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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Mother spreads word about allergies’ dangers

By TERRY RINDFLEISCH | La Crosse Tribune

A piece of chocolate with hazelnut cream inside killed Chris Clements two years ago today.

The 17-year-old La Crosse teenager didn’t know what he was eating, but he knew he had a tree nut allergy. The hazelnut cream triggered an allergic reaction and sent him into anaphylactic shock.

--------------------------------
For the rest of the story, go to
http://www.lacrossetribune.com/articles/2006/02/08/news/00lead.txt

Chris Clements is one of the teens mentioned in the People article last December. It's quite a sad story - the family were not aware of the seriousness of a nut allergy.

“All I knew is my son was supposed to stay away from tree nuts,” Swan said. “But we were not in the habit of reading food labels. We also didn’t think of the food allergy in terms of life and death.”

There are also some suggestions at the end of the article aimed at teens. For any parents with teens here, this might be a good point of discussion. Maybe read the article together and ask them what they think...

And for any teens reading this post - please read this article and let me know what you think.

Karen

_________________
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 Feb 10, 2006 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
15 years ago, I knew very little about anaphylaxis. I had been to an allergist when I was a kid---the info. my parents were given was basically the same as what this mother had been told. Aside from confirming that I needed to avoid peanuts and tree nuts, the visit didn't help any--we weren't given any new information and were already avoiding the foods that he said to avoid. (But I used to have the odd episode with soy. Since soy oil and lecithin didn't seem to bother me (I think it did on the rare occasion, however), my mom thought that a little bit of soy was okay for me and we didn't always read the labels for soy protein. When I was a kid I thought I had a mysterious "hot dog" allergy which would suddenly act up from time to time.)

I have no idea why no one ever suggested that I should carry an epipen--and I'm *sure* that no one ever did. I used to have severe asthma when I was a kid (my parents were always taking me to the emerg and on 2 or three occasions was also admitted to hospital and stuck in an oxygen tent), I had eczema on my hands in the winter, tons of environmental allergies, multiple food allergies. I *knew* that allergies could be fatal because my grandmother and one uncle have anaphylaxis, but didn't know when one ought to go to the hospital. (Neither my grandmother nor my uncle carry epinephrine, but they have been told.) Also, we didn't know that vomiting + hives in the throat = anaphylaxis = call 9-1-1.

So after my first and hopefully only major run in with nuts, I didn't know what to do--I had never sought medical attention before for an allergic reaction, and aside from a very bizarre feeling of being 'out of it' my reaction initially seemed less severe than past reactions. I was terrified because of my uncle's nut allergy, but didn't want to look like I was overreacting. I didn't delay going to the hospital too long---I'd say it took 20-25 minutes for the breathing difficulties to really kick in and for me to decide that I needed to go to the hospital. It took more than one dose of adrenaline to stop the reaction + I was given an oxygen mask + ventolin + was hooked up to an I.V. I was quite fortunate that day--we were in downtown Toronto at the time and were close to all the major hospitals.

To put it mildly, I can't say that we were very impressed with the Toronto General. That's where my father took me first---but since I was only 15, the receptionist told me that I ought to be at Sick Kids. She told us to go across the street. I was having major difficulty breathing, and my father started to argue with her---fortunately a nurse just grabbed a wheelchair and literally ran across the street. By that time my face had started to swell.

I'm shocked when I hear that people are nowadays as little informed as I was 15 years ago---I do think that things have gotten better. Doctors as well as the general public are more allergy aware. But there is a lot of work to do on that front!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
My 14 year-old daughter had her first allergic reaction to peanuts 2 weeks ago. W e took her to the hospital where she was promptly treated for anaphylactic. We got some advice and a prescription for epipens from the E.R. doctor, but we can't see an allergist before mid-May. We are completely on our own in the meanwhile. Thank God I am intelligent and well informed, and I can access information on websites and forums such as this one, because otherwise, we would be up the proverbial creek. I am surprised that there is not some kind of councelling system in place to advise families on how to proceed and what precautions to take!

My daughter also suffers from asthma and there is all sorts of workshops and councelling offered on that. But food allergies? It's do-your-own-thing, it seems!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi Nicole -

I'm so sorry that you haven't gotten more help. It does seem to be this way still, unfortunately. I dream of the day when there are Certified Anaphylaxis Educators, similar to Certified Asthma Educators. (I would love to be one!!)

For the moment, there are support groups that you can tap into as well as online forums such as this one.

Go to http://anaphylaxis.ca/content/programs/services_support_list.asp for a list of support groups. The Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group lists Burlington as one of the cities that it services.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 924
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Hi Nicole! I feel for you - it is very overwhelming in the beginning. Did you know about the meeting this Wednesday evening at MM Robinson High School in Burlington? It is a meeting to coordinate the approach to be taken by the Halton Board of Education along with input from the Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group - you can check out their website using this link: http://home.cogeco.ca/~cmr/hapg/
The meeting starts at 7:15 pm and runs till 9:30 pm. This will likely be of real help for you and your family. I posted this information under Schools: Anaphylaxis Laws.
I will be attending the meeting with my friend who has a son wih a peanut allergy. My 4 yr old son is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, sunflower, mustard, egg, fish and others... My 7 year old daughter is attending school in Halton, and we are anxious to see the plans in place to implement the new law: Bill 3, Sabrina's Law. If you are able to attend, I hope to see you there!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Sorry I didn't check for answers to my post before now. Thank you Karen and Julie, I did attend the MM Robinson meeting and received the protocol package. My daughter's school had already updated her file and sent me a notice to attend.

I also picked up some info for the Halton Anaphylaxis Parent Group.

We are all coping very well and feel a little less overwhelmed day by day, as we learn more.

My daughter is getting her testing done at the Firestone clinic in Hamilton. I have heard good things about the clinic and I feel good about this.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 1:17 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Hi Nicole. The good things you've heard about the Firestone Clinic are true. My PA son was originally diagnosed at age 4 by a well-regarded allergist but he was abrupt and uninformative with my little guy. He gave us more info on dust mites than he did on anaphylaxis. When my son turned 13, he asked to be tested again (hoping he had outgrown the allergy). I told our family doctor I wanted the testing done at the Firestone Clinic. The people there were so different from our previous experience. They were considerate and caring when they broke the news that my son was still extremely allergic. I would recommend this clinic to anyone.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Thanks Yakkie, it's good to know.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Toronto area
Hi everyone - again, I'm learning new things from all of you. :) What is this "Firestone Clinic"?(I'm in the GTA) Where is it and do you need to be referred to it by a GP? My kids would love to be re-tested regarding their nut and animal allergies (no, I still don't want a dog!!!) . Our original allergist has long since retired and we don't currently have one.
I was re-tested a few years ago for all nuts - walnut continues to be my worst ( I react in under 1 minute) - yet I tested negative for all of them - I still react, so I'd like to know what gives? Do they test adults at this clinic or only children?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Hi Pepper,

Our family doctor referred us to this clinic, it's actually called the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health and it is part of St. Joseph's Hospital and McMaster University in Hamilton. We haven't been yet, my daughter's appointment is May 17th.

Here is the web link:

http://www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/firh/

If I'm not mistaken, Dr. Susan Waserman, who writes for Allergic Living magazine, works there.

You'll probably have to have your family physician refer you.

Hope this helps! :)


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