability. I can get my mind wrapped around it and then, after time, need to step back because it's all just too much for my mind to hang on to. I was trying to figure out a field trip situation for my daughter around the same time that Stuffguy posted his "One Man's Rant" thread. I was quietly reading that thread and second guessing myself because my daughter deserved and so desperately wanted to go on this trip that I knew was risky. I began questioning if I was being too overprotective and if that could be causing her the greater harm.

That's one of the things that I've really come to appreciate about this site-- it gives me the opportunity to rethink my position on the issues. Sometimes I reaffirm my beliefs, and other times I adjust or change them.

Gail

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