You are viewing Allergic Living Canada | Switch to United States

Talking Allergies

* FAQ    * Search
* Login   * Register
It is currently Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:50 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:10 am
Posts: 15
Location: Richmond Hill, ON
Is there anyone else with a child who has been diagnosed with a peanut allergy by allergy testing only? Everyone I talk to with a child with a peanut allergy tells me about the horror of how they found out (and every single story has involved a child eating peanut butter or something, swelling, calling 911, going to the ER, etc)... But we only found out because of routine allergy testing (skin prick test then confirmed by blood work). Only after the allergy testing revealed the allergy did my son tell me that peanut butter made his mouth tickle. We were absolutely shocked when peanuts came up on the allergy test...

This is how we found out...

Connor (now 4), was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 2 1/2. It was found during routine allergy testing because of his asthma and came as a complete shock to us. He'd eaten peanuts, peanut butter, things with peanut butter in it... He had never had a reaction that we were aware of. The skin prick test showed a very mild reaction and the allergist ordered a blood test which also showed a mild allergy. 6 months later the blood test was ordered again and the allergy was now 'moderate'. The allergist said that with a mild or moderate allergy, it really was a waiting game. He said that if you randomly selected people and did blood tests, you'd find a lot of people who had mild/moderate allergies to a lot of things that they'd be completely unaware of, and the key in determining if it was a true allergy was waiting for a reaction. He said with a peanut allergy, we certainly needed to take precautions and assume it is a true allergy, but since my son had never had a reaction, he said it's possible that it really was nothing and my son would be able to eat peanuts.

Connor was 3 years old when we went for that appointment, and a few days beforehand, we'd been talking and I asked him why he didn't like peanut butter (like I said, he'd eaten it and other peanut products - peanut butter cookies he liked, peanut butter sandwich however, he'd take 1 bite and push the rest away). He told me he didn't like peanut butter because it made his mouth tickle. When the doctor mentioned basically needing to wait for a reaction before determining if this was a true allergy, I told him what Connor had said. The doctor asked if that response was a voluntary response (as opposed to me asking "Connor, does peanut butter make your mouth tickle?" and Connor saying 'yes'). I told the doctor that it was a completely spontaneous response to 'why don't you like peanut butter'. The doctor told me that a tickling mouth was a common way for children to describe a tingling sensation that would be considered an anaphylactic response. So I guess he had had a mild reaction in the past but we didn't know at the time - he said he didn't like the peanut butter sandwich and we didn't push it on him, but he never complained about any ill feelings after eating it.

So, from that point on, we went all out - no peanut products in our home, nothing with any warning of any kind... The only thing that we weren't super strict on was the ocassional Timbit (since he'd never had a reaction)

In September he saw the allergist for a 1 year follow up. He had blood work done in August. The doctor informed me that the allergy had escalated to severe and that we needed to be extremely diligent in protecting him. That now meant where we'd kept 1 epi-pen on us, he said we needed to make sure 2 were available. No more Timbits. Absolutely nothing unless we're 100% sure it's peanut-free. The daycare has been great about it - since telling them Connor's allergy has become severe, they've become much stricter in their policies. We've had a couple issues with the school but we're working with them.

With Connor starting school, I'm been especially worried... Since he has never really had a reaction, I don't know what to tell people - we had to fill out forms before he started school about his anaphylactic symptoms - well, we don't know what they would be. It could be any of the possible symptoms. We have no idea. I find it hard when talking to people, since he has never had a horrible reaction to tell about, I feel sometimes like people (like my father-in-law :roll: ) don't take the allergy seriously...

Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience - I'd love to find someone else whose child has a peanut allergy who only knows about it because of allergy testing. Is there anyone else out there? :)

_________________
Mom to 2 boys:
Connor, 5, asthma, allergic to peanuts, cats, dogs, dust mites, and summer moulds
Eric, 3 1/2, no allergies


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:18 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
Tara,

Neither of my sons has had a serious reaction to peanuts either. When they were toddlers, before we'd let them try PB (they were clearly struggling with allergies, and we had been holding off on introducing it), we noticed that they were both getting hives on their bodies after being touched by anyone who'd been handling peanuts, and on their cheeks after being kissed by anyone who'd eaten them. After testing, both had only a slight positive RAST (no skin testing was done at this time). We were advised that we "could avoid peanuts if we wanted to" . Luckily even though we knew nothing about allergies, we had the common sense to figure out if a kiss with trace amounts of PB on someone's lips made a big welt on their cheeks, that a peanut inside of their little bodies would be a REALLY BAD THING! So we avoided all peanut products, but allowed them to have a few "may contains" that we felt safe with.
We were not prescribed epipens, even though they had both exhibited more serious signs of egg allergy...looking back I realize that we may not have been getting the best medical advice, but we didn't know any better at the time. We did our own research, and scrupulously avoided eggs, and all legumes except soy (one son also reacted mildly to kidney beans, peas, lentils etc.). As I got a little "allergy smarter", I wondered if maybe we shouldn't have epipens, but the doctor said their levels only indicated mild allergies, and I think I was relieved to think that it wasn't one of those scary, life threatening situations (denial).
Well, we got on quite well with things, until last year when we accidentally let one of my sons have marshmallow topping on his ice cream, not realizing it contained egg white ( :oops: very stupid). Within minutes he was vomiting , swelling, wheezing, limp and covered in hives, and we were rushing to the hospital...terrifying. The follow up testing to that incident showed positive skin tests, and high positive RAST's to egg white, peanut and green pea. I also insisted that his twin brother be tested, and he had positive skin tests to egg and peanut, but again only low positive RAST's. He may do a food challenge in the future, when he and we are ready.
Now they both carry epipens with them at all times, and we are more vigilant than ever about avoidance (no "may contains", checking manufacturers etc.).

Long answer short, neither has ever had a serious reaction to peanut (just contact), but testing indicates the possibility of a serious reaction for one of my sons (he also has asthma), and my other son may be outgrowing this allergy, and we don't know about it's severity.

I agree that people don't take the allergy as seriously if you don't have an emergency room story...I just tell them that we were really lucky to discover this allergy the way that we did.

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 7:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
My son also has a peanut allergy. He has only eaten peanuts twice -- once and there was no reaction (that we noticed), and the other he had hives, wheezing, a very runny nose and a husky voice.

This second exposure, although I recognized it to be a serious reaction, did not require a trip to the emergency room or an epi pen, but it was very worrisome in my eyes. So we had his blood tested and our doctor told us that we had to avoid peanuts and traces of nuts and that we had to have an epi pen on us at all times.

I hate to say it, but I do think that because we have never had a full on anaphlyactic reaction requiring an epi pen is one of the leading reasons why my school administrators qualify me as a hysterical parent instead of one who has a child with a medical concern. In all honesty, I don't think they really believe that the next reaction could be very dangerous. Despite the fact that my son has reacted to accidental skin contact with hives and even a runny nose and ichy eyes, they still see it as asking for too much if I want everyone in his classroom to help us avoid any other exposures. They are going against his doctor's recommendations, and it is certainly a frustrating place to be.

I guess the short point of this long answer is that one treats the diagnosis of a peanut allergy as the allergist directs: avoid peanut products, carry an epi pen, and be prepared to act if there is a reaction. You many need, as I am finding, to recruit this professional backup when working with the outside world. Drs don't mess around with this allergy -- neither should a patient's caregivers, whether they be the parents, the daycare, relatives or schools.

Caroline

_________________
son anaphylactic to peanuts


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:10 am
Posts: 15
Location: Richmond Hill, ON
Caroline2 wrote:
I hate to say it, but I do think that because we have never had a full on anaphlyactic reaction requiring an epi pen is one of the leading reasons why my school administrators qualify me as a hysterical parent instead of one who has a child with a medical concern. In all honesty, I don't think they really believe that the next reaction could be very dangerous.


That's exactly what I'm getting... Some people totally get it - my son's daycare teacher says she knows how to use an epi-pen and she has seen video of a child with an anaphylactic response - she said that on the video is the only time she wants to ever have to deal with that, and hopes to never be in a situation where she has to use an epi-pen with someone. She is so great about it - I think she worries even more than I do LOL And it helps that one of the other teachers has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts, treenuts, and coconut - so she watches out for Connor - if there is something she won't eat, he doesn't eat it. Sometimes they've kept things away from him that actually were ok, but they weren't sure and didn't want to risk it. I am so happy though that they are overly cautious - I know there's always the possibility something could happen at daycare with other children bringing things from home, but I also know that his teachers are as dilligent about checking things as I am.

At school though, they don't get it. My son told his teacher he couldn't have Timbits. She told him it was ok, so of course, he's 4 years old, he ate them. The very next school day after my son talked to her about not giving him any baked goods, she sent him home with a cupcake (didn't let him eat it in class which is good, but she sent it home in a ziploc bag :roll: ). We've talked to her and have now said he can't eat anything unless we give permission in advance. He can eat what he brings from home and that is it. I don't want to be known as the hysterical parent, as I'm sure you don't LOL but I'm getting the feeling they're really not taking this very seriously.

While I don't ever want Connor to have a reaction, it would almost be nice to be able to tell someone, "See, I told you this was serious!" My FIL doesn't get it - he'll buy something and serve when we're over and when we say Connor can't eat that he says "Why, it doesn't have peanuts in it." He bought vanilla ice cream with a nut-warning on it. He says, "It's just vanilla, there are no nuts, what are the chances?" Well, the chances may be very slim but it's not a change I'd be willing to take. Lately, as a comparison, I've been telling people: Would you let someone give you a needle that someone else had used? Chances are good nothing would happen. Chances are good you would be perfectly fine. The chance of actually getting a disease that would kill you from the needle is statistically slim. But there is that chance. And of course you're not going to take that chance. So why would I take the chance with my son, that the spoonful of ice cream he's eating might indeed be contaminated, and risk his death. However slim the chances are, it's not a risk I'm willing to take. I think my FIL thinks my husband and I are being over-protective. I don't think wanting to protect my son's life is over-protective. We're being pro-active. We could treat a reaction with his epi-pen and a trip to the ER but we don't want to do that - we want to prevent that from ever happening. I hate that other people make us feel that we're nuts (pardon the pun ;)) because we are protecting our son... :(

_________________
Mom to 2 boys:
Connor, 5, asthma, allergic to peanuts, cats, dogs, dust mites, and summer moulds
Eric, 3 1/2, no allergies


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
My oldest had a severe reaction to green beans (at age almost 2) and subsequent testing showed that he was allergic to all legumes, peanuts, nuts, eggs... and others followed through the years.

My youngest had severe eczema as a baby and skin testing and later blood testing showed that he was allergic to wheat and dairy. Eggs, peanuts, barley and a few others followed later.

I've only seen him have a severe reaction to dairy (twice).

Those reactions, while not to peanut, were enough to convince me and my DH to keep our kids faaaaaar away from all of their allergens.

It can often be hard to convince friends and family that all your precautions are valid. Hopefully everyone here will help you feel validated in your efforts. It sounds like you are doing all the right things... :) and that your FIL really doesn't get it. :(

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:11 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6468
Location: Ottawa
Tara- Bill3 AKA Sabrina's Law is there to help you. The school has a duty to "reduce the risk of exposure to allergens" this means no baked goods and it certainly doesn't mean giving a 4 year old suspect foods and expecting him to take it home to be checked! I knpw of some adults who couldn't stand the temptation. At 4 years old he is in the first year of school I suspect and this year should be all about learning how to behave in a class setting and encouraging positive feelings about school in general. Living in fear of your life because some adult is offering you something which to you is possibly deadly is not conducive to postitive experiences. I had to point this out quite frankly to our principal last year. I find they are undersatnding better this year (so far).
As for the FIL thing. I went through this with my in-laws. That fact that my mom did get it just made their behaviour seem that much more difficult. They of course didn't live the allergies 24/7 as we did (they live 450 miles away). They are also much older than my mother and a bit set intheir ways. I eventually told my husband that one more experience of them not getting it and I would not allow them to see their grandchild. (As a toddler she was somewhat oblivious to the fact that all of the other grandchildren get treats etc and she didn't but as she got older it would be more damagin to her psyche.
He spoke with them and they were much improved after that. It needs to come from their child not the partner or it is seen as a power thing though.
Good luck.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Susan, I know how you feel about the fact that it has to come from their child, but when the child is the husband, and the husband does not like to rock the boat ever... Guess who ends up explaining everything? I'm dreading Christmas because my MIL bakes EVERYTHING with nuts, and I mean everything. Then she insists on giving us some to take home. They also give us a large Toblerone bar every Christmas, it's tradition because my FIL is Swiss. Well, we're going to have to turn it down this year and I don't know how well it's going to go over.

This food allergy concept is completely foreign to older folks. The next generation or two will get it because our children are growing up with allergies, but I think it's too much to ask from some older people.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group