Add peanut allergy to our list....
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March 13th, 2012, 06:10 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Hi Ladies. I am a lurker to this site. I wanted to reply because your post sounded so similar to my own personal experiences (with my children, who are quite a bit older than yours).
My son (my youngest, who is 7) had three anaphylactic reactions to peanuts before he was 18 months old. The first two reactions (which I know now were anaphylactic) were "just hives". The first involved a high chair incident exactly like you described (with my older child).... Our (former) pediatrician blew it off because it was "just hives". I now know that this jeopardized my son's life in a major way. The third reaction was full blown. All major body systems were involved except cardiovascular, and honestly, heart may have been involved too, but he wasn't at the hospital to know this. And, I wasn't prepared to deal with the reaction (no epi-pen, just benadryl). It was terrifying! I took actions into my own hands at that point and took him to an allergist. He was diagnosed with a severe (class 6) allergy to peanuts. I learned the hard way that you can't deem how serious a peanut allergy is by the reaction.... I don't tell you this to scare you, but only so you can look into it before you go through what we did. He hasn't (knock on wood) had a reaction since he was 18 months old, but keeping him safe (especially now he is in school) has been an effort, to say the least. And, as far as outgrowing it, it depends upon how severe the child's allergy is (determined through blood test, not by reaction). For those that have low IGE for peanuts and that are under a certain age, there is a good chance to outgrow. For me, I hold hope in the research that is underway at Duke (where they are successfully treating this allergy). Our allergists hope that the treatment will be FDA approved in under five years. As far as other allergies, when he was 12 months old, my son also tested as allergic to milk, wheat and egg.... He grew out of all of these allergies (these were mild and he tolerated with only mild eczema). Now, he only tests allergic to peanuts.
My daughter, who just turned nine, was diagnosed with a milk allergy when she was six weeks old. She was bleeding internally, and her reaction was only from the milk I was consuming as I was exclusively breastfeeding. After a long 12 months of nursing and me avoiding all traces of milk, she outgrew this allergy. As of her allergy tests last year, she has no major allergies (some slight environmental allergies). Thank god.
When I found out about my son's peanut allergy, I was literally consumed by it. I didn't know what to do, so I read. And then I read and read and read. There is so much information out there. I can honestly tell you that it no longer consumes me. I understand and I know how to keep him safe. And so does he, and so does everyone else that is around him. I can't count the number of people that have said "oh, no, nuts/peanuts are in EVERYTHING!". You know what? They are not! We have taught (or attempted to teach) our son to not fear his allergy, but rather to be aware so he can keep himself safe. He repeated this exact thing to someone else a few weeks ago. He also told them that his allergy is part of him and he wouldn't change it. I literally cried. Allergies suck, but unfortunately for many of us, they are a reality. And, there are so many worse things out there, right?
Hang in there! It'll get better.
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