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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
The new Summer issue of AL is just out - you should see in Ontario any time now, a little later out west and in the States.

When you do get it, you'll notice an article about "The Food Allergy Deniers".

I'm curious whether others here know people like the ones we described: adults who take minimal precautions about their allergies, don't carry auto-injectors, and just live with a high level of risk in their lives.

Working on that article, I found the level of denial both fascinating and disturbing.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Rockland, Ontario
YES!! I know a couple of these folks! A co-worker of my hubby's is anaphylactic to shellfish, but does not carry an EpiPen nor do a thorough checking at restaurants etc for cross contamination....Blows my mind!
We also know a couple of people whose children have allergies to nuts/peanuts....but "test" foods on their children's forearms to see if they can eat it (I'm talking about Tim Horton doughnuts, and baked goods mostly).....(something I wouldn't do EVER! Maybe others do this as well... but my son never needs a doughnut or cookie that badly to warrant a possible ana reaction) Terrifying to me...

I'm looking forward to reading the new issue!

Jen

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11 yr old son: ana to peanuts/tree nuts, well controlled asthma, well controlled eczema


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
I don't know many allergy deniers, but I know many asthma deniers. From asthmatics who continue to smoke... to moms who give their puffers to their children when theirs run out... to nurses who have asthma but don't seem to be able to find the time to pack their medicine in their purse. :roll:

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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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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:03 pm
Posts: 180
Location: Montreal, QC
My husband who is ana to peanuts is a denier... He never asks about cross-contamination, eats things that 'may contain' and doesn't always carry his Epipen (which was outdated until a few months ago)! I'm more nervous and cautious about it than him! :roll: He's convinced that he's okay with traces now... and he hasn't had a reaction since he was 4 years old...

However, not that our daughter is ana too, he wants to show her the good example, so he carries is Epipen when we go out. He or I ask about cross-contamination if we go out to eat, and a few other things that make ME feel safer...

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Me - Kim - No allergies
DH Ben - 31 - Allergic to nuts and peanuts, lots of environmental allergies.
DD Anne - 4 - Asthma. Allergic to dairy, eggs, mustard, kiwi, peanuts, wheat and barley... for now...
DS Francois - 1 - No allergies so far...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
Kdufour, at least it's postive that your daughter's condition spurred your husband's improved mindfulness. Still, you wonder why it takes that.

There was a comment FAAN's Anne Munoz-Furlong made in that article that stuck with me. She said: "I just wish the adults would really value their lives as much as they do their children's." Touché.

I find it interesting in the part about the EpiPen study that adults thought avoidance alone was "control" of their allergies. In their minds, they seemed to equate having an EpiPen with having a serious condition - which they do have, but don't want to own up to. Paddling up that River Denial.

And they seem to miss the point that having the auto-injector along is just a much better form of control.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
I know someone who is allergic to peanuts but says that he doesn't think it would give him an anaphylactic reaction. He doesn't own an epi pen nor does he carry benadryl or anything. I know that people don't want to admit that this is a serious condition but although having allergies is a part of my life, it doesn't have to run my life...finding a balance isn't always easy but I would rather know that I have taken the precautions to keep myself safe than risk it.

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Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
oops. double post.


Last edited by Helen on Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Yep, I know a number of "food allergy deniers." People do tend to be in denial about any potential health problem. I think that it is difficult for folks to find the fine line between totally freaking out and being cavalier about things. Denial is a coping mechanism . .


Last edited by Helen on Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
My SIL is apparently anaphylactic to sulphites, but told me once (while eating from a salad bar!) that she doesn't need to carry an epi-pen because she knows she is allergic and just avoids eating them. Because it's that easy, right? And the scary part is, she is an emergency room doctor!

I'm good about carrying my stuff with me, and thankfully was just made permanent at my job, so I have stable health benefits now. But there was a time when I was still in the 'contract work with no prescription health plan' phase of my career where I would hedge on using the epi-pen because I could not afford to buy a new one. There were at least two times where I took Benadryl first to see if that would clear it up. My doctor has since said that the guideline I should be using is 'if it's bad enough that the thought crosses your mind to use the epi-pen, then you probably need it.' And my mother (who was diagnosed, at 60, with asthma this past year and now considers herself an expert) has said that she will pay for epi-pens if I ever need a new one and can't afford it.

That said...I admit that I am not terribly diligent with the asthma puffers. I am supposed to be taking a preventive one twice a day and I often forget to. Lately, it has been that time of year where I have been waking up with a tight chest some mornings, and I have found that it generally clears itself up on its own within an hour of waking up. I know I *should* be using the puffers. I just don't seem to. And yeah, Mom isn't happy about that either :)

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Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Ficbot-Congratulations on your job being made permanent!
Glad to know you'll be using your Epi-Pen as required now.

What is it about your asthma meds that make you seem to forget? Can you incorporate it into ypur routine so that it becomes a habit? If you could get it under better control, you might be able to eventually reduce the ammount needed.

Why don't you try to use your puffer when brushing your teeth? Keep your puffer with your toothpaste (attach it with an elastic band if it will take that to remember at first)

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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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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Hey ficbot, congrats on the job! That's great to hear.

Now that we are in confessional mode here . . . I will admit to being in denial while a reaction is happening although I do carry my epinephrine with me everywhere. I have occasionally erred on the side of not using the epipen or twinject when I should. But Benadryl has always worked out at these times.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
I couldn't believe it on Friday. I was at a meeting and the nurse siting beside me stated that she was allergic to shellfish but had never seen an allergist to confirm this, did not carry any medication (anything!) and assumed that she could avoid it by just not eating shellfish (going by the word on the menu).

She's a nurse. I was dumbfounded. I suppose her profession makes her feel better able to handle a reaction than most people.

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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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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Susan, I have been taking your suggestion to connect the inhaler with brushing my teeth. It's working so far. I guess my real issue is, my asthma is very mild 99% of the time. It acts up if I m sick, or around animals, or something like that (and for a few days of the year when the weather changes). But most of the time, it's fine. So I can see ow a lot of people get complacent and decide they feel okay so why should they be taking medicine?

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I have met or heard of a number of adults who are big deniers...

- co-worker who is very allergic to shellfish, but just "avoids it" at restaurants and does not carry an EpiPen
- co-worker's girlfriend who is "allergic to peanut butter but not peanuts"... and does not carry EpiPen
- cousin who is very allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (allergy seems to be getting worse as he gets older), who does not carry an EpiPen. Once had such a bad reaction that his face swelled up to the point that the skin cracked...
- friend of friend who refuses to tell restaurants that she has life-threatening allergies, and prefers to use her EpiPen (at least she carries one) when she has a reaction - and she's had a lot, apparently. One local restaurant has a policy of asking allergic diners to fill out a form indicating their allergies. When the waiter gave the form to this woman (having been alerted by my friend), she put it in her purse and refused to fill it out. And then later argued with the waiter when he said that they could not in good conscience let her eat a certain dessert because it contained tree nuts (one of her allergies).

So... there you go. It kind of boggles my mind, to be honest. I found the article to be fascinating and horrifying at the same time. I cannot imagine how angry I would be at a relative or friend if they had a life-threatening allergy, did not carry life-saving medication, and then died of a reaction.

K.

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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: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
i understand being in allergy denial to a certain extent , but I don't know what to make of the "friend of your friend," Karen. Can't imagine viewing epinephrine administration as casually as, say, taking an aspirin!


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