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Saturday, June 7, 2008

How Did You Get Here and Our Thai Birthday

This blog has been wonderful for me. I've met so many people that are going through the SAME thing as me - navigating this tough (and sometimes horrible) world of peanut allergy, not to mention some of you out there who have to deal with multiple food allergies (some of them not in the top 8 - I don't know how you do it)! I am truly humbled and thankful when I hear from someone who is relieved to see someone else out there with the same fears!

A recent email I got reminded me how terrifying it is when your child is first diagnosed (unfortunately I don't need too much reminding to get back to that place). A sweet reader told me how her little baby reacted inadvertently to a few kisses from a peanut buttery mouth. In seconds I was transported back to my dining room two years ago. I got chills and teared up. I wished so badly that she lived near me so I could have her over and talk to her and tell her how this would be better. Really, it would be better. And I tried my best to help via email and hope I did ok. But I wanted her to know about all of YOU, my fellow peanut allergy villagers.

And it led me to this post. You all know how I got here.

But there are lots of you that are lurking, never commenting (I know you are there - I have stats to prove it!).

How did you get here?

Seeing your stories would help countless other parents out there just starting out on the journey we're used to at a certain degree.

Please leave a comment about how your child was (or you were) diagnosed. If you have a blog, please leave a link to your site too. How do you feel now vs. that first month or so?

Personally, I feel like I freak out less about Bella's allergy. Don't get me wrong, I'm still vigilant. We were at a birthday party for our nephew (by friendship, not blood) this afternoon and the family is from Thailand. So there was Thai food everywhere - cue horror music! Satay, pad thai, peanut sauce, not to mention a huge tub of crushed peanuts. And I didn't freak. I just figured out what she could eat (and I had a stash of snacks in my purse) and dealt with it. There were hot dogs and buns on a dedicated grill, so we had a hot dog. The Thai food hadn't been touched yet so no utensils came in contact with it. Problem solved. But the old me? She probably would have left and denied Bella the time of her life playing with nerf rockets (with 10 year old boys - but that's another story :>). As I like to say - "I would have freaked my freak!"

So back to my request. We're all in this together. Hearing other's stories helps me and I think it will help someone else who's feeling a little overwhelmed right now.

Wont you take a second to help a newbie out?

Thanks,

Gab

p.s. oddly enough at the party today there was a 10 year old there with a peanut allergy. i couldn't help watching him during the party (not in a freaky obvious way) and it was REALLY interesting (and comforting) to watch him navigate the food and figure out a safe alternative for himself. and he did. and it was no big deal for him. or his friends. it was SO COOL!

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

I must tell you, that photo gives me the chills. My daughter Maggie had her first reaction (well, recognized reaction anyways) to Pad Thai. She complained of stomach pains while eating it and we just thought she was being picky. An hour later she couldn't stop coughing and the pain continued. Shortly thereafter she awoke covered in hives. Off to the ER we went and came home with an epipen. We went to the allergist the next day and the RAST confirmed my suspicion -- peanuts and treenuts.

In retrospect, she had at least two other minor reactions prior to that. Once we ate at a chinese buffet place and she had a few hives around her mouth when we left. Another time I gave her a tiny bite of my peanut butter granola bar and she lost her voice -- I thought it was stuck in her throat. At times she would scratch the back of her neck like crazy during and after dinner.

We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of that severe reaction and while we're gradually adjusting, it's still hard. I'll still go grocery shopping and realize that I put stuff in the cart two aisles ago that I didn't check the ingredients for. I mourn the loss of bakery fresh bread and soft serve ice cream. Birthday parties are hard but Maggie enjoys making her own cupcakes with me the day before. Maggie's starting kindergarten in the fall and I'm nervous about the in-room snack and constant food-filled parties. Finding afterschool care has been a challenge. But, we had a recent vacation to Disney World that went okay from an allergy standpoint (we all got the flu but that's another story!). And, we've eaten out at a few restaurants as well.

I am hopeful that research will find a cure in Maggie's lifetime. At least it's becoming more recognized, one slight upside to the increase in frequency of allergies. I got a call from the principal's office of Maggie's elementary school saying that she wanted to meet with "the parents of ALL the incoming kindergarteners with allergies". I felt some perverted relief that Maggie would not be alone.

Collegegirl said...

For years, I have known hat I am allergic to fish and nuts, but soy and wheat allergies came after puberty. When I had fish or nuts, my mouth would swell up and throat would close up. I felt so helpless.

Now I am allergic to soy, wheat, gluten, nuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. What happenes when I eat of these food? I get hives, start coughing, and my throat starts to swell REALLY quick.

I did allergy testing and blood testing to confirm all of these alleries and we did a retest in June of 2007. Still allergic to everything.

The one thing I wish people would understand is that food allergies are everywhere. Some get offended when I tell them I can not have what they offer because of the food allergies.

How to help out a newbie-I would tell them to READ EVERYTHING. Some boxes say cross-contamination and I stay away from that. It also takes time for someone to rid allergies from their home. Another tip is to just BREATHE!!!

Hang in there!!!
~Elyse~

MommyCheryl said...

OK, here goes. Our son Chas had his first allergic reaction to something at 6 months old. We were getting ready to go to Florida for a week, had 6-month portraits of him and his twin brother and suddenly half of his face was swollen and red. The nurse we called said it sounded like chicken pox (?!?!) and to plan on cancelling our trip. He got better a few hours later so we went.

The next summer -- he was a about 15 months old -- we gave him some peanut butter sandwich at a basketball game. Again, red, splotchy face. But we were just too uninformed to know what was up. I remember thinking "I hope he's not allergic to peanuts. That would be terrible!" I mentioned it to a pediatrician he saw for a cold or something -- not his regular one. He said since it cleared up in about 10 minutes or so on its own, it didn't sound like an allergy.

Three months later, he's eating some toddler meal and I notice him rubbing his ear. It's covered in hives, along with the side of his face. I'm not sure, but I think he's wheezy. (He was diagnosed with asthma at 10 months. He also had eczema. Talk about not catching a clue!)

The nurse this time said it could be an allergy, and to give him Benadryl next time and to mention it to the doctor when we saw her. (He had a checkup in a week or so.)

The pediatrician referred us to a HORRIBLE allergist, who listened to what we said and then dismissed it all as not being consistent with typical allergic reactions. Then he did some skin tests. When he returned to read the results he said, "Whoa! He's quite the allergic little fellow, isn't he?!" He was negative to the dilute peanut, but reacted strongly to full strength. Also allergic to eggs -- whites and yolks -- as well as soy, cats and dogs.

I was devastated. But, we eventually switched to a better allergist who is much better at communicating with Chas and us. He outgrew the soy allergy after 18 months. Honestly, avoiding soy was such a pain and so difficult that I think it really has made accepting peanut avoidance a tiny bet easier.

His Rast numbers have gone down for egg, but not enough that he's outgrown it. And his peanut numbers dropped dramatically -- and within 2 years were back up higher than ever. Oh, and just for kicks the new allergist tested him for tree nuts. Yup, allergic to all except pine nuts.

He's 5 now and heading for kindergarten in the fall, which scares the stuffing out of me. But he's also become so incredibly good at being careful. He won't eat unfamilisar snacks at preschool unless he asks an adult "Are they safe for me? Do they have peanuts in them? Or eggs?" On the other hand, it's heartbreaking when we're out somewhere and he sees other children with ice cream and such that he can't have.

Sometimes I worry that we aren't vigilant enough. But we haven't had more than 3 hives -- usually from getting licked by my sister's dogs -- and that's only happened a few times.

Each new test that says he hasn't bucked the odds and outgrown it is still like a kick in the gut. But I have faith that we'll see a cure within 5 years -- or at least a test to let us know the likelihood of anaphalaxis. Knowledge is power.

Sheesh! That was ridiculous. Anyway, I do have a blog, but it is not allergy-centered. It's eddieandchasdiaries@blogspot.com

Patty said...

OK, I am a lurker, but have sworn to help out anyone who asks about allergies, so here it goes.

Arrived, very worried, back from the walk-in clinic with my 1 year old son who had terrible chest cold, to a husband who came barging out the door, with a scared look on his face, saying my 3 year old daughter was having an allergic reaction. I ran into the house (on my 1 week post-op knee surgery leg) to see her welling up with hives and wheezing/coughing.

I'd had lots of first aid / emergency training in my job, so I was calm on the outside, but panicking on the inside. I called 911 and got some benadryl into her.

Hobbled into ambulance (and was still worried about the other child fighting pneumonia) and went to emergency. Luckily, no swollen tongue, but her face was so swollen that her ears were sticking out at right angles to her head, and every part of her body had hives.

The scary part was that we did not know what she was allergic to, since my husband had just been shopping at Costco, and they had eaten a bunch of free samples.

Went for allergy testing and she was allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame.

A week later we were on our way to Disneyworld.....I was a wreck, because we were not used to dealing with the allergy, let alone travelling with it. (In hindsight, it was actually one of the best places we could have gone!)

I can say that Disney was NOT the happiest place on earth for me that week.

She is scheduled for her next round of allergy testing soon, and we are dreading it. Hoping that she has at least kicked the sesame allery, since the last test showed a low reaction.

We have been at this for 6 years now, and it does get easier to cope as time goes by. The only real challenges that come now are when she passes new growing milestones....going to friends house for first time, going to parties and letting her out of your site, starting school,
starting new sport activities, etc.

While it is not the life I would have chosen, I try to tell myself that it is not leukemia, and as long as she is kept safe, she can have as good or better a life as anyone else.

Sometimes I think that she and I were put on this earth to help others learn and cope with allergies. She and I have "blazed enough trails" that we are convinced that we have saved other kid's lives, by the education we have given others, and the polices that we have put into places. She and I can speak for those who are not able to do so themselves.

Thanks for the blog. Helps me feel not so alone as well.

dupree said...

my son's first reaction was at 11 months old to peanut butter. his entire face immediately swelled until his eyes were little slits. the on call doc said give him some benadryl and come in for an appointment this week. so we did. my pediatrician referred us to an allergist. prior to being able to get in to see the allergist, his daycare fed him peanut butter ice cream and off we went in the ambulance. he is also allergic to eggs, cats, feathers and spiny pigweed. i do not keep any peanut products in my house period, and clearly label anything containing eggs so that there is never an accident. i would have to say dealing with my family has been the worst. they don't really get it that yes, i do have to interrogate the server at a restaurant, please do not leave those peanut butter crackers sitting close to the edge of the counter. so far, there have been no other incidents, but it is tedious to ensure his safety. and yes, sometimes you do look like a neurotic maniac, but who cares. it's your child's life.

fourgirls said...

ddd

fourgirls said...

I check your blog at least once everyother day. It has been a blessing to me. You make me nod, laugh and a year ago I would say that you made me cry. But in the last year I have come a long way! You know you have when you can actually joke about that allergy and not feel like a sicko!
My Ella was 6 months when her sister and I were eating apples with peanut butter on them. I looked over at her about 15 monutes later, in her carseat, up on the kitchen table, and thought she had a heat rash. As I got closer I could see they were hives. Being a nurse practitioner, I immediatley thought "oh my God, she somehow got peanut butter in her mouth, she has an allergy and she is going to go into anaphylaxis." Load the 4 year old into the minivan and rush to ths ER parking lot wher I sit and watch her. Nothing happened and I scheduled a visit to the peds clinic that week. Our RAST test was (-). I still asked for an EPIPEN and carried it around with me everywhere. I scheduled her for a scratch test at 1 year and really wanted to get it over with so we could (hopefully) go back to a "normal" existence. The allergist (stunk) and told me that it was HIGHLY unlikely that she had a peanut allergy. He did not even want to test her. I said "i know it is REALLY unlikely, but I need to see that it is negative". It was horrifically positive. It felt like my world was crumbling. I was 7 months pregnant with our 3rd child, and SO overwhelmed. I though "My God, if she had her first reaction by just coming into contact with it so randomly, how can I protect her? How can I keep her safe? I felt so angry and VULNERABLE. I wish someone, like you Gabs, told me, "honey, it WILL get better". Because, it does. I feel like I am her brain, totally and completely responsible for keeping something that could make her very sick, out of her little mouth that has always loved to pick up random things and stick them in there! She is just getting able to say "I have a peanut allergy, I can't eat nuts" and even that makes me feel like a little of the world is lifted off of these mom shoulders. Your website has really helped. THat and meeting other families that have the same issue or don't have the same issue but UNDERSTAND. Ella is 2 1/2 now and has done great. However, we are so very careful. If you are recently diagnosed and reading this, it is OK. OK to be scared, mad, to look at your little one and just want to cry and feel thta no one understands. I understand. We understand. It will get better. You will make peanut jokes and not feel like throwing up.
THat felt good.....thanks for the opportunity :)

Pez said...

When ds1 was nearly 11 months old, I fed him some toast with peanut butter. He had bad eczema on his face (from what I later came to find out was an egg allergy) but it seemed to me that his face was a little redder. I had a passing thought that maybe he was allergic to peanuts but let it pass. I held off trying pb again for another month but this time I definitely did see hives mixed in with that eczema but since it did not seem like a severe reaction, I did nothing else. I mentioned it to his ped who said he could be allergic and not to feed it to him again. We moved shortly thereafter and I did not have him in to see another doctor until he was 15 months old. I told her that I thought he might be allergic to peanuts and explained the reaction. She referred us to an allergist who confirm the peanut allergy as well as an allergy to eggs.

Ds1 is now 10 years old and his RAST scores are over 100 which puts him in a Class 6. He had a terrible reaction to a SPT when he was 4.5 yrs old so we will not SPT test him again.

We are super vigilant about peanuts. Perhaps too much so. Ds1 has developed some major anxiety and OCD issues this past school year around his peanut allergy but with counseling, he is working to overcome it.

And while this is not peanuts, ds3 developed a tree nut allergy about 18 months ago (he will be 5 in August). I gave him a cookie with walnuts in it and his lips swelled, had hives around his mouth and he started to cough. I could not believe it! I gave him Benadryl but did not administer the epi pen (we had one for him as he had a milk allergy which he has since outgrown) because I was in complete denial. He had been tested for tree nuts and peanuts about 6 months before and the results were negative! Just shows how one can develop an allergy at any time!

Thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading it. :)

April said...

When William was an infant he didn't have soft supple skin after he past his one month stage. Rash on his face, body, arms, legs...I had NO CLUE that it could be an allergy. Tried every lotion possible and even tried fish oil to soften his skin. His doctor didn't know either and said maybe, but it would be difficult to narrow it down, so don't worry about it. Well I did decide to quit eating the trailmix that I had been eating every day and the rash on his face quite taking over. He still had rashes, but it was better. At his 4 or 5 month appt the pediatrician suggest we do a RAST test. When the results came in that he had peanut, eggs, and dairy, I was so surprised. I eat eggs every day and with my nursing, well, that was the very reason he kept being broke out. The crazy thing is that in spite of his allergies, he was happy, slept good, didn't throw up. Aside from the rashes, you would have no idea! Anyway, the RAST showed that the dairy wasn't as bad as the others. They quickly prescribed the EpiPen to carry around and I didn't eat the things that would cause him problems (the allergist let me continue eating dairy since it wasn't a problem for him). His skin got better, but by 9 months he was still getting exzema here and there and after someone in nursery gave him a cracker (that they weren't supposed to of course) he broke out. So we had a skin test done then and found the soy allergy. Eggs, no problem, nuts, no problem, Soy...what a pain. That one is so hard to stay away from. I nursed him until he was 2 since he couldn't have dairy or soy. He ate lots of fruits and veggies and I finally found some crackers he could have at the Oriental Store. Funny that I would have to shop for imported crackers to avoid the soy!

His first RAST tests when he was 4 months I think showed Eggs at 4, Dairy 2, Soy 2, and Peanuts 5 I think. His two year appt that was a scratch testing showed the Dairy gone (yippee!),
the eggs were a three which is down from a four and the peanut is a strong four (I would need an epi pen if he ate any). Finally the soy was still a 1-2, which means if he were to eat it, he might get eczema, but that is it.

I definitely lived in the insane protective mode, stayed home more than I used to and agree that family members just DON'T always get it. I get gushingly (I know it isn't a word, but it works) happy when someone completely gets it. Thankfully our only bad reaction was when William ate some summer sausage that had natural flavorings last January. I know better than to give that to him, BUT I just played the risk card and he "suddenly" came down with what seemed like a cold (coughing, running nose). I quickly headed for home since I didn't want him to pass his germs and he ended up throwing up in the car. It was awful because I had 25 minutes left to get home, my wipes were frozen since it was 30 below here in MN. Got him home, through him in the bathtub and he had a rash everywhere, gave him some cold medicine (of course I couldn't find benedryl!) and snuggled with him on the recliner while praying for him. I was nervous...I didn't know what to expect or if the worst was over. I had gotten my two older ones in bed and then I called my hubby who was out of town of course. Finally decided that he was just going to be fine (I knew I couldn't stay up all night with him) and tucked him in. By morning you woudln't even know that he had had a problem, he was fine, whew! That was my worst experience and hopefully my only one.
After that experience though I started scouring the internet to read more about other women in my situaiton and stumbled on this site. It was so nice to not be alone, I was so releived. I have posted here and there on my own blog about Will's allergies, but I don't focus on it by any means. I have been using my blog as a "Family Journal" of our life, but allergies have been a huge part of our life at times. I am thankful that others are sharing out there and that I am not alone. I think the insanity that I have felt at times has been tough. I am a very easy going person and this is somethng that you can't be easy going about and keep your child safe. It has gotten easier though, especially once you narrow down the safe foods. I think that is the biggest challenge and freeing once you get there.

Sorry this is long, but I wanted to share this last tidbit that has changed my life so completely. I still am cautious about the nuts, but I am not insane anymore. I feel incredibly liberated!!!

Anyway, this is what I posted on my blog in May:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

We have a testimony to share!

Three weeks ago we had a special speaker visiting our church for the weekend. He was Scott Ennis and he is a missionary to Nigeria, West Africa. Anyway, he spoke at our Missions Banquet, our Sunday morning services and he also was asked to lead our Sunday night prayer meeting. Near the end of the Sunday night service he called those forward that wanted prayer for healing. I felt quickened that I was supposed to bring William forward for prayer so I went into the nursery and brought him forward. (Cool note was that Minsan who was playing drums and couldn't see me, had the exact same quickening.) They anointed him with oil and prayed for him.

Due to the nature of Will's allergy issues, it is impossible at first glance to see if he is healed. So we agreed that we would just continue on as normal all the while wondering if he indeed was healed. The following Sunday Randy Ruiz was speaking for our Sunday night prayer meeting. My hearts cry all night was that the Lord would reveal to me if Will had indeed been healed. I knew that I could play many a head game with it either way and so I was praying specifically that the Lord would use someone to speak His heart out loud to me. Since Randy was giving some prophetic words I thought that maybe he would say something, why not! But my heart was open to whomever the Lord might chose if that was His will.

Well, the night came to a close and there was nothing, UNTIL, just as I was leaving the sanctuary Joni stopped me. She said that she felt like the Lord had healed William last week when he was prayed for and wondered if there was anyone to find out. I told her that since the Lord used her to confirm Will's healing to me, I felt good about trying egg and soy foods on him and see what will happen.


I shared with Minsan what had happened and him and I both had faith to try eggs and soy on him. SOOOO, I started adding eggs to his foods and he was eating things that have soy in them. Guess what?! He hasn't broken out. In fact his skin looks fantastic. The places where the soy would cause a break out on his skin, is silky smooth. In fact he has eaten many an item with egg too and not one rash on his tummy where he used to break out. He is happy and healthy!

In fact, it has been just about 2 weeks now that we have been feeding him different things without any problems. We have not been so bold with the peanuts, but have been having some fun with the egg and soy. Quite exciting and super faith building!! This personal example with Will has coincided with the chapters on Faith in the Firm Foundations study that we are facilitating on Wednesday nights.

So we decided to have a RAST test done to prove that he is healed with the doctors numbers. We were able to get in yesterday for the blood draw and were told that we would have to wait until Friday to hear back on the results. Well, they called today with the results. You know what, his numbers show that he is just as allergic to eggs and soy as he was before and the peanut allergy, well that one even showed his level even higher (it was a 26 in the RAST number system)!

But you know what the Lord is speaking to us? Romans 4:17 As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

You know, the test says he isn't healed, but William's clean skin and perfect health show something completely different. We are believing God that William is healed and plan to continue feeding him things with soy and egg in them. We are going to scream it from the roof tops that our faith is in our God!

UPDATED: One thing that happened when William had his testing done in January was that he showed up with a Wheat allergy on the RAST test. Since William wasn't having any reactions whatsover with it, the Doctor explained that it was called a false positive. I am also beleiving that for William for the soy and eggs :)!

Allergy Mom said...

Hi Gab,

It sounds as if you handled the party like an old pro, making sure your daughter stayed safe, but not letting the food keep her from enjoying herself, no matter how you feel on the inside!

We first found one our son's allergies when I tried to supplement the nursing with a milk based formula when he was four months old. Since then it's been an adventure, as we've added peanuts, shellfish, eggs, beef, and lamb to the list.

I do have a blog, mostly recipes, at www.allergickid.blogspot.com. Please drop me a line if there's ever an allergy question I can help with! Libby

Michelle said...

Hi- I am the Mom who recently emailed Gab about finding her blog and how helpful it has been to me...this is our story, which I sent to her last week:

just want to thank you for your amazing blog. My 8 month old daughter, Parker, was recently diagnosed with a peanut allergy. We found out the "very" hard way last Friday evening when my husband was eating PB out of a jar and then gave her innocent kisses all over her face and hands. It was more or less an immediate reaction. She began rubbing her eyes, the hives started to develop, welts began to form on her forehead and her eyes started to swell. My husband and I had no idea what was happening, but she did have a suspected, but never confirmed, milk/soy allergy which was discovered at 6 weeks old, so we assumed that she was exposed somehow to that while in her high chair. I felt like something wasn't right and began to dial the pediatrician's office for advice. My husband wanted to put her in the bath. She was smiling and seemed okay within the first two minutes or so of the hives. As I was speaking with the on-call answering service, she started to vomit in the tub. I immediately realized that she needed to go to the ER and with that realization she started to wheeze and her eyes swelled completely shut. Thankfully, we live literally three minutes from an emergency room. My two step-daughters (who are 9 and 6) were there and my husband couldn't leave them (they were suddenly terrified) and I ran out the door so fast he had no time to tell them to run to the neighbor's house. I buckled her in her seat which is still rear-facing and drove. I barely remember the 3-4 minute drive or how I got there, but I do remember that she was choking on her vomit and coughing and I couldn't physically see her. I remember thinking "Do I pull over? Do I keep going? Is my baby going to die?". It was terrifying. I remember praying and I'm not at all religious.



I lifted her out of the car seat and she threw up all over me….I ran her into the ER and there was nobody at the front desk. I started to yell and someone came ever so slowly around the corner and said "Do you need someone to see your baby?". The next thing I knew someone grabbed her out of arms and they brought me into a different room. I was sobbing; the ER team was treating her with an epi shot, some other steroid and Benadryl. Within a minute her breathing was under control, within 10 minutes her eyes were better and within an hour she barely had any sign of it happening.

Needless to say, I have been a complete nervous wreck since. Her pedi office gave us a script for epi pens (she attends daycare, so they have one there and we have three for her), which helps…but not completely. I am in the process of navigating through all of the literature on peanut allergies (and she has subsequently tested positive for milk, soy, eggs and peanuts). She is going to Children's Hospital, Boston on Thursday for the skin tests, too and to see a specialist. Wish us luck!

UPDATE: We think it "might" be more about a milk product she ate unintentionally. Long story, but we'll find out more tomorrow I'm sure!

Jane Anne said...

When my son was an infant, he broke in hives on several occasions. The most notable was when my mother-in-law gave him tastes of the homemade banana pudding she was making (egg whites used on top). He was covered from head to toe with hives. On his 1 year old birthday, we gave him his very own store bought birthday cake. He LOVED it. He was COVERED in it. And, in moments, he was COVERED in hives everywhere. It put quite the damper on the party! We gave him benedryl and watched him closely. We were out of town visiting family so we didn't do much else. (We were clueless.)
Not long after he was 1, I decided to feed him the smallest imaginable taste of his brother's peanut butter sandwich. I was aware he might have allergies b/c of the other hive incidents but I had NO CLUE of the dangers. From that tiny taste, he broke out in hives and started to get a bit wheezy. Again, I gave him benedryl. I watched him closely trying to decide if I should take him to the ER.
Then, I made his allergy appointment.
At 1, he was allergic to fish, wheat, eggs and peanuts (the worst of which was the peanuts). The allergist said he was probably outgrowing the other allergies.
By 2, he had outgrown the other food allergies.

His peanut allergy reaction gets worse with each skin test. When he was tested for allergies this year (at 4), he started screaming right away and pointing to the skin prick for the peanut test before any reaction was visible. It was heart-wrenching. (He is also asthmatic and was being tested for non-food allergies. We discovered he has numerous non-food allergies as well.)

He has had several skin contact reactions (kiddie kart at Walmart, boaster seat, airport, and at a friend's house). He has only had one oral reaction. He was served some animal cracker at church that were labeled to "contain traces of nuts". He had hives for 3 days.

Thank you for your blog and for encouraging everyone to share their stories. I want to always be prepared. It is a scary journey to me. I find I spend a lot of time doing research and praying.

Ruth said...

Hi Gab,

We discovered my son's food allergies when he was 6 months old, when we started feeding him solids. We were offering him rice cereals which contained milk for the first time. In less than 5 minutes, his mouth turned red, as well as other spots where the food had touched him. We then discovered that aside from cow milk, he was also allergic to the top 8, except wheat. He's now 5 and has outgrown all but peanut and tree nuts. I keep a blog about allergies, too at http://www.allergizer.com

Jen said...

We were extremely lucky to find out about our sons food allergies through testing and not from a reaction. Well, he sort of had a reaction. I noticed his eczema and GERD was worse after eating barley. So, I asked his pedi to test him for allergies. Turns out, I was wrong about the barley, but he did have allergies to peanuts. His reaction to the peanut skin test was to develop hives and vomit for several hours.

We didn't find out about his other food allergies until several months later, when he developed hives after eating part of my scrambled eggs. Why the allergist and the pedi didn't mention the other food allergies first, I don't know. We're just thankful that we found out early...and not through a life-threatening reaction!! I am happy to say that since we've eliminated peanut, tree nuts, and eggs, his eczema and GERD have gotten better (not totally gone, but way better than before).

I haven't found a comfort zone yet. The one playdate we had ended up with me taking my son home after he broke out in hives, despite all of the other mothers swearing they hadn't given their kids any peanut products that day. I don't know how I'm going to deal with school when the time comes!

It's nice to find others who are dealing with this too! I have a blog at http://oogiesmom.blogspot.com

billie jo said...

All of these stories sound so familiar in so many ways. Like many others, we found out my son was allergic to peanuts the hard way in January, when he was 18 months old. My nephew has a food allergy, so we were very cautious about introducing new foods and definitely were avoiding peanuts, but my little guy loves to eat! He was asking, or rather begging with his puppy dog eyes, my husband for a bite of his pie one evening, which of course had peanut butter in it. Without even thinking, my husband gave it to him. He said it was literally the size of a tic tac, but was plenty to make him vomit immediately. His lips then started to swell, which was all the signs we needed and we immediately rushed him to the hospital. Luckily, my father-in-law is a practicing physician in town and the ER doctors were waiting for us when they got there. And even more luckily, he was already showing improvement and after a dose of Benadryl, he was sleeping soundly in my arms as if nothing happened.
Unfortunatly, something big had happened and a skin test proved our worst fears. It is definitely life altering... and the worst part is we had so many signs before... the excema, a case of hives while eating lunch at my in-laws that sent us to the ped who just sent us to a dermatoligist who treated his excema with a steroid cream. Our ped actually said children that young don't normally have food allergies, so we'll let this one slide and see what happens. What? After the ER visit they agreed, no more chances.
It has been very hard, but makes it a lot easier knowing that others out there are facing the same daily struggles that we are. But I think the worst part for me is thinking about what he will have to face as he gets older... will we be ble to keep him safe when he goes to school? Will he be bullied? Will he be brave enough to ask a crush if she had peanuts before he gives her a goodnight kiss? These are the things that keep me up at night, but for now I am learning to take every day as it comes. And blogs like this help, so thank you.

April said...

Something that I noticed that Billie Joe said and something that I know I have had spoken to me too is that the word on the street is that babies don't usually have allergies. Based on ALL of our stories and how the majority of symptoms have indeed surfacted from infancy up to toddler hood, it sounds to me like allergies not affecting little ones so early is the wives tale in all this. Too bad more doctors aren't looking for this sooner and helping to equip us mommas on how we can handle this area of our lives without the scary experiences that so many have faced.

Anyway, just a thought I had today. I am so proud of all of you ladies and your fortitude to tackle each day with the challenges that food allergies bring! You are all AMAZING!

Jenny said...

I missed this post due to my family's recent move, but I had to add my story. It really, really helps to hear about all of you and your struggles.

I found out about my daughter's nut allergies when she was 4 years old. Before that point, she'd always been uninterested in peanut butter and actually spit out food if they contained peanuts (thank God, her own aversion probably saved her life.)

My daughter reacted by eating a peanut butter sandwich given to her at preschool. She didn't want to eat it and they told her she "had to eat," so being obedient, she did.

When I went to pick her up, her face and eyes were swollen beyond belief, she had hives and no one had called 911. That's a whole other story, which I will skip for now.

She began vomiting shortly after this and I rushed her to the doctor. I had no idea what was going on and had very little knowledge of peanut allergies at that point. My daughter became very weak and lost consciousness on the way to the doctor. To this day I don't know how she made it. Her airway never closed up, but every other symptom was there for anaphylaxis.

This happened shortly before Mother's Day and I'll never forget the chills I had when I looked out at her playingin the backyard(after she was diagnosed and fully recovered) and thought about how close I came to losing her. I just had no idea what was happening--I thought at first that her swollen eye was pink eye from daycare!

That's why education and blogs like this are so important. My daughter is so allergic that I've been told it's highly unlikely that she will outgrow her nut allergies, so I help advocate for her and am her "voice" in this until she's old enough to speak up on her own. (She already does a good job, at 8 years old, but still needs help, of course.)
Her little sister (5) even looks out for her wherever we go.

When my daughter was first diagnosed, I wanted to bring the doctor home with me because I couldn't imagine coping with daily life and this scary medical condition on my own. But for all of you who are facing this for the first time, please know that it CAN be done. I'm happy to say that life has gotten much better and even though we have many challenges, we also have surprising rewards.

Thank you Peanut Free Mama, for this wonderful forum.

If anyone is interested, I also have a blog: nut-freemom.blogspot.com.

Ria said...

I'm NOT a lurker! :) But I just stumbled on the post... how timely because I was thinking that since I've been blogging about food allergies for two years, people may not know how it all started.

My son was diagnosed at 13 months when he had his first anaphylactic reaction. He had a biscuit with almonds in it. We rushed him to a pediatric urgent care center, where they gave him a shot and put him on steroids.

Skin and blood tests from an allergist confirmed that he had multiple food allergies. The results for peanuts and tree nuts specifically, were through the roof. I felt that panic and fear that every parent of a food allergy kid feels.

At that point, my focus was to arm myself with tools and resources to keep him safe. So I went online to see what was available and then ended up creating a group of products that would help me. That's how Check My Tag started: http://www.checkmytag.com

I also realized there was a need for information and sharing, which is why I started the blog on the Community page of my site.

I would NEVER wish a food allergy on anyone but like Peanut Free Mama, it has introduced me to a wonderful, caring, giving community, to which I am honored to belong.

My son is now 4 (and a half, he likes to say). He has outgrown his milk and egg allergy! Yay! He is happy and generally healthy. He is very articulate and responsible about his food allergies. In fact, he takes great pleasure in teaching others about it. Check him out:
http://www.checkmytag.com/2008/06/my-kid-with-nut-allergies.html

To newly diagnosed families, I want to reach out and let you know that it does get better and less scary. Identify your support system and the resources that make sense for you and your family... there are many out there now. Awareness continues to grow because of the many (often grassroots) efforts of individual parents. We know that every little thing we do will help create a safer world for our children.

Modern Allergy Mom said...

Hi There - I love your blog! I too am so grateful for finally finding a network of support on line. I just wish I had known it existed 2 years ago. I have been struggling alone trying to figure out what to feed my kids and how to cope with the stress. My allergist was not really helpful beyond the initial diagnosis and sending me to a healthfood store, which had next to nothing.

Our initial diagnosis if a peanut allergy 2 1/2 years ago did not really rock my world. The initial reaction(in my 22month old) was hives and a runny nose - nothing violent or scary. I figured if this was the worst thing to happen I would consider myself lucky.

Then a few months later we found out my 6 month old (suffering from severe exema) was allergic to wheat, eggs, peanut, tree nut, peas, banana, sesame, and coconut. That send me into a tail spin. how was he going to eat without flour and eggs? It has been a long haul, but we are figuring it out and I am finally meeting some people dealing with the same allergies.

I have learned a lot that last couple of years and love helping other moms so they do not have to struggle. I love the support, advice and ideas the blogging community has to offer.

Balancingmama said...

Hey you! Love your blog as I have my own but it's not just about peanuts: http://mommysventhere.blogspot.com/
Anyways-I gave my daughter peanut butter when she was 15 months old never thinking she would have a reaction. I, still, to this day (she is over 2 now) feel so guilty about doing that. She started rubbing her eyes (so yes-it got in her eyes) and coughing, hives, sneezing-and since I was aware it was a possibility-i immediately put her in the carseat when she puked everywhere. I knew it was really serious then as she barely are any peanut butter at all! We went to the ER and they gave her Benadryl and observed her. It was the scariest day of my life so far!!!!! I cried for a week.......still not over it. My question for you is: do you give Bella anything if the box says that it was made in a factory with nuts??? I don't and my mom thinks I am too cautious? How can you be too cautious???

April said...

I read somewhere that 30% of the packages that say that it was made in a facility that handles peanuts actually had traces of peanuts in it. I live in the world that it is better to be safe than sorry role when it comes to that and try to stay away from anything made in a facility that handles nuts.

Balancingmama said...

I live in Canada and have a daughter allergic to nuts and I have never even heard of a RAST test. Is this necessary? Should my allergist have told me about this? When I asked him about how bad was her allergies he just said "it doesn't matter, if you are allergic then your allergic".
I also wanted to know if anyone else's child has asthma too. My daughter has to have a puffer every day or she is so congested that she can't sleep!!

calilulu said...

I am in the scared mama phase right now. I just discovered that my 14-month-old daughter was allergic to peanuts on Friday. She's had peanut butter before, but I never thought that it was a problem until I gave her a few crackers with peanut butter on them and she started rubbing her eyes and the whole side of her face swelled up. So, I gave her benedryl, and, after talking to poison control (why I didn't think to call 911, I don't know), raced her to the emergency room. The benedryl stopped the reaction, but we came back with an epi pen.

Looking back, I see that she might have been showing signs of an allergy (or allergies) that I didn't notice before. She's got eczema. She gets rashes sometimes for unknown reasons. And sometimes, she gets rashes around her mouth. Like I said, I am so scared right now, but I'm also feeling guilty.. like maybe there was something I should have done... not fed her peanuts, not eaten peanut butter while I was pregnant or nursing... Anyway, for now, I'm just trying to find as many resources as I can so I can best help my daughter (and figure out how to leave the house and live a normal life without being so afraid). Thank you so much for your blog... it's nice to know that there are other peanut allergy mamas out there.

Kristin said...

My daughter, Rachel, just turned one in June 2008. It was a few weeks later that she was diagnosed with a peanut allergy. I had just fed her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and in less than 15 minutes I was on the phone trying to find any medical person that could give me the Benadryl dosage for a 1 year old, since it is not provided on the bottle (4 mm by the way). Although the ER doc told me that Benadryl is a safe medication and it is unlikely that I could give too much my giving her a teaspoon (5 mm).

Of course, I didn't have any Benadryl a the time. Also my husband had the keys to the car and grandma had just left to pick up dinner. I finally spoke with a nurse in the peds ER, who was very familiar with a peanut reaction and told me to call 911.

I could kick myself because I am not unfamiliar with the seriousness of this allergy. My best friend has a daughter with a level 5 peanut allergy and has been living with it for 9 years. She has discussed every stage that she has had to endure. For example, hiring an attorney to petition her child's elementary school to allow the Epi-pen to be in the classroom with her daughter rather than locked in the nurse's office some 5 to 10 minutes away.

When I think back Rachel has reacted on at least 3 to 4 other occasions. I thought the rashes were from her pacifier. Scary!

Rachel has her allergist's appointment in August and I am praying that she is not at a life threatening level, although my girlfriend and the nurse tell me that it doesn't matter avoidance of all is the only treatment, which we have already put in place.

This is definitely a life-style change but one that is well worth it for the safety of our daughter. The one thing I will miss the most is Chick-fil-a. They cook everything in peanut oil.

It is such a help and comfort to find a site such as yours that assists in dealing with peanut allergy. Thank you.

Lindsay said...

Hi there.

I found your blog when I was searching for an epi-pen carrier for my little guy (that was a great list, btw - major time saver for me!)

I blog over at On Shades of Gray. I have been dealing with food allergies since my oldest was about 18 months old. He's allergic to wheat, dairy and soy. But I never had anything more than moderate eczema and bowel issues until my 4th came along. He was covered head-to-toe in painful, incredibly itchy eczema. I was breastfeeding and eliminated all top 8 from my diet with no change in him. Finally, he had his first anaphylactic episode (and thankfully, so far, his only one), and we suddenly were in a world we never even knew existed. After a two week stay at National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, CO, we came home with about 8 foods he was able to eat and a much longer list of things to which he was allergic. It took a year from that point (he was 14 months) to get him to eat, had trouble getting weight on his little body, but with a lot of persistance, creativity and support from allergy networks, he's doing great and is up to about 20 safe foods!

So anyway, that's our abbreviated story. I do blog about allergies, though not exclusively; but plan to add a "food allergy fridays" meme in a couple weeks, so please stop by and let me know what you think. Maybe you could guest blog for it sometime! :)

Nice to meet you!
~Lindsay

Christine said...

Hi, just came across your blog while looking up peanut/tree nut allergies on the internet.

So, here's our story: my ds Sam had his first reaction when he was a little over a year old. I was eating leftover Chinese food, doctored up with a liberal dose of peanut sauce. I gave him a bit of noodle off my plate, he took a bite and immediately broke out in hives. The hives started to subside within 10 minutes (why we didn't call the doctor right away, I don't know! We were so clueless.). We talked to our pedi, who told us not to give him anything with peanuts again.

So we didn't - or so we thought. One day when dh and ds were out (I was at work) they had Chinese food - no peanut sauce, but egg rolls evidently fried in peanut oil or maybe cross-contaminated. They ended up at the urgent care, where they gave him a steroid shot. S's skin was mottled purple for days after. After that episode, our pedi gave us an EpiPen...but never recommended that we see a specialist! Just said, " Don't feed him anything with peanuts/peanut oil." Again, we were clueless. Scary!

Sam started kindergarten a few weeks ago. I started the school year as a complete basket case, but am slowly relaxing! His school has been great - they are not peanut free, as his preschool was. But he sits at a peanut free table with the one other PA kid in his class, and anyone who didn't bring peanut butter sandwiches or peanut products that day. The principal and the school nurse held a training session for teachers and staff on how to use an EpiPen. The teacher wipes down all the tables after snack. And the kids have all been taught that they need to keep any peanut/nut products away from Sam and the other little boy. But every time my phone rings at work, my heart stops.

We just had our first appointment with an allergist this week. A couple of things she said struck me as odd - just wondering if any of you had comments about this. First, when I asked her about avoiding products that said "may contain traces of peanuts and/or tree nuts," and "processed on equipment that also processes peanuts/tree nuts," she said that she didn't see any reason to avoid those, because the chances were slim ( in her opinion) that we would actually have a problem. The other thing bothering me is that she recommended that Sam go up to the regular EpiPen (we have an EpiPen Jr.) based on his weight. He weighs 37.5 lbs. After the appt., I checked on EpiPen's website, and they say the regular EpiPen is for people weighing over 66 lbs.! Won't I be giving my child an overdose of epinephrine if I give him the regular one? She did blood tests, but we've not gotten the results yet.

Anyway, I know this is long, but I can't tell you how grateful I am to hear the experiences of all you other moms. I don't know anyone else with a peanut-allergic kid (except the mom of the one peanut-allergic boy in my son's kindergarten. We haven't met yet, but I'll be seeking her out too!).

-Christine

Marjorie said...

oooo...I think I should win an award for the commenter with the oldest age of discovery for a peanut allergic child. My DD had had peanut butter as a child and I never saw any reaction. As she got a bit older, she would tell me she didn't like peanut butter. I didn't know why, I LOVED peanut butter (hate it now, that poison). I never thought she was allergic.

I discovered she was allergic when she was almost 6 years old - I gave her a bit of peanut butter and she threw up. Then she got very congested. That must have clued me in, I gave her benedryl and it went away a few hours later (she vomited several times during that period). I went to the allergist and got the diagnosis and an epipen. I was pretty blase, "so, we avoid peanuts" - no big deal, right?

About 2 years later (last February), she had a reaction to a bakery cookie as a result of cross-contamination. Why I was not reading up on allergies, I do not know. Maybe I can fault the allergist who gave me the test results and an epi pen and didn't say much more (not even a FAAN pamphlet). Anyway, I'm an idiot, but a very lucky idiot. I'm doing catch-up education now.

My blog is linked in my name but I've yet to write about DD's allergies, butI think I'm going to start because I'm having trouble finding balance.

Thanks for your blog!

Mary said...

When my daughter was 18 months when she grabbed a Nutter Butter cookie I was eating. She vomited within 30 minutes and ran a fever. She was lethargic and I chalked it up to a stomach bug.

I knew of mom who had children severely allergic to many foods and I just knew (in the back of my mind) that she was allergic. I stayed in denial.

Then about 6 months later my Dad kissed my daughter goodbye after a quick visit to my house. He was here less than 15 minutes. One side of her face erupted with hives- for a moment I thought my dad's stubble just caused irritation. But I knew. I knew. I called him on his cell and wanted to know if he'd eaten any peanuts that day. He said he ate a mix nut can from Wal-Mart earlier that day.

That was a year ago. I've come a long way with managing her food allergies but I know there is a long road ahead of us, too.

Thanks for the blog- I just started reading it. It is great!

michmomto3 said...

So many questions...we were recently diagnosed with a mild peanut allergy that was found out only because we thought my dd was allergic to milk. They tested additional foods and peanut came back positive. She hasn't had any peanuts yet (she's 16 months) so we don't exactly know what her reaction will be. She's always had eczema which we treat her for but the cause of it is still unknown. Could be an environmental allergy. My question is - I just became aware that some restaurants cook fried foods in peanut oil. An example is Chick-fil-a. On their website it says that they cook with a refined (heat processed) peanut oil. Does it make a difference because it is refined? Does anyone know of any other chain restaurants that deep fry in peanut oil? I've never had to worry about something like this but I already know that my family is planning on deep frying a turkey for thanksgiving and I'm pretty sure you do it in peanut oil. A lot to think about! Any info on this will be greatly appreciated!

Kate said...

My daughter is 15 months old and allergic to: peanuts, tree nuts, beans, sesame and eggs. We were on the lookout for allergies because she has eczema, but her first observable reaction was to 2 bites of hummus.
Also, we are in the process of finding out if she may also have issues with: apples, spinach, quinoa and garlic -- I hope not! But we have been instructed by the allergist to start slowly adding those back into her diet and see what happens.

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog - it looks very helpful and supportive.

It took us a while to find a pediatrician to take the issue seriously and then to get in with the allergist. Now that we have, I feel like I'm still trying to get my head around all this. I need to do things like go through our pantry, get better organized to keep allergens out of her reach, etc. But I'm new to this and taking it one day at a time.

Thanks!

Michelle said...

I too have a child with an anaphylactic peanut allergy. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts but rather than add my own story, I would like to let you all know about some alarming medication related facts I have learned.
I am a pharmacist at a local hospital and recently took a pediatric pharmacist position. If your child also has asthma and is using Combivent or Atrovent inhalers, they contain soya lecithin; this is used in the propellant and can cause allergic reactions to patients with peanut allergies. The child may not be exposed to very much of the protein but enough to cause some mild, ongoing type reactions. You may think you child is sickly or always fighting off a cold. Or have allergies to something in the air. It may be their inhaler if they use one. Generic ipratropium inhalers may also contain soya lecithin as a propellant. Atrovent HFA inhalers are safe however. These are the new type of inhalers that don’t have a propellant. If you child is on an inhaler talk it over with your pharmacist or doctor. They might not be aware of this information but they certainly have the tools to look into it. This is relevantly new news to use in the hospital and quite alarming. Just something to look into.

Juliana said...

Hi,

I just came across your blog and think it's fantastic that you are helping other moms and individuals suffering from food allergies. I have had a peanut/tree nut allergy since I was 2 years old, and was diagnosed when I had a reaction to a walnut. I was barely 2 and a half but still remember the incident and the feeling of my throat closing, luckily after calling the doctor and taking some benadryl I was fine until I was diagnosed with my allergy. And fortunately, although I have had many close calls, I've never had to actually use my epipen (knock on wood), and it's been 20 years!

I believe my allergy impacted my life incredibly, but just want moms and others who may have just had a child diagnosed with an allergy know that you can live a normal life even with food allergies. I am a cautious individual and upon reading ingredient labels for most of my life, I went on to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Food Science. I've just recently graduated but hope to one day develop products that are allergen-free, because I know what a difference that can make in a person's life.

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog, I will be reading it often :).

Juliana

Anonymous said...

Stumbled on this blog and decided to share my story. I actually never knew that I had food allergies until I was in college. I was working at a summer camp and had a severe reaction when a camper next to me was eating a peanut butter sandwich. The camp nurse had to use an Epipen and following allergy testing confirmed that I was severely allergic to peanuts, as well as all tree nuts. I never liked nuts as a kid, so I had not eaten or been exposed to them in years...
Now I am a kindergarten teacher and would like to reassure parents who are worried about their students starting school. I am careful about what snacks are brought into the classroom, both for myself and for my students' with allergies. I have noticed that even in kindergarten students are very aware of other people's allergies and always ask me and other students if they can eat something in the classroom or share it with that student. They are so thoughtful and caring towards each other. Their kindness impresses me every year.
Every teacher in the school has a list of students with severe allergies and we are all trained in using Epipens, just in case. For birthday parties all treats must be peanut-free in the classroom and students with other allergies have the option of eating their own snack, or I always have a couple snacks they can eat. (I ask all parents to supply a few boxes of treats for their child, so that they will never be hungry and I know that whatever food I give them is safe.)
In my three years teaching, no student has ever had an allergic reaction in school *fingers crossed.* We currently have 23 students with Epipens and 4 teachers, so being careful is working out. Just make sure to keep the lines of communication open with the teacher, letting them exactly what a reaction looks like for your child and if there are any changes to look for during the year. Open communication is key to staying healthy.

Anonymous said...

I got to this site searching the internet for experiencing Disneyland with a peanut allergy. We are taking our daughter for her 4th birthday in November and I just wanted to see what I was in for.
My daughter was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 23 months old but we knew there was some sort of allergy before that.
At 9 months old my sister gave her a bite of a PB & J with little or no reaction that I noticed. At 18 months old she swelled up to a unrecognizable state after having a couple of bites of Butterfinger and vanilla ice cream but it was such a small amount we thought it could have been something else. Then the final straw was at 23 mo's when I gave her a bite of my nutz over chocolate Luna bar and we left to go on a walk. She was in her stroller and it was nap time so we pulled the shade down and it was Oct so she was bundled up. She woke up crying and could not be comforted... she had her binkie (which normally was the magic ticket). Still crying and could not breath thru her nose because it was quickly congested. Then the drooling started and she was almost hyperventilating at this point so we knew it was definitely a reaction and went straight home to give her benedryl and called the local dr's office. Did I mention we were out of town visiting my sister in her VERY small town? They fit her in right away and off we went to be told that when we got home we should see a allergist about this. We got the blood test done and sure enough she was allergic to Peanuts, wheat and egg whites. She is also allergic to some sort of tree nuts as well which we discovered when her face broke out in hives every place granny and grandpa gave her kisses after they had eaten mixed tree nuts. The wheat and eggs we have not seen any serious reaction to so she still eats both on a regular basis.
I just read the Peanut Allergy Answer Book (second edition) and loved it! So informative and learned more from that then from the allergist we saw almost 2 years ago.
My daughter has yet to have a reaction that required the use of her epipen jr but I am cautious and ready!
-Mandi

Sarah Gonzalez said...

I am the mother of a 22 month old son & I'm pregnant with my second child due in Oct '09. Last week my son ate 1/4 of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich & broke out in hives for 48 hours. Today, 5 days later, I took him to get allergy testing done. Sure enough, he's allergic to peanuts. I am extremely overwhelmed & still in shock. I found your blog & it's nice to hear other parent's stories.

Sarah G.

Gab said...

Sarah - You are definitely NOT alone. Email me at peanutfreemama@gmail.com if you have any questions or need any help ok??

Harmony said...

I first thought my daughter had a peanut allergy when she was 9m and she got into the dishwasher and found a spoon that had a little bit of peanut butter on it her eyes swelled withn minutes,and she got hives on her lips and little red bumps all over her body. I called the Dr. and they said give her benadryl and keep an I n her. So I did and there have been no other accidental peanut tastings. However I am breast feeding and it never accrued to me not to eat peanuts. Then 10m she is having red puffy eyes, constant runny nose and she is always rubbing her face on me like it itches plus eczema. I took her to the Dr. they did a RAST test and confirmed my suspicion for the peanuts but also found egg. I have been a wreck ever since Friday (when I found out. The part that is really frustrating is that I called today to get an appt. with an allergist, since all my dr said was dot give her eggs or peanuts. The Dr. said her levels were not high enough and I didn't need to waste my time seeing an allergist. This made me furious cause everything that I have read so far makes me believe its not just oh well don't feed her peanuts and hopefully she will outgrow it. So we are going to call back and insist we get an appt with an allergist, even if they tell me the same thing at least I wont have to wonder. Thanks to all for sharing our stories it has helped to see it will get better.

Marianne said...

Hi. my daughter is almost seven and has a severe allergy to even trace amounts of peanuts. Three and a half years ago, she ate a cookie that contained peanut butter and had a reaction. It looked like she was choking. She was able to clear her airways and responded to Benadryl. Looking back, I realize how lucky we were. Since then, she's had three reactions, the last to a trace amount in a Twix bar processed on the same line as products that contained peanuts. Pay attention to that may contain line. She is never without her Epi-pen and I have learned to be very cautious.
I think the hardest part of all this is resisting the urge to create a bubble around your child. I remind myself that people act and speak out of igorance, not ill intent. My child is such a trooper. She is gracious when she tells someone that she cannot eat the birthday cookie or cupcake. That's not an easy thing to do when adults sometimes don't accept that this is serious. It does get better. People are becoming more educated. Still it is frustrating when you encounter people who doubt this is real. Or just not that serious. It always surprises me when I get that from people who should know better (like a pediatrician), but I try to control my irritation and take this as an opportunity to educate. Good luck to everyone that is new to this. It is managable.

Katie said...

Alright, so apparently i have become the oldest person ever to have discovered my peanut allergy. I was 19 years old when i developed an allergy to peanuts. I always loved peanut butter and jelly as a kid and would eat it everyday! My second year in college I was eating a pb and j and I got hives and was unable to swallow luckily it went away after an hour but after that i stayed away from peanut butter. Now I just got a scratch test and I really am allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. This is horrible, i have the hardest time eating out trying to find something that doesn't have peanuts or peanut oil. How could I be eating peanuts my whole life and then at 19 develop this?

peduzzi2153 said...

I am new to the world of allergies. My 10 month old had a reaction of hives to Peanut Butter... gave her benadryl and they went away but Dr. said to take her to the ER anyway. She was fine. we took her to an allergist 2 weeks later. She has always had ezcema. and he said within 2 minutes of being there that she has asthma. the did the tests on her arms and she had 2 very small hives- one for peanuts and one for eggs. i swore he said they needed to be 10 or greater and neither were larger than a 5. yet he said avoid all peanuts, treenuts and anything with egg. Now dont get me wrong, i am GLAD that she didnt have a SEVERE reaction or that he said that she has SEVERE allergies but i am just really wondering HOW WORRIED I REALLY NEED TO BE? she has had items with eggs in them for months and i never noticed anything. (although she has had slight ezcema forever.) shoudl i get a 2nd opinion? should i avoid ALL nut and egg related foods and as you know, change our every day way of life bc of that? i will do anything for my child but also dont want to drive myself and those around me crazy if i really dont need to.

bsouth said...

Hello, thought I'd come and join in the fun! I found Peanut Free Mama by doing a google search for "peanut allergy blogs". I am new to this and on the road to as much information as I can lay my hands on.

My 22month son had a quite severe reaction to peanut butter last Wednesday and I am still reeling from it all. I had peanut butter on toast and gave him a bit without thinking. Within minutes his whole face was so swollen he could hardly see. We called an ambulance and they took us straight to our A&E department. In the ambulance his blood pressure dropped so they gave him adrenilin and drove a bit faster. Then in the hospital he developed a wheeze (we already have an inhaler for asthma) and came out in hives all over his body. It was horrific to watch and I never want to see it again.

I'm in the UK and have just been told that I can't have an allergy clinic appointment with the NHS so I will have to go private. I'll do what I have to do though to get enough information to help my son have a healthy, hive free life.

Thank you so much for this blog and in particular this post. It has been calming to read about all the people that are coping magnificently with this. It gives me hope!

I have a blog although not allergy specific. It is www.bsouth.wordpress.com

lizzyland said...

I was not surprised when my first child was diagnosed with a food allergy. My husband is allergic (anaphalactic) to milk, and there is family history of other seasonal and indoor/outdoor allergies on both sides of the family. I thought I was prepared. I read several books when my daughter was a newborn. Yet still missed the warning signs of a wheat allergy (chronic ear infection resistant to medication), she then over-whelmed me by continuing to develop allergies to almost every food possible. All with varying ranges of severity. From pear, which mimicked a cold to anaphalactic to tree nuts. (All food allergies: wheat, milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, beef, pear, banana, rye. As well as several severe indoor/outdoor allergies.) Life was incredibly hard, and depressing. Most often question was: "What do you feed her?!" Thankfully by the age of 4 she out grew her food allergies. My second only was allergic to seafood (As discovered when we found out there was tuna protein in the RICE CEREAL!!)
However, my husband will always be allergic to milk. We also know that if something doesn't happen one day he will be killed from it. This year he even had reactions from our girls eating their halloween candy in the same room as him. He is sensitive to airborn as much as touch and ingesting.
Anyone else had problems from dish washers? If there are dishes with milk product on them and we run the dishwasher with him in the house he goes into an asthma attack.

Anonymous said...

We discovered my son was allergic to cow's milk at 6 months and egg white at 12 months. We had him tested and his skin prick test showed nothing for peanuts. He has had peanuts maybe a dozen ways and he is now 1 month away from 3. He has never reacted to peanuts that we know of except for not liking peanut butter after one bite. We were having him retested for milk and egg etc when he showed a positive to peanuts. We are currently awaiting our RAST results and I'm already devastated. I'm a walking zombie at the moment.

sayno2nuts said...

I hope this comment isn't doubled. I'm new to blogging. I was an avid nut-eater. When my son was diagnosed at 3yrs of age (nuts&tree-nuts), it was a no-brainer (though challenging) to become nut-free. He's had 2 episodes with the epipen: 1) at school-who called me at work to talk b4 giving the epipen (never happened again : ) 2) about 2 weeks ago. I rushed to the hospital and when I saw my sons distended face and body...I can't even explain...& thankfully don't have to here. He ate fruit cake my mother made at Christmas - which brings me to a my source of pain, anger,resentment, and sometimes danger to my child.

My mother is an nut-lover - which is fine. However, she does not take my son's allergy seriously-despite her very clear love for him. Once I simply took my son & left her house because she sat down beside him at the table, and began cracking & eating walnuts.

She eats nuts for wellness even more so than just craving. We all know the health benefits of nuts. However, sometimes she chooses the oddest moments to start eating them (aka when my son is at her house). She takes care of my son when I work. I've attempted numerous discussion, literature, etc to deal with this. We have fallen out numerous times. She gets offended, defensive - at times I get the impression she feels I'm choosing him over her/takes the guidance/questions personally-in a negative way.

As a result of the difficulty in finding a mutually happy and safe medium with mt Mom, I've told my son that the only snacks he is allowed to have are the ones I make or bought nut-free. After the last incident, I'm not taking ANY chances. My Mom's "compromise" is to make nut and nut-free versions of food - which resulted (due to a mix-up) with my son in the hospital. I'm considering placing him back in daycare. Everything I do to protect him offends her on one level or another, and unfortunately now I AM in a position of choosing. I'm afraid that if anything happened to my son related to this again (as a result of her actions), I might not be able to forgive her.

The good that has come out of the last trip to the hospital is that my family finally sees the seriousness of the allergy. I don't like the fact that this had to happen for that to be the case. It's funny how so many of us don't believe something is serious/existent until we see it! Unfortunately physical evidence isn't a luxury that my son can afford.

My son is great and very diligent with monitoring what he eats. However, in the last circumstance he could not have known there were nuts in the cake, because the nut-free and nut version looked the same. Although I take responsibility and am upset with myself for allowing this to happen-I'm still resentful. I don't presume that everyone will make their home "nut-free". However, I'm not asking too much of my Mom, as a regular caregiver, to make a few adjustments (and yes sacrifices) for the safety of my son (her grandson). I just needed to vent a bit. Few people seem to understand without severely allergic children. Can anyone out there relate or share advice (e.g. approaches, etc)?

Stacys bubble said...

My sons first encounter with peanuts is quite unique. We first discovered he had a milk allergy when he was about 12 months old after having a couple reactions, one being pretty bad. So we got him to an allergist where we found out he was allergic to milk, eggs and to my horror, peanuts. (he had also had a reaction to eggs prior to this visit). So we have been very careful and strictly avoided those foods. He is 17 months old now and we went to visit my aunt out of town. While there, my aunt and I ran to the store real quick, while hubby watched the baby. When I got back, DS's eye was almost swollen shut, blood shot, hives and redness all around his eye/mouth/cheek/forehead. It was a mystery 'cus he had not been around any food. But hubby said that about 30 mintues before the reaction, he saw DS take a swig from the dogs water bowl. Kinda funny. He even made it seem refreshing afterward with a big "AAAAHHH". Well it was still a mystery though. We brainstormed, thinking maybeit was a bug bite or something. Then I seen my aunt give her dog his medication. She got out the peanut butter, stuck the pill in a blob and gave it to him in that. (ironically enough, the dog is on benadryl too) Mystery solved. Kinda like a freak incident...a weird occurrence of cross contamination. Dog drinks from bowl with peanut buttery tongue, peanut allergic child drinks from same bowl. We gave him benadryl and he still had some hives and blue/redness around his eye until the next day and we continued the benadryl. (we carry epipens as well, thank goodness we didn't have to administer it though) I am so upset I have to try not to think too hard about the "should've"s and "why didn't I"s 'cus no one would have thought of that happening, even though everyone knew his allergies and kept him away from it. No more pb for that dog. And we didn't let him near my son either, in case he tried to lick him. His numbers were low for the peanut allergy but now I am terrified that this exposure may have made the numbers go up and ruinned his chances of ever outgrowing it. I am feeling so depressed about this. Like I can lose him so easy even if I do all I can do to prevent it. I am thankful that I found this blog full of other moms who totally understand the feelings I'm feeling right now. (By the way, he had another mild mysterious allergic reaction again the next night, and then AGAIN the next night! But it was even milder, my aunt cooked some cheese dip, the cheese in the air affected him..why cant others "inconvenience" themselves and go without at least for a day to protect someone else they love???)

HannahsMomma said...

Its been 1 year since my daughter was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy. We found out out when she ate 1 peanut butter m&m last year. I was actually driving my car when her reaction took place. I had never been so scared my whole life, luckily we were only a few minutes from Childrens Hospital urgent care. Hannah was then transported via squad to the main campus in downtown Columbus. I am still very paranoid about her being around "unsafe" foods, but she is only 3 yrs old. I still feel quite alone in this journey because none of my friends really understand and some family members don't either. I actually started a blog this week on the 1 year anniversary of her going into anaphylactic shock. Its www.peanutfreenow.blogspot.com
Thanks!

kotacat said...

I just discovered 4 days ago that my 23 month old daughter is allergic to peanuts. I had given her a pb&j sandwich (her first exposure to peanuts) and immediately she started coughng as if she had something stuck in her throat, and grabbing her tongue. She then began rubbing her eyes and white bumps began to appear around them. At this point I called her Dr. who said to take her to the ER. So off we went... I was so panicked the entire time... my daughter is still in a rear-facing car seat, so it was hard to keep a good watch on her as I was speeding to the ER. She looked like she might pass out, so I gave her a toy and kept telling her to shake it (so that I could at least know that she was awake and breathing). She was such a trooper and would raise the item every once in a while. By the time that I got to the ER (about 20 minutes later) her eyes were both swollen and barely opening. I was so panicked that I couldn't even figure out how to lock my car door... but I didn't care at that point. They gave her benedryl and steriods... and we now have an EpiPen. It took about 2 days for the swelling to go completely away.

I've been busy since then clearing out all foods that may have any traces of peanuts, calling food manufactureres to inquire as to their allergen policies, reading labels, and researching PA. I'm trying not to be too anxious, but am feeling very overwhelmed and consumed by fear... not really worried too much about the inconvenience of the allergy, but rather the fear of her having an accidental exposure, and another reaction... It's been great to read these stories and to know that we're not alone... and also to hear about so many close calls where the children were indeed alright once taken care of. I would love to join a support group, and would love to know if anyone knows of one in the Denver, Co area. Thanks to all for sharing your stories... and thanks to the host of this site!!!

kotacat said...

I just discovered 4 days ago that my 23 month old daughter is allergic to peanuts. I had given her a pb&j sandwich (her first exposure to peanuts) and immediately she started coughng as if she had something stuck in her throat, and grabbing her tongue. She then began rubbing her eyes and white bumps began to appear around them. At this point I called her Dr. who said to take her to the ER. So off we went... I was so panicked the entire time... my daughter is still in a rear-facing car seat, so it was hard to keep a good watch on her as I was speeding to the ER. She looked like she might pass out, so I gave her a toy and kept telling her to shake it (so that I could at least know that she was awake and breathing). She was such a trooper and would raise the item every once in a while. By the time that I got to the ER (about 20 minutes later) her eyes were both swollen and barely opening. I was so panicked that I couldn't even figure out how to lock my car door... but I didn't care at that point. They gave her benedryl and steriods... and we now have an EpiPen. It took about 2 days for the swelling to go completely away.

I've been busy since then clearing out all foods that may have any traces of peanuts, calling food manufactureres to inquire as to their allergen policies, reading labels, and researching PA. I'm trying not to be too anxious, but am feeling very overwhelmed and consumed by fear... not really worried too much about the inconvenience of the allergy, but rather the fear of her having an accidental exposure, and another reaction... It's been great to read these stories and to know that we're not alone... and also to hear about so many close calls where the children were indeed alright once taken care of. I would love to join a support group, and would love to know if anyone knows of one in the Denver, Co area. Thanks to all for sharing your stories... and thanks to the host of this site!!!

kotacat said...

I just discovered 4 days ago that my 23 month old daughter is allergic to peanuts. I had given her a pb&j sandwich (her first exposure to peanuts) and immediately she started coughng as if she had something stuck in her throat, and grabbing her tongue. She then began rubbing her eyes and white bumps began to appear around them. At this point I called her Dr. who said to take her to the ER. So off we went... I was so panicked the entire time... my daughter is still in a rear-facing car seat, so it was hard to keep a good watch on her as I was speeding to the ER. She looked like she might pass out, so I gave her a toy and kept telling her to shake it (so that I could at least know that she was awake and breathing). She was such a trooper and would raise the item every once in a while. By the time that I got to the ER (about 20 minutes later) her eyes were both swollen and barely opening. I was so panicked that I couldn't even figure out how to lock my car door... but I didn't care at that point. They gave her benedryl and steriods... and we now have an EpiPen. It took about 2 days for the swelling to go completely away.

I've been busy since then clearing out all foods that may have any traces of peanuts, calling food manufactureres to inquire as to their allergen policies, reading labels, and researching PA. I'm trying not to be too anxious, but am feeling very overwhelmed and consumed by fear... not really worried too much about the inconvenience of the allergy, but rather the fear of her having an accidental exposure, and another reaction... It's been great to read these stories and to know that we're not alone... and also to hear about so many close calls where the children were indeed alright once taken care of. I would love to join a support group, and would love to know if anyone knows of one in the Denver, Co area. Thanks to all for sharing your stories... and thanks to the host of this site!!!

kristyliz said...

Hi! I am new here, and googled peanut allergy blog and i came across yours. I have a 5 month old son. We have been trying some fruit and veggie foods and I noticed after eating peas my son had a prickly little rash on his tummy. He does have a little exema on his head and arms. When googling pea allergy they say it can lead to a peanut allergy. This just scares me so much. He is so little, can't talk or do anything to help himself...so we (my husband and I) are going to have to advocate for him if need be. We go to the doctor next week and I am going to ask about a possible allergy and a GOOD allergist. This is such new territory for us....no one in the family is allergic to anything! I could cry looking at him right now...but your blog and the people who comment also are going to make this journey (if we have to join it) a bit better because I know we are not alone and we are going to be OK.
Thanks,
Kristy

Andria J said...

My son was about 18 months as well and his great grandparents were watching him and grandma eats peanut butter religiously. She had a sandwich and was playing with Julius and broke out immediately all over his face and neck. Grandpa didn't believe he had any allergies and on the next visit he told Grandma to give him some peanut butter. This time he had puffy eyes and even worse hives. I made him an allergy doctor appointment shortly after and yes, peanut was the biggest welt. I felt sad for him because he'd never experience the great taste of peanuts. He's very consciencious of his allergy now at 8 years old. I've always told him never to receive food from anyone. He will not accept anything before telling me first or just not doing it at all. It's a hard allergy to live with and at times it can be frustrating. He is also allergic to seafood, shellfish and eggs. Does anyone else's child who's allergic to peanuts/nuts have those same allergies?

Thank you,
Andria

CallyIA said...

My story goes like this...Hudson had his 1st Birthday on May 30th, 2011, had cake, threw up. Didn't think much of it at the time, a lot of comotion and different things. Changing from formula to milk, cake, fresh fruit, on an antibiotic for a sinus infection, etc. 2 days later I pick up from our daycare (late by the way)and the kids were outside playing and waiting. I get home, he's fussy and throw's up. UGH! I think and clean himself & myself up. While puting on a fresh diaper, I realize he has a rash on his midsection and back. I call our "ask a nurse" and it will be 30-60 min. before they will call back. Of course my hubby is pulling a double shift and won't be home until 8am the next day, double UGH! I can visually see the rash spreading and I call my neighbor so scared I can barely speak and she comes right over - she takes my 4 yr old with her & I go the ER. There are so many "new" things in his diet they can't pinpoint anything and send me home with the following words "We don't see anything now, but you'll need to stay up all night to watch him incase he stops breathing." What?! I panic & insist my hubby comes home and I head to my daycare providers home to pick up some formula. After explaining what happened to her, she turned white as a ghost and tells me she gave him a bite of a Monster cookie! We took him to the pediatrician the next day and he referred us to an allery specialist. The end...peanut, egg, and everything you breathe allergy. Children's Claritin is helping with everything else and we are mostly focusing on the peanut allergy and a little on the egg. He only scored a 1 on the egg and a 3 on the peanut. Still in shock and scared to death. But it truly helps to read these stories. You realize you are soooo not alone! Thanks everyone!

Parent and Preschool Teacher said...

On March 31, 2010 I decided to put to good use the pine cone that my then 2 year old daughter had been playing all over the house with for several days. She had recently seen an episode of Special Agent OSO in which he helped a girl to make a pine cone bird feeder. I went to the garage and searched out some long-forgotten parakeet birdseed (my older daughter's parakeet had died several years earlier) and pulled a jar of peanut butter out of the kitchen cupboard. I got 2 paper plates out as well. One for the birdseed and another for the finished feeder. I spread the peanut butter over the pine cone and helped Karina roll it in the birdseed. She didn't seem to have anything on her hands so I sent her to go watch TV while I cooked dinner.

A half hour later she came back into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes, which were red and puffy and swelling shut. We had to rush her to the ER, where the doctor assured us that it was unlikely the peanut butter that did this to her. My husband then tossed out the parakeet birdseed, the other likely culprit. We took her to an allergist, who tested her for food allergies and confirmed that she is allergic to peanuts (and ONLY peanuts!).

Three months and three days later (on July 3rd, her third birthday) we rushed her to the ER again. This time she couldn't breathe. No peanuts this time. At this trip to the ER she was diagnosed with possible asthma. Now when she has an allergic reaction, it seems that there is a correlation between her allergies and the asthma. We have a nebulizer at home now, which is easy and very inexpensive to run. Since her diagnosis, we have gotten rid of all peanuts and anything with peanut proteins in our diet.

It's been smooth sailing with the peanut allergy ever since. Up until the last month or so, that is. Just under 2 months ago, I started a new job at a preschool where Karina now attends. About 2 or 3 weeks ago she had another reaction. Upon investing the cause, it was realized that she was sat next to a child that ate a PB&J at lunch (there was a sub in the class that day, that neglected to check the allergy list). The following week the same teacher sat another allergic child next to a PB&J eating child, without incident. The director decided she didn't want the responsibility for a child having a severe reaction under her watch and we tried to convince the owner that the preschool should be nut-free, but failed in doing so (even though it had been suggested by a nurse who conducted an epi-pen training class for us in September, prior to any reactions at school). Many of the families served at the preschool are low income, and she felt that it would be too limiting! Is there anything that as both an employee and a parent that I can do without risking losing my job (and therefore my daughter's access to $1/hr preschool, where Karina has just settled in)?

Cakes by Erin said...

Hi there,
I happened upon your blog today, and wow! I have a lot of catching up to do! I am a bit different than most of the commenters here as I am a mother with a peanut allergy. My kids are, thankfully, not allergic!

I've started writing my memoirs down over the last year or so, as I've had this allergy for 36 years - way before peanut-free products ever came about. In my personal blog, www.crackerjacksandnutters.blogspot.com
I have posted some of the funnier stuff, as most of my stories are a bit scary, as you can imagine. Maybe someday I'll try and publish them.

I opened a peanut/nut-free cake bakery a few years ago, as so many children in my area are allergic. It gives me great purpose since I have never grown out of my allergy.

I look forward to getting to know some of you, and hearing your stories!

Sincerely,
Erin

Karen Updike said...

Well... my daughter had her first reaction when a babysitter fed her a raisin that shared a bowl with peanuts.

She called immediately because my daughter started blowing up... luckily, i was close by and rushed her right to my doctor down the street. After we told him what she ate, he figured she had a peanut allergy... after skin and blood tests, we came to find out she had other allergies besides the peanut including grapes... lol. So the raisin/peanut combination was a double shot of allergens!
UGH!

So after being depressed about it for 6 months, I decided I wasn't going to let it rule our lives.
Even though I think Reeses were my staple diet while I was pregnant...

So really I'm here to learn as much as I can. My daughter is almost 3. We found out about the allergies around 18 months. So I've been reading and researching ever since and I find it really hard to come up with any hard answers on the topic.

I look forward to also meeting some other moms dealing with allergies/asthma/ezcema...

Elizabeth said...

In reading everyone's comments, I have to admit I'm feeling a bit fortunate. My 4 1/2 year old daughter is allergic to peanuts, though she has never had a severe, visible reaction. She's never really liked peanut butter and always had a very strong reaction if she ate it. She would gag and spit it out. Even after we gave her a drink and something else to eat to get the taste out of her mouth she would still be trying to spit it out. She knew if something had peanuts in it even when we couldn't taste it. She didn't react this way to anything else that she didn't like and so we started to wonder if she was allergic. I talked to the pediatrician at her 3 year checkup and she didn't think it was an allergy since K didn't break out into hives or anything. A few months later, we were talking to an adult friend of ours who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and she said that she acted the same way when she was little and her parents just thought she didn't like it. Her tongue would swell and her throat would start to constrict immediately if she put something with nuts in her mouth. It wasn't until she was old enough to communicate to her parents what was happening that they discovered her allergy. I mentioned that to the pediatrician at her next checkup and off we went to the allergist. After about a minute, I could tell that the test was positive. They didn't test for anything else because she seems to be able to eat other nuts without a problem. My daughter will start kindergarten in the fall and I'm a bit anxious about it. They do have some peanut free classes at her school and that is comforting, but there is something about having your child out of your control that is anxiety producing. Especially when she has a food allergy.

Rachel said...

My three year old daughter just had her first reaction 4 days ago. We've always kept her from eating peanuts or things with nuts as we have been told we should do till she was three, just to be safe. However, we my son and i have both eaten pb&j sandwiches, on a daily basis we've eaten food with the "may contain" or "manufactured on" warnings (without knowing this), cooked turkey in peanut oil, etc. without any problems for her. She does suffer from eczema (so did my son), both my kids have allergy induced asthma (my husband has asthma really bad).

Anyway, I made the kids pb&j sandwiches and gave it to my daughter for the first time. She loved it! Then a few minutes later she was complaining about not feeling well and needing to go to the doctor. I didn't notice any hives, or rashes, or trouble breathing. Though when she said her heart was wrong I immediately called our pediatricians office. They told me to go to the ER. She seemed fine other than looking sleepy. As soon as we signed she it all went down hill. She began to throw up everywhere. Couldn't catch her breath, they ushered us in. Immediately gave her a shot of epi, started an IV line for steroid and benadryl. A rash had developed on her chin and neck and doctor said she could hear by her breathing and coughing that her throat was closing. I thought she would never stop vomiting or screaming. It was the longest, scariest two hours of my life. They kept her for 3 hours for observation. Once she was determined fine, they sent us home with prescrip. for epi pens and instructions on how and when to use it. Referred us to an allergist, which we have not been able to see yet, and told us to avoid ALL nuts for the time being.

Needless to say I am uber paranoid right now. Going through all the foods in the house. Realizing daily snacks, which she had just days prior to her reaction, with no reaction at all are now potentially dangerous. M&M's, chocoalte chips, Special K fruit bars, fresh bread from the bakery and other baked goods, even learning that ice cream parlors which we regularly frequent are now a no-no. It's hard. Trying to get it all figured out before she starts school in the fall, thinking ahead to Halloween and what a nightmare that is going to be. Just trying to find some support and resources, and encouragement.

Thanks for this site. I am a fellow blogger and have a feeling my readers will be seeing a lot of peanut allergy post from me at this point forward.