Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Peabutter Dilema

Natalie is not allergic to peanuts and technically neither is Izzy. Her skin test was negative, but it's possible she hasn't been exposed yet, thus it might have been a false negative. My husband, however, is allergic, so we just don't have peanut butter at home (that stuff is too sticky to safely have around kids).

I recently bought some Peabutter and Natalie loves it (Izzy not so much, lol). Now I'm wondering if letting my kids have it was such a good idea after all. See, what worries me, is the fact that the texture, taste and smell of it is simillar to the real thing (I know, I know, that's the point), but will they know how to spot the difference?

Let's assume Izzy is allergic, will it create confusion about what she is allowed to eat? Is giving her something that pretends to be the very thing that could kill her a smart move? Would she really be missing out on so much if she just didn't have the peanutbutter and jelly experience? And then to add to the bag of questions, what to do about the non-allergic sibling? Natalie already knows that there is her yogurt and Izzy's yogurt, her milk and Izzy's milk. I'm just so confused.

Has anyone else thought about this? How did you deal with it? Do you give your kids the 'pretend' food and make sure they're vigilant about knowing the difference, or do you just tell them to avoid anything that 'acts' like the allergen? Any comments on this would be very helpful.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yes, I've completely abandoned this blog for the past week while I was self absorbed with my latest 'must do' project:

Yes, I'm a knitter, and proud of it, lol! I've been making these for several years now and I finally decided to start selling them on Etsy.com. I've been told that they are definitely cute enough to sell, so I thought I'd give it a try. I'm still trying to figure it all out and entertaing the possibility of a partnership with a well established Etsy seller. If you're interested, feel free to drop me a line and I'll let you know where to look for them.

Allergy wise, things have been nice and quiet - just the way I like it!

I'm pretty excited to be involved with setting up a community support group for parents with allergic children in my local area. The first meeting will be in two weeks, so I'll let you know how it goes.

Natalie (the one without allergies) has broken out in hives 2 days in a row earlier in the week, but because I've read on a recent blog that these can happen due to a virus I was a lot less freaked out than I would have been otherwise. She did have a bit of a fever and a runny nose but other than the hives, there were no other allergy symptoms. Just to be safe, I doused her with Benadril and some Tylenol and she seemed fine. After 48 they were all gone, so I'm pretty confident it was viral, but of course, I now have a nagging feeling that perhaps she's not as allergy free as I thought she was. Sigh...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What it really looks like!

I've spent a LOT of time the last few days reading other people's allergy blogs.

Everyone has links to their favorite blogs on their side bars so I've spent most of my time blog-hopping, so to speak. This led me to a post by With Love, Carmen at Be Not Afraid about her recent experience with anaphylaxis.
"Despite being in danger of her airway closing off, my daughter is not going down without a fight. When she sees needle number two, Tough Girl takes off and dives under the bed. Now I have a possibly about to die kid hiding from me, screaming that she hates me."

It is an incredible piece about her daughter's anaphylactic reaction to a piece of candy offered by a well meaning teacher.

Her writing makes you feel like you're right there with her, watching it all unfold. I laughed and cried while reading it, and it finally hit me that anaphylaxis is real! Obviously, I knew that already, duh! But until now it was more like a phantom in the back of my mind. Something really vague that OTHER people go through. This post did more to prepare me for that fretful event than any educational pamphlet or video ever could, so I wanted to share it with you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Through Someone Else's Lungs

I went grocery shopping with the girls this afternoon. Way to spend my spring afternoons, lol.

As we entered the bulk section I saw one of the clerks refilling the peanuts bin. Normally I would not have thought twice about it, but since I've started this blog, allergies have been on my mind. As he was pouring the peanuts I imagined all of the peanut dust rising and spreading around the store. Now, I admit, I didn't see any dust floating, but I know you don't need to see it for it to be spreading. Worst part, it was right next to fruits and veggies. Now, I'm sure most people wash their produce before consumption, but I know I'm not one of them! I can only assume that a person with severe allergies would.

I approached the clerk and mentioned that my child has severe allergies and, although she likely wouldn't be affected, other people might. I also asked if it was possible to fill their nut bins in the back. His response was "I'm very sorry." That's nice and all, but I'm not sure that was enough. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that he didn't blow me off or give me attitude, but at the same time, I expected something along the lines of "Gee, I never thought of that, I'll see if that's possible". Saying sorry didn't exactly instill me with a lot of confidence that someone will look into it.

That wasn't the worst of it, though. When we were finished shopping, I realized I forgot the bananas, so I went through the bulk section again. Without even realizing, I stepped into a significant "puddle" of peanut dust which then stuck to the bottom of my shoes and pants. Now, because a) I noticed, and b)have an allergic husband, I made sure to wipe my shoes off when I exited the store and before getting into the car, but I bet most people just spread the peanut protein in their cars and possibly homes.

I suspect most parents know that toddlers love shoes, but also that they LOVE to chew on them. I think you can see where I'm going with that. I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for a parent whose child is extremely allergic to peanuts. My heart goes out to you. I count myself lucky that Izzy is not quite in that category.

I think I'll call the store manager and see what can be done about refilling the bulk bins.

UPDATE: Woo Hoo! I called the manager of our local Extra Foods and he said it was an excellent point. They will look into filling their bulk bins in the back and if that's not possible, they'll do it after hours and ensure the floors are cleaned afterwards. It may not completely eliminate the risk of exposure, but it will definitely reduce it significantly!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Welcome to my first post about my experiences with allergies. I myself have been ignorant about them for most of my life, until I met my husband. We lucked out with our first girl who is allergy free, unfortunately, our second baby girl was not so lucky.

I will try to get this blog up to date with what has already happened in the next month or so. For now, you can check out my latest "scare" on my other blog about life and motherhood in general.

Please, say hello to Izzy!