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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
I don't even know in which category to post this, as I don't know what she reacted to!

My husband dropped my daughter and a friend off at the movie theatre at 7 last night, and they bought popcorn after asking the concession attendant what it was made with. He said vegetable oil, so my daughter figured it was safe. Twenty minutes into the movies, my daughter started getting stomach cramps and told her friend she was going to the washroom. Once in there, she started feeling faint and felt like she was going to stop breathing. This angel lady asked her if she needed help and my daughter said yes, so she took her out in the lobby to sit on a bench. My daughter then called me and said she felt like she was having a reaction, so I told her to not hesitate and go ahead and use the epi-pen and that I was on my way. I then phoned her back from my cell phone in the car and she told me that this lady was going to give her the epi-pen. I then called 9-1-1 from the road, I wanted to be sure someone was there to check her vitals.

I got there before the ambulance and the lady was still with her, her friend had come out of the theatre to look for her. She was holding a bag of ice on her back because her back was sore (I guess her chest felt tight). The ambulance then arrived and took her to the hospital. Strangely, they didn't treat her the same way as when she had her first reaction back in February. This time, she was put in a regular room, with no I.V., monitors, etc. It took a while to see the doctor (the 1st time, the dr. was right there in the trauma room for a good hour. They monitored her very closely). They didn't give her Benadryl right away, so about 45 min. later, she started getting hives and a rash all over her neck and stomach. This further confirmed to me that she did indeed have a reaction. Her mouth had been tingly also, that was the first symptoms with the stomach cramps. I mentioned the rash and the hives to the nurse but it still took a while before the Dr. came in. They finally gave her prednisone and a dose of Benadryl. We were told she could go home at 11:30 after they checked her vitals one more time.


She said she now knows why people may think they're having an asthma attack instead of anaphylaxis, because she felt her lungs closing up. Because I had drilled it in her head that her lungs might be quickly affected during an anaphylaxis reaction due to the fact that she's asthmatic, I think that's why she knew she needed the epi-pen. That probably saved her life, along with the angel lady who bravely administered the epi-pen and stayed with her the whole time. (Her husband carries an epi-pen as well, he's allergic to bee stings!). She was definitely a God send and I gave her a big hug. (The manager of the theatre gave her and my daughter and my daughter's friend free passes so they could see their movie another time. I thought that was very thoughtful, especially for the angel lady :D )

I am going back to the theatre today to get the brand names of all the products used to make the popcorn. I will then phone those companies and ask some serious questions. I don't know whether to phone the CFIA because we still don't know what my daughter is allergic to!!! What if it is peanuts and there were traces of peanut protein in the oil, the CFIA needs to investigate this.

Also, should I phone Dr. Waserman's office to let them know what happened? We have an appt in 2 weeks, but in the meanwhile, my daughter said she is scared to eat anything. I can't say that I blame her, this is such a mystery!!!

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


Last edited by Nicole on Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Georgia
Oh Nicole,

Many hugs to you and your dear daughter. How frightening for both of you! :(

Yes, the ER is different every time I go. I have never had a Doc treat me the same way twice. But you should insist on Benadryl, ASAP, if she's already had the Epi. The Epi halts the reaction process, the Benadryl quells the histamine that is already in your system, and the prednisone will help keep the reaction from re-bounding (coming back again, later).

What a pain that they couldn't get to an actual emergency patient right away. She should not have to wait for Benadryl/Pred or Epi at an ER. Very standard treatment...by the book.

Why don't you have your Doc write out a standard of care for your daughter to carry with her Epi-pen. This would tell the ER personnel exactly how to treat your daughter, given her type of reactions, and asthma history. (Remember, the ER folks are not Allergists.) And it would give your daughter a measure of security that she be treated by a prescribed protocol (what to give, how much, how long to monitor following a reaction, after-care instructions, etc...).

By the way, your daughter did a great job recognizing her reaction and seeking help. This was a very mature thing for her to do. You should be proud that she did not wait to use the Epi. :)

And what a dear woman to stay with your daughter! The allergy-community really looks out for each other! 8)

Does your daughter carry Benadryl? Check w/ your Doc for protocol. I take 50 mg at the start of a reaction. Sometimes that will do it (many of mine are mild to moderate). She could have taken this with the Epi, then they can give her more at the hospital later, if needed. (Especially since you can see how long it takes them to treat! ) And I always take Benadryl every 4-6 hours following a reaction to prevent a re-occurence of symptoms. Sometimes it can come back for several days.

Take care,
Daisy


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 164
Location: Winnipeg
My hugs for you too, Nicole. and for your daughter! How scary for you all, and frustrating not to know what she reacted to. But good for her to have acted as she did, and thank goodness for her angel.
I would definitely phone her allergist's office to update them.
Hugs again. I hope you get some answers when you contact the companies. And don't hesitate to call the CFIA once you have the info. Keep us posted.

Marla


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Ontario
Big Hugs. I think your daughter did a great job recognizing the reaction and how great that the lady was there to help!

_________________
4ye old DD allergic to sesame, peanut, raw egg , and mulitple environmental & seasonal allergies

2 yr old DS -no known allergies!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 50
Location: Edmonton
how scary, your daughter sounds very mature, what a wonderful woman who came to her aid. Good luck in finding out what it was that triggered the reaction.

_________________
ds 6: ana to peanuts and fish, cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, many environmental
dd 12: reacted to pork rinds
dh: brazil nuts
me: shrimp, mangos, environmental


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Thank you all for your hugs and your kind words, sniff, sniff!! I love this forum, everybody is so supportive! My daughter is feeling just fine today.

Yes we are lucky and grateful to have such a mature daughter, especially with a condition such as a food allergy.

Daisy wrote:

Why don't you have your Doc write out a standard of care for your daughter to carry with her Epi-pen. This would tell the ER personnel exactly how to treat your daughter, given her type of reactions, and asthma history. (Remember, the ER folks are not Allergists.) Daisy


Daisy, that's a great idea. I will definitely bring it up at the next appt. And so true about the ER folks not being allergists. I think they were not sure she was having an allergic reaction because she was not all puffy and rashy when she got to the E.R. The hives and rash appeared about an hour later. The paramedics however told her that it sounded indeed like anaphylaxis. They knew the exact symptoms.

My daughter was supposed to have chewable Benadryl tablets in her purse but didn't. Today I made her put them in her purse!

Her throat really bothers her today. Does anybody's throat feel swollen for a few days after a reaction?

A little sidebar: my daughter told me today that the angel lady who helped her had walked out of her movie because she said it was really bad and was making a pit stop before her friend and her were going to leave! Thank God for bad movies! :lol:

I wrote a letter to our local paper to thank her.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 936
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Nicole, I'm so sorry that your daughter experienced such a traumatic event, but am relieved to hear the outcome was alright. Thank goodness your daughter was carrying her Epipen, and she received assistance from such a wonderfully caring woman. I'm so glad to hear that your daughter had someone nearby to come to her aid.

I definitely think a call to Dr. Waserman's office is a good idea (you could speak to her nurse (we think she is wonderful!)), but they might not be able to offer too much help over the phone. Thankfully, you have an appt in 2 weeks. In the meantime, to help alleviate your daughter's fears, she might feel better eating only her tried and true foods from home.

I wanted to mention that our son is allergic to all nuts, peanuts and seeds. Cottonseed oil is a common ingredient in movie popcorn. Last time we were at Dr. Waserman's, she tested for more seeds, and all came back positive - including cottonseed. I really hope, for yours and your daughters sake, that you do not add any potentially new foods to her list, but I thought it might be something you could ask to be tested (if you find it to be an ingredient in the movie popcorn). At our son's last appt with Dr. Waserman, the seeds he was tested for were sesame, sunflower, mustard seed, poppy seed and cottonseed; therefore, if this testing is deemed necessary, at least you know the allergists office keeps the seed serums available for testing - you might just want to double check before your appt in case you do decide to go ahead with this testing.

You asked about lingering symptoms... this is before our son could speak, but following some of his allergic reactions when he was quite young, we would find that he would break out in hives for several days afterwards. I was always freaking out thinking he was reacting again, but I believe there can be lingering effects after a particularly bad episode. The subsequent reactions were never as severe as the initial reaction, but still frightening to see. Whenever we would see him break out in hives, we would give him Benadryl.

Please keep us posted about your daughter!

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6502
Location: Ottawa
I think you and your husband have done a great job in teaching your daughter what to do in such an event!
She definatey was trying to be responsible by asking abut the ingredients before eating them.
I would suggest in the future she bring safe treats and not even bother with the concession stand.
I hope that she tries to focus on the positive-she did the right thing and got tyhe help she needed and not the negative-she had a reaction.

_________________
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: Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2950
Location: Toronto
Nicole :shock: more hugs! Tell you daughter she was absolutely terrific in the heat of the moment. It can be so difficult to keep one's cool while anaphyaxing, but she did.

Hope you've had a chance to catch your breath as well - scary.

Re the hospital, think I'll raise this with the CSACI; wonder if they could press to get the emergency protocol shown in the Anaphylaxis in Schools and Other Settings into the emerg rooms across the country. Anecdotally, the immediate use of epinephrine does appear to be an issue.

You've had the no epinphrine, no Benadryl treatment, so have many others. Me, too. Personally, I think they're Prednisone happy in Emerg., which is not the CSACI's anaphylaxis protocol. You could raise it, too, with Dr. Waserman, as she's president till the Fall.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Gwen, Julie and Susan, thank you for your kind words.

My daughter is out shopping with the same friend today, and her friend said: "You're not eating anything!" :lol:

Kidding aside, she's doing well, and we're coping much better this time, even though we don't know what caused it. We're so much more informed now, she can deal with it.

I went back to the theatre yesterday and the manager was amazing. She took me in the storage room and showed me the packaging for every ingredient used to make popcorn before I could ask her. She read everything to me while I wrote it down. Thankfully, she was "allergy aware" as she has an nut allergic friend.

Today I phoned the company that manages the theatres and is responsible for ordering all the concession stand supplies. I gave that person all my information and she was very helpful. She will get in touch with all the manufacturers and obtain a list of all the ingredients specifically, as some of them were vague, like vegetable oil, butter flavour, spice, natural flavour, etc.

Gwen, I think it's an excellent idea to raise the hospital point with the CSACI. The treatment has to be consistent everywhere. I'm sure they have some kind of protocol in place for heart attacks or strokes (at least I hope so). Should be the same for anaphylaxis. Maybe they figured that she had already had a dose of epi and that her vitals were excellent, so they just needed to monitor her periodically, but she should have had Benadryl and prednisone right away, in my opinion. Maybe they didn't think it was really an allergic reaction until the rash and the hives came. I guess also the order of appearance of my daughter's symptoms are not text book and that can be confusing. Allergic reactions are always portrayed with the puffy lips, swollen face, etc. With my daughter, it seems to be the stomach cramps that come first.

I will definitely talk to Dr. Waserman about this as well. I haven't phoned her office yet because I wanted to get the list of ingredients first, just in case they enquire.

On a lighter note, my daughter told me with a laugh how ironic it was that when they were buying the popcorn, her friend and her were giggling and the concession attendant said: "Boy, you girls sure seem excited to be buying popcorn!". After they paid, he said "Enjoy your popcorn!"

And for that "angel" lady, she told my daughter she came out of the theatre because the movie was extremely boring... Things do happen for a reason!

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi Nicole -

Sorry to be so late chiming in. I'm glad that everything turned out okay. Your daughter definitely should be proud of herself for not hesitating to use the Epi-Pen. And how wonderful that someone was there to help.

I'm sorry that things weren't so smooth at the Emergency. Gwen - I definitely think that getting the ERs to be using some kind of standard protocol should be on the CSACI's "list of things to do". (So much to do... so little time.)

Big hugs, and I hope you get to the bottom of the "allergy mystery" soon!!

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: Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I meant to say -- Daisy - I think your idea of having a written "standard of care" for ERs is awesome, and I plan to try to get that for my kids from my allergists. We like to think that once 911 is called all will be fine and go according to plan, but obviously our idea of a "plan" might not match that of the folks in ER!

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: Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:22 pm
Posts: 154
Location: Georgia
Nicole,

You said the peanut SPT was inconclusive. Did they ever call you with the results of the RAST?

Hugs,
Daisy


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Thank you so much Karen, I hope we solve this mystery very soon too.

Daisy, the RAST came back completely negative for peanuts, tree nuts, peas and I believe they did coconut as well, as she reacted slightly on her skin test. Based on that, the allergist will then proceed with a food challenge.

Because Dr. Waserman is so booked, these things take so long. She doesn't do the food challenge in her office, she sends the patients to McMaster in a controlled environment. She is also focusing on getting my daughter's asthma under control first, seeing as her lung capacity was just 60 % last time we were there (mid-July).

I received information for the theatre's head office this morning. Two of the ingredients, the popcorn kernels and the popcorn seasoning oil, are from the States and the relating documentation contained a detailed Food Ingredient Allergen Disclosure, including possible cross-contamination. As far as I can tell, they are free from any of the common allergens The third ingredient, popcorn salt, is manufactured here in Burlington and the documentation does not reveal all the specific ingredients (it says spice extracts, natural flavour and FC&C colours, which is not specific enough) and did not contain a Food Ingredient Allergen Disclosure, as well as possible cross-contamination. I contacted them and they will be getting back to me asap. So far everybody has been really helpful.

We'll hopefully get some answers soon!

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
Just got an anser back from the popcorn salt company and they faxed me the ingredients as well as the list of allergens and food sensitivity. It contains tartrazine. When I looked up tartrazine, I found that it cross-reacts with aspirin. Could this be the connection?

I posted earlier under "Other allergies", that since the RAST came back negative, I researched Pepto-Bismol and it contains salicylate, also found in aspirin. I gave my daughter Pepto-Bismol after she started vomitting. She developed the rash, the hives and the throat swelling after that. I phoned the Dr.'s office at that time and they think it's a real possibility that she reacted to the salicylate in the Pepto-Bismol.

I am phoning the Dr.'s office, now that I have a complete list of ingredients.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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