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A call you DON'T want to get from school


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"Could you come get your son...he's having trouble breathing!"

 

All this time I've been dealing with ds's food allergies I have thanked God over and over again that we DIDN'T have to deal with the kind that makes you stop breathing.

 

Soooo....you guessed it. Now my ds is one of those "nuts can kill him" type kids.

 

I drove over to the school thinking he was having some kind of allergy attack - but a sneezy, wheezy kind. After all, he hadn't eaten anything strange, and we had found we could add back just about everything except milk and nuts to his diet.

 

I got to the school, talked with the people there. We waited for someone to collect his things. I drove sort of quickly to the hospital because he was certainly straining for breath, all the way thinking, "Well, at least it's not one of those horrible nut allergy things." By the time we got to the hospital he was really complaining about not getting enough air and I was starting to have thoughts like, "what if he collapses before we get into the building?"

 

We walked in to the ER, stood there for a few minutes while people walked around and past us. Me, of course, being too polite to scream "Hey, my kid can't breathe!" But I was working my way up to it when a nice man came by, took one look at my face, and rushed to help.

 

That's when ds said, (gasped) "I think I know what it was. One of my friends gave me Nutella."

 

OH MY GOD! I about freaking lost it at that point. Ds said, "I thought it was chocolate, but then it tasted like peanut butter." At least he told us.

 

Anyway, he's fine now. We're getting epipens. The doctor told us to get rid of all nuts.

 

Anyone else who has dealt with this? I'd love advice and things I might not think about. I'm still in shock. What if the hospital had been more than five minutes away?

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I have no first hand advice (I'm sure it will come from others), but I just wanted to let you know that I'm glad he's okay. It must have scared you to death! Do you think maybe, The Universe is giving you opportunities to speak up!? Goodness, I'm glad that nice man was there to help.

 

I have a good friend whose son is "one of those" with nut allergies. He's younger than your son and has been in private school for a few years now. So far, nothing horrid has happened -- he knows to ask. Your son will know now, too.

 

Hugs, dear,

 

Doran

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Yikes. The first day my son went back to school with dr's okay after having some asthma issues I got a call from his teacher. She was in a panic and so was I since I was across town on a field trip with my oldest. I picked him up from school, he was fine, just paniced as did everyone else. The whole class was upset and wrote him cards of how much they loved being his friend and so glad he's not going to die.....

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My ds10 was diagnosed with a life-threatening peanut allergy at 11mos. Ds6 has life-threatening allergies to dairy and egg. First, get those epi-pens. Get the twin pack that comes with a trainer pen you can practice with. Second, go to www.foodallergy.org and educate yourself about life-threatening food allergies. They have many helpful pamphlets and books you can use to teach yourself and others about food allergies. Third, make sure his teachers and other school personnel know he has a life-threatening food allergy, the symptoms of a reaction, and how to use an epi-pen. Next time don't drive him to the hospital, call the squad. Actually, the school should call the emergency squad first, and you second. An epi-pen will make him feel better, but he still needs to go to the ER. It will wear off in about 15 minutes, and at that point, he may be worse than when he got the shot. An epi-pen buys you time to get to the ER for further treatment.

 

There are so many things to know. Do you know which tree nuts he is allergic to? Is he also peanut allergic? Watch out for chocolate candy, trail mixes, snack mixes, granola bars, cookies, chinese food, ice creams, salads (almonds and walnuts), and pastries.

 

How old is your son? Can he read labels? Does your school have a special food allergy table in the cafeteria? Do you know if touching tree nuts or smelling them will cause him to react? This is a problem for some kids.

 

Feel free to contact me directly with any questions you have. I know this is overwhelming and scary at first, but it does get easier.

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Jennifer that's terrifying. My boys have tested positive for nut allergies, but we've never a serious episode like that. They do carry epipens and a couple of doses of Benadryl EVERYWHERE they go. If we're/they're going somewhere where we're not sure about the food, we/they pack something they know is safe to eat. And I've added no kissing anyone unless you know exactly what they've been eating - it's not an issue but I can see it coming.

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So far, I've never needed to use it (knock on wood).

 

School is going to be your toughest battleground, because you cannot control the environment. But I'll bet your ds was scared enough to take *very seriously* what he puts into his mouth from now on! And point out to him that a food that contains the word "nut" is PROBABLY NOT ok, lol. He is never, ever, ever, to put food into his mouth that he does not personally know is safe. He may not take someone else's word for it. He must see that label himself!

 

If he eats in the cafeteria, you want to let him know to never put his food on any public surface, and to wash his hands before eating.

 

Make sure his teachers and the school nurse know he has an epipen, and ask them if they can/know how to administer it if necessary. (I imagine that the school would want to keep it for him, and not have him carry it himself? I don't know.)

 

He can get special belt clips, or a fanny pack, to carry it with him.

 

Get more than one.

 

And, uh ... don't leave it in the car, during freezing weather, like I did. :o

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People do not take it seriously unless they have gone through it themselves. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to try to deal with other parents when it comes to the serious peanut allergy. I had a mom selling girl scout cookies who wanted to argue with me after I politely declined b/c my son is allergic to peanuts. I am fortunate that we homeschool, but we have to be very careful about even being around nuts, since he reacts just to touching peanut or nut butters. I tried to organize small homeschool get-togethers, but when I have asked if we could avoid peanut products b/c of my son's allergy, several parents have gone ballistic, and one lady even brought a whole jar of peanut butter for her kids, even after I told her about my son's allergy. I guess I've been a magnet to unkind people in my small town. I do carry Benedryl and an epipen with me wherever we go, but have fortunately not had to use the epipen, only Benedryl. My biggest obstacle is getting other adults to understand the seriousness of this allergy. You've already been given some good sites for food allergies and advice about seeing a good allergy doctor. I have had to tell my son that even if a adults or other kids say there are no nuts in a food product, they can't always trust that, and it's best to only eat foods that we give him. I don't think my son would do well at all in a public or even private school environment b/c so many people eat peanut products and peanut butter, and there are just too many well-meaning adults/teachers/moms who might offer him these kinds of treats, and unfortunately just being around them can make him sick:(. I hope he grows out of this when he's an adult, b/c he will have to be very careful when he's out there on his own!! I know I'm not offering much in the way of advice, but just letting you know that I know what it's like!

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I hope he grows out of this when he's an adult, b/c he will have to be very careful when he's out there on his own!! I know I'm not offering much in the way of advice, but just letting you know that I know what it's like!

 

My ds10 recently outgrew his life-threatening peanut allergy. We were just amazed and feel incredibly blessed. When he was first diagnosed, life-threatening peanut allergy was considered life-long and we were told people did not outgrow this allergy. Now with further studies, they have discovered as many as 1 in 5 do outgrow it. I just wanted to give you some hope that he may outgrow his allergy before adulthood. :)

 

The way we found out was when he went in for routine skin testing and did not test positive for peanut, after years of positive tests. We were shocked! A subsequent blood test was also negative for peanut. Third step was a food challenge performed in the allergist's office. (never try this at home). He passed with flying colors. The ironic part is that he now is required to eat peanuts to maintain his tolerance, or his allergy could come back. But he hates anything that contains peanuts. He reluctantly eats a peanut m&m per week for medicinal purposes.

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Jennifer, I'm so sorry. We had a similar experience (hazelnuts, just like your ds) when ds was 4. Just like you, they ignored us at the ER till someone pushed in front of me and yelled/gasped about what was wrong with him and I realized that's what you had to do. Polite little me suddenly shouts, "My kid is having an anaphylactic reaction!" and boy did they move. He was on oxygen within seconds.

 

The good news is that that was the only time we have ever needed an epi-pen (though of course we didn't *have* one till that evening). We carry one (actually a "TwinJect" now which includes two doses in a single pen) everywhere and also Benedryl (I keep the Triaminic purple strips -- I find them easy to open, they don't need consistent temp like the liquid stuff, and there isn't the chance of aspiration like with pills or chewables). The most important thing is that ds knows never to put anything in his mouth unless he knows exactly what's in it.

 

I'm so sorry you guys have to deal with this now. But at least he's safe, and you guys know what he needs to avoid. (I assume you'll have fairly extensive allergy testing now?)

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No, I wouldn't want a call like that. Breathing is terribly important.

 

I once (years ago) received a call from my son's daycare - the administrator said, "Oh, there's been an accident and your son's face was slashed. He is bleeding. Do you want us to call an ambulance?" I asked how bad it was. She could not provide an answer. She was somewhat panicy. I told her to make a judgement call as she (and others) were there and I was 30 minutes away. Their staff was suppose to be trained for this.

 

He was fine after some dermabond from the hospital. He still has the scar. We left that daycare and I now ask detailed questions about emergency procedures to anyone I entrust my children to. And now I worry more.

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My ds has life-threatening food allergies to egg, peanuts, and green peas. Be sure to have the Epis with him at all times. You never want to need it, but if you do you need to know where it is and have it closeby. At Awanas and other group activities my ds wears his epis in a pouch around his waist. I have taught him not to take food from anyone except me. He is only 4, so he can't read labels or decide for himself if a food is safe. Make sure your school has an approriate action plan in case he has another episode like this one. I hope you are all doing well tonight. Do they have you giving him Benadryl or anything for the next few days? That is what my son's doctors do when he has a reaction.

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for all your help so far.

 

I went into the kitchen to make dinner and kind of froze because almost every single package I picked up said "Made on equipment used to process nuts". And then there were some other packages that DIDN'T say that but I didn't know whether or not to believe them.

 

So, for all of you dealing with this, do you not serve your kids any packaged cookies? If a package says it was made in a facility that processes nuts do you not use it at all?

 

My doctor said get all nuts and nut products out of our house. Is that what you do? Or do you let other family members have them?

 

The doctor asked if I wanted a referral to an allergist, but the closest one is two days away from here. What else would they tell us except not to eat nuts?

 

There are actually two other kids in my ds's school with nut allergies. No one in their classes are allowed to bring nuts in their lunches (the kids eat in their classes). But my ds's class wasn't one of those; they'll have to change the policy in his class. He was considering homeschooling starting next month. Maybe we'll just go ahead with that.

 

He was very good about sticking to his allergy diet previously. We had just relaxed it a bunch because he had outgrown so many of his allergies. I think what we're finding is that nuts was the main thing.

 

Here's what confuses me: back when he had peanut butter every day, twice a day (LOL) he had problems with mood swings, tics, bedwetting, etc. But he never had hives or breathing problems. Now, after 1.5 years with NO peanut butter his reaction is so much worse! Why is it like that?

 

Dh is sick, cranky, and not at all happy about this latest development. Please send good thoughts his ways. No lectures, though, please - I think this is the way he's processing his stress and I'm trying very hard not to judge him on it.

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I have severe food allergies to poultry (of all things!!). My allergist put the fear-of-God into me about being very careful not to accidentally expose myself or I *would* eventually end up having to use the epi-pens, ER, etc. He told me to take liquid anti-histimine at the first sign of exposure and that could help me avoid worse, EpiPen use, etc. So, I carry kid's benadryl in every car and in my purse and so far, I've never had to use the EpiPens or go to the ER, tho I've had some scary minutes -- mostly back before I learned to keep the Benadryl handy at all times. I take a high dose of the benadryl at the first moment I get symptoms or realize I have been exposed, even if symptoms haven't yet started. The first few years I made more mistakes (as kids are wont to do) but now this only happens once every year or two. It's worked like a charm every time.

 

The liquid works faster than pills and is also effective on contact surfaces (tongue, throat) so that's a bonus. The allergist had originally recc. liquid Zyrtec but that't RX and expires and then you have to go back and get a new RX, so it's a pain and also I couldn't take it pg or nursing, which I was doing one or the other nearly continually for a long time. . .

 

So, anyway, ask your son's allergist about using liquid benadryl if he suspects exposure, BEFORE it gets so bad you need the EpiPen (which carries risks on it's own and necessitates a 911 call/express drive to the ER) FWIW, as an adult, I take HIGH doses of Benadryl when indicated. I chug it straight from the bottle. ;) For a kid, I wouldn't be quite so cavalier and so I'd ask your child's DR about appropriate dosing for this purpose, as it may be on the high end of the labeled dosage.

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for all your help so far.

 

I went into the kitchen to make dinner and kind of froze because almost every single package I picked up said "Made on equipment used to process nuts". And then there were some other packages that DIDN'T say that but I didn't know whether or not to believe them.

 

So, for all of you dealing with this, do you not serve your kids any packaged cookies? If a package says it was made in a facility that processes nuts do you not use it at all?

 

My doctor said get all nuts and nut products out of our house. Is that what you do? Or do you let other family members have them?

 

The doctor asked if I wanted a referral to an allergist, but the closest one is two days away from here. What else would they tell us except not to eat nuts?

 

Here's what confuses me: back when he had peanut butter every day, twice a day (LOL) he had problems with mood swings, tics, bedwetting, etc. But he never had hives or breathing problems. Now, after 1.5 years with NO peanut butter his reaction is so much worse! Why is it like that?

 

.

 

A food allergy labeling law was passed in 2006 requiring food manufacturers to list the 8 major allergens, including tree nuts, in plain language on their labels. Unless it is a food imported from a foreign country, you should be able to trust what you read on the label. For my child, I do allow him to eat foods "processed in a facility" with foods he is allergic to. I do not allow him to eat foods that say "may contain traces of" or "made on equipment used to" process food he is allergic to.

 

We do keep dairy products in our house, because we did not want to deprive our other child of an entire food group. We do not keep eggs, or foods containing egg in our house. But my child is six. I think it depends on the age of the child. If he will not accidentally eat any foods containing nuts, and other family members are not contaminating foods and surfaces with nuts, you may be fine to keep them in the house. If you do want to keep nut containing products in the house, maybe you could mark each package with a large "x" as a warning to your food allergic son to not eat it.

 

An allergist could perform skin or blood tests to determine which tree nuts your son is allergic to, and if he has any other life-threatening food allergies that you have not yet discovered.

 

The reactions your son used to have were to peanuts, and now you are dealing with a tree nut allergy. These are two different allergies. That is why you are seeing two different kinds of reactions. Peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes. Also, people can develop food allergies at any age. This tree nut allergy may be a new allergy for your son. Even adults who have previously eaten foods and not reacted, can suddenly develop a life-threatening food allergy. (Not trying to scare anyone).

 

I'm sorry you are having to go through all of this. I know how you feel.

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Can he wear a medic alert bracelet?

 

I am gobsmacked the school didn't dial 911. Breathing, or the lack of, is kind of a big issue. I hope they know that, heaven forbid, if there is a next time, to call the paramedics.

 

I know what you are going through as far as not trusting the food! When my daughter was diagnosed with celiac, I went through a stage of borderline panicking everytime I read ingredient labels. She doesn't have a life threatening allergy to anything either! I decided that until I could trust myself and food manufacturers, that I would only let her eat things that were naturally gluten free and that had no allergy warnings at all. Maybe you could start off this way and gradually build up to things that come in packets.

 

Best of luck!

Michele. :)

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Jennifer,

 

As one of the other posters said, I do occasionally allow ds to have things that were "processed in a facility" with nuts, but not "on equipment with" or "may contain traces of"... This really depends on the individual though -- for some people, the risk is just too great. (For us, it has never been a problem...)

 

We also have absolutely no tree nuts in the house. There is no reason that we need to, and the rest of us can have nuts when we're out, away from home and away from ds if we absolutely must. (But I wouldn't eat nutella or other ground hazelnuts or walnuts if I would be around ds in the near future.)

 

Not all nuts are the same. My ds tests only mildly allergic to almonds and cashews, for instance, but he's deathly allergic to walnuts and hazelnuts. We avoid *all* nuts, because 1) different nuts are generally processed together, and 2) the chance of *developing* a life-threatening allergy to those nuts is quite high. ... I say all this because if, say, in a year he has an accidental exposure to another nut and doesn't have any major reaction, that does *not* mean that he has "outgrown" his allergy to hazelnuts.

 

Also, you seem puzzled that he had this severe reaction when you knew he had a mild peanut allergy, but he had never had a reaction like this... Nutella is made with hazelnuts (a tree nut), not peanuts (a legume). It's not uncommon for people to be allergic to both tree nuts and peanuts, but they are not in the same class of foods. As for suddenly having a severe reaction after a history of very mild reactions, that's not unusual at all. In fact, many people have never even noticed the mild reactions in the past when all of a sudden they find themselves in the ER on oxygen, epi, antihistamines, etc...

 

Since the allergist is so far away, I would as your regular doctor to run the bloodwork on major food allergens. I would ask for "ImmunoCap" testing for individual tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and any other foods you have suspected in the past. This is a simple blood draw, and while it's not 100% conclusive, it may help you wade through all of this.

 

In the meantime, yes, toss all foods with tree nuts in them out of the house. *Personally*, I wouldn't panic over everything "made in a facility with", but you may want to be especially careful for the next few weeks at least (since his body is going to be rather fragile and primed to react again).

 

BTW, did they put him on a few days or a week of steroids? When ds has had major (not necessarily life-threatening) reactions and *not* had steroids, he has smaller, diminishing reactions over the next few days or a week. When he gets Prednisolone (Prednisone for adults), he does not have this happen. Where we have lived, it's standard for the ER to prescribe this after a major allergic reaction, but I'm not sure about your area. ... Anyway, if he *does* have a smaller but similar reaction in the next few days, it doesn't necessarily mean he has been re-exposed. Do have plenty of Benedryl on hand just in case. This is what I keep on hand in my purse at all times: http://www.triaminic.com/us_en/products/21916CR_ingredients.shtml -- they're also easy to slip in a pocket, if your kid will be away from you. Discuss with your pharmacist the appropriate dosing in case of a major reaction -- we've been told twice a normal dose for ds' size (so two strips for him -- possibly three or four, depending on how big your son is). And teach your son to tear open the packets. (They're easy once you get the hang of it -- just follow the directions and tear on a diagonal.)

 

I don't know if it would be worth driving to see an allergist. We've seen a really *&$%^ useless one, and a really wonderful one. I'd hate to drive like that and get to someone like the first one we saw (especially if you can get your regular doctor to do the blood draw for the ImmunoCap testing), but the pediatric allergist we now have at the children's hospital is wonderful and if we were just starting this journey, it *might* be worth driving to see him... sigh. But start by asking your regular doctor to get the bloodwork done for you -- that would be useful to have ahead of time even if you *do* go to an allergist eventually.

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Each individual child is different and each parent's comfort level is different. I do not allow anything that is made in a facility that processes peanuts. I became very strict with this after my son reacted to rice that was processed with dried legumes. My son is so reactive to peanuts that he cross-reacts to other legumes. After an ER visit from the rice that was contaminated with dust from the legumes, I started called manufacturers and asking if the products we use are manufactered in a facility that handles peanuts. Per our allergists recommendations we also avoid peanut oil and bouillion and canned soups. I cook most things from scratch to be sure we are avoiding any exposures. I find myself needing to be constantly vigilant. This year we even had pesky squirrels who where choosing our front porch to munch peanuts! It's been a bit crazy discovering all the places peanuts can be found. Just carry his meds and be aware, and you will find your own comfort zone to help him manage his allergies safely.

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here, the school would have called 911 first, Mom second!

 

I really can't blame them. If the child has no history of anaphylaxis and it starts as mere wheezing... It might not have appeared to be a real emergency when they called her. Even Jennifer admitted it wasn't *that* scary until they started to get closer to the hospital.

 

I know when ds had his first episode, I reacted relatively slowly because it just *seemed* like a wheezing episode at first.

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I'm sorry to hear that he had to go though that (you too!). I'm glad that he is ok.

 

My nephew just found out that he is allergic to shellfish at 15! He was out to dinner with his girlfriend and her family. They convinced him to try the fish. He immediately felt flushed and his throat hurt but he didn't want to say anything. Luckily he went right home afterward. By the time he got home he could barely breath. My brother took him to the emergency room and it was pretty serious. Everything turned out ok but now he needs to carry an Epipen with him at all times.

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Abbeyej,

 

You are right about the hazelnut/peanut difference. I think what made it tough for me to grasp is that I was assuming he would have been exposed to hazelnuts before this....but maybe not, or maybe this is just his first reaction.

 

We were thinking back, though, to the last time ds had peanut butter. He had days of hives from it, but we also remembered that in the middle of all of that he got the same croupy, wheezy cough and breathing thing - just not nearly so bad. At the time I figured he had caught a cold that his brother had but it came and went in one night. We were dosing him with Benedryl at the time, so I figure we ended up "self-treating" it in the right way and it didn't get that bad.

 

I'm feeling slightly more clear today. Yesterday I couldn't wrap my mind around it, partially because I was avoiding thinking about how it could have turned out. I tend to react to crisis situations by getting deathly calm, and I do okay, but sometimes it means I don't take in new information that well.

 

Anyway, everyone's advice is really helping. We're going to take this seriously and we're putting together an emergency plan for the school. We may be homeschooling him soon anyway. I'm going to talk more to my doctor about more testing, too.

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My ds10 recently outgrew his life-threatening peanut allergy. We were just amazed and feel incredibly blessed. When he was first diagnosed, life-threatening peanut allergy was considered life-long and we were told people did not outgrow this allergy. Now with further studies, they have discovered as many as 1 in 5 do outgrow it. I just wanted to give you some hope that he may outgrow his allergy before adulthood. :)

 

The way we found out was when he went in for routine skin testing and did not test positive for peanut, after years of positive tests. We were shocked! A subsequent blood test was also negative for peanut. Third step was a food challenge performed in the allergist's office. (never try this at home). He passed with flying colors. The ironic part is that he now is required to eat peanuts to maintain his tolerance, or his allergy could come back. But he hates anything that contains peanuts. He reluctantly eats a peanut m&m per week for medicinal purposes.

 

Wow. Ds9 is also anaphylactic to peanuts and I think I'd be in shock too, if he ever turned up non allergic. He DID outgrow a severe egg allergy a couple of years ago, and it was soooooooooo weird to feed him eggs the first few times! Dd is going for a sesame challenge test in a few weeks, too. She has been anaphylactic for years, but the most recent blood test came up low. I'm also told that if she passes the test, to give her sesame once a week! I can hardly wrap my head around it. But peanuts - wow - that's a miracle in my book.

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... I was assuming he would have been exposed to hazelnuts before this....but maybe not, or maybe this is just his first reaction.

 

It could definitely be either one. I know that ds had had hazelnuts a number of times before the incident with anaphylaxis. In retrospect, he always thought that items (cookies, nutella, etc) with hazelnuts or walnuts in them were "spicy", and that was probably the early signs of his allergy. But we couldn't have known!

 

And people develop life-threatening allergies at all ages to foods they've eaten before, perhaps even regularly throughout their lives. :( I'm so sorry you guys are having to deal with this.

 

And it's so over-whelming as a mom. I know I was really calm the day it happened, and then that night, once the kids were in bed, I got up and was violently ill. I think all the adrenaline and emotion, the fear, etc, just hit me as a wave of nausea. ... That said, and scary as it still is at times, ds has been safe and we've found people to be (generally) very understanding and careful around him. He's very aware of his allergies, and his friends all tend to be extremely protective too, policing each other and the adults around to make sure there's nothing dangerous to ds coming near him. I hope your experiences will be similar.

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Abbeyej,

 

You are right about the hazelnut/peanut difference. I think what made it tough for me to grasp is that I was assuming he would have been exposed to hazelnuts before this....but maybe not, or maybe this is just his first reaction.

 

We were thinking back, though, to the last time ds had peanut butter. He had days of hives from it, but we also remembered that in the middle of all of that he got the same croupy, wheezy cough and breathing thing - just not nearly so bad. At the time I figured he had caught a cold that his brother had but it came and went in one night. We were dosing him with Benedryl at the time, so I figure we ended up "self-treating" it in the right way and it didn't get that bad.

 

I'm feeling slightly more clear today. Yesterday I couldn't wrap my mind around it, partially because I was avoiding thinking about how it could have turned out. I tend to react to crisis situations by getting deathly calm, and I do okay, but sometimes it means I don't take in new information that well.

 

Anyway, everyone's advice is really helping. We're going to take this seriously and we're putting together an emergency plan for the school. We may be homeschooling him soon anyway. I'm going to talk more to my doctor about more testing, too.

 

Ds is anaphylactic to peanuts. Yep, the ambulance is your friend if it ever happens again. I'd call even if the hospital was 5 minutes away - but I say that as a Mom who already knows her kid is anaphylactic. :) I'd call, plus give epinephrine, just because if I was by myself, I'd be freaking out too much trying to drive.

 

TwinJect is a great alternative to EpiPen - it's two doses in the same injector, for the same price. One dose for ASAP, and another dose to give in 10-15 minutes if the reaction is not calming down.

 

Do you have Superstores (or Loblaws or whatever has the yellow no name packaged foods? Or President's Choice brand foods?) near you? I use a lot of no name brand stuff from Superstore, and they have a handy dandy phone number on the packages that you can call and get all the allergy info you could ever want to know about your foods. Just give them the barcode and the allergic food name. The number is 888-495-5111. I have found that many companies in Canada are great about labeling foods, or when you call them, are great about telling you all sorts of info. Like, "this soy sauce was manufactured on the same line as the Asian peanut sauce, and here is the cleaning procedure we did in between processing the peanut sauce and the soy sauce." That way, you can get info. and as you go along, you can decide on your comfort level.

 

You can do this. :)

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...Yep, the ambulance is your friend if it ever happens again.

 

It might be worth finding out if ambulances in your area carry epinephrine -- our pediatric allergist told us (with fury and disgust in his voice) that it isn't required here and many ambulances don't carry it. In that case, it would be safer for me to give a shot of epi and rush to the hospital myself, rather than waiting for an ambulance and *then* driving to the hospital... Just something to check into.

 

P.S. I'm also prepared to yell, "ANAPHYLAXIS!!!!" if ever the need arises.

Yes, from now on, I'll walk into the ER screaming "anaphylaxis!"... I'm not a screamer, but I've learned my lesson.

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One of the places that I've found nuts that I least expected it was in a bag of chedder chex mix. They put almond flour in it. I check everything now. Gluten free type stuff tend to have nut flours in them. You might want to check out NAET treatments. It seems to be lessening my son's nut allergy and totally eliminated my friend's dairy allergy. http://www.naet.com

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the chex mix head up is a good one. I will keep checking each package, but that's the kind of thing where if he's gotten used to eating the cereal he might not think about the mix.

 

I got two epi pens today - one regular for the school to have and the twinject for us to carry. Sometimes we travel long distances and going through Canada you can get far out of reach of a hospital pretty easily. Even where we spend the summer is an hour's drive from a hospital.

 

You know, you all are wonderful. I feel far more calm, informed,and most of all NOT ALONE whenever I ask a question of this community.

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I just found out yesterday that my 8 ds has a tree nut allergy... he is highly allergic to hazelnuts and is 'positive' to walnuts, but not to almonds. The confusing thing is that my allergist just told us to restrict his diet, but he did NOT think he needed an epi-pen. I guess he also showed low level antibodies to soy and a little bit to wheat. Now I have no idea what to feed him. The night before we found out, we gave him maple walnut ice cream! He's been breaking out in hives ever since, but he didn't have an immediate reaction.

 

This thread helped me and confused me. For some reason, even though my son has tree nut allergies (and he is also highly allergic to birch trees), I was not given any other advice except to avoid nuts. So, I guess it doesn't always help to go see an allergist. Even I can figure out to avoid nuts!

 

Brenda

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So, I guess it doesn't always help to go see an allergist. Even I can figure out to avoid nuts!

 

Brenda

 

Brenda,

 

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

 

As I've posted before, our first allergist was definitely *useless*. It was a very frustrating experience. Our second (a pediatric allergist at a children's hospital) was thorough, helpful and wonderful. He clearly had a much better understanding of how food allergies work in children and what the different numbers mean (the same "number" positive for different foods does not mean the same thing in terms of likelihood of reaction or severity of reaction), and was able to relay that to us.

 

The other thing is, YOU NEED AN EPI-PEN!!!! I cannot stress this highly enough. DO NOT accept "no" as an answer. Ask. Demand. Yell. Scream. Stomp on the floor. Threaten malpractice suits. Find another doctor. Whatever you have to do.

 

If you have a child who has already experienced hives as a result of exposure to walnuts *and* a positive test, you NEED an Epipen. It could *truly* mean the difference in life and death.

 

Also go back and read the advice in this thread about having Benedryl with you at all times.

 

But you NEED an Epi-Pen or TwinJect. Your pediatrician can prescribe it, a family doctor, an allergist...

 

But you MUST HAVE ONE.

 

The next exposure could easily be the one that stops your child breathing. That's scary, and I WANT you to be scared right now. If your child's doctor is an idiot and a quack, that's unfortunate, but it means you're going to have to stand up and advocate for your child. You need a prescription *today*.

 

Again, I'm so sorry you're facing this. I know how overwhelming it can be at first. :(

 

~abbey

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Dear Abbey,

 

Thanks so much for your detailed and concerned reply. I just cried on the phone with our family doctor, because their office told me I had to go through my allergist who ordered the RAST test, even to get info on tree nut allergies. That's when they decided to call the allergist and get a copy of the report faxed to them. Meanwhile, I had an appt. tomorrow (for chol. screening), which I cancelled and put my son in that spot, instead of me. He just happens to have a 100 temp. and his throat hurts and his stomach feels like it is going to explode. He's actually been having hives for about 2 months now, often getting them within 10 minutes of when he eats. I had told our allergist this and that is why he finally ordered the RAST test for us.... I have often had arguments with this particular allergist. This is a very hard situation.... I am supposed to be able to trust him that he knows how to read a RAST test better than I do. He also told me that it is up to me if I want to tell the schools that he has a tree nut allergy.... he said that the schools will go overboard (or something like that) if I tell them. Why isn't my allergist more concerned????

 

Thanks so very much for your note. I will be taking my son in to our family doctor, who will hopefully have the RAST results. I really need wisdom to know how to handle all this!

 

Brenda

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