Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Peanut Allergy?!?!

I couldn't believe it when I found out Ella was allergic to peanuts. There was no family history, I had done everything I could think of to avoid this allergy, and yet, there she was, in the middle of the kitchen, throwing up and turning blotchy after taking her first bite of peanut butter. It was terrifying. It was something that I had feared, but not something that I actually thought would happen to my child.

Of course, we rushed her to a doctor nearby who told us, "She's allergic to peanuts. So don't let her eat them." Thanks, that was helpful. I made an appointment with our family doctor, who referred us to an allergist (an appointment we had to wait an excruciating 8 weeks for). The allergist did the scratch test, which confirmed that Ella was indeed extremely allergic to peanut. He taught me how to use an EpiPen, he gave me a brochure on anaphylaxis, and he sent me home.

But I needed more. I spent hours on the internet learning everything I could about anaphylaxis and peanut allergy. I read blogs. I read government publications. I read research studies. I thought the more information I had, the better able I would be to keep Ella safe. So then I went to the library. I read books. I watched DVDs.

But what I really needed wasn't more and more information. I needed to know that I wasn't alone in this. That there were other moms out there who were just as paranoid as I was. I found reading blogs to be really helpful, because along with the information, they spoke about how it feels to live with a peanut-allergic child.

So that's why I'm writing this. Because I'm sure you're out there, hoping to find someone who is going through the same thing you are. Well, here I am.


  1. Naomi,
    so nice to discover your blog, not so nice for the reason you started it ((hugs))

    We've got allergy issues in our home too, of a different sort. All three of my children have exhibited various allergic symptoms/reactions, which wasn't the largest surprise I've ever had. I'm asthmatic with allergies of my own, and should possibly be carrying my own epi-pen (wasps), but don't.

    My oldest has officially been dx'ed with asthma, and had his first big, scary allergic reaction as we were boarding a plane to come home from a vacation. I was actually *this* close to pulling him off and taking him to emergency before we managed to get our hands on some benadryl (too bad in some ways, we were in Hawaii, and going home to Saskatchewan in winter).

    My middle child developed a severe case of eczema after her 12 month shots - and she didn't even recieve the full amount. She is quite skin sensitive still, and we watch her for more eczema when the weather turns now.

    Third child is most probably asthmatic as well, and seems to react to some dyes. Red in particular is on our hit list, and she no longer is able to get her face painted after her last reaction. "dat makes me itch" she says.

    Comparatively speaking, my kids (and I) are rather mild in the allergy department. However, knowing how scary even mild reactions can be, I feel much empathy for parents who have children with much more severe reactions. My children's school is nut free, and I work very hard to be supportive of that. It's easy to be very lassiez-faire about nuts, but when you know and love somebody for whom it is a life and death issue, it is important to take it seriously.

  2. Hi Kristin! So great to hear from you! But, wow...three kids with allergy/asthma issues. I'm going crazy with just one allergy kid! But we're still really new at this whole allergy thing, as Ella was just diagnosed this summer. So she's only had the one peanut reaction, and then the asthma-like breathing trouble last night (which was VERY scary). So it's nice to hear from a pro like you! And it's nice to know that even though you've been dealing with it for longer than me, it still freaks you I don't feel so bad about freaking out. :)

  3. Hello Naomi,
    my four year old son has a severe peanut and tree nut allergy, as well as my two year old son (his twin sister suffers from severe asthma). My four year old son starts school this sept, so needless to say Iam extremely nervous. I carry epipens everywhere we go, but have yet (knock on wood) experienced an attack. Thank you for starting this blog, It is nice to know there are other moms out there with this worry. I fear everyday for his safety!