12.05.2008

No planters for us

Today we went in for the follow up on Brandon's first allergy test. There was good news, bad news and, new news. The good news is they believe his original positive reaction to egg was either a false positive or he has grown out of it because today he had zero reaction. The reason I am so happy about this is that he was able to finally receive a flu shot (he could not before because part of the flu vaccine's binding solution contains egg). He also tested negative for strawberries and shell fish.

I told them of a time when he went to someones house with a large number of cats he came home wheezing and puffing around the eyes. I said I wasn't sure if it was cats, or if it was possible since the house was atrociously dirty he had encountered dried up peanut butter somewhere. They said both were a possibility and tested him. Sure enough, like his dad he has developed an allergy to cats.

I also advised the doctor about a time at a pumpkin patch, when he road donkeys he came home with breathing trouble, hives and swollen lips. Turns out he is allergic to horses, donkeys, goats, and other farm animals with similar hair. Guess I have to take back the pony I bought him for Christmas huh!

Finally they retested him for peanut. She poked him and walked away. He immediately went to itch. I of course had to hold his hands and refuse to let him itch because it could spread it, and alter other test areas. The next thing I know he was crying and screaming and writhing in pain. They made it stay on for 18 minutes. Here is how it looked after only 1 minute.


After they came in, they handed me a tissue and told me to gently wipe his back to relieve him. Instantly the small amount of whatever peanut trace could have been left behind caused the 8 other negative reactions to turn positive. The doctors were baffled by it. They said it was the most severe reaction they had seen. I have tons of restrictions for him now. He told me that grandparents are the number one cause of kids with allergies having reaction, after that was other peoples grandparents, church functions and then daycare. At daycare he said the biggest cause was children who had a peanut type breakfast, aka a granola bar and then coming to school and touching your child. The doctor said that while parents of course know the school is a peanut free zone, they often never consider what their kids ingest before coming to school, and most often they don't wash their hands first.

I recently interviewed a preschool and was appalled when they told me that they allow peanuts. The director said their solution was simply to place a child with a peanut allergy at a separate table. Can you even begin to imagine the danger that poses. Kids get peanut butter in their hair, on their clothes, on their hands, in their nails. In fact, one child bit Brandon today. Can you only imagine if that child had just ingested peanuts and then bit my kid.

I went to the lake recently for a family function where someone was serving sandwiches. There was peanut butter and salami. She said it would be fine if Brandon ate them. She was pretty sure she cut the salami first and then cut the peanut butter. They were on the same plate but different sides so it should probably be okay. I just stared at her stunned she would even suggest it, let alone feed the other three kids there peanut butter, knowing they had been touching Brandon all day.

The handout they gave me stated that 10% of products labeled "processed in a plant with or may contain trace amounts of peanuts" contain peanuts. Then it said 5% of those products contain enough peanut to cause an anaphylactic reaction. That scared the shit out of me. I had to remove probably 85% of the Halloween candy this year because it contained trace amounts or was processed in.

Finally they said that because of his allergies, dads allergies and my moms allergies, Codi has an 80% allergy of developing a sever allergy. The sad thing is they have no way of pinpointing what could cause the allergy. He is banned from all nuts, eggs and fish until after he is three.

Another interesting fact. They told me the large majority of the population is not allergic to strawberries. He said, strawberries contain high amounts of histamine, and when people ingest large quantities they will break out in hives. The doctor said this reaction often leads people to think they are allergic when really it is just a generic response to histamine. Neat fact, since I've actually had that happen to me, and I spent a long time thinking it was a strawberry allergy.

14 comments:

Moxymama said...

That's crazy about schools having a separate peanut allergy. It would scare the crap out of me to send my kid there and just hope and pray nothing happened.
I've heard that some kids who have a ton of allergies when they are younger grow out of them...my nephew did with a few of his. So maybe Brandon will as well.

uumomma said...

oh fuck shannon,
i am sorry you are dealing with this.
(hugs)

Cheeziemommie said...

ok so my son was recently referred to an allergist for his asthma. can you give me some insight on what we might have to go through? he's never had any issues with any kind of allergic reaction to food or medication. It's like seasonal allergies that he has. But I want to be able to prepare myself! And him as much as possible without freaking him out! He's 5.

Lainey-Paney said...

One of the little girls that I used to babysit had a HUUUUUUGE peanut allergy.

It's a huge deal.

That daycare: yes, it IS a big deal, and how much of an outcast would that ONE child feel like? That's not right.

As a mom, it may be nice for you to come up with a letter that Brandon's new school may consider for giving out to the other parents who have kiddos there. Because, I never would have thought of the granola bar thing...if I knew that one of Gage's classmates could potentially swell up & die because I didn't get peanut residue off my child's hands...well, it would just make me stop & think, you know?

I have a severe food allergy to peaches. With the way I was swelling, they immediately thought: shellfish, peanuts, or strawberries. Allergy test came back positive for peaches.
I'm soooooooooooooo glad. They are so much easier to avoid than peanut products!

Misguided Mommy said...

although I emailed this directly to cheeziemommy I thought I would post it in case any of you had the same question.

The first thing they will do is ask you every thing that possibly causes reactions, for seasonal they will ask what blooms, dust, what type of heat you have (oil, gas etc) and tons of other questions. Then what they will do is take this little tiny needle dropped and just barely tap it into their backs. Its going to hurt just a teeny bit. However after that the only time it will bug him is if there is an allergy because they are NOT allowed to itch, and you know, not itching a scratch is painful. They leave it on 20-30 minutes then come in and measure the marks if there are any. With Brandon, the first doctor only dropped the peanut oil on his skin and waited for a reaction before poking him. Since it is asthma they will probably test breathing too. I would plan on at least an hour and a half because they need to evaluate him first.

Julia said...

That strawberry thing is interesting. I thought I was allergic too but maybe I am not.
I totally agree about the peanut thing though. I am highly allergic to them too and I hate how some (not allergic people) sometimes act like it's no big deal. Like when we eat at someone's house and I ask politely if there's peanut oil in anything or anything containing peanuts and I have people rolling their eyes at me... I hope Jayla won't get it from me but I wouldn't be too surprised if she did. I guess it's even worse for kids... Sigh...

Anonymous said...

I have a friend (Pat) that I play softball with that his previous girlfriend who had an allergy to a nut, I don't remember which one tho. Well he told me that she had died because she ate something at his house or his parents house. That's just sad that people don't think that it is a big deal just because it's not in their lives.

; )

Not So Perfect said...

I am so sorry you guys have to deal with this. People are so insensitive sometimes, making a kid sit at a separate table.

There is a kid in Ella's preschool in the afternoon program Ella is in the morning program that has a severe peanut allergy. They do not allow any peanut products in the am program and have warned parents in the am program about feeding there children breakfast foods containing peanuts asking us to have our child change their clothes and wash before coming to school. I love how sensitive Ella's preschool is to this life threatening allergy.

angie said...

Poor little guy! That makes it hard on him...and to make him sit there for 18 minutes in itchy pain...yuck! Crazy about the school too!

Jiff said...

Poor kiddo. I know I wanted to scratch the skin off MY back when I got allergy tested, so I can't imagine how awful it is for a kid! Poor little guy.

And this post was very interesting. I never thought about the granola bars either. Sitting kids at different tables is wrong. Not just for health reasons, but because it makes them feel like an outsider. Sheesh.

Sounds like some preschools need to be better educated.

Misguided Mommy said...

Just to be clear, the school that allows peanuts, but at different tables is not Brandons school. His school is a 100% peanut free school. The other school was even less pricey and closer but HELL NO! I'm glad the doctor put it in my head though about what kids could eat before they came to school. Even something as simple as peanut butter captain crunch!!!

Anonymous said...

My daughter, who is one of the pickiest eaters is going into preschool in January. This whole time, I have been planning the majority of her lunches to be pb&j since that's one of the few cold lunches she will eat. After reading your blog, now I'm at a total loss of what to feed her. She hates meat, the only meat she will eat is bacon, chicken nuggets and fish sticks. Her school only allows cold lunches... so do you have any suggestions? I hate the idea of her causing another kid harm with pb, but now I don't know what to feed her.... what food to you pack in your son's lunch? TIA for your help!

Anonymous said...
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misguided mommy said...

hey anon. I'm writing from my phone so please excuse the spelling errors. First keep in mind cold lunch doesn't mean the food has to be cold it simply means they won't heat it. I have a great very cute crayola thermos I got at target for brandon. I heat sgetti,macaroni, and soup before school and it is still warm for brandon lunch. Guess what I bey chicken nuggets would also stay warm. Other kid friendly items, gogurt dry cereal, cheese sammiches (brandon also hates meat), fruit like melon or grapes. One kid in brandon class last week had lunchables. I have done spagettios and even dry feral with a cup of milk for the teacherS to add to the bowl ( think g dry cereal in a bowl with a snack lid and then either a small carton of milk or a large enough zippy cup full that they can just poor some out). Poptarts don't have nuts. Cheetos and fruit roll ups are safe too. Mini eggos warmed in the thermos with a snack cup of syrup to dip in. Even oatmeal and cream of wheat. Cora soup or alphabet soup. Anything she can/will eat in a thermos. Quessidillas even. Most chips. Pudding jello and yogurt. Chunks of cheese. Remember it is more important to pack food your kid will eat then worry how it looks. I was terrified the first time I sent brandon with a bread and cheese sandwich, cheetos, watermelon a d chicolate milk. His teacher was more impressed I packed what he would eat. Other ideas to help her eat. I used to cut brandons cheese sammy with cookie cutters. I also let him help pack it and finally I drew cute little things on his napkin. Last. You can always to cream cheese and jelly sandwiches instead of pb annnnnnnnd finally nearly every store even walmart sells soynut butter that is peanut free, she will never know.

Hope this helped soMe.

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