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 Post subject: I'm Scared!!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:04 am
Posts: 7
Location: Calgary
We're off to Super Clubs Breezes in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic in April. Our 14 year old daughter is severely allergic to peanuts. Our travel agent said she would fax the "food manager" there prior to our arrival and told me to talk to him/her when we get there. It's all-inclusive with several restaurants and I'm sure there will be buffets. I'm okay about going.........until I start reading this forum. Then I get worried. We've travelled a lot in Canada and the States, but never a foreign country. Has anyone out there been to a foreign, third world country? Please calm my fears!!

_________________
Severe peanut allergy, mild-moderate asthma, eczema.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
We're going to Mexico, Dominican or Cuba in February (still looking for the best deal)...without kids, but my husband has allergies. It was scary 2 years ago when we went to Cancun. My husband avoids all deserts, all stir fries, and all ethnic restaurants (there were some in our resort) for starters. Now that I have not eaten milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts or nuts for sooo long I even don't plan on it while away. I plan on eating mostly fruit and veggies...but the fruit in tropical countries is AMAZING.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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 Post subject: travelling to dominican
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:38 am
Posts: 4
Location: Edmonton
We leave in two days for the Dominican Republic, for an all-inclusive with two buffets and nine a la carte restaurants. We're taking our own organic spice mixes, pepper and snacks for my fiance, who is allergic/sensitive to sulphites. I have sympathy for other people who are allergic to wheat or milk, but sulphites are a preservative that seem to be in sooo many Canadian products! We plan on eating fruits, veggies, plain rice, potatoes, meat, seafood, milk, water. He can have clear alcohol and anything without caramel color (which is in Kahlua, Irish Cream, whiskey, colored rum, liqueurs, etc.). Some beers have sulphites also. Yippee. We'll see how it goes. He's very concerned, which is putting a huge damper on my excitement. I don't know how to handle his fear, other than to say we'll manage. His reaction to sulphites is severe gastroinstestinal, and is transforming into asthma/anaphylactic (which in my mind makes it an allergy). ANY advice for us is appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I wouldn't plan on drinking the water, unless it's bottled.

For the rest, it does sound kind of worrisome. Does he have EpiPens or Twinjects just in case? If he doesn't have time to get a prescription from his doc/allergist, he can buy them over the counter. It would be horrible for his reaction to worsen when he doesn't have access to emergency medication.

We don't travel much, so I'm not much help otherwise. I hope others have some more advice. I guess sticking to foods and drinks that he feels secure about is the best option.

Good luck... and let us know how it went when you get back.

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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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:38 am
Posts: 4
Location: Edmonton
Yes, he has an epi-pen (which has sulphites, but a couple of doctors including one who is a bit of a specialist in sulphite reactions, said was better than nothing to use). We'll try to provide an update on return.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:02 pm
Posts: 44
how did you guys make out on the flights to your vacations? Any problems? How about extended health coverage for those with asthma - I am having a problem getting coverage for "previously existing conditions" .........

_________________
Mum of 19 year old daughter - asthma and life threatening allergies to nuts, peanuts and seafood


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:38 am
Posts: 4
Location: Edmonton
Y'all are not going to believe this!!!
We had a GREAT time and the food at the resort WAS INCREDIBLE!

For the flight down, we packed our own insulated lunchbags, thank goodness because even though I don't have food allergies (it's David who can't have sulphites), the inflight food was disgusting such as a cold breakfast egg and cheese sandwich from Arby's. ICK. On the flight back, we made sandwiches from the buffet and packed the lunchbags again.

At the Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, which is a 41/2 star all-inclusive, the Air Transat Rep Vienna offered to set up a meeting with the manager of customer service to arrange a meal plan. But that was the morning after we arrived and David and I had already eaten dinner the prior night and breakfast that a.m. at the buffet, with no ill effects! He started by eating relatively conservatively, but after Vienna said she is allergic to sulphites also (the first person we've met with this!) and never has a problem when she travels outside of North America, we gained confidence.

Every day for 14 days we ate breakfast at the buffet, and lunch too, then went to one of the nine a la carte restaurants for dinner. Appetizers, entrees, desserts, Presidente beer. The only place that was difficult was the American restaurant (what a surprise), where they used processed sauces and spices. The rest seemed to use raw ingredients, as in unprocessed, because everything seemed to be grown/produced on the island as importing is expensive, but labor there is cheap. Even the dried oregano by the pizzas was grown locally, dried and crushed (you could tell by looking at it as there were small dried oregeno branches).

David drank white rum or vodka and Presidente beer, with lemon or lime or pineapple juice as mix, or 7-up. He steered clear of desserts with coconut, which was probably OK, but Vienna said they sometimes use dried coconut and that can be sulphured. I'd be surprised if they do use commercially dried coconut with preservatives though, since it's so available fresh. David just didn't chance it.

By the time we took Vienna up on her offer to meet with the hotel staff (manager's name was Edward Garcia I believe), we'd been there five days and eaten in four a la cart restaurants and two buffets, numerous times without ANY symptoms for David related to sulphites!!!!! We didn't take them up on the offer of a meal plan, but it was fabulous knowing they were willing to do that.

We did both come down with a minor touch of traveller's bug, but that's to be expected I think when you're swallowing sea water and eating so much variety. The hotel says they use purified water in the kitchen and ice and you don't drink tap water, just bottled.

This is the first all-inclusive resort I've travelled to, after being to Mexico twice, Cuba and the Bahamas. Not only would I go back to the Melia Caribe Tropical, but I'd go again next year! That's the first time I've said that about anywhere.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:04 am
Posts: 7
Location: Calgary
Well I was hoping to hear from someone with a life threatening peanut allergy who has travelled to a similar spot. However, it's great to hear about people travelling with other severe allgeries and the way you have coped.

I have spoken to two doctors. "Am I nuts (pardon the pun) to take my daughter to a 3rd world, Spanish speaking country where we'll be eating buffet style?" Both doctors have calmed my fears. Just stay away from sauces, be aware of cross contamination, and eat lots of fruit, plain veggies and plain meat. I'm bringing 2-3 epi-pens, Benadril, and her asthma meds. (I'm told that the treatment for anaphylaxis is known world-wide.) I'm also going to pack a whole bunch of food from here.........like instant noodles, etc. So...........I guess I am feeling somewhat better. Both doctors also expressed their opinion that you can't stop living..............just be cautious.

_________________
Severe peanut allergy, mild-moderate asthma, eczema.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:04 am
Posts: 7
Location: Calgary
Just got back from Breezes, Puerto Plata LATE last night. 4:00 a.m. EST. Yuck! Anyway, someone had contacted me as they were going there as well. Sorry..........I can't remember where I kept your address so I hope you see this. OK........so we arrive at dinner time and I had written on a piece of paper in Spanish that my daughter is allergic to peanuts, it could be fatal, and is there peanuts in this. I hand it to the guy behind the pasta bar in Jimmy's Buffet. He looks and looks at the piece of paper........hands it to another guy who looks and looks at the piece of paper. Then the second guy tells me that they use peanut oil in everything. My daughter stands there with her eyes bugging out of her head. I can't remember what she ended up eating that night, but I was a bit freaked out. It wasn't until the next day that I realized that those two guys probably couldn't even read. Seriously. It's a very 3rd world country. The second guy probably recognized the word for oil, and I took it to mean peanut oil. The next day I asked to speak to the supervisor at Jimmy's Buffet. Got a woman who spoke English and she said all the breakfast food was fine.......maybe not the rolls and desserts. She said I should ask for each meal that we're there. So this isn't really going that well. I'm not feeling that great but figure if she sticks to basic meat and fruit, she'll be okay. The 3rd day, I managed to speak to the Manager of the entire resort. He's Canadian!!!! His name is Pedro and he even grew up near where I did. Nice guy........has a neice with peanut allergy so understands. He got on the phone with the food manager and told me that they don't use peanut oil in anything. It's hard to even get there. There is no peanuts in anything.......but he did say to stay away from the desserts, and the sauces at the Japanese restaurant. I felt so much better after talking to him!! Our best meal was at the Japanese place by the way..........they sprinkle the meat and veggies with garlic and everything is cooked right in front of you. I was, however, freaking out watching the guy cook everything keeping in mind what the Manager had said about the Japanese restaurant and the sauces. I don't take my eyes off the cook watching to see if he uses any sauce, but he doesn't. It's just in bottles on your table. I put on a brave face and the meal was great. So she basically ate a lot of pasta and fruit at the buffet. There were around 55 people in our group (wedding) and I'd say at least 75% of them got sick at some point..........runs and nausea.....even though we all had bottled water even for brushing teeth. My daughter got this as well so she didn't even eat for one whole day and not much after that. The flights (Skyservice) were great as well. I called in advance and was told the food was peanut-free........maybe not the desserts though. All in all......would I do it again? I'm not sure to be honest. I was quite scared at times. My husband wasn't worried at all and maybe I worry too much. Maybe if you asked me in a few months I'd say yes. Right now, I just feel much better sticking to Canada and the States, where language isn't an issue and most people seem to know the seriousness of the allergy. Let me know if you have ANY questions!! :)

_________________
Severe peanut allergy, mild-moderate asthma, eczema.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:02 pm
Posts: 44
Glad you guys had safe (albeit nerve wracking at times!) trips!

_________________
Mum of 19 year old daughter - asthma and life threatening allergies to nuts, peanuts and seafood


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
A family in of our local support group travels a lot with their child who is at risk of anaphylaxis to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame. They have found that the best way to do travel with relatively minimum stress is to make sure there is a kitchen available (i.e. in a home or villa) and sometimes they have even had a personal chef available.

That way you only have to deal with one person during the entire trip, and not different people/servers at every meal. IF (and it's a big IF) we ever do travel with the kids, I would have to do it this way.

I don't think I could have handled the stress that you went through, personally.

I'm glad your daughter didn't have a reaction (at least not an allergic reaction) though.

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


Last edited by KarenOASG on Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
Karen,
You had mentioned a family that has hired a personal chef on one of their trips. Can you find out where this was?
Thank you
Stephanie

_________________
myself -Shell Fish, asthma, environmental allergies
Husband - Environmental allergies
7 year old- peanut, environmental
5 year old- eggs, nuts, fish, peas, environmental, and asthma.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:37 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Ottawa
I am the friend of Karen who has likes to rent villa's so we have a kitchen when we travel. So far, we have been to England, France, Morocco, Jamaica and Grenada outside of North America with our daughter who is anaphylactic to peanuts, nuts, sesame and kiwi. And she was until recently also allergic to dairy, egg and barley so we had to avoid those as well. My wife and I are vegetarian and our 2 daughters eat meat so we are about as complicated a family as you can imagine.

If you want to have your own chef, then the best island in my mind is Jamaica. Almost every villa in Jamaica comes with your own cook which is great. I call before I go and talk to the cook and provide a recommended set of 'simple' meals for my daughter (meats and veggies with no sauce, etc). I stress no peanuts or nuts or sesame in the villa to avoid cross contamination. When we get there, I check the ingredients of everything and I go grocery shopping with the cook the first time at least to check all ingredients. Having done the all-inclusing thing once with my daughter, I can easily say its way less stressful to have your own kitchen and cook.

Besides Jamaica, Barbados and St Lucia villas usually come with cooks. Mexico has villas with cooks, but my spanish is not great. We also went to Grenada and used a fantastic local caterer (Kim de Vega) who handled the allergies beatifully. Every dish she made had a list of ingredients on it and labelled as safe for my daughter or vegetarian or not. Check out http://kimscateringservices.com/.

As far as villa websites in Jamaica, the most reasonably priced villas I have found are at Silver Sands: http://www.silver-sands.com. Webvillas ( http://www.webvillas.com) also has a good selection scatered around the island. For Grenadian villas, Nick at Spice Isle is the best: http://www.spiceislevillas.com. For Barbados and St Lucia, I used Heart of the Caribbean: http://www.hotcarib.com/index.html.

By the way, no airline can guarantee nut-free food, so we carry on all of our food for eating on the plane. As well we pack a suitcase of food that may be hard to get locally (special bread, cookies, crackers, etc). Just remember that you can't take meat or fruit or vegetable into many countries.

I hope this helps, let me know if you need more info.

_________________
9 yr old daughter - no allergies
7 yr old daughter - allergic to peanuts, nuts, sesame, kiwi, soy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
Scott,
Thank you so much for your response. It was really very helpful. We are just starting to plan a second vaction with our kids. The first was a disney cruise which was very successful. I will likely email you again with more questions. By the way at what age did your daughter outgrow her other allergies?
Stephanie

_________________
myself -Shell Fish, asthma, environmental allergies
Husband - Environmental allergies
7 year old- peanut, environmental
5 year old- eggs, nuts, fish, peas, environmental, and asthma.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 919
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Scott, I read your posts with such interest! What a great idea, and I really feel like this is something our family would consider. Thank you for posting this, because it never, in a million years, would have occurred to me!

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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