He Passed!!!!

happy face

Well, all except for tree pollen. But, we can handle tree pollen! Tree pollen isn’t life threatening. Tree pollen only causes a little bit of a runny nose. Claratin works great for that problem. We will take it! Little C went for the official allergy test this morning. He did a great job sitting through all of the skin pricks and waiting in between. He passed all of the top eight food allergen tests with flying colors! In fact, we went out for breakfast afterwards and he ate pancakes! I have to say, though, that I felt very strange and even a little on my guard watching him chow down. I think that comes with the territory of being a food allergy mom who has once witnessed anaphylaxis in full swing. I am so happy for little C! He just kept saying over and over, “Hee, Hee! I am not allergic to eggs!” I just hope little R is okay with this. I guess this will make for great lesson in handling envy ūüôā

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Hives, OH MY!!!

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Just a few days ago, my little C broke out in hives!¬† We have always treated him as if he has the same food allergies as little R because we have never been 100% sure that he doesn’t.¬† He did have a breakout of eczema from head to toe about three years ago after eating eggs (after his allergy test was negative…)

Friday morning, after breakfast, little C started getting these random hives on his body.  There were only about three of them to start, but they were rather large- about the size of a silver dollar!  I gave him Benadryl, and they disappeared pretty much right away.  It was later in the day, when they started reappearing and would NOT disappear with Benadryl that I got worried!

I called the pediatrician, and they eventually told me to bring him in.¬† The doctor who saw him was stunned at the size of the hives.¬† He said that he had never seen hives that large before in person!¬† He checked his breathing and felt confident that we didn’t have to worry about anaphylaxis.¬† Though, part of the reaction did include very red, itchy eyes, and a nose that was like a drippy faucet!

I took him home, and proceeded to get him ready for bed.  However, as I was taking his clothes off to put on pajamas, I about fell over at the sight of his hives!  They were enourmous!  One of them stretched form the middle of his waist down to his knee!  I am not kidding!!!  In fact, I will post a picture for  you to see.

I took some time to think about what could have been the cause of all this havoc.¬† Luckily, the hives started within the first h0ur of the morning, so I didn’t not have a whole day to sift through.¬† The only conclusion I could come up with was the yogurt little C ate for breakfast.¬† He has had yogurt plenty of times, but this was a new kind.¬† I won’t mention the brand name, but it did have some ingredients in the list that I don’t believe he has had before.¬† They included chickory root, and carmine.¬† I did some research on both, and was shocked to find a ton of information on the carmine!

Carmine is used for red food coloring.  It comes from dried, ground up beetles.  Yes, I said beetles!  Apparently, it is very commonly found in yogurts, ice cream, popsicles, and even candy.  There have been a large number of allergy reactions to carmine reported, so the FDA has passed a law that by 2011, carmine has to be listed on all ingredient labels. 

If you don’t believe me, you can read about it on the FDA website.

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Filed under food allergy reactions, food labeling, hives

Food Allergies in the Social World

I know, the title is a bit strange.  I just need to write about something that has been on my mind. 

I have written previously that my son with the life threatening food allergies started kindergarten this year.¬† I have been amazed at how wonderful his teacher has been about following our guidelines in regards to keeping him safe.¬† She has called me several times with questions when she wasn’t sure about something.¬† I think this is great.¬† It makes me feel like she is really on top of things.

It is not really anything to do with the school that bothers me.  It is that meeting new people with children at the school who are new to the world of food allergies. 

I didn’t realize until recently that I have been living in a “safe” world of friendship for quite awhile now.¬† A few years ago when we moved into our new house, I went through the exhausting task of teaching our new friends in the neighborhood about little R’s food allergies and explaining to them how his life can be truly threatened in a matter of minutes.¬† They have all¬†come to truly understand the situation and are very supportive.

Just recently, through school, we have started making new friends.¬† They are wonderful people.¬† I really enjoy the company of these moms, and my son likes playing with their children.¬† I have found, though, that I have had a hard time making it clear that little R’s food allergies are pretty severe.¬† There are many other children at the school who have peanut allergies and they do fine there.¬† I think that it is too easy to get lumped in a group in which it seems easy to assume that we are all the same.¬† As a food allergy mom I know that each child’s situation is different, though.¬† What may work for these other children may not work for us.¬† It is hard to explain that to someone on the outside.

I have made the final decision to homeschool starting next year.¬† Though the food allergies play a part in my decision, there are many other reasons as well.¬† The point is that I have made the decision known, and I think some of these other moms may fell I am being overprotective.¬† I am sure that looking in from the outside, it may appear to look that way.¬† But, when it comes to my dear chlidren, I feel that my ultimate job as a parent… before anything else… is to keep them safe.

I know that parents in the food allergy world will understand where I am coming from.  I guess that is why I needed to write this post.  I sometimes feel very alone in this world of food allergies, and right now I could use some words of encouragement.

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Filed under food allergies and friends, food allergies and school, food allergy support, Our personal journey

Food Residue Really IS Everywhere!

In regards to my sons food allergies, I worry all the time about the food residue that might be lurking around unseen.¬† When we attend a party or other gathering that includes food, my anxiety level is hightened because the offending food is within eyesight.¬† After reading Heather Legg’s article, Allergens Are Everywhere, Arn’t They?¬†I discovered why I am still feeling unsettled in other settings.¬†

There are countless times when food residue may be present but invisible!¬† Heather mentions places like the grocery cart at the store and door handles at school where the “peanut free zones” do not apply.¬† This reminded me of an experience we encountered just yesterday.¬† I took my son to a local high school play.¬† During intermission many people visited the snack bar and brought some of their snacks into the theatre for the remaining performance.¬† Just after we sat down, my son grabbed my arm and said, “Mom!¬† That girl (sitting next to him) is eating candy and it IS NOT SKITTLES!”¬† I explained to the girl why he was worried, and I had him move to the other side of my seat.¬† I, of course, started wondering if his new seat might not have the presence of something he is allergic to.¬† While people with mild food allergies may not be as frightened by these scenerios, my son has a severe peanut allergy and will have a potentially life-threatening reaction witin seconds if the offending food residue were to enter his system!¬†

It was kind of refreshing for me to read Heather’s story because I have been struggling with this thought for a while now.¬† There are many people out there who do not truly understand the subject of food allergies.¬† Some of these people have claimed to be doctors and have even written articles claiming that food allergies are a hoax!¬† This causes people like me, the parent of a food allergic child, a lot of¬†stress for a host of reasons.¬† The reality is that food allergies¬†DO exsist, and every food allergic child is different.¬† Some children will experience only mild symptoms during a reaction, and others more extreme and life threatening.¬† I witnessed my son almost lose his life during his first reaction.¬† This was only after a pea-sized taste of peanut butter!¬† I guess I will never be able to get that image out of my mind.¬†

I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am a parent of a child who is severly allergic to peanuts. ¬†I have made the choice to follow my gut instinct when it comes to protecting him and to stop worrying about what the rest of the world thinks.¬† After all, isn’t that our number one goal as¬†parents… keeping our children safe?

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Filed under always be prepared, food allergies and school, travel w/food allergies

Food Allegries Linked to Bedwetting?

Bed wetting is still an issue in our house.  Little R is about to turn six years old is still sleeping in pull up diapers.  I feel very bad for him because I know first hand what he is going through.  I happen to also have been a bed wetter when I was a child.  I do not remember at what age I actually started making it through the night dry, but I am pretty certain it was after the age of six. 

I recieve regular emails from Beyond Allergy¬†in which the most recent one highlighted¬†¬†this article on Healthy-Family.¬† The article titled Food Allergies May Cause Your Child’s Bed Wetting Problem, talks about how when certain foods were taken out of an individuals diet, they quit wetting the bed.¬† With Little R, he does not ingest any of the known foods that he is allergic to which obviously means that they are not the cause of his bed wetting.¬† However, I am now wondering if there may be other foods that he is ingesting that are maybe not true allergies but an intolerance.¬† He does also have eczema which is mentioned in the article as a risk factor.

Have you heard of this?

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Peanut Allergies and Reactions to Lupin

My friend Paul from Food Allergy Angel sent me an email linking to a story on Science Daily that reports a caution to people with peanut allergy.  Lupin is in the legume family the same as peanuts.  Apparently there have been cases of people with peanut allergy that have reacted to foods with the Lupin ingredient. 

I found the article interesting.  When I learn of new things such as this, my first thought is wether for not little R has had the ingredient in question.  I am happy to have the heads up, but at the same time learning of new things that can harm my little precious being causes me a lot of anxiety.  I would love to dismiss this new piece of information, but I know first hand that other foods in the legume family can indeed cause a reaction to my peanut allergic child.  He happens to be allergic to peas for this very reason!

Maybe this will help some of you with a mystery reaction or two.  I would love to know if anyone else has heard of the Lupin news.

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It’s That Time of Year Again!

Little R is now starting to collect donations for food allergy research.  All of the money raised will go to FAAN after Halloween.  Last year Little R collected about $100, so this year we are going to try and do more.  We will be sharing the box with some of our family members so they can help out by taking it to work and such, but if you would like to make a donation you can send a check to us written out to FAAN.  I will try to add updates on a weekly basis to keep you posted on our progress.  Thank you in advance!

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Filed under fundraising, research for a cure, research for the cause