Worried Mom of DD with PA and EA-LOTS OF QUES.

Posted on: Sun, 07/10/2005 - 8:57am
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Joined: 07/10/2005 - 09:00

Hello to everyone.

I just found out 3 weeks ago my 2 1/2 year old daughter has PA. Last week she had 4 reactions (2 vomiting and 2 hives) and we learned after testing she is also allergic to eggs. I have lost lots of weight in 3 weeks because I am constantly sick to my stomach with worry. It's the first thing I think of when I awake each morning and the last thing on my mind each night in bed. Just the mere thought of losing my daughter is unthinkable and makes me want to vomit. I am scared to death to feed her, petried to eat out. She goes to a mother's day out/early learning program 2 days a week from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and I worry the entire time. At lunch time I have knots in my belly and if my cell phone rings I could throw up just thinking it's the school. At 1:30 I think, we made it through another day. I have considered pulling her out, but she loves it so much. It's the only contact she has with other kids and has built strong bonds with the teachers and kids over the past year. I have met with the director and teachers and showed them how to administer the Epi-pen. They sit my DD at a peanut free table and promised to wash surfaces and all children's hands and faces after lunch. I provide safe snacks for the class so my daughter is not excluded and they have been told under no circumstances is she to eat anything not provided by me or approved by me. I have LOTS of questions for all of you about lots of different things. I have read lots of areas of this site and first of all want to say this is a great website. My daughter had her first reaction to peanuts at about 18 months - hives that went away with Benadryl. After this, no one explained anything to us and we just avoided nuts, that's it. She ate m&m's, nuggets cooked in peanut oils and other things that said "may contain traces of peanuts" and she has never had any other reactions. We ate at restaurants a couple times of weeks and our favorite foods were Chinese which she ate often and Logan's which has peanuts at the tables and shells all over the floor. We have flown many times while peanuts were served and my daughter even ate snacks with peanuts, we just pulled out the peanuts. God I think of how reckless we were, but no one told us. If she had had a severe allergic reaction before we found out, we would not have known what was going on and she probably would have died. I am so thankful we found out. I thank God everyday for watching out for her and now it is our jobs to eliminate peanuts, tree nuts and traces thereof and food that may have been contaminated from her diet and surroundings and believe me, I am taking this very serious. I have thrown away everything in my house that may or did contain peanuts or eggs. The only reason we even had her tested was due to what we thought were seasonal allergies. She has a long history of ear and sinus infections and was tested a few weeks ago to find out which things were affecting her. They checked peanuts just to see and it came back a 5+ (not sure what all the other numbers are I have been seeing on the board about % of being allergic, etc., maybe someone could clarify). Come to find out, she tested negative to the most common outdoor and indoor allergies so now I think it was all food related from the beginning. I can think back to so many occasions of her throwing up out of no where and her school saying "no one here has been sick." I thought she had an immune system problem. Two weeks ago she ate ego-waffles, something she had eaten lots of times before. The first time she had a couple of small hives which she told me were scratch marks, I bought it. The second time, she had about 8 hives on her face. She was tested for eggs and tested positive to egg yolks although we were told to eliminate all eggs and eggs proteins. Two days ago, she got hives in the corners of her mouth after eating an apple - something she has eaten lots of times before. Now, I feed her and watch....just waiting...hoping...and praying...not another food. I am now thinking all her allergy problems to date have all been food allergy related. After she was tested I met with her allergist and have done lots of research on PA and EA - quite scary. I have done lots of crying, lots of worrying, I have many fears, the general public and food manufacturing companies bring on lots of them, but am ready to move forward positively and work on public awareness, education and protecting my child and yours.

Here are my questions to all of you:

1) How can I help out with public awareness and education and getting schools to be peanut free?

2) How do you eat out?

3) What restaurants appear to be safe? I see McD's, but don't they cook the nuggest in the same fryers as fish? I was told to avoid fish for the likely possibility of my DD being allergic which I find is the problem with many fast food places.

4) Should I be concerned with any drinks? I still read ingredients, but can't on Slush Puppies which my daughter loves and has been drinking for years.

5) How do you handle family functions, holidays, birthday parties and the feelings of being excluded that our little ones feel? My daughter sits alone at lunch and it makes her sad. That KILLS me, but I understand. I finally got her school to agree to allow one child with a peanut free lunch to sit at the opposite end of the table with my daughter which seems to make her happier. I still worry, what if a piece of a PB & J sandwich is dropped and my daughter gets a hold of it. She is 2 1/2. She knows she is allergic to peanuts and eggs, but doesn't necessarily know what they look like.

6) If a manufacturing company tells you a product like pasta does not have eggs but is made on the same machine as pasta with eggs but there is an extensive cleaning cycle per run - would you trust it if your DD has never had a reaction?

7) My daughter was allergic to milk as a baby but tested negative on the scratch test to Casein and Whey - therefore, is it safe to assume she is no longer allergic to milk? I read milk can cause a serious reaction so I am scared to give it to her.

8) Has everyone's children's at some time or other had an anaphylactic reaction and if so, is it something I will most definitely recognize and should I feel comfortable that so long as the Epo-Pen is readily available and administered she should be okay?

9) How do you handle holidays with family members and what is the best way to educate your family so they understand the severity of it?

10) What is the best way to educate a school to make it peanut free?

11) Am I naive to think I can trust the labeling of Kraft and General Mills when they assure me with 100% certainty that their labels are accurate and will always list any allergen information.

12) How do you eliminate the fears and sickness and worry?

13) Has anyone had any bad experiences with condiments, drinks, pastas or sauces?

I know I have lots more, but my DD is begging me to play so I must go and play. Thank you all for listening and providing comments. I anxiously await your replys, comments and advice. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

------------------
Kym
Mom of 2 1/2 year old daughter with peanut and egg allergies

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