Support System

Posted on: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 10:12pm
SavannahR's picture
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 04:44

My son was diagnosed with egg and peanut allergy around 1 1/2 years old. There are many conflicting reasons as to why kids get peanut allergies, and sometimes I feel at fault for eating grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so often during my pregnancy. I "know" you can't give it to your children that way, but enzymes through breast milk? That sounds legitimate to me. We let him taste random things here and there during the holidays even though he wasn't old enough, but we honestly didn't think we would harm him in any way. I gave him toast with peanut butter on it, and he broke out in hives. Two days later while visiting a friend I put him to nap in a playpen used by a child who had peanut butter, and the reaction was so horrible. I wasn't educated on peanut allergies, but I gave him Benedryl and took him to the hospital. After seeing the allergist and testing positive for peanut allergy (and egg, we had no idea but vaccines have been a chore), my family has become anal. We have to check EVERYTHING. I'm sure other people understand what I'm talking about, but I haven't met anyone in my area who has a child with a severe allergy. My son is in headstart, and I had to basically show them that even things like CRACKERS, and baked goods contain nuts! It's been scary, and I know I drive people insane, but this is my sons life! I am hoping to meet other people who have the same sort of experiences so that maybe I won't feel so bad for hovering around my son every second. Halloween is just around the corner ...

Posted on: Wed, 10/02/2013 - 10:15pm
SavannahR's picture
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 04:44

He's 3 now, and he has two sisters (11, 12) who don't have any food allergies. They are more educated on this than I'm sure most kids are at their age, lol. When I had my first daughter she ate jar food at the right age, but my son was so picky! He hated ALL baby food.

Posted on: Tue, 10/08/2013 - 2:24am
andy8922's picture
Joined: 03/16/2013 - 22:10

Don't beat yourself up - I don't eat peanut butter or peanuts and my son has a severe peanut and tree nut allergy. He was also allergic to eggs and milk, but outgrew that when he turned 2. Join local groups, online support and so on. This summer we did our first FARE walk and we met a lot of other families - some of who I even knew, but didn't know that their kids had food allergies.

Posted on: Tue, 10/08/2013 - 2:25am
HillaryFrever's picture
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 09:15

Do what you need to do to keep your child safe! If people think you are overreacting, then that's their problem! People don't realize how many things that seem safe actually may contain nuts. I have been battling people for years with my sons allergy. They just don't get it. Some parents of children in his class are very good about it, but others aren't. I have written a letter every year and gave it to parents explaining what is safe and what is not. I even explained that he could die. But some parents still chose to send things like nutter butters in for a snack. It's very frustrating but all you can do is keep telling people and trying to educate them. Explain to your son at a very early age that he can't have those things. My son is 7 now and he is very good about asking what's in things. Our rule is that if we don't know what's in it, he doesn't get to have it. Hang in there. Maybe he will outgrow it someday. Keep speaking up even if you are afraid you'll look silly. It is a matter of life and death we are talking about here!

Posted on: Tue, 10/08/2013 - 2:28am
mira_k's picture
Joined: 10/08/2013 - 09:20

Hi. Don't worry about driving people insane. You are your child's advocate until he's old enough to be his own. My son is 9 and was diagnosed with a severe Peanut and Tree Nut allergy at the age of 2. I'm sure I still drive people insane, but as you said - it's your child's life. My son is doing great. He went to a nut-free daycare/pre-school and now attends a nut-free elementary school. There are several students with various food allergies at the school. And, classmates that don't have food allergies are very sensitive and protective of my son and the other children with food allergies. A nut-free school is the route we chose to give us peace of mind as parents. I check every label as well and will continue to be a hyper-paranoid mom to keep my son safe. You're doing a great job.

Posted on: Fri, 10/11/2013 - 3:57am
pamela hughes's picture
Joined: 10/11/2013 - 10:01

Hi Savannah!
Oh, bless your heart - I TOTALLY understand! I've lived what you are going through right now. We found out my son had a life-threatening peanut allergy when he was a baby, started as a reaction to peanut then by the 3rd episode (he was 3 years old), we discovered it was severe (the reactions sometimes get more severe each time). That's when I knew we must always carry EpiPens and avoid peanut at all costs. SO what does that mean? How do you give your child a normal life AND keep from going crazy as a mom? First, breathe. It really is going to be okay. You don't have to figure everything out - just how to be smart for them today. I went through major guilt then as I kept researching, I got really mad. I was doing everything I knew during pregnancy AND after he was born to give my baby all the benefits and these articles came out: "Maybe it's because the mom ate peanut butter during pregnancy," "Maybe the mom didn't eat enough peanut butter during pregnancy," "Maybe the mom was a clean freak," "Maybe it's from breastfeeding while eating peanuts," ... enough to make a loving mother bonkers! The fact is they don't know for sure and after following this over the past 8 years, it is clear we just keep ruling stuff out and still have no definite answer. But I can tell you this. It's not your fault. Say it out loud, "It's not my fault." How can it be when we still don't even know the cause? Halloween: I went trick-or-treating with him and gave all peanut candies away. You can Google peanut-free candy and find lists. Also, I carried a hidden stash of yummy peanut-free candy in my costume to dump in his bag :) My son is now in 4th grade and we have come so far - I feel your worry and desperation. It will be okay. One day at a time, girl. We have been through so much with this already and some days I thought I was going to turn into a crazy person, but then the hope comes back and you realize so many have gone before us and are just fine. There is a way and you don't have to figure it all out today. I get it.

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