Monday, December 20, 2010

New wrinkle in our lives

The largest welt is the site for peanuts (7x9mm)

Today we became members of a honestly somewhat undesirable club, Ceci was diagnosed with an allergy to peanuts today.  She tested positive to a scratch test, with a sizable welt to peanuts, but also reacted mildly to Cashew, Pistachio, Pecan, and Hazelnuts.  I now understand entirely why she has always turned her cute little button nose up at my delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Honestly I have to laugh at myself a little though, keeping her gluten free was the easiest move, while the thought of becoming a nut free household has me a little anxious.  I seriously love peanut butter, I would and have eaten it everyday when left unchecked, but its the health of my child in question, so out it goes, without a second thought.  My anxiety is based in being able to thoroughly check all her food and keep a vigilant watch for any thing that could hurt her.  The doctor tells me that I don't have to worry about her reacting to it if it's in the house, that she can survive that, and the decision to go nut free is mine to make.

It all became clear last Wednesday after I gave Ceci two Reese's pieces and told her they were M&M's, not thinking anything of it until she had already eaten them.  I was eating a couple of Milk Duds and she asked for one, I knew that was a bad idea, so I reached into the bag of Reese's pieces for her.  She loves M&M's so I just oversimplified the situation and told her what she wanted to hear.  Moments after she ate them it hits me that she has actively avoided peanut butter her whole short life and I got worried.  I tried to assess her as the evening wore on, she started in with "my teeth hurt" almost immediately, which was odd, but she is getting her two year molars so I thought maybe she was right.  For the next hour and a half she made a horrible whimpering noise, was extra clingy, lethargic, and kept complaining her teeth hurt.  It wasn't until Tim got home that she finally told him her mouth hurt, then went to the bathroom where I thought she needed to pee.  I put her on the potty, where she proceeded to projectile vomit across the bathroom floor.  I regret having fed her a smoothie that afternoon.  It was everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  We acted quickly and efficiently and got everything cleaned including Ceci, and as I scrubbed fuchsia pink puke off the floor, the light bulb over my head clicked on with a 120 watt bulb!  Peanuts!  Holy Mackerel!!  It's peanuts!

About a month ago she got sick on the airplane as we were loading to go to Oregon, we had eaten Pad Thai for dinner that night.  The airport restaurant mixed peanuts into the dish, whereas the place we usually go to puts them on the side and she doesn't touch them.  Now we understand better what happened that night, and why she got sick.

It all makes sense now!  Both times she got sick, she was fine after she got the peanuts out of her body, with no problems afterward.  Now with those two experiences, I made an appointment with the allergist and got her checked.  I feel much better now knowing what she is allergic to and what we need to avoid.  So far if she can actually see or smell the peanuts she won't eat them, I have my fingers crossed that this little skill sticks with her for a very long time.  To be sure though we will continue reading labels and ingredient lists now checking for gluten sources and nut sources.  I will also work to keep my recipes nut free for her, and I know it won't be to hard because so many people already live with nut allergies and I can use their knowledge and experience to educate myself and our family.

If anyone has suggestions of helpful or educational websites, let me know, I'm very curious and in need of education on how to avoid nuts.

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