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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Susan - I think it makes a huge difference with your daughter given the range of her allergies. I think it is much easier for a restaurant to avoid one allergen than multiple. While my daughter has multiple food allergies, other than tree-nuts, cross contamination is not an issue. And with peanuts at least 99% of servers should know what a peanut is whereas treenuts many don't have a clue.

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


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
This is true.

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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: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Posts: 14
Has any of you ever had to give your kids the epipen..if so, can you share your experience....
I think that is the scarey part for me..even though i know it will potentially save his life...just seem so brutal! How did you know it was epipen time..or if they were just not feeling well...?? :thanksign

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4 year old son PA
2 year old daughter..no allergies


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:46 am 
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I did have to inject it for my 12 year old on the day we discovered she was allergic to tree nuts. She had the tests that morning then we came back home for lunch and because she had eaten from that bag of bread already I did not read the label :oops and it was May Contain traces of tree nuts.

We were eating lunch, she had eaten only a couple of bites and she said that her throat started to hurt when swallowing like when you're sick. Then she got dizzy, agitated and very cold - hands were changing colour. (there was no outward indication such as hives or swelling)

She was with it enough that we knew it was an allergic reaction but didn't know if we should use the epi-pen. I tried to call my husband but could not reach him. It took us a few minutes to decide to use it - we actually checked the list of symptoms against the list that the allergist had given us.

I sat her against a wall - was afraid she might fall off a chair. I got the epi-pen and my hands were shaking but still pulled it out and double-checked the instructions on it. It was easy to use and she quickly felt relief - that was actually when she thought she was dying because her body slowed down.

I then called 911 and within 30 seconds a paramedic was on the phone. I called my friend who came over immediately - she later picked up my other child from school and to explain where we were. My husband's work had been on hold trying to find him and by the time his boss got on the phone I explained that the ambulance was on its way - his boss waited in the parking lot for him to send him directly to the hospital. My husband now always carries his cell phone.

Within 8 minutes the ambulance was there and then the fire truck arrived. The firefighters still had to come in the house to make sure everything was okay. The paramedics got my daughter on oxygen which really helped. They kept checking her blood pressure. We went by ambulance to Emergency. The paramedics told us a few times how good it was that we had used the epi-pen. She was admitted quickly and again, we were told that great we used the epi-pen by the nurses and doctor - they said crazy how many people show up with epi-pen in hand.

They gave, if memory is correct, prednisone. She only needed one epi-pen. She had to stay at emerg for 6 hours for observation. Hospital kitchen was asked for a safe meal but while it may have been nut-free it had other allergens. Nurses didn't want us to leave the emerg to find food but they commented that "the mum already gave her the epi-pen" so I guess they trusted me... We had a tough time finding food in the cafeteria since we were brand new at tree nut allergies. She didn't get to eat much.

We knew she was feeling fine when she wanted to leave but still had to wait a few hours.

What we learned:
- if feel the need to call anyone to see if 'should' give it, do it!
- call 911 from land line
- call a friend/neighbour/family on cell to come help - friend closed up the house when we went in ambulance and was calming for us
- the many times we practiced with a trainer really helped - thankfully I had practiced using it on her leg in much the position that used the real one - doubtful she could have injected it herself; too agitated
- take a minute to get some safe snacks and activities before leaving for hospital --- my friend arrived before the ambulance and could have gotten her to pack something
- my daughter said that the epi felt about the same as immunization and at that point she didn't really care because her body was going crazy
- put the person having the reaction somewhere comfortable; get a blanket if cold

** I had practiced on oranges with expired epi-pens and it felt very similar. If you know anyone who has had epi-pens for years, ask them for expired ones. I keep ours and give to people. I have also used them with teachers and coaches for them to practice. Remember to then take the discharged epi to the pharmacy. We put big Xs on the expired pens and have them in a far removed location from the current ones so they don't get mixed up. And dispose of the orange!!! I even disguise them in the garbage.

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


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:38 am 
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So, ive been reading again...what is your opinion on the different levels of being allergic...some people are more severe, some are just sensitive....or do you believe that an allergy is an allergy and should be treated all the same?
Im confused...

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4 year old son PA
2 year old daughter..no allergies


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:57 am 
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Location: Ottawa
Dh gave her the epi the first time (3 years old). He wasn't sure what was happening (allergies or asthma) but knew it was bad. He started to drive her to the hospital. 4 blocks from home, he turned to look at her when stopped at a red light, her face was very swollen and her eyelids had swelled shut.
By the time I got home, got the message and got to the hospital the swelling had subsided some what. It took 3 days to completely go away.
I was upset that he had waited before giveing her the epipen and that he drove to the hospital but the nurses told him it was good that he gave her the epipen and he took that to mean he reacted appropriately. Of course, he had fed her and he couldn't hear what he'd done wrong. He was beating himself up on the inside and couldn't handle any more.
We have learned to give the epi asap. It works very fast especially when there is less of a reaction to over come.
Dd says the needle is not as bad as the reaction. She is relieved to have it. It's kind of long but thin so it's not too painful.
When she was small, I kept a hospital bag made up: soft blankie, book for me, bottles of water, chapstick, snacks, pen and paper, toy/puzzle for her, can opener and change for phone/parking.

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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: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:09 pm 
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Posts: 1117
nuttyniko wrote:
...what is your opinion on the different levels of being allergic...some people are more severe, some are just sensitive....or do you believe that an allergy is an allergy and should be treated all the same?


I think that there are ranges of allergies. I also think that how they are treated depends on the attitude of both the family and the Allergist. There are also pollen related allergies (e.g., Oral Allergy Syndrome) which are worse at different times of the year.

Intolerance is very different than allergy. An intolerance can make someone very sick but is not life-threatening, in my opinion. It is very frustrating to have someone equate an intolerance to an allergy, especially an anaphylactic allergy. However, you will meet people who will treat their allergies casually and for them, I truly hope that they always have an epi-pen and hospital nearby.

When asked to record my daughter's allergies, I will note: Anaphylactic to Tree Nuts; very allergic to ... She cannot eat the "very allergic" to foods but does not have to watch for cross-contamination or traces as she does with the Tree Nuts. She can sit next to someone eating one of those foods but not comfortable for that with Tree Nuts.

My daughter is a good example of range of allergies. According to skin tests, RAST (blood tests) and personal observation (oral test at Allergist, accidental exposure etc) she has a range of level of her Tree Nut allergy. For Tree Nuts, she has a range from severe to no indication of allergy. Because all tree nuts may contain other tree nuts, she does not go near them. She is so high on one of the Tree Nuts that the Allergist will not do an oral challenge.**

She also has many other food allergies that, if eaten, could cause anaphylaxis (has happened once) but cross contamination is not a concern. Again, with those foods, there is a range of severity.

**an Oral Challenge is done at the Allergists or at a hospital. It was done, in our case, for a peanut allergy where there was a minor reaction but then skin and RAST tests were negative. A tiny amount of peanut butter was given. Waited 20 minutes under medical supervision. No reaction so a small amount was given. Again waited 20 minutes. The amount was increased every 20 minutes until she was sick of it but thankfully , no reaction so clear to eat peanuts. With the tree nuts, the Allergist will not do an Oral Challenge on one because the skin and RAST results were too high. For one of the mild ones, she did an Oral Challenge and there was no reaction when rubbed on the lips but as soon as it was in her mouth she had a reaction that was treated with antihistamine.


My recommendation is to listen to your son's doctors as they know the whole story which of course I/we do not.

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


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:29 pm 
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_Susan_ wrote:
... he had fed her... He was beating himself up on the inside and couldn't handle any more.


This is very true! I was in shock at having 'caused' the reaction that required the epi-pen, ambulance etc.

_Susan_ wrote:
We have learned to give the epi asap. It works very fast especially when there is less of a reaction to over come.


I completely agree - we were told that the earlier you give the epi, the better. When people don't give the epi early, it may be tougher to treat the symptoms.

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


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Nuttyniko, you might want to look at this website: http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/pages/default.asp

It's put out by the Canadian Society for Alliergists and Clinical Immunologists as well as as Anaphylaxis Canada and many others.

There are risk factors that can make allergies worse. These are asthma, the use of certain cardiac medication (such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors) and the underutilization or delay in using the auto-injector.

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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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