Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No Fresh, Hot Peanuts Here

On Sunday, Londo and I decided to try the Pumpkin with a tiny bit of peanut butter to see how she did. We have not exposed her to any nuts since we wanted to wait until we felt she could communicate if there was a problem. She is definitely verbally advanced enough now to communicate issues with us, so we thought we'd go ahead and try her on a weekend afternoon when we would both be there in case things did not go well.

I pulled out some crackers, organic peanut butter and some jelly to fix PBJ crackers for me and told the Pumpkin that I had a snack. She loves the crackers, so she climbed up into her booster seat and asked for some crackers. I gave her some and offered her a little bit of peanut butter on a spoon. She didn't want to try it, so we didn't push. But she always wants to try what I'm eating, so I made myself some PBJ crackers.

She eyed me a little, while eating her crackers. Then she held out her cracker and basically asked to try some peanut butter. So I put just a bit on the cracker. Probably not even a 1/4 of a teaspoon. She had a few bits, then put that cracker down and went back to her regular crackers.

Londo and I watched carefully.

Within a few minutes, she started getting red, splotchy marks at the sides of her mouth. They spread a little. Then another mark appears above her lip. She had stopped eating the crackers, but was chatting away (my little chatter box!) and drinking her water.

I looked at Londo, and he looked at me. We agreed that it appeared she was having a reaction to the peanut butter. Londo thought that the first red splotchy mark was getting a little white in the middle. I cleaned up the snack as thoroughly as possible, especially wiping down all areas that touched peanut butter. Londo asked if I was ready to jump in the car and get to the hospital if we needed. I said I was, but should probably put another shirt on. I waddled up stairs, changed shirts, waddled back down and checked her mouth again.

Still, she seemed fine other than the splotches. I sat next to her at the table, and we colored with crayons. I checked her mouth a few more times, and the splotches were clearing up. Within the hour, they were completely gone.

But they were there. It was definitely a reaction, and the only thing new she tried was the little bit of peanut butter.

The next morning, I called the advice nurse at the pediatricians. She agreed that it sounded like a rash and told me to call and allergist. She said that often the first reaction is mild, but that we shouldn't try her again with peanuts or any nuts because the next reaction would likely not be as mild. Instead, she said to avoid all nuts and nut products (including things cooked in peanut oil and such) until we saw the allergist and got further diagnosis and information.

I'll share my appointment making with the allergist with you, because I thought it was a bit funny. I called one of the numbers the nurse gave me, and the allergist was booked until June. No problem, I said, we can just avoid peanuts and nuts until June. We've already avoided them for two years. So I agreed to an appointment on June 29th.

Then I realized that I was going to have a baby about a week prior to that. There was no way I could make that appointment! I made the appointment for late July instead.

How could I have forgotten that little issue? Ha! All I can say is that I am pretty concerned about this allergy. The Pumpkin has shown no allergies to anything else, and there is not much in the way of food allergies in our families. So this has thrown me for a loop.

Luckily the pre-school we just signed the Pumpkin up for is a nut-free facility and they stressed how they dealt with food allergies. So we can continue our plan to have her start there in the fall.

But I'm sad that it looks like I won't get to share my love of PBJ sandwiches and crackers with her. I'm sad that I just decided that the boy's blog name would be the Peanut, and now I can't in good conscience call him that when it appears the Pumpkin is allergic to peanuts! And most of all, I'm sad that the Pumpkin will have to limit her choices of foods, restaurants, ball parsk and who knows what else because of an allergy. I know it's just an adjustment we'll make, and it's a pretty common allergy so people understand. I just wish she could have and do anything in the world, and is a limitation that I wish she didn't have.

12 comments:

Charisse said...

Oh bummer. There was a really interesting article recently about medically supervised desensitization working for some people with nut allergies.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/139731.php

Worth asking your allergist about--it sounds like the children might still be reactive, but they got to the point where they could tolerate up to 10 peanuts, and therefore didn't have to be so incredibly careful of incidental exposure.

My Buddy Mimi said...

That's too bad. I was going to mention the same desensitization study, but I see someone beat me to it.

Cloud said...

Oh, what a shame! I hope the allergist has some good news for you, when you finally get there. I saw the research Charisse mentions, too. It looks promising.

I don't think all peanut allergies are so bad that they require severe limitations beyond what the child actually eats. Certainly, I know of at least one peanut allergic person who LOVES baseball and goes to the games as often as he can. I've never heard him worry about the peanuts in the park. I hope that if Pumpkin IS going to have a peanut allergy it is a mild one.

We haven't tried our Pumpkin on peanuts yet. It is on the list of things to do....

I like the new blog look.

caramama said...

@My Buddy Mimi - Did you stop blogging? I miss hearing about what's going on with you!

MommyEm said...

I am sorry to read about the reaction. I haven't tried peanuts yet, but I did start almonds awhile ago and Dorothy loves an almond butter and jelly sandwich. I had heard that almonds caused fewer reactions, so I started there. I hope the allergist has some good info!

Karen said...

Allergies have never run in my family, and I have to say that I've never given these things a thought. I did wait the prescribed year for certain foods, but I guess we just got terribly lucky. Poor Pumpkin. A life without peanut butter would not be fun.

Colleen said...

Two words: Soynut butter.

Our daycare company has been nut-free as long as we've been there (5 yrs now) and they give the kids soynut butter. It tastes pretty similar to peanut butter but no reactions (well, unless you have a kid that's sensitive to soy).
I found it in the peanut butter section of the Safeway near me, so I would think it would be easily found in other grocery stores. Just too bad they don't make Reeses Soynut butter cups...
Good luck with the allergist--hope they have some good info for you.

paola said...

As a person who is allergic to tree- nuts (anaphylactic shock to walnuts and buckwheat- yes I know that isn't a nut), let me say that it can be very very frightening for both the parents and the sufferer. However, it doesn't have to be restrictive. Now, there is so much more awareness of the allergy than 40 years a go when I was a kid and much easier to avoid. Now at least there are nut- free zones and much more information, and the Epipen, things that did not exist when I was kid.

My allergy never stopped me from traveling or experimenting with food. I'm sure Pumpkin will still be able to lead a full and exciting life.

Trannyhead said...

Scary! I haven't tried peanuts with my kid, though he hasn't shown any allergy to anything else. I'm also fairly confident he's eaten nut products before (like the cookies with almonds I saw his grandma passing him). It still makes me nervous, though, and I'm holding off on peanuts for a while.

Jan said...

Sometimes they outgrow it, so don't write off PBJs forever.

I recommend Sunbutter. Much more expensive than peanut butter, but made from sunflowers and quite a delicious substitute.

nutmeg96 said...

Aw, I'm so sorry to hear this. It's great that you caught it, though. And she'll still live a full life without peanuts (if she has to) -- she can still go to baseball games and all sorts of places, although she probably shouldn't go to Five Guys. :)

ImpostorMom said...

That stinks. You know I never even thought of waiting because neither one of use have any nut allergies in our families. Good that y'all were cautious though.

ps. i'm waaaay behind as you can tell. :D