What makes an allergy life threatening?

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 10:46am
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My dd has not had an ana rx. She is allergic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and pork.

What I am wondering is would you consider these "life threatening" allergies or do you not consider that until an ana rx??

Just curious.

Kara

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 10:51am
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I've always considered them to be potentially life threatening and treat them as such, since you never know what the reaction could be. My DD only had a small case of hives around the mouth at diagnosis, and the allergist said that even though the reaction was relatively minor, you never know when it could become life-threatening. Her allergy has since gotten worse (more sensitive to traces, higher RAST score) but we've never had an anaphalaxic reaction (Thank God!). But we're still supposed to assume it is.

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 10:53am
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I meant to add that I've read in a number of places that all nut/peanut allergies should be considered at risk for anaphalaxis.

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 11:08am
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My pediatrician told me the story of how he saw a little girl die from her egg allergy when her parents gave her a bit of roll at a fast food joint. She died with medical intervention. He set the standard for my comfort zone. The danger is you never know the reaction level. I have meet a fire fighter with peanut allergies who eats peanuts - even after going to the emergency room with a bad reaction one day.
You have to decide your comfort zone and what you can live with.
Cindy

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 11:14am
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I'm not sure how you can tell if an allergy is life threatening or not(without seeing it). My son has had anaphylaxic reactions to peanuts, pistachios, eggs and sesame...that *I've* witnessed. Now I would like to know how another boy in 1st grade just gets hives if he eats peanut butter....I'd like to know his caprast to compare(although many here say rast scores don't matter) but I'd like to know why my son has almost died while this other boy gets hives if he eats it....it confuses me to no end! But.....I've seen my son react, so I know for a fact how serious it can be.
And as much as I hate to admit this, I never really took it seriously until I did witness an anaphylaxic reaction(from different foods even)....I learned the hard way.....take this very seriously!
edit-spelling
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 1/2(beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig, hamster & asthma)
Jake-6 1/2(peanut, all tree nuts, all seeds(sesame, sunflower, poppy, pine nut) beef, chicken, eggs, coconut, green beans/all beans, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-4 (peanut, tree nuts, milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig, hamster, grass, mold, dust mite and EE)
Savannah-1 1/2 (milk, beef and egg, dog(avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, strawberries, seeds, legumes and corn)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited September 10, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 11:57am
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As I posted in another thread, I have not had an ANA reaction. While there is a risk, my doctors don't consider it a high risk *for me* at this time, so they and I don't call it life-threatening. I haven't been FA very long and I know some FA adults and their children whose allergies are ANA, but I also know many FA adults who have lived with FA for anywhere from 20 to more than 60 years who have never had an ANA reaction and would not call their condition life-threatening either. As a whole, in my experience, most of us have a broader comfort zone than most on this board, yet still tend not to experience many of the allergy related physical problems that a lot of posters report here. While we're carefulin avoiding our allergens and would probably be even more so if it were our child instead of us, honestly, most adults with FA that I know are used to it and don't worry about dying from FA any more than they worry about dying from any other cause.
I come to this board because I'm relatively new to FA and there are things I'm interested in (like research) that more experienced FA adults in my life don't follow. They don't feel the need for support from an online board or other group, or have the interest in clinical trials. That's why I believe FA organizations, boards like these, research studies etc. tend to focus on children and/or those who have already had ANA reactions. I'm not sure if that's an omission that's good for researchers' and the FA community's full understanding of FA in the long run, but it is what it is at present.
I'm *not* giving medical advice, just sharing my direct experience and knowledge.
Each of us needs to handle our/our child's FA according to the advice of our own doctors and our own comfort zones. I'm just making the point that there are certainly people out there, both childhood-onset and adult-onset, who have had full, active lives for decades with FA that have been genuinely diagnosed by qualified physicians but have never become life threatening, and knock wood, never will.
------------------
(relatively recent adult onset non-ANA TNA/inconclusive PA)

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 12:22pm
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I think there are two issues here: whether you consider your child's (or your) allergy to be "life threatening" and whether you tell others it is.
I don't know if my son could have fatal anaphylaxis. From a practical perspective, it doesn't really matter. I wouldn't change my choices or my management plan if I knew for certain it was a possibility.
The issue of telling others those magic words - [i]life threatening[/i] - that's a different issue entirely. Personally I believe it's mostly hyperbole and that people actually take me less seriously if I run around saying that all the time. But it does seem to be the new en vogue term and acronym on the board.
I've found I usually do much better convincing people of the seriousness of my son's allergies by taking the opposite tack - talking about how rare death is with food allergies. I think people shut their ears if they think you're too over the top.

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 12:44pm
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Quote:Originally posted by booandbrimom:
[b]
The issue of telling others those magic words - [i]life threatening[/i] - that's a different issue entirely. Personally I believe it's mostly hyperbole and that people actually take me less seriously if I run around saying that all the time. But it does seem to be the new en vogue term and acronym on the board.
[/b]
I don't think you know whether or not the allergies are "life-threatening" without a reaction history, but all food allergies have the potential to threaten one's life. I hope people don't just close their ears, as booandbrimom predicts they do because my DD's allergist and pediatrician wrote letters stating that DD is high-risk for a fatal reaction to peanuts as she has already had a near-fatal anaphylactic reaction. The letter goes on to state, based on their medical opinion, that a minute amount of peanut could result in death. DD is contact, aerosol reactive to peanut and has CAP/RAST greater than 100. She also has other allergies: tree nuts--I still consider life-threatening though she is 'only' a Class 4 through testing and has not had exposure/ nor reaction, egg (I might be wrong, but I no longer consider them to be "life-threatening" and we informed the school of this but also cautioned that with allergies can change at any time--recent blood work was negative though skin test still +; we're waiting for another skin test and possibly food challenge), and some fruits (rash around her mouth and + IgE indicating the allergy is not oral allergy syndrome) which I don't consider "life-threatening".
Sorry, Kara, there is just no easy answer to how you know an allergy is life-threatening. I know my DD's first direct exposure to peanut resulted in a swift anaphylactic reaction, which is predictive of future reactions if she ingests again. It is hard to predict if your child has never had a reaction. I'd still cautiously assume they are 'life-threatening' [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I think booandbri's mom makes a good point in saying you can lose people by acting like every reaction will lead to death. It depends who you are sharing the information.

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 1:06pm
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What is FA?

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 1:10pm
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Well for us....
I explain Aidan's first reaction. Short version is he was 13 months old when he ate a tiny piece of PB cookie. Within 30 minutes and benedryl given he was covered in hives. A raised burnt birth mark color over his entire body. We raced him to the ER and he was gasping raspily for breath as we got there. They gave him epinephrine and informed us that without the benedryl that the pediatrician said to give him he would not have made the five minute drive. That pretty much shows his history and punches a point.
He was tested a month later and those tests show his other allergies as high as his peanut one. He has also had two other anaphylaxis reaction that were stopped as soon as I gave him his epipen.
With that alone people take me seriously and I measure how *allergic* he is.
I say history plus testing. His SPT shows he has a mild allergy to soy this past year but he does fine with soy. He's reacted to eggs so that 4+ SPT result is very seriously taken. His shellfish SPT numbers are as well even though he hasn't had a known reaction because those are typical fast acting reactions for others. And in seafood Louisiana it is hard to avoid, but worth it if it gives him a chance to outgrow them
Bottom line is don't feed my kiddo....and if he shows signs of a reaction treat with epinephrine.
Also, he has had a SPT done at 14months, 3years, and 5 years. All numbers are consistent. His last SPT shows he outgrew his strawberry and pork allergies. That a lot of environmentals went down. To me consistent numbers give you a good idea as well.
Just my opinion. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] and really good question!
mandi

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 1:23pm
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Quote:Originally posted by cfkjc2:
[b]What is FA?[/b]
FA= Food Allergy

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 1:34pm
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On a related note, I find it interesting that on this board, many posters complain that people they encounter are not aware that food allergies are potentially life threatening, when I had the opposite experience. As somebody with relatively recent onset who before FA ate almost any food anyone ever offered me, I suddenly had to start refusing much of it, and telling the people in my life why. I tried to keep it simple. "No thank you. I recently developed a food allergy." They'd usually ask, "To what?" and I'd say something like, "I'm not sure yet. The doctor thinks it may be nuts."
I was shocked at how many people-- extended family members, friends, coworkers, even clients and casual acquaintances, would immediately launch in great detail into some FA horror story they'd heard of on the news or about their neighbor's third cousin's boyfriend who supposedly died from FA. In a few situations, I think the people involved were genuinely concerned for me, but mostly, people just started talking and wouldn't stop even when I tried to politely deflect them. I did solicit experiences and advice from people I knew to be FA, and others identified themselves to me once they learned of my FA. It was one thing to hear about their or their family members' experiences with anaphylaxis. I could respect that. But not from people with no direct experience with FA, who often didn't know me well (or who had their own disabilities or chronic medical issues and should have known better) and had no regard for my fragile emotional state at the time as a newly diagnosed person. I know that those of you with children with FA quite rightly often want to be as public about the FA as possible so that others will help protect your children, but I'm a professional adult. I tell those I think it's important to know because they are around me in situations with food involved, but otherwise it's private medical information. I don't think telling a scared, newly diagnosed person unsolicited in a public place, let alone in a crowded workplace full of clients, that he or she is going to die any minute from whatever medical issue he or she has (whether it's true or not!) is appropriate social or professional conversation, and I severed relationships with a couple of people because they wouldn't take the hint. Now I'm better at tuning these kinds of people out and walking away, but it's very unpleasant.
Just another perspective.
------------------
(relatively recent adult onset non-ANA TNA/inconclusive PA)

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 1:46pm
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My child has never had an ana reaction. He's also never ingested peanuts. He's had contact reactions of hives, and once swelling on the hands. I take the utmost of precautions b/c I know one prediction doesn't predict what the next one will look like, and the next reaction MIGHT be one where it is potentially life threatening. It's unlikely, but I'm not taking that chance!
Like someone else said, I don't walk around saying he has a life threatening allergy. It's a balance betw. people taking it seriously, but not being afraid to hurt my child just by having him over to their house (with no peanuts around, but they were concerned they'd eaten peanuts awhile ago, and residues could still be there despite vacuuming, cleaning, etc.) or being unreasonably scared to supervise him.
This is how I handle it. I tell people: Knock on wood, my child never has had a severe reaction. He's never needed his epipen, for it's never been more than hives and once some swelling on his hands. HOWEVER, the allergist tells me that one reaction doesn't predict what the next one will look like, so I'm always prepared just in case the next one is his throat quickly swelling shut or some other life threatening reaction. That's why he never goes anywhere that his epipen can't be reached in less than 90 seconds (i.e., it's kept downstairs and we don't keep one upstairs). That's also why I teach anyone ever watching him, even for just a couple of minutes, about what to watch for and how to respond if something happens. People seem to respond well to this approach. They understand it could become severe at any moment so they take it seriously, but they aren't terrified to be in charge of him.
Also, I've noticed that it has more power to say "The allergist said..." rather than talking generally. Obviously that's b/c we live in a society that respects doctors.
That's what works for me!

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 2:46pm
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Quote:
I was shocked at how many people-- extended family members, friends, coworkers, even clients and casual acquaintances, would immediately launch in great detail into some FA horror story they'd heard of on the news or about their neighbor's third cousin's boyfriend who supposedly died from FA. In a few situations, I think the people involved were genuinely concerned for me, but mostly, people just started talking and wouldn't stop even when I tried to politely deflect them. I did solicit experiences and advice from people I knew to be FA, and others identified themselves to me once they learned of my FA. It was one thing to hear about their or their family members' experiences with anaphylaxis. I could respect that. But not from people with no direct experience with FA, who often didn't know me well (or who had their own disabilities or chronic medical issues and should have known better) and had no regard for my fragile emotional state at the time as a newly diagnosed person. I know that those of you with children with FA quite rightly often want to be as public about the FA as possible so that others will help protect your children, but I'm a professional adult. I tell those I think it's important to know because they are around me in situations with food involved, but otherwise it's private medical information. I don't think telling a scared, newly diagnosed person unsolicited in a public place, let alone in a crowded workplace full of clients, that he or she is going to die any minute from whatever medical issue he or she has (whether it's true or not!) is appropriate social or professional conversation, and I severed relationships with a couple of people because they wouldn't take the hint. Now I'm better at tuning these kinds of people out and walking away, but it's very unpleasant.
Just another perspective.
You may not believe this, but I've had this experience with people telling MY SIX YEAR OLD CHILD such stories.... generally because they suddenly 'got it' because of a news story about a food allergy DEATH. So they chatter away about it to my KID. The one with the life-threatening allergy.
Ay yi yi.
How insensitive a person do you have to be to do [i]that??[/i] My child knows she could die. She's always known, since it almost happened to her when she was 2...
There are some allergies, IMO (though I think it fairly well-informed over the years) that should almost ALWAYS be considered [i]potentially[/i] life-threatening, regardless of the symptoms thus far observed (provided that the allergy is determined to be 'clinically relevant' and not a false positive test result). One is peanut. Another is shellfish, and evidently the recent entry in the field is sesame. Others come in different, stable 'flavors.' Even TNA.
But nobody with one of those three should ever think that it [i]can't[/i] happen to them. I don't. (I have a SFA which has to date never produced LT symptoms...)
It's the wild, wild west with the rest of them, though-- some people have 'threshold' sensitivity to a food allergen, and some people are aerosol sensitive... some people react the same predictable way every time, and some people never know what kind of symptoms they'll have.... and this is only the IgE-mediated variety.
I [i]never[/i] overstate those allergies which I suspect DO NOT have life-threatening potential. So my DD's diary allergy, or my citrus one [i]absolutely DO NOT get mentioned to a server in a restaurant.[/i] Because I want [i]all[/i] of their attention on pn, egg, and shellfish. LOL-- of course, this assumes that we're actually [i]eating[/i] in a restaurant, which for DD is exceedingly rare. See, we try to limit our server conversation to just ONE life-threatening allergy at a time..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 11:18pm
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Let me be clear that by saying I don't consider my allergy, whatever it is(presumed to be a specific TN, but still not entirely clear) to be a LTFA at this time, I'm not sticking my head in the sand. Nor are my doctors, nor are most of my adult peers with FA that have never been ANA. Nor am I advocating that anyone else stick his or her head in the sand either. We all know that some risk exists. We take precautions and are "prepared" within the bounds of medical advice and our own comfort zones. In fact, my present comfort zone is tighter than the medical advice I've gotten, or I would have already challenged peanut and certain other TN that recently tested negative, but I'm still afraid of false negative cross-reactivity. I think of FA every day, as we all must. I wish I didn't have to. I hope my allergy will pass, as my doctors think it might given the specific circumstances of my reaction and my family history. If it doesn't, I hope it doesn't get worse and I live long enough to see viable treatment. Every adult I know whose FA is not ANA knows people whose FA are ANA, but for the most part, we have made conscious choices to cross bridges when and if we come to them and not to dwell on what happens if we become ANA and die. Again, we each do what we think is reasonable within our individual lifestyles and needs to manage the risk, just as anyone would manage the risk of any other potentially serious medical condition in their personal or family history, or the risk of any number of potentially life threatening accidents that could happen every day. This is just me, but in the first few months after onset when I had no comfort zone whatsoever and worried 24/7 about the possibility that I might die from FA, I couldn't function. In one of innumerable conversations, an adult close to me with lifelong PA/TNA, as well as other FA in the family, said to me essentially that I had a choice to stay in that "what if" space or to focus on the here and now. Was I going to listen to my own doctors and friends and coworkers living with FA who knew me and had a direct interest in my well being, or was I going to continue being perpetually freaked out by everything on the news and the Internet? I made the choice that was best for me to move forward. My allergy may evolve in the future, and if so, so will my comfort zones, but now is now-- for me, not necessarily for you or any of your children.
------------------
(relatively recent adult onset non-ANA TNA/inconclusive PA)

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 11:31pm
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Quote:Originally posted by mama2aidan:
[b]Well for us....
I explain Aidan's first reaction.
mandi[/b]
That's exactly what I do. I don't have to even say life threatening or death because the quick story I tell pretty much illustrates how delicately close he was to dying that day.
His doctor says, past history of reactions is the best indicator. People with asthma are also at higher risk for anaphylaxis.
I also consider that it is potentially life threatening as pink poodle said.

Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2007 - 11:47pm
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Thank you all very much! I asked the question because I was filling out forms for my dd's school. I consider my dd's allergies potentially life threatening. Egg being the worst reaction she ever had. A tiny drop of diluted egg on her cheek, then wiped off, hives covered her face, bottom lip swell and she got hives on her arm. The hives were so big they kind of melded into one solid wheal. It didn't take much at all.
Anyway, when I talk about the allergies I do not say " my daughter has life threatening allergies". I usually explain what her allergies are what reactions she has had and that while we are thankful thus far there has not been a life threatening reaction, there is a potential that the reactions could get worse the more she is exposed. And also I always throw in "her allergist recommends" or something about the doctor. (Like someone said earlier, that does seem to make a difference!)
But on these forms, I want the school to understand the potential. It's not just that I'm trying to avoid a little "discomfort" for my dd. (as I heard someone say regarding my dd's allergies once..) She's never had an ana rx and school would definetly be the last place I'd want it to happen.
Anyway, thanks for all of your input. I know everyone has their own comfort level and everyone does things a little differently. I think that's great. I just appreciate everyone's input.
Kara

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 12:04am
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I consider my ds to have a life threatening allergy to peanuts because I was told that next time he has a reaction he will lose his airway. I know there isn't a way to predict this, but that's how I treat it. That's also what I have told the other adults in my son's life so that they do take it seriously.
I have spoken with too many people that think you just get hives for feel ill if you in just something you shouldn't with FA.
If it were me that was FA (I wish I could take this from my son) I wouldnt' be nearly as cautious as I am with him. he's my baby and I'd never forgive myself if something happened to him.

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 12:50am
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I agree with what some of the others have said: reaction history, asthma, and type of food allergy all play into whether it's considered life-threatening.
I don't say it a lot, but when it's on a paper for school or an activity, I say she has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts. That's because she's had reactions that have affected her breathing and heartbeat in the past, she has asthma, and it's PA, which is inherently unpredictable and tends to be dangerous. But I don't describe her latex allergy that way, even though that's an allergy that's high-risk also. She's had only mild reactions to that in the past and her RAST score was quite low. I make sure people who are in charge of her know about the latex allergy, and in my own mind, I know it could become life-threatening in the future.
I think a lot of adults minimize the seriousness of their FAs. A woman I know is allergic to shellfish (high-risk allergy), her Dr. has prescribed an Epi, and she's experienced the sensation of her throat closing on multiple occasions. But she eats whatever and doesn't carry her Epi or use it. A man I know has MFAs and I don't know how serious all of them are, since he also eats everything. But his Dr. has prescribed an Epi, which he also leaves at home, and he has experienced partial throat closing in the past. I think there are a lot of people who don't want to have a condition that puts limits on their life, so they act like it's not life-threatening and don't take the precautions that would save their life.

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 2:45am
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Quote:Originally posted by bethc:
[b]I think a lot of adults minimize the seriousness of their FAs. I think there are a lot of people who don't want to have a condition that puts limits on their life, so they act like it's not life-threatening and don't take the precautions that would save their life. [/b]
I think there are also a lot of parents who overemphasize the "life threatening" thing so they, their children and those around them will take it more seriously.
Our children are more at risk of dying in a car crash than from their FA, but we don't go around saying to people "you need to put my child in a car seat because this vehicle is [i]life threatening[/i]. We just require the car seat. We don't dwell on it.
I'm not sure it's healthy to always be thinking about and emphasizing what could happen. I don't do that with my son's asthma, and 5000 people a year die from that.

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:40am
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quote: (originally posted by booandbrimom)
"Our children are more at risk of dying in a car crash than from their FA, but we don't go around saying to people "you need to put my child in a car seat because this vehicle is [i]life threatening[/i]. We just require the car seat. We don't dwell on it."
Actually, I do go around saying "you need to put my child in a car seat." And I have explained that they are at higher risk for death or injury if they are not in the right seat. I would definitly argue if someone tried to put my child in something other than the proper seat. It's a big issue for me. I care very much that my children are in the proper restraints at all times. It is my duty to inform other people of this also.
I guess I answered my own question. I do feel the potential is there for the possibility of my dd's allergies to be life-threatening. Therefore, I will do everything in my power to prevent that from happening, and, it is then my duty as an informed and responsible parent to make the other people that I entrust her to, beit family or school or elsewhere, informed and responsible also.
Thanks for your responses!
Kara
[This message has been edited by KaraLH (edited September 11, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by KaraLH (edited September 11, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:04am
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why didn't my quote come back in bold?? Not sure what happened!

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 4:18am
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So let's take a typical day in my child's life...
Be careful if you give him pancakes for breakfast because there have been cases of mold in them that have been [i]life threatening.[/i]
Make sure that seatbelt is on because the car ride to school is [i]life threatening.[/i]
Be careful on the playground at recess because children fall down and can have [i]life threatening[/i] head injuries.
Come in if the sky looks cloudy. [i]Life threatening[/i] lightning can strike even if it's not raining.
No going to your friend's house after school because swimming in their pool or jumping on their trampoline could be [i]life threatening.[/i]
Tired of it yet? The point is that FA is just one of many risks a child encounters EVERY DAY. Continually using the words "life threatening" will eventually exhaust your audience. It's meaningless hyperbole in most situations.
Scaring myself silly by repeating these words over and over isn't going to change my plan with regard to food allergies, so why should I do it?
Kara, to answer your question, you need to make sure the coding for bold is still in place. The code looks like [-b-] without the dashes.
[This message has been edited by booandbrimom (edited September 11, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:07am
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I DO use the words Life threatening when explaining to someone about Aidan's allergies because Food Allergies are not as main stream as wearing a seat belt or drowning in a pool. They are all potentially equally deadly for us, but *my* son's food allergies have indeed been proven before to be anaphylactic and life threatening.
Here is a typical converstion with the teacher in the beginning of the year. If I can post the letter to the parents from my phone I will later.
"Aidan has multiple life threatening food allergies. He has had three anaphylatic reactions. His first was when he was 13 months old....(see above post)...and the other two we used his epipen successfully. We practice strict avoidance of his allergens so he stays healthy and possibly will help him outgrow them.
Here's what I am going to do as his parent....I will provide everything he eats. I will make sure he wears his medic alert bracelet and carry his epipen belt. I will provide you with any materials you need to teach the class. I will talk with parents and let them know I am open and willing to answer questions. I will provide you with an anaphylatic chart so you can recognize symptoms of a reaction. I will teach you how to use an epipen. (I usually emphasize how it will not hurt my child but can save him and let them practice with expired ones)."
I also give the teacher instructions about his asthma and known triggers for his history. I don't go into that asthma is Life Threatening because that is more main stream. I do link that because of his asthma his reactions to food can target distressed breathing and to be aware of this.
I am always positive, but stern when talking about him. I have never been not taken seriously by anyone except my MIL. But that's with anything I say. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I'm glad Kara that you answered your question.
I guess for me it is educating, and teaching them to recognize symptoms to care for a grade 1 reaction to a grade 5...and providing the tools to make my kiddo better if something occurs. Sorry for the long ramble...just trying to make my previous post clearer if that's possible. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
take care,
mandi

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 5:39am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I just got back from my parent teacher meeting to discuss ds allergies. And I don't think she caught on until I said "life-threatening." And I am glad I said it. She tells me another student in my son's class has a peanut allergy as well. I asked, does he have an epi pen and she said yes, but his allergy isn't as severe as your sons! Of course I went on explaining no one truly knows how one would react etc...My son has never had an ana rx but I would only ever describe it as "life threatening", or at the very least the potential to be LF.
[This message has been edited by ccm'smom (edited September 11, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 6:17am
KaraLH's picture
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Joined: 10/11/2006 - 09:00

booandbrimom, I guess I didn't see the -b- thing. I've done it right before. Not sure what I did different this time!
Anyway, I don't really believe that allergies are in the same catergory as some of these everyday activities that most children enjoy or do. Not every child has a food allergy. Most parents know that putting your children in approved car seats could possible prevent death or injury. Most responsible parents know that there should always be an adult present when children are near water. Most parents do not know what a food allergy really is or how to deal with it or what the signs of a serious reaction are. Sometimes you need to *highlight* it for them. I guess that is all I'm saying. Not that I need to wake up every morning and say to every person I see,"just so that you know, my dd has a *life threatening* food allergy.
I agree it can be over done, but I think that it also has it's place as in educating those in contact with your child. JMHO.
Kara
by the way, how do you use bold and italics within a post? I've wondered this for a year now....

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 8:12am
booandbrimom's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

You have to really [i]want[/i] the italic to appear.
O.k., seriously... The codes for the board work just like HTML but with brackets instead of carets. Something in italics would be coded:
[-i-]I'm italic text![-/i-]
Something in bold would be:
[-b-]I'm bolded![-/b-]
However, you have to take the - symbol out of the above codes [i]to make[/i] [b]them[/b] work.

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 9:50am
KaraLH's picture
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Joined: 10/11/2006 - 09:00

Thanks.
[i][b]like this?[/i][/b]
Kara

Posted on: Tue, 09/11/2007 - 10:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

For me, I do not use the term "life-threatening" when telling others about my food allergies. Yes, I have had an ana reaction, and it scared me terribly. For days I did not know if I had a tumor, or if I had a mini-stroke. However, that was because I did not know that I had a food allergy. Once we identified the cause of my bizare medical symptoms, I have never considered myself in grave danger - just felt that it is important to understand that my life can be at risk if I do not take care of myself.
Which brings me back to what everyone else is saying. No matter what we do in life, there is risk. Most times the risk is hidden. Yet there are times in life when the risks we face are visible to us.
I am aware of three of my risks (Peanut, Tree Nut, & Soy), which gives me some power over them. Fortunately enough, I can learn to recognize and minimize the danger they present, and even fight them when I am caught off guard.
------------------
Adult onset Peanut (ana) & Soy Allergies (non-ana, but progressing).

Posted on: Wed, 09/12/2007 - 1:34am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

I agree with Mama2Aiden and KaraLH that it's a question of general public knowledge. Most people still hear "allergy" and think runny nose or rash.
Hey, that's what I used to think. I'd had allergies all my life, and they were annoying but not dangerous. When I figured out my DD had PA, I thought it was the same as my allergies to soaps and cats and stuff. So she gets a few hives every time, not a big deal. I actually didn't believe she could be in danger from it, and our Dr. did nothing to dispel that belief in our conversations (and no, he didn't give us an Epi or an action plan or anything). So when I know that I, as a generally educated person, didn't know that her food allergy could kill her, I want to share that information with people who are in charge of her when I'm not there. I want them to realize that it really does matter that she eats safe food and that someone is available to administer her Epi if something happens. It's not a matter of a paper cut, it's a matter of being hit by a bus. There's a different level of carefulness if you know the potential level of injury.
So I do type that word into letters explaining DD's situation. But I don't say it otherwise. I say she's allergic to peanuts, maybe adding that we have to be really careful because she's really sensitive or that her allergy is serious or severe or that she's had bad reactions before. It depends on the situation.
I do know that there's a difference between her allergy and our next-door neighbor's milk allergy. He's fine unless he drinks milk or eats too much ice cream. It's really an allergy, but his mother doesn't have to discuss it with anyone but the school cafeteria and daycare. He's not in danger because that's not the nature of his FA. So even someone who's familiar with mild FAs may not realize that we're not talking about my DD feeling sick, we're talking about needing an ambulance.

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