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 Post subject: If you carry an epipen..
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:26 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Vancouver, BC
... has your child ever had an anaphalactic reaction? If he/she hasn't ever had one, do you sometimes find yourself wondering if your child even has a severe allergy?

I'm still struggling to understand what the severity of my daughter's allergies may be.

They were all diagnosed when she was a baby (between 6 and 16 months old) - she was very ill until I eliminated all of her allergens from my diet while we breastfed. But the only types of reactions we've ever observed are vomiting (from ingesting milk formula) and rash/hives (contact to milk and eggs and from eating chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans). But some of the allergies - peanuts, nuts, soy, sesame seeds, wheat - were strictly diagnosed by skin test. She's never eaten any of these. Because she's so young and 100% under our supervision, its been relatively easy to this point to limit her exposure to allergens.

I guess the fact that we've never experienced any sort of anaphalactic symptoms - she's never even had to have Benadryl - makes it sometimes feel like her allergies are not as severe, even though I know academically that the next reaction can always be more severe. Its a big difference mentally to be avoiding something because it gives you a rash/tummy ache than if its something that could make you critically ill. I wonder how I'm going to be able to convince my DD to take her allergies seriously.

I guess I'm rambling a bit here. I'm just wondering if anyone else feels the same way. There is just so much uncertainty involved in an allergy diagnosis.

_________________
6 year old son - eczema and sensitive skin
4 year old daughter - allergic to nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, mustard and eggs; has outgrown allergies to wheat and legumes (by age 2) and to dairy, soy (by age 3.5).


Last edited by urmila on Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
yes , my child has needed his epi pen.

is currently 13 yrs old, and has had a epi pen since he was 2 yrs old.
has had a few moderate to severe reactions in between, with a few emergency hospital trips.

allergies at 2, peanut/tree nuts/dogs/cats/egg/beans/hay fever/dustmite/tree pollen

current allergies at 13, peanut/dog/cat/tree pollen/dustmite/raw egg/kiwi fruit/some beans/yeast extract

other meds, daily anti histamine,daily nasel sprays, eye drops for tree pollen season.

has epi pens, inhaler (not ongoing asthmatic) oral steriods, anti histamine.

did wear medic alert, until recently.
which we got once we had epi pens prescribed.

acceptance of need of epi pen took some time, as it changes family life, son carries his own meds ( outside school) from young age.
all family instucted on use, including all siblings, one younger learnt how to use practice epi pens, at age 3.
now family practice/ role play/ using real epi pen on orange.

dont think above helps with your question, but, yeah , allergies are serious, reactions few, but epi pens are needed to keep your child alive.
sorry, you have joined the club no one wants to join.

however, you are not alone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6475
Location: Ottawa
Yes, our daughter has had about 7-8 anaphylaxis reactions since she was 10 months old.

We carry her Epi-Pens (usually 3), her asthma meds/aerochamber, her health card and a list of contacts, what meds she's taken etc in a fanny pack. It goes in her backpack when she goes to school/summer camp. She also wears an Epi-Pen in a belt around her waist.

She's been sent to ER by her day care years ago due to an asthma attack and my husband picked her up early and took her to ER (Epi'd her en route) because she'd been rubbing her eyes for a long time and they were both swelled and incredible ammount (I've only seen that kind of swelling from an allergy).

If an epinephrene has been prescribed, it's best to carry it. I see too many stroies in the news about people who died for want of their meds. Reactions can progress at a rapid rate.

Not having a reaction might just mean you've been very careful. If you wonder about severe allergies, talk to your allergist. Most do not advise avoiding foods unless they are certaiin of an allergy. They don't want to restrict the diet unnecessarily.

_________________
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: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:26 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Vancouver, BC
Thank you both for sharing your stories.

Susan, my allergist is quite adamant that her allergens be completely avoided (including me when breastfeeding, we just weaned last month). He prescribed the epipens from our first visit. I guess this is an evolving conversation with him. When we first saw him, she was still exclusively breastfed, and then only on first solids - now that she is older and mobile, obviously the parameters for keeping her safe have changed.

_________________
6 year old son - eczema and sensitive skin
4 year old daughter - allergic to nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, mustard and eggs; has outgrown allergies to wheat and legumes (by age 2) and to dairy, soy (by age 3.5).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:05 am
Posts: 42
Location: Winnipeg
Adair is only two and was diagnosed in April. We carry two epi pens with us at all times and luckily haven't had to use them. Having said that he has had reaction so some unknown allergens and we have had to take him to ER once.

_________________
Son (09.08.07) - Peanut/Nut Allergy, Dogs, Cats and Eczema
Daughter (16.02.09) None that we know of


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
My son carries his own epi-pen. He has never had a life-threatening reaction. We've sat in a hospital ER a few times, but he never actually required anything other then benedryl.

But, for years my reactions were just an inconvience....and then one day.....they were worse. Anaphylaxis is scarey from the inside -- I never want to watch it from the outside. I remember the look in dh's eyes as he watched me fading away -- that was scarier then what was happening to me. (I just wanted to sleep.)

So, as long as he's young enough that I'm in charge, my ds will always carry his epi-pen.

_________________
self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Oakville, Ontario
We have had to administer the Epipen twice to our son. The last time was 2 years ago. We never go anywhere without his Epipens, and he always wears his Epi in an E-belt when we leave the house. It is completely automatic for all of us that our son does not go out the door without his E-belt. We hang it on the door handle where we all exit, so there's no way it can be forgotten.

When we go for very long periods of time without a reaction, I do start to wonder if maybe he's outgrown his allergies. I guess this is just wishful thinking, and the eternal optimist in me. The reason he has not had a reaction is because we have learned that we must always be very cautious. Even with being very cautious, because our son has multiple allergies, on occassion he will forget to wash his hands very well, and suddenly he has hives on his face and we realise, once again, that he still has food allergies and we must always be cautious - until a cure is found :D (I dream about this frequently!) Our son gets retested every 18 months, and, of course, I am convinced once again, that he does still have food allergies :(

So, don't leave home without your Epipen! You never know when you might encounter your allergen. One of the times I had to administer the Epipen was in the grocery store when my son was 3.5 yrs old. He was sitting in the cart, and putting his fingers in his mouth from time to time. Suddenly, in the checkout line, he began to get hives. I gave him Benadryl, 5 minutes later his reaction was escalating and I had to give the Epipen and call 911. So, even though our son was not eating, he did still come in contact with one of his allergens

_________________
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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:40 am
Posts: 428
Location: Alberta, Canada
I have had reactions before but being careful it has now been about a year and a half since I had a bad reaction. I started running those little errands like pick up the kids at school or at dance... with out my purse (with epi inside) I would only bring my phone. I figured since I was not eating anything no problem. I guess it is sad that I must feel that my phone is more important than my epi or I would not have been doing that. I have since changed my tune. Not because anything has happened but what if I have a reaction to something I ate earlier. I know If my friend showed up at the school and said she decided to bring us both a coffee from my favorite place I would probably want it. Even though I always get what is safe for me the coffee place has flavors that I cannot have. I don't want to be one of those stories where I did not have my epi with me and we all wonder why. :shock: I think it just becomes normal to carry it. I think I may get one of those epi holders that fit an inhaler. I am sure it could hold my phone and key. :)

_________________
Me-Allergic to Peanut, Tree Nut, Coconut, Shellfish, ASA and Asthma
My Husband and Children No Allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
My daughter's reaction to fruits and vegetables and a cat was so bad that she was prescribed an epi-pen. She likely had to keep ingesting the fruits/vegs or petting a cat for her to need an epi but the doctor said that given the severity she could develop other severe allergies.

Fast forward 5 years and I had to use the epi on her the day we discovered she was allergic to tree nuts. Although we had faithfully carried epis for those 5 years wondering if she really needed it we were grateful to the doctor for her foresight.

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:24 pm
Posts: 34
Location: GTA
My daughter had an ANA reaction when she tried cashews for the first time at the age of 3. Her reaction was so severe that she was hospitalized and we stayed there for almost 2 days. She subsequently got tested and they determined her to be allergic to peanuts, and various other tree nuts.

Her testing also showed that she is allergic to sesame - even though she has never had a visible reaction to eating foods seasoned/cooked with sesame seed oil. We are Asian and we had always cooked with sesame seed oil in many dishes she has had. Ever since she tested positive, we have stopped using this oil. We just don't want to take the chance, that the *next* time would be the one.

We have left the Epipen home by accident before (for shopping, etc.), but now we always go back for it, because we never want to take any chances. If we have accidentally left it in the car in a knapsack, for example, in the garage overnight, we will call the doctor to get a new Epipien prescription, just in case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:07 am
Posts: 24
Julie wrote:
So, don't leave home without your Epipen! You never know when you might encounter your allergen.


Isn't that the truth! I was told when I was a kid that I'm allergic to insect stings. So I've always been extremely careful, even running away when approached by any bee, wasp, etc. My caution paid off in that I'd never been stung by anything in all my life (32+ years). One day I was maintaining equipment in a highly secured building, in a deserted, windowless, limited-access room isolated from the outside by no less than 4 keycard-access security doors. I went to a printer and pulled out the paper tray - and felt a sharp sting on my finger. Lo and behold, there was a honeybee lurking inside the slot where you put your hand to pull out the tray! :shock: That environment wins hands down as the last place I'd ever dream of worrying about bee stings. Inside a printer tray, of all places. And here I thought I was being so smart by avoiding flower gardens! :?

I've smartened up since that incident and carry EpiPens with me at all times - no exceptions, no matter how safe I think I am.

_________________
Self: Asthma; allergic to cats, dogs, grasses, housedust, moulds, various tree pollens, most tree nuts, ragweed, cockroaches, tobacco, most hair products, many soaps and lotions, and many chemicals
DW: Cashews, latex, springtime pollens


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