Friday, February 27, 2009

My Poor, Sweet, Happy Boy


Johnny was just diagnosed with a "severe" (docs word, not mine) peanut allergy. How did we know to get him tested for it, you ask? We didn't. He was at the allergist to be checked for a sensitivity to dairy - the kid is still mostly on formula and no yogurt or cheese, blah, blah, blah. He has a mystery dairy threshold where, if we cross it, he starts spitting up nasty, curdled stuff. The smell is nauseating. Ainsley actually threw up the other day, right after he did, because it was so gross. Anyway, because he has always had eczema and more-than-normal-amounts of coughing, the doctor ordered the test for the basics: wheat, animals, dust mites, egg, etc. The irony is that Johnny was not found to be allergic to dairy (just a sensitive stomach - not sure where to got with that), but the peanut test went bonkers on his broad, chubby back. Poor little guy.

My first reaction was, unfortunately, "Awww Man! You have GOT to be kidding me!" because peanut butter is one of Ainsley's staples in her diet. IV is already lowest on her list in our cast of characters; she doesn't need another reason to keep him in the permanent doghouse. My second reaction was much more maternal, as in "Thank you, God, for allowing us to discover this the easy way". I had been waiting on introducing full-on peanut butter for another couple months because our pediatrician strongly encourages it. I am so thankful I did not have to call 911 over a sandwich.

And so we begin our journey into reading ingredient lists, epi pens, and neurotic parental protective behavior. Any advice is appreciated.

2 comments:

Tracy said...

Hi - I'm a mom of a 10-year old with PA who surfed in via google alerts. I wanted to reassure you that it does get easier!

For your older child, check out IM Healthy Soybutter, or Sunbutter. I've found the soybutter in the local Safeway, it's peanut-free and tastes just like peanut butter to me. Sunbutter is a little different, but a lot of kids love it!

A good starter website is the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network at www.foodallergy.org . I also like to visit the message boards at www.foodallergysupport.com . Like everyplace on the net, you need to vet the medical info, but the emotional support is great.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Kitty, this is Holly. Don't know if you remember that Marc has a "severe" peanut allergy. Just read labels, keep the epi pen around and prepare to get burned on occasion (like the time the server at the restaurant didn't realize that peanut butter contains peanuts!). You can make yourself crazy over it, but Marc doesn't and it is rarely a problem(he couldn't--40+ years ago life was just different).

We eat peanut butter around here--Megan just knows to wash her hands after and of course I brush and floss before kissing him. Sunflower butter (now even at schnucks) is a good sub--i gave marc some "peanut butter" cookies made w/ sunflower butter once and he gagged on them and said, "ugh, these taste just like peanut butter!" How he knows this when he has only eaten peanut butter once at age two is a mystery to me.

Anyway, feel free to call w/ questions.