Son had a reaction today. First in about 4 years!

Posted on: Tue, 04/13/2004 - 11:07am
Cindia's picture
Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

I am feeling so bad today because my 8 year old son had a reaction. It had been so long since he had one that it took several hours for me to convince myself that it was really happening. His face became very red, puffy, and rashy. His eyes were glassy, bloodshot and itchy. No other symptoms that were noticeable.

I am pretty sure it is from a homemade white chocolate bunny that had been given to him by grandpa. I can only blame myself, however, since grandma called me the day before Easter to get my approval of this treat before they stuck it in his basket. All I know is that it had been made by a co-worker and friend. As I am typing out the cold, hard facts, I am feeling ashamed at being so complacent about this.

I am one of those moms and members of that allow "may contains". Believe me, I am definitely re-examining this stance. I am scared. My ds's rast scores seemed to be getting lower so I thought he was outgrowing it and that was the main reason that he was not having reactions anymore.

Any others out there have found themselves in a similar situation? What were your conclusions?


Posted on: Tue, 04/13/2004 - 11:33am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Cindia, I'm really sorry your son had a reaction. I'm assuming since you said it took you a couple hours to convince yourself that it was a reaction, you didnt have to use the epi? How is he now?
In my own personal experience, whenever we made Easter candy (before I had kids), we always made p.b. eggs. Maybe that is what happened and there was some cross contamination on the mold or bowls or something.
When you say you allow may contains does that mean in your house or you allow him to eat them? I'm not judging you, just clarifying.
My son has only had one rast test and two blood tests, and thats how we found out about his allergy, and for 5 years and 11 1/2 months he never had a reaction. Even when we didnt know what we were doing and what we should and shouldnt be allowing him to have. I was really questioning whether he was even allergic.(Even though he was a 4+ on skin and class 5 rast) Then at his 6th birthday party last month he had a contact reaction. Hit home for me that he does def. have a reaction and you never know when.
Well, I hope he is ok now.

Posted on: Wed, 04/14/2004 - 4:19am
Cindia's picture
Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

Thanks momma2boys. He seems just fine, now. No, we did not use the epi-pen and actually have never used it. His last two reactions were halted with benadryl. The last test showed him at a class 2. He previously tested as a class 3.
He has eaten many "may contains" in the past. He eats regular m&m's, white nestle and hershey, 3 musketeers, milky way. I let him eat stuff that is labeled it has been "processed in a plant" that contains peanuts, or "may contain traces."
There is no separate lunch table at school. We tried the lunch inspection thing in the beginning of first grade and it was just a nightmare. He became known as peanut boy and would come home in tears. He begged us to stop the inspections. We made the difficult decision to stop them.
He is very picky with food in general, though. His diet is so limited and he doesn't try new foods, so maybe that is a major reason he has not had a reaction in a long time.

Posted on: Wed, 04/14/2004 - 9:50am
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Hi Cindia,
Sorry to hear of your son's reactions.
My DS also had a reaction a few months ago, after quite a long time without one. His was contact, and I really beat myself up about it as I felt it was really due to my complacency. I'll reraise the thread rather than rehash it all here.
Look at it this way - fortunately the reaction was minor, and it served as a reminder to him. The last time he reacted he was quite young, so he probably has no memory of it. I know that was the case for us. DS had been pressing for a retest, questioning whether he really needed to avoid all those foods, etc. (although he did have a reaction to a cookie last spring, but seemed to have "forgotten" that already!). This latest incidenct was a wake-up call for him.
It also showed me that because he was responsible in many ways (like avoiding the necessary foods) that his judgment wasn't perfect - he didn't call me to tell me he was having a problem, but rather waited until I came to get him. You can bet we had a discussion about that, and I don't think he'll make that mistake again.
Don't be too hard on yourself. *hit happens!

Posted on: Wed, 04/14/2004 - 2:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cindia, I have been meaning to get to this thread all day. How is your son? How are you?
I am so sorry to hear about your son's reaction, especially since it has been quite some time. [img][/img]
Sounds like you've pretty well figured out what caused the reaction and I think that is a *good* thing. So often we read about *mystery* reactions that the PA parent/child never have the answer to. It does sound like cross-contamination somehow with the Easter bunny in his basket.
I haven't had a similar situation happen, so can't comment that way, but can only say that *maybe* (and only *maybe*, it's up to you), you'd like to re-look your comfort zone about "may contains" and "made ins". Then again, it wasn't something that your child normally eats (something with a "may contain" warning) but something homemade. That's why I'm saying only you can decide about re-looking at the "may contains" your child is consuming.
We all have our own comfort zones which, for the most part, obviously work for our families. Then, something happens (usually a reaction) and we have to sit back and think, okay, what has to change, if anything?
For you, it may be something as simple as saying no to the chocolate next year or not letting your child eat homemade stuff from people that you don't know.
Please let us know how you're both doing. I hope you're okay. Big hugs. [img][/img]
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/14/2004 - 2:56pm
Cindia's picture
Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

Thank you Amy, for your response and also for re-raising that thread. I really could relate to that and the replies, as well. It is interesting how you worked it out with your son. You know, it did not even occur to me that this incident is partly his responsibility. (and I am trying not to use the word blame) He does not even seem fazed by this and has not mentioned it.
One thing I have downplayed is the possibility of having a fatal reaction. I guess I don't really believe it will happen to him. I know it really sinks in my soul when I hear about a PA related death. I don't ever tell him about it, though. I guess I walk in the gray zone between denial and doom.
Thanks also to Cindy. As usual you have some nice words of concern as well as raising great discussion points. Yes, for sure I will no longer be accepting of homemade treats that are not made in my own home. I am doing much better, my ds is fine.
Momma2boys, Amy, and Cindy, I wish we could go have coffee somewhere together and just talk and talk.
Time to think about comfort zones again...

Posted on: Wed, 04/14/2004 - 3:05pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Cindia, I'm really sorry to hear of your son's reaction. Our situations are similar in that my daughter is nine; my comfort zone is broader than many here; and we went a long time between reactions.
I have not let my dd eat "may contains" but was being sort of "wishy washy" about "made on the same line" stuff. Then, this past August she reacted to brownies I made from a Ghirardelli mix. The package has recently become labeled as being made on the same line as tree nut containing products. (My dd is tna as well as pa.) I convinced myself that she could eat them because she had been eating them before the warning appeared.
About half an hour after eating one brownie she felt really sick and violently threw up a bunch of times. Maternal instinct told me it was an allergic reaction. Before that it had been over 4 years since a tree nut reaction, and over 3 years since a peanut reaction.
That was this past August and we haven't had any more reactions, since, knock on wood.
We have found that she does fine at school sitting at a regular table, etc. We tried the peanut free table in first grade and found that it was a social nightmare for our dd.
She knows she has to be really careful with everything she eats. It is a big bummer, for sure. It is very easy to get complacent, and to become optimistic that the allergy has been outgrown, when your child is reaction free for a long time. (Especially for those of us whose comfort zones are on the broader side.)
CAP RASTS at ages 7 and 9 have both put her as class 6 for peanuts and walnuts. I guess I just need to be very thankful that she has been as fortunate as she has been. Like you, we have never needed to use the epi-pen. (But we are - of course - very well prepared.)
I would definitely give up the may contains. Hopefully your son will be willing, now that he has had a recent reaction.
Take care,

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2004 - 3:09pm
Cindia's picture
Joined: 06/05/2001 - 09:00

Thank you, Miriam, for your reply and concern. I am definitely going to clamp down on the "may contains".
Your daughter's situation does sound similiar to my son's. Good luck and best wishes!


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