Peanut Is Allergic To Peanuts.. Now What?

I wanted to send him out in protective gear to avoid peanuts!

About one year ago, I made my than 2 1/2-year-old a peanut butter sandwich.  I was working on making something quick for my 1-year old.  Some how, my 1-year old took a bite of the sandwich.  At that moment, one of the scariest things I have ever encountered happened. 

Within minutes, his face began to swell.  He was suddenly lethargic and mellow.  He was having a reaction to the peanut butter.  I was home alone with them.  My Fiance was working 2nd shift at that time and we only had one car between the both of us.  Mildly panicking, I called my parents.  Thank goodness they were 2 minutes down the road. 

Mom and Dad showed up.  I was trying to get the kids ready.  My Mom called the ER to let them know we were on the way.  My Dad was holding my 1-year old who was just laying there with hives all over his face.  Rather than calling 911, we drove him ourselves.   I couldn’t wait for them to get there.  Now it makes sense and I should have called.  I just wasn’t thinking at that time though.

We got to the ER and we were rushed in.  They gave my son an IV and an EPI pen shot.  Within minutes his face started clearing up.  He wasn’t happy with the needles.  He was thrashing around, but I was so happy to see him reacting that way.  This could have been bad.  I couldn’t help but cry while seeing him.  The Doctor and nurses were looking at me in a funny way, but I couldn’t help it.  I felt so guilty.  I had no idea he had a peanut allergy, but I still felt this was my fault.  After a few hours, we left and he was ok.

His pediatrician suggested we do a blood test to make sure it was definitely the peanuts.  He was also on amoxicillin for an ear infection at that time.  They wanted to make sure it was definitely the nuts.  The ER Doctor suggested the same, even telling me to spread a little bit on his back to see if he reacts.  Really?  As a Mom, I know what just happened.  There is no way in hell I am going to put some on him!  So, I opted for the blood test. 

After a few weeks, the results were in.  The nurse asked if I had a pen on me.  Not only is he allergic to peanuts, but he is allergic to dogs, cats, walnuts, coconut, almonds, basically all nuts and soy.  Wait.  What?  Soy?  Yup, soy also.  To the allergist we go.

I had been through an allergy exam with my daughter.  This was the least pleasant thing to put a child through.  She was 4 at the time and it was traumatic for her.  My baby is a little over 1.   But, we had to do it.  We wanted to do it.  Better safe than sorry.  The test was interesting to say the least.  It’s certainly not fun.  They wiped down his back and marked it up with numbers.  (When my daughter had hers they used her arm.  If your child should ever need one done, ask that it be done on their back.  They can’t reach it and it’s so much better.) They then have a tray of all different types of liquids which are the allergens.  They use a little prick type thing, not really a needle, but to me it looked like a mini-golf tee with a very pointy tip.  They scratch each marked number and wait for a reaction.

About 20 minutes after the test.

  The peanut was an instant reaction.  It looked like a very swollen mosquito bite.  The Soy and Tree Nuts were also bad.  The nurse actually had to use an alcohol wipe to wipe those samples off of his skin rather than waiting the full 10-15 minutes.  I knew what to expect with the peanuts, a mother’s gut instinct usually knows best, but I feared the worst when it came to Glucose, Wheat, Shellfish and Eggs.  Thankfully, those were all negative.

We were told that when he is about 4-years old, they will re-test him.  There is a chance he will outgrow these allergies.  That would be amazing.  But, for now, what do we do?  Our life grocery shopping has changed dramatically.  EVERYTHING HAS SOY OR PEANUTS OR WAS MADE IN A FACTORY WITH PEANUTS!  It’s very over-whelming and also incredibly scary.   Thankfully, there are some amazing websites out there.  I discovered a few today.

One of the staples of my childhood was a good old Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich.  I mean, who hasn’t had one of these and who doesn’t love the thought of one.  I don’t want my baby growing up never having one.  Well, today, I stumbled across a website called http://www.peanutfreeplanet.com.  It’s amazing.  They have peanut butter substitutes that are made with sunflower seeds.  Peanut, Tree-Nut and Soy free!  So much to choose from.  I plan on updating this as I find new recipes and websites.  So far, this one has the best options. 

If your child does have a peanut, soy or tree-nut allergy, please make sure you check what type of oil restaurants use.  Chinese restaurants are big on peanut oil.  McDonald’s is peanut free, but their ice cream sundaes are not.  Here is a website that has all kinds of information, http://www.bestallergysites.com/. There is even a magazine about living with allergies.

Some schools are now going peanut free also.  Please be understanding if your child does not have these allergies.  I didn’t understand until we had this scare. http://www.foodallergy.org has some great information as well. 

Hopefully, you never have to deal with these kinds of allergies.  If you do and if have any information that you would like to share with me, please do in the comments.  

xoxo,

Stacy

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Colline
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 14:57:03

    Scary stuff! Thank you for sharing your experience – it makes understanding peanut-free schools a little easier.

    Reply

    • smilingmommyblog
      Sep 07, 2011 @ 15:03:19

      I never understood the peanut free thing either. I remember feeling so aggravated when I couldn’t pack my daughter her fave peanut butter and fluff a few years ago. Now I feel really bad for not being aware of how serious it can be! Thank you for reading! 🙂

      Reply

  2. Tracy
    Sep 07, 2011 @ 15:15:59

    My children do not have allergies, however my nephew does. He’s allergic to peanuts, dogs (was allergic to cats, but it flipped) eggs & a few other things. Oh, he has athsma as well. He’s had to have breathing treatments, the epi pens have to be on hand, its stressful for his parents at times, but hopefully he’ll grow out of them as he gets older. Thanks for sharing this. I hope it can help someone with questions regarding children & allergies.

    Reply

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