Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day, Peanut Allergy, and Crushing Disappointment

It's 5:30 am on a Sunday and I just realized it's Valentine's Day! Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you're going to be with someone you care about today and that you've found safe treats to share with the peanut allergic person in your life.

It was a rough week around here. I've been dealing with some difficult people this week and it's been stressful for me. I wont go into too many details here, but suffice it to say: I am a strong believer in karma and there are some people in this world who are going to get a swift kick in the butt in the future.

Another hiccup was B's annual appt with her allergist last Wednesday. She has been adamant that she didn't want to go to the doctor and was under no circumstances going to have a skin test. Being the naive parent that I am, I thought she was just being dramatic and that everything would be great at her appointment. Sure she'd be a little uncomfortable, but wasn't it worth it to see how her levels would be this year?

Boy was I wrong. She complained the whole car ride there. Thought of every excuse in the book as to why she shouldn't be there. And couldn't I just call his office and tell him she was sick and wouldn't be making it today? Oh, how cute, I thought to myself - she's so strong willed. Ahem.

Actually, she WAS fine during the first few minutes of chitchat. But once she saw the skin test come out she LOST HER MIND. As in I had to physically hold her while they administered the test. All while she was screaming and crying.

And when the test came back, her wheal size had doubled from the previous year.

I. Was. Crushed. As in, wind-knocked-out-of-me, are you flipping kidding me? And you don't need to leave me a comment about how it's not about me and I should be strong for my child, blah blah blah. I KNOW that. I'm not a moron. I had on my best poker face and not a single tear was shed. I just couldn't believe it.

I was seriously expecting her to not have a reaction. What the hell was that bump doing there? That was the control or the histamine, right?

Wishful thinking on my part.

Then we heard the same thing her allergist says every year. That he is sure she'll outgrow this. He even offered to schedule a food challenge right then and there. B gave her wholehearted response right away: NO!

She just doesn't care about it. I feed my feelings into it more I guess. I am way more bummed about it than she is. She doesn't know anything different, so what does she care? It's just one food to her (I guess all my reinforcing has worked).

In the grand scheme of things, having one peanut allergy isn't the end of the world and we've been managing it really well. And we'll continue to do so. But it breaks my heart as a mother that the window of her outgrowing this seems to be just out of our reach and closing a little more each year.

So after that bummer of an experience (for me), I had people (who ironically are from the FA community) being really difficult. Being an advocate for food allergy isn't a competition for me, but apparently it is for them. I'm striving for a common goal of helping people, not having the most followers. Have I helped one of you out there or made you feel less alone? Then this little blog of mine is worth it. I'll leave it at that.

It just never ends.

Anyhoo, I hope you have a great Valentine's Day. Big hugs and smooches to you all!


jenn said...

The skin tests just suck- no two ways about it. My kiddo's sensitivity tripled this year, so I'm feeling your pain. :(

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy reading your blog. Really, you say (ahem, type) all the things I'm feeling. My daughters RAST test started at 6.3, then next year was 2.4 (yeah) but this past year was back up to 6.1 - how fricking frusterating - and we had not even had any reactions. It was like getting the diagnosis all over again. We have Kindergarten coming up next fall and I've already printed off your list of questions so I can go to the principal prepared. Thank you so much for writing this blog - it helps to not feel so alone.

Liz said...

My son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy a year ago. Your blog is one of the very first blogs I read from a mom of a peanut allergy kiddo. It made me a little less scared about all the challenges we'll face with my son. I really thank you for doing this blog and I'm sorry people are giving you such a hard time. I'm sorry for the experience you had at the doctor's office. I don't know any one, child or adult, who doesn't absolutely hate those scratch tests. I admire the obstacles you and your daughter have overcome.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about the skin test.

My 3.5 year-old PA daughter just got out of the hospital from her first ever allergy attack. Came out of NOWHERE, just like her PA. Had to go in ambulance to ER from dr's office. WILL IT EVER END?

Sorry to ramble.

Your blog helps me. A lot.

(My 6 month old son has also has allergies--to dairy (urgh), egg and sesame.)

Anonymous said...

ouch. i feel your pain. what a week you had. i check your blog daily. thank you.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Sorry. HUGS. and CRAP. I know that the testing and the outgrowing isn't about us. But we as mothers want our kids to be completely healthy. There is nothing wrong with feeling down about it. I do. E.V.E.R.Y. D.A.Y. (to some extent).

And as far as the competition goes. I've given up on some of the community a long time ago. I won't go into details but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

I hope you had a fantastic Valentine's Day and enjoyed all your peanut free chocolate :)

Following HIM said...

Oh my goodness...people giving you a rough time while they have FAs. Seriously?! WoW! I totally understand the letdown of having a test rise instead of fall and it just sucks. No matter how you prepare for it...the result is tougher to swallow. At least you know now and won't be trailing it anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your test results. Ick.

One of the first things my allergist told me, and one of the first things I read in a "curing allergies" book is that kids tend to outgrow other allergies, (milk, eggs, etc) but most kids DO NOT outgrow allergies to bee stings and peanuts. They are the two exceptions. So I'm curious where your dr is getting information to make him "sure" she will outgrow specifically a nut allergy. I can understand it with any other food allergy, but with nuts--that contradicts everything I've heard from any other source.

On the other hand, if you've got evidence supporting the outgrowing of nut allergies--if you'd post it, that would be awesome--I'd love a source of hope. :-)

Sparkleguru said...

We're 8 years in (& I've been there!!)'re doing brilliantly and it's a huge rollercoaster....just as you think you've got a handle on things and you're tootling along nicely, you're off on another heart-wrenching, stomach displacing whirl. Your site has been really helpful to me (thank you) - a seasoned pro! Ignore ANYONE who gives you a hard time....if we're experiencing this, we should be of support to each other. Your child is the most precious thing in the world - you just keep that in mind when anyone's at you :o)

Anonymous said...

I just took my 3.5 year old to an allergist last month for the first time. Her previous pediatrician was giving her blood tests for allergies. The new one insisted on skin testing. I knew she had a peanut allergy, but when the doc came in the room and uttered the words, "LIfe threatening Peanut and Cashew allergy, which now includes all tree nuts due to cross contamination" My heart sank. I feel your pain. The doc also informed me that I shouldn't put my hopes in her outgrowing it because it only happens in 20% of the cases so our odds aren't good.
My fears of school, play dates, birthday parties, visiting family, eating out are all giving me nightmares. Everything from being at a school and someone giving my kid a cookie and not being able to access her epipen, to some other child giving her something with nuts to see what would happen. I am so glad to have found your blog, because it helps to find I am not alone.

alison said...

I'm a little late, but Happy Valentine's Day even if it sucked! I haven't been visiting your blog, or any blogs, lately because I have been too busy. But yours is very valuable to me and to many people.

If you are talking about the blog rat-race, just forget it. What's important is that you are helping people. I have to give myself that pep-talk all the time!

Anonymous said...

It's understandable you'd be upset for your child. x

I am surprised that the doctor said "I'm sure she'll grow out of it" the allergist at my hospital said that it is more unlikely for someone to grow out of a peanut allergy. Am I wrong? Hope so.