The Peanut Battle: Part II

mr peanut

My daughter went to the allergist today because of the rash she had last time we gave her some peanut butter cereal. She has a peanut allergy.

Shock was the initial reaction. Now, I realize plenty of kids get a peanut allergy, and most survive just fine, thankyouverymuch. But I also realize that it will take some work. Now, I have a zillion thought going through my mind. Here are just a few:

  • But I love peanut butter. I have it every day at lunch.
  • Can she be in the same room as a peanut?
  • I’ve looked before for the “processed in a plant which also processes peanuts” labels (for other kids), and they aren’t that easy to find.
  • If we have another, will he or she be likely to have the same allergy?
  • Can she grow out of it? If so, how will we ever know?
  • Can we go to Thai restaurants? I love Thai food.
  • Will my daughter have to sit at a peanut-free table when she goes to school? If so, is she doomed to a life of hanging out with kids like Brian in The Breakfast Club?
  • How will we ever get to go to anyone’s house?
  • Is it called an “epi pen” just so it doesn’t scare the crap out of little kids?
  • Should we get a second test/opinion just to be sure?

I am sure, as we educate ourselves, it will get better, but right now, I just feel a little overwhelmed by all of this.

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2 Responses to The Peanut Battle: Part II

  1. karrie says:

    If she only got a rash, and had no other symptoms (difficulty breathing, swelling), it may be a less serious allergy. Meaning as long as she’s not eating PB, and you’re careful not to do things like use one knife for jam and pb and then make her a sandwich with that jam, you might be fine. My husband has a shellfish allergy that presents in a similar way. He does eat asian foods and occasionally will break out and feel a bit itchy-tingly, but has never had to use his epi.

    We had a peanut scare with my son at 18 months. He broke out in a rash while I was eating toast with pb next to him. I had helped him out of his booster seat and thought perhaps I got pb on one of his hands, hand went into mouth, etc. The rash went away with Benadryl, but we were given an epi and scheduled testing.

    His tests showed he was likely not to be allergic, but we were given a few extra epis and advised to avoid peanut products. They suggested followup 6 months later.

    I do eat both shrimp and peanut products, but am careful about washing hands, brushing teeth, etc. before I touch my son or husband.

    There is a decent food allergy board on babycenter.com that might be helpful for you as well.

    (Kaz: Thanks! We’ll have to check it out. We tend to be overly cautious – not just as parents but in everything. We’ll probably play it safe because, as the allergist said, you never know when it might go from not-so-serious to serious. I’m sure our worry will lessen with time and education, as well.)

  2. Bubba McBubba says:

    So, as an adult (now) that grew up with a rather serious peanut allergy (along with a handful of other ‘not-so-serious’ food and respiratory allergies and a serious bee sting allergy) I feel I might have a little something to offer, especially after working my way back from entries that include the valid concern about safe foods becoming non-safe foods due to manufacturing changes.
    My brushes with anaphylaxis turned me into the most efficient allergen detector on the planet. Since I really didn’t like intubation, hospitals, needles, etc, I became very vocal about smells that made my mouth “burn-y” or “itchy”. I could smell Thai restaurants from blocks away, I refused certain brands of potato chips, and I made old ladies at church cry because I refused their cakes. This was before the act of 2004, but my mother came to trust my weird spidey-sense. Sure enough, the chips were deep-fried in a peanut oil mixture, the sweet old grandma had made an oil-based cake with that healthy peanut oil, and the Thai…well, that’s a no-brainer.
    I’m not yet a father myself, but I’ve had enough kid-exposure to know it’s got to be difficult to distinguish picky eating from self-determination from natural manipulation from self-preservation. Maybe my hypersensitivity to smell (after all, smelling is just inhaling free molecules that come from a substance) was a mini-reaction unique to me; maybe not. If the “burn-y” and “itchy” keywords, especially when related to mucous membranes (mouth, middle ear, sinuses) can help some other child avoid the analphylaxis rollercoaster, I’ll be happy.
    Oh, and thanks much for the blog, Kaz. I’ve started reading now, ’cause every morning I wake up and hear a distinct ticking sound coming from both my wife and m’self.
    Cheers!

    [Kaz: Hey, Bubba, thanks! and welcome to the blog. I hope that once you have kids, you don’t wind up having to deal with a peanut allergy with them, as well!]

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