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Erica [Image] posted March 02, 1999 01:25 PM
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Hi Everyone! I (stupidly)gave my 8 month old daughter
Harley a tiny bite of a peanut butter cookie I was eating
- and within 30 seconds her entire face was covered with
hives. I called our the pediatrician and was told by the
nurse to watch her closely, & rush her to the hospital or
call 911 if her breathing became labored etc. I was
practically paralyzed with fear & guilt, & very happy
that my mom was with me. I called to make an appointment
with an Allergist today expecting them to want me to
bring her right in but instead we have to wait until next
week. In the meantime I need to find out as much
information as I can. Such as can an 8 month old be
tested and a diagnosis verified. Can she be tested for
egg, milk, soy, legume & other nut allergies as well? I
don't even know how to find out what food is safe? My
company makes bakery mixes and have just begun collecting
supplier info regarding allergens but I don't even know
what food is safe from work (we make mixes for bakeries
etc.)
Can anyone give me suggestions on how to handle the
doctor, clean out my own cupboards & make sure everyone
that has contact with my child knows and understands the
severity of Peanut Allergy?

IP:

Michelyne [Image] posted March 04, 1999 08:09 AM
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Hi Erica,

Welcome to the club. I too am a mother of a child with
this horrible allergy. One thing I can say is that now
that you know she has the allergy (as proven by the
reaction you saw), you have to be as vigilant as the rest
of us are with food introduction.

You should find a pediatric food allergist (if you can)
and make an appointment to see them telling them about
the incident you witnessed. Write it all down so you
don't forget. Many allergists will not test babies, (but
I don't know why). I found out about Liam's allergy when
he was 8 months old. We didn't have him tested until he
was 1.5 years old. He had the scratch test for 18 items
(the doctor did it on his back and he handled it like a
trouper. It doesn't hurt, though it does get itchy). We
had him retested at the age of three because we moved
countries and wanted the alelrgist there tobe aware of
the situation (he'd never seen this kind of reaction
before since this allergy doesn't exist where we live.

Up until the time he was tested, he only ate what I made
available for him which was fresh fruit/veg/meat. I
"nixed" all sauces, prepackaged foods, and baked
everything myself. This is THE ONLY WAY to be sure that
you are eliminating peanuts from your child's diet.

Now he eats virtually the same food he did as a baby. I
choose not to take any risks and spend my days baking and
cooking things fresh.

The best way to find information about this allergy is to
belong to this chat group (very excellent advice and
support) and join the Food Allergy Network (FAN). Go to
their website at [url=http://www.foodallergy.com
]www.foodallergy.com
[/url] They have packs of information, product alelrts, products
like video tapes, books, puppets for kdis to help learn
about their allergy.

The final piece of advice I can give at this point is to
not be afraid to ask for advice or help. Learn as much as
you can about this allergy, and tell everyone you meet.
It does get tiring after a while, but it's a worthwhile
endeavour. Just think, you'll have to look after the
livelihood of your child until they can do it themselves.
Then they have to do it for the rest of their lives (or
until a desensitisation program is developed!). If you
keep a 'chin up' attitude about this allergy, then your
child will learn to cope with it in a good and healthy
way (physically and mentally).

Best wishes, and stay safe!

IP:

Michelyne [Image] posted March 04, 1999 08:09 AM
Member
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[Click Here to Email Michelyne] [Edit Message]
----------------------------------------------------------
Hi Erica,

Welcome to the club. I too am a mother of a child with
this horrible allergy. One thing I can say is that now
that you know she has the allergy (as proven by the
reaction you saw), you have to be as vigilant as the rest
of us are with food introduction.

You should find a pediatric food allergist (if you can)
and make an appointment to see them telling them about
the incident you witnessed. Write it all down so you
don't forget. Many allergists will not test babies, (but
I don't know why). I found out about Liam's allergy when
he was 8 months old. We didn't have him tested until he
was 1.5 years old. He had the scratch test for 18 items
(the doctor did it on his back and he handled it like a
trouper. It doesn't hurt, though it does get itchy). We
had him retested at the age of three because we moved
countries and wanted the alelrgist there tobe aware of
the situation (he'd never seen this kind of reaction
before since this allergy doesn't exist where we live.

Up until the time he was tested, he only ate what I made
available for him which was fresh fruit/veg/meat. I
"nixed" all sauces, prepackaged foods, and baked
everything myself. This is THE ONLY WAY to be sure that
you are eliminating peanuts from your child's diet.

Now he eats virtually the same food he did as a baby. I
choose not to take any risks and spend my days baking and
cooking things fresh.

The best way to find information about this allergy is to
belong to this chat group (very excellent advice and
support) and join the Food Allergy Network (FAN). Go to
their website at [url=http://www.foodallergy.com
]www.foodallergy.com
[/url] They have packs of information, product alelrts, products
like video tapes, books, puppets for kdis to help learn
about their allergy.

The final piece of advice I can give at this point is to
not be afraid to ask for advice or help. Learn as much as
you can about this allergy, and tell everyone you meet.
It does get tiring after a while, but it's a worthwhile
endeavour. Just think, you'll have to look after the
livelihood of your child until they can do it themselves.
Then they have to do it for the rest of their lives (or
until a desensitisation program is developed!). If you
keep a 'chin up' attitude about this allergy, then your
child will learn to cope with it in a good and healthy
way (physically and mentally).

Best wishes, and stay safe!

------------------

IP:

Erica [Image] posted March 04, 1999 12:51 PM
Junior
Member [Click Here to See the Profile for Erica]
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----------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Michelyn!

Your advice is great to hear. I am finally calming down a
little bit. The more information I get about peanut
allergy the better I feel because I realize that although
it will be forever & will require alot of work...I can do
it. Whatever it takes - I will do for my daughter.

The only thing that I felt worse about learning is the
possible link between mothers with allergies sensitizing
their babies in utero. I have a lot of seasonal allergies
& some mild food allergies. When I was pregnant I had
gestational diabetes and the only thing that didn't raise
my blood sugar or make me sick in the morning was peanut
butter toast. So I ate PB toast atleast once (sometimes
2x) every day for the last 6 months of my pregnancy.

If I would have had any idea of the possible connection -
I would have never touched it. I cut everything else out
of my diet & life that could be even slightly harmful. I
just wish it would be a standard OB question - I plan on
speaking to the OB about letting any of their pregnant
women know about this possibility.

Anyway - thanks for your support - I glad we are all here
to help each other!
Keep Safe!

IP:

Michelyne [Image] posted March 04, 1999 01:33 PM
Member
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----------------------------------------------------------
Hi Erica,

Sorry for repeating the first message two times. I think
I whacked the key twice by accident. (and pardon the
typos--I work at night).

Don't feel guilty about eating PB when you were pregnant.
I did it too, and so did tons of other mothers. Our
family history fits the recent research too: I have
eczema and hayfever, my father has asthma. These two
things seemed to be linked to peanut allergy kids also.

One thing I forgot to say was that you should not give
your baby ANY other kind of nut also. As it turns out,
Liam has never actually eaten a nut himself. Yet the
second time he was tested, when he was three, he showed a
significant reaction to walnuts and hazelnuts. He's never
eaten these before, yet he reacted to the skin test.
There's no way I'm ever going to give him nuts! Then
there's the whole issue of cross-contamination!

By the way are you aware of the term "hydrolyzed
vegetable (plant) protein"? When you read labels on
products, be wary of this. I am not sure if the States
has laws that require manufacturers to indicate whether
the HVP is from corn, soy, cottonseed or peanut. It's
something you should steer clear of unless the HVP source
is defined on the label. HVP shows up in things like
spaghetti sauces, frozen breaded chicken/fish fingers,
salad dressing, canned soups (especially Campbell's).

One other thing I've learned is that some lipsticks &
hair gels (cosmetics) contain peanut oil (apparently as a
smoothing agent). Do not let anyone kiss your baby on the
mouth if they are wearing lipstick. Be wary even of your
own until you are sure they are okay. You could probably
get the toll free number to call the cosmetic companies
that you buy from and ask them if peanut proteins/oils
are used in their products. I know that the BOOTS
pharmacy (in the UK) has declared itself a peanut-free
pharmacy as of last year.

Sorry this is so long winded. I just thought of these
things now. There's probably tons of other stuff I'll
think of later too. Hope you don't mind, but I know what
it's like being in the dark with this serious issue.

Stay safe!

------------------

IP:

Erica [Image] posted March 04, 1999 04:12 PM
Junior
Member [Click Here to See the Profile for Erica]
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----------------------------------------------------------
Hi Again!

Thank you for the tips - I had no idea about cosmetics! I
have volumes to read already and I'm sure I'll keep
coming up with more. I'm also starting to look for emails
for manufacturers & restaurants so that maybe we can get
an email campaign going to get them to get rid of peanuts
or segregate products to be made with peanuts in a
separate area in the plant etc. My husband is upset about
not going to McDonalds - but they have open peanut
containers near the icecream machine for their sundaes
and I am worried about contamination.

Anyway thanks again for your tips - I've got so much to
learn (in a short time too).
Erica [Image]

IP:

Lschubert [Image] posted March 07, 1999 08:40 PM
Member
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----------------------------------------------------------
HI ERICA,
I ALSO HAVE A SON WITH A PN. ALLERGY AND HAVE BEEN
THROUGH THE TESTING. THE BEST ADVICE IS ASK AS MAY
QUESTIONS AS YOU CAN THINK OF. MY ALLERGIST WOULD NOT DO
THE SKIN TEST ON MY SON. THE RISK IS TO GREAT OF A BAD
REACTION. BUT THEY NOW HAVE A BLOOD TEST THAT IS NOT A
LIFE THREATENING RISK SO I ASKED FOR THAT ABOUT 6 MONTHS
AGO. OF COURSE THEY FOUND OUT THAT HE HAS A HIGH LEAVEL
OF ANTI-BODIES. NOW WE KNOW FOR SURE IT WAS THE PN. HE
REACTED TO NOT SOMETHING ELSE. THE TEST IS CALLED THE
RAST TEST. F.A.N. HAS A ARTICAL ABOUT IT IN ONE OF THERE
PAST ISSUES.

I HOPE THIS IS HELPFUL INFORMATION.
GOD BLESS, LORI

------------------

IP:

carolynn [Image] posted March 13, 1999 12:01 AM
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Dear Erica,
You sound like me! We just found out (last month) that
our then 9 month old son was allergic to peanut and
mildly to soy. He had never had anything peanut himself
(I was trying so hard to introduce foods slowly, and laid
awake one night trying to decide whether or not he should
even try green beans) but broke out in 5 hives on the
back of his neck after his peanut butter on toast Daddy
kissed him there. So, the peanut must have come from me,
during pregnancy or while nursing. (I am still nursing
him, but feel extrememly guilty and even stupid sometimes
that I ever ate anything with peanut at all, but when
you're nauseous and your o.b. tells you to eat more
protein, the thought of meat is . . . you know)

I felt very depressed and afraid for about a week or so
after we found out, and still feel afraid off and on now,
but I figure at least we found out an "easier" way (just
those hive in one spot) and are now armed with knowledge.
I also have felt overwhelmed with having to cook mostly
everything from scratch, but it's healthier for all of
us, anyway, though I'm not sure how I'll manage if I have
to return to work.

It's amazing how these little ones change our lives
forever, and how we will do anything for them. I think
that the best way we can deal with this allergy is see it
as a challenge and an enemy we're protecting our children
from: struggles make us stronger than we ever thought we
were, right? I didn't want to have to be strong because
of this, but I might as well use it the best way that I
can.

Take care. (am I the only one who feels sick to her
stomach when she sees peanut butter ads on t.v. now? I
know it's their right, it just makes me feel quite
different now that we have this allergy)
carolynn

IP:

Connie [Image] posted March 13, 1999 08:30 AM
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----------------------------------------------------------
Hi Carolynn,

Isn't this allergy horrible? I have going through this
for four years now, and while some days feel better than
others, it is still hard for me. You would think it would
get easier but it seems each age group crops up new
problems.

I know what you mean when you talk about cooking from
scratch. Sorry to say...I need to learn how to cook.
(After 10 Yrs)!! My husband calls from work to ask me
what I made for dinner. I tell him RESERVATIONS and be
ready by 8:00! Seriously though, I have to stop looking
in the future and stop worrying what will happen when he
starts middle school or high school and concentrate on
getting him through Kindergarten in the Fall. Better yet,
getting him through "today." You all help me do just
that!!! We all have the same fears and concerns, yet when
one of us in down, someone else is up!

As for the peanut butter commercials...I think we should
make our OWN commercial - "Choosy Moms choose to keep
their children alive...don't feed mine peanut butter!"
I'm sure we could all come up with a slogan and run with
it! Someone else had posted about doing a commercial, I
believe. Wouldn't it be great?!

Stay safe!

IP:

carolynn [Image] posted March 13, 1999 11:53 PM
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Thanks, Connie - you know, if we all started our OWN
restaurants, we wouldn't have to cook from scratch, we
could get someone else to do it for us! I've actually
asked my Mom to make us some things that will last for a
couple of days: stew, soup etc., and when my little one
is a bit older I bet she'll even make doughnuts for him
in great quantities so we can freeze them for him!
(unless of course they end up needing some ingredient he
won't be able to have at the time.)
I'm getting better at cooking everything from scratch,
but today finally ran out, and all I had to eat that I
felt was safe (I'm still nursing my son) and not the
usual sandwich was plain old oatmeal - yippee. I get very
cranky when this happens, but am still too afraid to eat
certain things, so I eat a lot of sandwiches when all
else fails. I don't know how I can find the time to stock
up on my own cooking with this little guy hanging on to
my legs because he wants to see what I'm doing! I'm not
even back at work, how will I find the time then? (I'm a
teacher, and from my past years teaching I can honestly
say I barely had time to eat, never mind cook and look
after a little one)

I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to post
this, but is cocoa powder safe? (I've been using Fry's)
Does anyone else's child have a soy allergy as well? (our
little one's was mild, but we were told he could outgrow
that one if he had no soy for the next 6 years, and I
feel it's easier for him to be soy free now than have to
try to be when he's older, though maybe it won't make any
difference)
One more thing: today was one of our first "big" family
get togethers with this peanut allergy knowledge, so our
first question as we walked in (after" how are you") was
"has anyone had peanut today?" I knew the food was safe
as my Mom had prepared it with my help, but my brother in
law had eaten a Wunderbar today, so he moved so he
wouldn't be sitting near my son. (out of respect for his
allergy) Now, maybe he didn't need to do so, but I
thought it was a nice gesture.

I will try my best to take one day at a time . .. but
pretty soon it'll be summer and we'll want to take him to
the park for the first time, and WHAT will we do there?
Hmm.

Take care.

IP:

CB [Image] posted March 16, 1999 02:59 AM
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Hi Carolynn
In response to your question, the smell and the sight of
peanut butter actually make me nauseated, ever since my
daughters allergy to it. I don't think that you are alone
with that turned off feeling.
Take care [Image]
Carol

[This message has been edited by CB (edited March 16,
1999).]

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