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Posted on: Sat, 09/23/2000 - 9:57pm
care's picture
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Joined: 09/21/2000 - 09:00

Thanks KarenT for the info, thats great I will definately be calling the Dr on Monday.
I think that I am in a small state of denial as I keep thinking that he only has a mild case (No-one has told me this) but I don't feel overwhelmed by the diagnosis or terrified to let him go anywhere. We do have a neice and nephew with severe PA so I am used to this situation and he has not had a reaction in two years even though he has been around peanut butter, maybe this is why I am not as stressed out at this diagnosis as others?? BUT at the same time I am wondering what to do about the epi-pen when he is outside playing, should it be on his person at all times?We live on a court(cul de sac) alongside another court and the boys often go from one house to the next. My neighbours are now all aware of his allergy but I can't leave an epi-pen at each house!

Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2000 - 3:00am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Care, my son carries his Epi-pen in a fanny pack when he is at school. Perhaps that would work for your child too. Okay, so since the RAST tests cost $20 per allergen in Ontario where I am, what should I do if I can't afford it? Do the skin tests first? As I indicated earlier, I don't need to have Jesse tested for PA, I wanted to confirm his environmental allergies and see if he had any other food allergies. So, would skin testing be okay for him? Then, with my daughter, RAST test for the PA and skin test for everything else? What do you think? I really can't afford $20.00 for each allergen and as I noted above, I have only had skin tests myself when I've been tested. What does everyone think? Thanks!
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Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2000 - 9:47am
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Cindy, I would think that your daughter would need the skin test first and then if that is positive you could ask for the RAST test. Also maybe you only need to do the RAST test for the peanut butter for now and do the others later as PB is the most serious.Maybe the RAST test could be a write-off on our taxes?- I know that doesn't help now and I'm only guessing but as I said before I will be looking into it.
My son only showed positive for PB when he had the skin test but was also tested for walnuts,pecans, almonds and a few others. We will still keep him away from all nuts though just in case. I have a friend who developed PA at the age of 29 so I think that if your'e allergic to one type of nut stay away from the rest as you never know!
Carolyn

Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2000 - 10:08am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Care, thank-you for the great advice. I know that I immediately omitted all nuts from our home and diet as soon as I found out Jesse was PA because of the greater chance of cross-contamination. Although I miss the occasional pesto, we've managed fine, I think! For me, even if his tests for tree nuts came back negative, I would still avoid them for that reason. But, thank-you for your advice, that does help. And yes, the $20.00 you pay is part of Medical Expenses for the year and tax deductible (not the lump sum of $20.00, there's a whole formula to do with medical expenses and you have to spend quite a bit on prescriptions and other medical expenses to have it come out to any kind of deduction, but this would be something included in that. For example, I had to pay for both children to have their chicken pox vaccines and that's tax deductible under the Medical Expenses part). No, I just didn't want to go in and have them tested for quite a few things and ring up a lot of cash unnecessarily. Thanks for your advice and best wishes!
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Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2000 - 11:37pm
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

Hi Cindy. Welcome back. Here in Ontario RAST and CapRAST testing is not OHIP covered. It can be done but you must pay for each substance that you want tested. It gets very expensive, very quickly. If you want to do it then the blood is drawn at a local laboratory then sent to a laboratory in London, Ontario that will test and report the results. RAST testing is rarely done here in Ontario and if you want it then you will have to push for it. My ds and my brother have never had it, only skin tests. It does not really offer any additional help when dealing with this on a day to day basis--either the child is allergic or not. IMHO.

Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2000 - 12:33am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Kathyrn, what is the difference between RAST and Cap RAST testing? So, I think that if I do skin tests for everything except the PA for my daughter in case she does have a severe reaction, that I'll be okay? The posts on this board, not this thread in particular, but the board in general have made me feel extremely guilty that I haven't had my children allergy tested. It seems like everyone's children have been through a litany of tests and everyone knows certain scores and everything. All I know is that Jesse has an anaphylactic reaction to peanut products. To me, his reaction is severe enough that I felt he didn't need tested. And again, the main reason we're going is to simply have Ember tested for PA before entering school. Then, I thought since we were going I might as well have their environmental allergies confirmed while we're there. Does this make any sense? As you say though, you're either allergic or not and as far as the PA, that's basically what I want to know about Ember, whether she's PA or not. Thanks for your thoughts and also for your kind welcome back. Best wishes!
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[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited September 25, 2000).]

Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2000 - 5:00am
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Joined: 09/21/2000 - 09:00

I just got off the phone with my sons allergist. He also is involved with the Division of Immunology and Allergy at Sick Kids so I feel that he does know what he is talking about!!
According to him you can only find out whethar or not your child is PA from a skin test or RAST test not the level of allergy. He said that they used to use it to give a level but have since found that it doesn't matter how big the reaction is, anyone can have a severe reaction if they are positive. That is not to say that everyone is severe but just that they don't know who is--except that asthmatics tend to have worse reactions because of the breathing difficulties.A CAP-RAST is a guideline test and they use it on people who have displayed a mild reaction and they think that they are losing the allergy. Now they have found that some people do loose the allergy if they were only mild to begin with. What he said that any and all peanut allergies are to be treated as severe as even if you had a mild reaction one time the next could be severe. A RAST test(been around since 1968) doesn't give you any further info than the skin test. ---Carolyn

Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2000 - 11:34am
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Joined: 09/24/2000 - 09:00

I have my child scheduled with an allergist for next month. I found out that she was PA last week when she was exposed to peanut butter. Her doctor gave her the Rx for the epi-pen jr and I keep Benadryl on hand at all times. Why am I taking her to the Allergist if they cannot determine the severity of the allergy to peanut products by the test that they run?

Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2000 - 12:27pm
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Joined: 09/21/2000 - 09:00

LGHC, When they do the skin test they for peanuts they will also test for a few other nuts.(walnuts,almonds,pecans) A friends daughter had a reaction with hives etc and they blamed it on the peanut butter sandwich that she had eaten,when they did the testing they found that she wasn't allergic to peanuts and the DR said that she must have had some virus that coincided with the ingestion of the peanut butter. Sounds wierd I know but now she eats peanut butter safely.

Posted on: Mon, 09/25/2000 - 11:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

LGHC, see, I thought the same as you do, if we know are child is PA why do we have to have them tested? From all of the wonderful posts I've seen here, I've basically decided to just have them skin tested and with Jesse I will ask that they DO NOT test for the PA. I already know he has an anaphylactic reaction to peanut products. My whole reason for them going to an allergist is that I wanted to see if my daughter was PA or not before she enters the school system. She has never been exposed to peanut product.
Then, I thought, since I was taking her, I might as well have Jesse tested for other food allergies and to confirm what environmental allergies he has. Otherwise, I thought his PA was handled well by his family doctor (i.e., prescribed the Epi-pen, fills out the school forms), so why go to an allergist? But I'm really pleased I posed the ? on this forum because now I know the difference between the types of test and also feel fairly comfortable simply having them skin tested. Best wishes!
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