Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘childhood food allergies

Click here and here for other peanut allergy blog posts.

In my daughter’s case, peanut has to be ingested for her to have a reaction.  She can be in the same room as a peanut, it’s ok.  If someone has touched a peanut and touched her, she’s ok.  Just don’t let the peanut enter her mouth.

We have to read labels.  Her allergy doctor said that foods labeled with the words “May contain peanut” should be avoided, while foods labeled “Processed in a facility with peanuts” can be eaten.

M&Ms, which are her favorite candies, say “may contain peanut,” however, she is unaffected.  Her doctor told me that as long as she doesn’t react, then she should be ok to eat it.  He told me not to take away the foods she can already tolerate since it’s been ok.

Asian restaurants, which she LOVES, often carry peanuts for their dishes, yet she’s been able to tolerate all the Asian restaurants we have tried.  It doesn’t mean that my anxiety doesn’t peak whenever we try a new restaurant…

Before we try a new Asian restaurant, specifically Chinese, I tend to call the restaurant and ask what type of oil they use to cook their food.  Asian restaurants sometimes use peanut oil to cook their food.  Research has told me that hot pressed peanut oil is safe for those with peanut allergies.  However, every time I’ve asked about what type of oil they use, I’ve gotten “vegetable oil” as my response.  Sigh of relief.

Ordering desserts in restaurants has become a bit different for us now.  Before ordering, I now have to ask our server if any of the desserts we like contain peanuts.  For the most part, it’s been ok.  But when I see a restaurant that serves a dessert that contains peanut butter in it, I always make sure that the kitchen staff is good about keeping that stuff separated from the non-peanut desserts.

If only I had control over everything around us… right?

Because she’s only allergic to peanuts, foods containing tree nuts are ok.  She’s actually had (and LOVED) French Macarons, which are made with almond meal.  She’s had biscotti with pistachios.  She’s enjoyed cookies from Hawaii that had macadamia nuts.

Although she’s perfectly fine eating tree nuts, I will admit that when she eats them, I still get very nervous.  Will she develop an allergy to them when she gets older?  I have no idea.

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My daughter is allergic to peanuts, click here to read about how we found out.

Never in a million years did I think we would have a child with a food allergy.  Never in a million years did I think we would have a child with a PEANUT allergy.

We’ve all seen the horror stories.

Girl with a peanut allergy kisses her boyfriend who had eaten a peanut butter sandwich.  Girl dies.

Girl was on a camping trip with her family, ate some snack that had peanut butter in it, even though they gave her an Epipen treatment, girl dies.

The thought of anaphylactic shock alone is enough to have me worry incessantly over what foods she’s surrounded by…

But luckily for us, it’s not that severe… yet.

I’ve read that over the years, a peanut allergy can escalate to dangerous reactions.  Like I didn’t have enough to worry about… right?!

I spent about half an hour on the phone with my daughter’s allergy doctor after he confirmed her peanut allergy.  Question after question.  Worry after worry.

Will she outgrow it?  Probably not.

Will it escalate?  We don’t really know.

Will I worry for the rest of my life?  You bet on it.

Next time, I will discuss how we cope with her peanut allergy…

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I think it started around Easter of this year.

She was given a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg from Gymboree during their Easter Egg Hunt.  We were in the car when she broke the wrapper open and, before I knew it, she ate almost the whole thing.

Almost immediately, she stuck her fingers in her mouth and whined a little like something was bothering her.  Thinking it was just the grittiness of the peanut butter, I gave her water and some milk.  She stopped complaining.

We had family over for a visit to our apartment.  M ate some dinner, but she just wasn’t her peppy self.  She was a little uneasy and a little clingy.  I thought it was because she didn’t normally see these family members.  Then, while she was sitting on my lap, she just vomitted.  Projectile vomit.  Everything in her stomach just out on the floor and the recliner.  Immediately after that, she was fine.

I started to suspect a peanut allergy, so I made it a point to make sure she avoided peanuts in her foods.

Fast forward to September.  Hubby purchased peanut butter m&ms, but kept them upstairs in his office.

M went upstairs before bed and went into Hubby’s office.  Because they were m&ms, she thought they were ok and ate one.  Almost immediately after eating it, she stuck her fingers in her mouth and whined like something was bothering her inside her mouth, similar to what she did at Easter.  I gave her lots of water and we prepared ourselves for her to throw up again.

She was fine for about half an hour, when she started to act a little different again.  We were prepared for the vomit, but it didn’t come.  Because she was acting a bit off, I gave her a dose of Benadryl.  Before the Benadryl kicked in, I noticed her smacking her lips and mouth together.  I asked her if anything felt itchy and she said her mouth was itchy.

We stayed up until the Benadryl kicked in and she no longer smacked her lips together and was no longer complaining about anything feeling itchy.

A few weeks later, I talked to her pediatrician about it.  They scheduled a skin test and a consultation with the allergy doctor.

At the skin test, the peanut allergy did NOT show up.  However, the allergy doctor said that because of her reaction during the two times she ingested peanut butter, he wanted to do a blood test to confirm.

Blood test confirmed that she DOES have a peanut allergy.  Category III, he called it.  I think it had to do with the level of IgM detected.  It’s pretty much the middle of the peanut allergy spectrum, which also meant that she has a very little chance of outgrowing it in the future.

We were issued epipens.  I take the epipen and a bottle of Benadryl wherever we go now.

In a future blog post, I’ll talk about how our lives have slightly adjusted since her diagnosis..

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March 2020