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 Post subject: Emergency!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Yesterday my 3 year old son had an allergic reaction to an unknown food from the handle of a grocery cart. It was quite a significant reaction, and did not respond to Benadryl. Ultimately, I adminstered the Epipen (1st time I've ever done that), called 911, my son received the assistance of an ambulance and monitoring at the hospital. It was incredibly scary and traumatic, but he's okay now. I suspect the culprit must have been peanut residue, but can't be sure. My son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, mustard seed, fish, egg, green peas and pineapple.

It's unbelievable how you can just be going along, not expecting anything to go wrong. We weren't even eating! Thank God for the Epipen, great allergists, and this forum which allows us to prepare for the unexpected.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Julie

Wow :!: that is scary thing to happen. You sound like you did exactly what you are to do. Yes, that is tramatic situation and that will hit you now that your over the emerency part.


I wonder if anyone has heard of the lady who makes covers for shopping carts, I saw it to the news one time along time ago, but did not get the name.

I will e mail our local news and see if they remeber.

Take care

Kelly


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Julie,

I'm sorry to hear about your son's reaction! That's really scary. It's one thing when you can take steps to avoid the allergen--another thing if the reaction just comes out of the blue. I'm glad that your son is okay!

I really think there needs to be more public awareness about these sorts of reactions.

Best wishes,
Lisa


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:47 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Quote:
I wonder if anyone has heard of the lady who makes covers for shopping carts, I saw it to the news one time along time ago, but did not get the name.


Kelly -- is this what you were referring to? http://www.cleanshopper.com/

Julie -- I'm so sorry to hear of your son's reaction. I hope he is doing better. My son (soon to be 3) is also allergic to peanuts and at community play groups I have often wondered about potential peanut butter residue on toys, etc. Your post has helped reaffirm for me that I'm not just being paranoid.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Ethansmom;

Yes, that is what is saw on tv. I thought it was really cool as you can possibly protect you child from allergens and germs.

I am glad You knew the link for it, the tv station had not answered me back.

I have some of your sons allergies like the peanuts,fish, tree nuts as some of ana reactions.

Kelly

_________________
I have anaphylaixis, and asthma,sinus allergies,mulitiple food allergies and drug allergies enviromental allergies and chemical allergies..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Thank you everyone for your replies, and thanks for the link to that grocery cart protector product. I'm sure the reason my son had this reaction is because he likes putting his fingers in his mouth, and as much as I have tried to strongly encourage him to stop this habit, and to explain why, he does not yet understand. This episode happened 2 days ago, and he is STILL putting his fingers in his mouth :shock: . If anyone has a child that has this tendency, it is so difficult. We are so careful with our son's food and safety in our home and at his school, but we all have to live in a world full of these allergens. Accidental ingestion is so common - even when you're not eating!!!! When we eat outside the home (we always bring his food), we always wash his hands first, wipe the table where he is eating, and make sure he eats from a plate or napkin. From now on, when I go grocery shopping, at a minimum, I now see the importance of wiping the grocery cart handle. But what do you do at someone elses house where the kids have crayons and other toys, and there is a strong likelihood that traces of peanut residue could be present? I do not want to raise my son in a bubble. I think we just have to always have to be prepared. It's virtually impossible to guard against every possible exposure, unless we never leave our home. In my opinion, that is not realistic, so we will just always make sure we are prepared.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Nova Scotia
Hi Julie, my daughter and I experienced a similar incident this week. She is 3, allergic to all dairy and egg products. She hasn't had a severe reaction since she was 14 mos. old as we are very careful with her diet, etc. However, in the last 3 weeks she has experienced 5 allergic reactions, 2 of which have resulted in trips to the hospital. The last one was 5 days ago, at her babysitter's. We have no idea what triggered it as she hadn't eaten anything different and there was no known contamination or anything. It really upset the sitter; she's only been going there for about a month as I've just returned to work from maternity leave (11 month old baby). She loves going to this sitter's place and is very happy there so I know this wasn't just some sort of dramatic homesickness thing or anything. They were just getting ready to go outside when out of the blue she started retching, face and chest turned totally red, she was sweating and had a panicked expression on her face. The babysitter kept asking her what was wrong and she said it was like my daughter was trying to speak but couldn't. She finally blurted out that she wanted Mommy, then started crying. She called me at work; I'm only about 2 mins away (and got there in about 30 secs!). By the time I arrived she was just clingy, pale and tired-looking and acting. No difficulty breathing or anything. Eczema was flared up on her back, no hives. The lack of hives made me unsure if it was an allergic reaction, as that's usually her first sign with milder reactions. Anyway I eventually got her to outpatients and they said everything was fine but I should contact her ped. to let him know what happened. When I did, he felt it was definitely an allergic reaction. I guess in retrospect the sitter or I should have given the epi-pen, but she wasn't sure if it could hurt my daughter if she didn't really need it (according to ped, it wouldn't hurt her). I don't blame the sitter at all, I wouldn't have known whether I should've or not either. She wasn't treated with anything at hospital, they just told me to give benadryl at home. Is it possible to have a reaction that resolves without any treatment? Anyone ever experience this? Julie, what was your son's reaction like? Has anyone else experienced a spell like this, where you weren't sure and did you or didn't you give the epi-pen? Please share your thougts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 64
Julie, I'm so sorry that you and your son experienced that, but am glad the outcome was alright!! I don't take the pen in to the grocery store with me, I always have it in the vehicle, and when I'm too far from the vehicle I bring it with me, but you just gave me a wake up call that I need to bring it with me EVERYWHERE.

I worry about other kids toys, the playground, library books, you name it, I HATE peanut butter and its stickiness.

I know what you mean about the hands int he mouth, my daughter is almost 4 1/2 and I still can't seem to get her to GET IT sometimes. I will see her licking the oddest things, and have to remind her constantly that she doesn't know what she is putting in her mouth.

{{{HUGS}}} to you and your baby, and may that be his last reaction.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 64
Justonemom, that must have been SO scary and thank goodness you were so close!! I'm surprised though that the sitter wasn't picking up on it sooner especially when she couldn't speak well! I've never heard of a reaction that resolved itself like that, and then left excema, hope you get to the bottom of it! And what the heck caused the reaction anyway?? Does she have pets? Use cleaners with oils in them?


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 Post subject: emergency
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Nova Scotia
Hi i hate nuts, we don't have any idea what caused it. She has cats, we also have a cat so I don't think that is the cause though the ped. was quick to jump on that. He said every cat has different hair type and she could be allergic to the sitter's cats and not ours, and that I should ask the sitter to keep them out of the area where the kids are. I asked him if he would test her, he said no. We are getting frustrated with our ped; finding him less available and supportive than in the past and we are considering asking our gp for a referral to a new one. Anyway I'm not really comfortable asking our new sitter to separate the cats when I'm not even sure if they're the problem. If I knew for sure, I would just have to find a new sitter. But it's hard enough to find a good sitter who's willing to take on the extra responsibility of food-allergic children; I don't want to start asking her to do things differently based only on a guess. The five reactions she's had in the last while have all been in different places; this is the only one so far in association with the sitter. I too didn't think eczema was something that could flare up acutely; I thought it could really only change in severity over a matter of days. But the ped. told me it can be just like hives - flare up quickly in response to allergen exposure. Every day is a new learning experience. And the lack of support from friends who don't have a clue is really getting me down. I just saw my "best friend" yesterday for the first time in a week; I hadn't talked to her since this happened and when I started to tell her I just said "(my daughter) had a bad reaction at the sitter's Tuesday". She says "what happened ?" I got as far as "the sitter heard her retching and" and she cuts me off to talk to her 4 year old son about his new puppy, and never says another thing about it. I was so hurt and angry that I actually had a dream last night that I told her off! I don't know how many times I have been her shoulder to cry on and have listened to all her problems and issues, about her own life and her parents and her brother . . .I could go on. ARGHHHH!!! Thank God for this forum. I actually laughed out loud when reading another post about one of the positive aspects of this forum being that you can talk to others about allergies without feeling like you've just grown a second head!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
justonemom, I totally understand what you mean about friends and family "not getting it". In the beginning I really grappled with the realization that no matter how hard I tried to relay the "life or death" seriousness of my son's peanut allergy, I rarely felt that people "got it" or understood the scope of my worries etc. I think it's human nature for people to be empathetic, but I don't feel that anyone (myself included, prior to my son's diagnosis) can truly realize the scope of the responsibility and worry until they're the ones dealing with the life threatening allergy themselves. At the very least, I would expect my "best friend" to show me some support and understanding and allow me the opportunity to express my fears/concerns etc. I agree with you, this forum is one of the few places that I actually feel like others truly understand me in relation to my son's peanut allergy. I'm very grateful to be able to connect with others in this way - I've learned a lot and am so happy when I'm in a position to pass along info that others might also benefit from.


Last edited by ethansmom on Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
justonemom,

5 reactions in 3 weeks is a lot especially considering the fact that your daughter hasn't had a reaction in so long---do you know what the triggers were in all cases but that time at the babysitter? If not, I can't imagine any doctor refusing to test your daughter again. sometimes they don't want to test if there doesn't seem to be a problem in case there are false positives, but if you don't know what your daughter is reacting to, testing would be a good idea. or maybe you could ask your doctor about putting your child on a few foods diet...I don't really know if they do those for children so young...or maybe they do a modified version that is more nutritionally complete. But if you know the triggers in all the other four cases, it sounds like your child might have come into contact with dairy or egg at your sitter's. Is your babysitter familiar with all the different names for egg and dairy-derived products? The cat theory doesn't sound likely to me--maybe, but as far as I know people don't usually have anaphylactic reactions to cats and it sounds like your child did have an anaphylactic reaction.

I had a number of severe reactions to egg and soy when I was a child that resolved themselves---my throat would get itchy + I would vomit immediately. my mother said that my face looked odd. We didn't know that I should have gone to the hospital.

I wonder about the hospital's decision not to treat your daughter. Anaphylactic reactions can be unpredictable---there are "biphasic" reactions where the reaction seems apparently resolved only to return again (most I think 3-4 hours later, but don't quote me on that). Don't take my word on this---maybe this is only the case for really severe reactions (although your daughter's sounds fairly severe to me)--I'm just suggesting that you might want to discuss the treatment (or non-treatment) of your daughter with an allergist the next time you see one.

I've also had a reaction where I took the epipen and wasn't sure whether I needed to or not. I was eating quinoa--I had had a bit before, but this was the first time I ate a lot--and I just suddenly felt really tired. My sister was visiting for the weekend and we had plans to go out after lunch, but I just wasn't up to it--I decided to take a nap first. My sister was worried and asked me if I was having an allergic reaction. It crossed my mind but I said no. (In spite of the fact that I'm so cautious about everything, when I'm in a situation where I might be having a reaction I find that I'm sometimes in denial. If I admit that I could be in trouble then I start panicking.) Anyways, I started retching and threw up a bit even though I didn't feel nauseous at all. This totally reminded me of the reaction I had to peanuts (even though I *was* really nauseous then) and I took the epi and had someone call an ambulance (if I were at my parents', I would have had them drive me to the hospital, but I don't have a car where I live so I don't have a choice). I was fine after taking the epi and the whole ordeal was kind of embarrassing. I figure though that it is always best to take the epi when in doubt. I haven't had to use the epi much (I think I've taken it twice--or maybe 3X) so it isn't like I'm having frequent 'false alarms'. They kept me at the hospital for several hours just in case. I'm still not sure about this 'reaction' because my food reactions generally start with itching in the throat and my throat wasn't itchy at all this time. Also, the whole ordeal did retrigger the whole traumatic peanut episode so I wonder if the reaction could have been psychosomatic....or at least if it could have been a less serious reaction that seemed worse than it was. In any case, I don't eat quinoa anymore!

There was another time recently (i.e. within the past couple of years) when I thought about taking the epi but didn't. I was noticing that I was generally feeling really tired after breakfast. On this particular morning, I was feeling extremely tired and I had no idea why. Suddenly, I was nauseous and started vomiting. This time, I'm certain the reaction was not psychosomatic--I *was* quite nauseous--but wasn't certain that it was an allergic reaction because my throat wasn't itchy or anything. I was by myself and didn't know what to do--I made an apologetic 9-1-1 call. The person on the other end said that nausea was not a sign of an allergic reaction (which is *wrong*--that's why I don't think that we can necessarily trust all hospital staff to treat an allergic reaction properly) and suggested that I call Health Ontario which I did---and they didn't seem to think it was an allergic reaction either. Anyways, I didn't take the epi or anything, but stopped eating wheat (I had eaten Red River cereal for breakfast that morning and I had been suspecting a wheat allergy). Several months later, I got around to making an appointment with the allergist and both the skin and the blood tests were positive for wheat so he thought it would be best just to count wheat as an allergy even though he seemed skeptical about my whole wheat allergy theory before testing. My relatively new allergist seems skeptical about this diagnosis...but I'm not certain that he actually asked me about my 'reaction.'

About the eczema---one of my sisters had uncontrolled eczema for most of her life (she still has breakouts sometimes)--and she often had sudden breakouts. When she was an infant, she once broke out when my mom broke an egg in her vicinity. Heat, stress, and the contact of her skin on plastic (the poor kid couldn't wear shorts to school) all made her eczema flare up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 64
Well I came across this:

Quote:
The causes of atopic dermatitis are sometimes unclear. In young children, exposure to airborne allergens (e.g., pollen, dust mites, pet dander) or foods (e.g., milk, eggs, and peanuts) can cause atopic dermatitis breakouts.



and am wondering if this could be a pollen reaction since she's had it so many times? I know in March, we had a heck of a time with an unknown allergen causing hives in my daughter. It happened every time we opened a window in the house, and no other time. The hives would come on within minutes of a window opening. Our allergist asked me if she had had a stomach virus recently, I guess its quite common in allergic children to get unexplained random hives within the weeks following a stomach flu. Sure enough, we had just gotten over one. :shock: Still don't understand the window thing though. :roll:

That is horrible that your ped won't test again!! I'm less than satisfied with our ped allergist as well. Next time we need to go I'm going to ask for a referral to someone else for sure. You need to know what this is, don't they get it???


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:47 am
Posts: 305
Location: Montreal, Canada
That's scary, Julie. I thnik I'll get me some hospital gloves to go grocery shopping from now on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
It's been quite a weekend everywhere. :cry:

On Sunday I suddenly broke out in hives. I wasn't eating anything - yet I am certain this was food related. Other's were eating a *may contain* flaky pastry, but I didn't even touch the wrapper. No other clue what could have caused it. Benedryl took care of it, and I didn't have any breathing problems or anything.

A few hours later, my son came up to me complaining about a bug bite. I don't think it was actually an allergic reaction, but I'm not really sure. It was extremely itchy, the bump was about as wide as his palm, and red. I put calomine lotion on it, and kept checking on him - just in case. He gets bit by so many bugs, and I can't have him stoned on benedryl all the time.

This morning, it's about the same size as it was yesterday, dark red, and hard. That's how all bites go on him. Today I did give him benedryl (it was still itchy) and I stopped to let his teacher know about it, so she knows to keep a close eye on him.

***********

Someone asked if an allergic reaction can go away on its own. Definitely yes. I suffered severe cases of hives with no treatment. I didn't go to a doctor about it until I started getting swelling in my mouth. I wouldn't recommend ignoring, but not all reactions will develop into anaphylaxis, and will eventually go away on their own.


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