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Stupid Peanut Residue on Stupid Playgrounds

Silas  was out on the playground in our complex the other day.  Juliet noticed a hive on his chin so I let him have a shower to wash off any residue (he often gets hives from things).  After the shower I noticed some red bumps on his neck but thought he still looked OK. Hours later the hive started growing legs and spreading so we took some Benadryl.  He’s was OK but the hive was beet red for hours after.  Definitely looked like a peanut hive.

Not a big deal, just a friendly reminder of a stupid allergy that can attack him anywhere, even right outside my front door. Just makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a train. My heart breaks each time it happens. It’s almost too much. I’m just glad it wasn’t a big deal. It still hurts deeply though.

I’m a member of a peanut allergy discussion board and a lot of the parents on there don’t take their kids to public playgrounds anymore because of the reactions.  One person said that the contact reactions aren’t dangerous but I’m scared of his hands going into his mouth.  They don’t usually but sometimes they do.

It just sucks.  I don’t know what to do about it.  There’s a beautiful playground right outside my front door that he’s always asking to play on.  I don’t know if there’s risk there for him, I don’t know if I can ask strata to ban peanut products around that area..how do you enforce that?  A kid the other day tried to feed Silas a peanut candy and Brent was there JUST in time to stop it.

The amount my heart hurts from this allergy seems to grow all of the time.  It doesn’t get easier to manage.  I’m OK with feeding him in our house, that’s easy because I’ve always cooked from scratch but the educating people and staying on top of things when we leave the safety of our home.  Trying to not feel awful and guilty when we turn down a person’s food.  Trying not to blush from the awkwardness of the situation.

I dread school, I dread most birthday parties and vacations, being invited over for supper, family get-together’s.  It’s all had the fun sucked right out of it because I constantly have to worry and dread and make people uncomfortable or offended.  I know that Brent and I are the only people that remember this allergy 100% of the time so I have to not let myself trust people 100%.  It’s hard to do that.  I want to trust everyone who loves him but like me, we all make mistakes.  I’m so thankful for people who try so hard for him but I’m dreading the parents who wont care.  I’m dreading having to leave a birthday party because the parent didn’t care.  I’m dreading the tears when Silas has to turn down all the treats the other kids are enjoying freely.

My little pumpkin deserves everything the world has to offer and it just sucks to know that there’s a damper on that.  Food is a big issue and people have massive attachments to certain foods.  He’s going to be left out sometimes.  He’s not going to be able to go to Bible College like me and do the midnight Tim Hortons runs with his friends.  He can’t be the impulsive teenager and young adult that he should be.  I DREAD with all of my heart the experimental phase.  Will he get drunk or smoke some pot and eat something he shouldn’t?

Anyway, I’m hurting about this a lot this week.  I sometimes go for weeks without having to really think much on it but then a reaction happens and it starts all over again.

For those of you that pray, can you keep us in those prayers?  Pray he’ll grow out of it, that I’ll never have to use that dreaded Epipen on him, that we can find creative ways to help him feel like a typical kid.

11 Responses to Stupid Peanut Residue on Stupid Playgrounds

  1. Aw sweetie, I can totally relate. Once he’s a bit bigger, you’ll notice him, in small ways, taking ownership of his allergy. It’s true you can’t protect him when he goes to school, but he will learn his boundaries – that is definite. And you never, know, he may grow out of it. On my blog I got a comment recently from a 27 year old who sounds like she’s managing just fine. Read her message at: http://peanutfree.blogspot.com/2008/02/anxiety-and-peanut-allergy.html . It’s the last ‘anonymous’ comment.

    I know it made me feel better!

    You just need to do the best you can each day for him.

    Luckily we’ve never had a reaction at the playground, but we have a playdate at one tomorrow – ack!

  2. Sure sucks to have to worry about. Glad he has such a good Mommy though. Hang in there.

  3. I don’t know if you remember, but Larisa had horrible allergies, all diagnosed when she turned one. I don’t remember the full list, but of the 36 needle pricks, she reacted to 32 of them. (Nuts, potatoes, wheat, eggs, berries, etc., etc.) Feeding her was a chore and a half. I’m thankful she was my first kid and I had time to make soy/rice flour/ honey pancakes. ANYWAY, she grew out of all of them by the time she was five. So have faith.

  4. How could I forget MILK?!? It was her most horrible one. If it touched her skin it looked like she was burned.

  5. Was she allergic to peanuts too? I’m glad she grew out of them. There’s only like a 17% chance kids grow out of pn allergies. I’m still having faith, just not hoping too hard.

  6. I didn’t know he had a peanut allergy…I’m sorry. I definately know the feeling about worrying about how different his life will be or how people won’t understand. Kayla’s epilepsy pretty much controls her life and I fear that she won’t get to do things like normal kids (i.e. Drive, swim). Temperature changes are one of her major triggers and so even though she loves swimming at the pool at our apartment complex, it’s hard to work our way up to letting her do it because we pretty much know it will end in a seizure and it has a couple times and we have to carry her up to our apartment while everyone stares at us like ‘what is wrong with that girl?’ She also goes into status epilepticus, which is fatal if we can’t get to help in time. (She did last August) so she has to carry around diastat at all times.
    Peanut allergies are very serious. It must suck to always have to be on the lookout. I don’t understand why your friends would be offended by not letting him eat their foods! Do they understand how serious it is?

  7. Food is a massive issue. I haven’t come across too much offendedness (not even a word) but food is a big deal and people get ticked off about it. It’s too bad but that’s the way it is. I’m lucky. A lot of people on my peanut discussion board have immediate family that will not cater to it at all, it’s so sad.

  8. I read your “diary” regarding Silas and so sorry you were turned off by NAET. Bizarre as it may seem it was the only modality that got me out of my umteen hundred allergies – the ones they call the basics. If it was not explained correctly to you, the basics (15 treatments) is what makes one strong to ward off allergic reactions. The milk that triggered an allergic reaction is because of the body not able to process calcium (#2 treatment). Grain (#10) got reid of all the pains I suffered that doctors labeled as Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, epstein barr – and other names and they prescribed medications which costed me more than what I paid for a NAET treatment. I was skeptic at first and ow I am a fanatic believer! When you become desperate you may one day become a convert!

  9. I’ve been thinking on and off about this post since i read it yesterday. You are right when you say that only you and Brent will be entirely mindful of this danger. And so it is easy to see why a parent would get obsessive and crazy around this issue. I wish I had something more positive, or helpful to say. It’s just a crazy world, with all those food allergies out there. I never ever heard of these things when I was a child. It poses a huge challenge for you. So, all I can offer is moral support.

  10. Thanks Joyce 🙂

  11. I feel your pain. We were at a friend’s party last night and there were bowls of nuts on every table. I was armed with Epi-Pens and Benadryl, and I trailed my five year old every time she went to get some food from the buffet that I could only hope wasn’t cross contaminated by someone who had just grabbed a handful of nuts. Then halfway through the evening a friend of the hostess came up to me. She had offered my daughter a juice box but my daughter told her to check with me first that it was safe. I love that the kid is learning to protect herself, and yours will too.

    I can’t speak to others’ experiences, but our allergist specializes in food allergies and says that NAET is bunk, as does the author of Food Allergies for Dummies (who has a severe peanut allergy, BTW). However, there are treatments emerging that look promising. The one I’m pinning my hopes on is FAHF-2, the Chinese herb formula that’s currently in clinical trials at Mt. Sinai.

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