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 Post subject: Introduction
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
Hi, everyone!

I've just joined the site, after hearing about it from Karen E. Kudos on an amazing forum!

In addition to my life in academia, and as a freelance writer, I run the Montreal Anaphylaxis Support Group, which is affiliated with Anaphylaxis Canada. My own allergies include peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame. I suffered numerous anaphylactic reactions during my youth in the 70s and 80s, before the advent of the EpiPen®. Many were misdiagnosed as sudden, severe asthma attacks, but the charts often noted that I was covered in hives as well. Those of us who were the 'advance guard' -- the minority of adults who grew up with anaphylaxis -- probably remember these types of scenarios well.

I'm saddened by the increased prevalence in food allergies, but on the positive side of things, there are now groups and forums such as this one to provide support, and many food manufacturers seem to have been slowly moving toward allergen-awareness over the past 10 years or so.

And I'm still holding out hope for a real cure within the next 10 years. Let's hope together.

Best,

Andrea


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:37 pm
Posts: 96
Hi Andrea! Glad you are hear. Not glad you have life threatening allergies though. :)

_________________
2 year old son: allergic to milk--waiting to introduce other allergens

self: allergic to milk, eggs, soy and other legumes, corn, oats, wheat, turkey, tree nuts, yeast, fish


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2950
Location: Toronto
Hi Andrea,

Welcome and thanks for the nice words about the forum. I guess an upside (if there really is one) to the increased prevalence is that allergies are getting more attention in society, more research is being financed as the need is perceived as greater.

Enjoy the discussions. Cheers, Gwen


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:51 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Hi Andrea,

Nice to *see* you again. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi Andrea -

When I read how you were often misdiagnosed as having sudden severe asthma attacks when you were younger, it made me kind of sad/mad, because that still seems to be going on a lot. If people were able to react more quickly with the correct medication (i.e. epinephrine), maybe some lives could be saved, whether it's asthma or anaphylaxis...

I really hope that we can generate more and more awareness about the proper treatment of anaphylaxis (especially when people aren't sure if it's that or asthma). It's an ongoing process, that's for sure.

Anyway, I'm glad you've joined!! :)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
Hi, Shai, Gwen, AnnaMarie and Karen!

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Gwen -- It really is challenging to think of it as an upside; on the other hand, we're becoming a more significant minority with more audible voices, and in the end, that will probably be instrumental in leading scientists to develop treatments and -- eventually -- cures.

Karen -- When I think about it, it really is astonishing how low awareness was back then, and how we still find pockets of ignorance now, even among some medical professionals who should know better.

I'm reminded of a support group meeting I attended in Ontario back around 1998, during which a mother related an incident at a hospital (which shall remain nameless). Her child was suffering anaphylaxis caused by peanut, and was rushed to the hospital. After the child was stabilized, the nurse administered a popsicle to the child to reduce swelling of the lips and tongue. Of course, the mother rushed over and grabbed the popsicle out of her child's hands so that she could read the ingredients. The nurse didn't seem to understand this. Sure enough, the label read "may contain traces of peanut/nut". And this took place in an emergency room, during treatment for anaphylaxis.

I'll never forget that story, nor my own numerous encounters with those who have not been made aware. This is the kind of incident that pushes me forward and fuels my desire to advocate for increased awareness of anaphylaxis and preventive measures.

And it's great to see you here too, AnnaMarie! :D

Best,

Andrea


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Similar stories are still happening.

A friend of mine has a young child who is severely allergic to milk and other things. The child was having multiple health problems, including severe constipation, that landed them in emergency. Guess what was put in the enema? Some form of milk.

The mother had very clearly told them that under no circumstances was her child to have any form of dairy. The child start to go into anaphylactic shock, at which point the mother questioned what was in the enema. She was told that it was "milk of magnesia", but it wasn't - it was some form of dairy.

This happened in 2005. It still makes me so angry.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:14 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Ottawa
:shock:

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Andrea_MASG wrote:
Her child was suffering anaphylaxis caused by peanut, and was rushed to the hospital. After the child was stabilized, the nurse administered a popsicle to the child to reduce swelling of the lips and tongue. Of course, the mother rushed over and grabbed the popsicle out of her child's hands so that she could read the ingredients. The nurse didn't seem to understand this. Sure enough, the label read "may contain traces of peanut/nut".

This reminds me of something that happened to us. We had brought Ethan into the ER because of a respiratory infection. The nurse took all of his information down and had just finished asking me if he had any allergies, to which I responded "yes, peanut". Two minutes later she brought over a popscicle and in front of him asked if he could have it -- I said yes, and she handed it to him. He had a couple of licks and then I realized that I hadn't checked the label (we were newly diagnosed with his peanut allergy at the time and just learning about cross-contam. issues and label reading...) and sure enough, there on the label, "may contain trace amounts..." I quickly grabbed the popscicle from my little guy's hands (I felt so terrible!) and notified the nurse. She was pretty embarrassed! :oops: It just shows that you can never let your guard down, not even in hospital where you'd think others should be aware.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
This is the problem with the public: regarding food allergies, they don't think outside the box. They think that you have to ingest a mouthful of your allergen to have a reaction. They don't think about cross-contamination or about the type of products that doesn't normally contain an allergen, like a popsicle with traces of peanuts and maybe dairy because it was processed in an ice cream factory, medication made with dairy products, baked goods that even though don't contain nuts are produced in the same bakery that makes nut-filled pastries.

Or like my brother-in-law who says to just take the croutons out of the salad. :roll:

I mean, when even the medical community is that unaware, it shows you what an uphill battle this is.

I have to say that 9 years ago, when I met my friend whose daughter has peanut/nut allergies, she talked to me quite at length before I got it too. I had never even heard of such allergies and she explained very clearly what her daughter could and could not have, that they couldn't fly because even breathing the peanut powder could cause a reaction, etc. Then and only then did I get it. (This friendship proved to be a blessing in disguise because when my own daughter reacted, I knew enough about allergies to be able to deal with it from the get go.)

So, yes, patience and vigileance have to become your friends when you deal with food allergies. You also have to become an educator and learn to deal with people very diplomatically.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:41 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Ottawa
People tend to think of food and only food when dealing with food allergies. Popsicles are not "real" food and there for slip under the radar for many people. The same can be said for medications and products applied to the body.
I had a great experience at the Civic Hospital with our daughter when she had an asthma reaction at 3 years old.
The respirologist/nurse(?) treating her came in with several sizes of nebulizor masks and a puffer. She looked at the red hspital bracelette and asked about peanut alergies as the puffer contained peanut derivatives. We explained that at that time we had not tested for peanut but were avoidiing them on the advice of the allergist. She came back with a different medication.
We also got to keep the dinosaur nebulizor mask and it has been added to her Dr's kit.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:40 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
A puffer with peanut derivative? :shock: You are joking! Wow! I have never heard of that!

Susan, would you know what the name of that medication is?

That just blows my mind!

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I've read somewhere (think it was peanutallergy.com) that there is a puffer with a soy derivative...and for some reason, doctors do not recommend the use of this puffer for peanut-allergic patients. Could it be Advair? (can't remember the exact medication all the PA controversy was about.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 10:25 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Ottawa
Sorry, it was over a year ago. I' ll ask my husband if he remembers the name.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:51 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Ottawa
There seems to be a thread on the topic of peanut in asthma metered dose inhalers in the peanut section.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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