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.