Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why am I a "not-so-nutty" mama?

I had a hard time deciding on a blog name.  Since I'm not enough of an expert on any one thing to just have a blog on cooking, crafting, bargain shopping, gardening, or even food allergies, so this blog will include a little bit of everything!  But I'm not-so-nutty because of my 5-year old daughter.

Back when my daughter almost 2.5 years old, she was given a cashew nut at a family get together.  She broke out in hives all over her body.  I had not given her any nuts because the pediatrician mentioned to wait to 3, and they are a choking hazard.  But in a way it was good to get this out of the way.  In hindsight, I always suspected food allergies.  K was a very rashy baby...she had pretty bad eczema as a newborn/infant.  The pediatrician never said it could be food allergies and I didn't know enough about it to question it (being a first time mother, there was very little that I did know about being a mom!).  She also had a reaction to eggs back at a year.  I gave her some scrambled eggs and she spit it out, but when she woke up from her nap her eye was swollen shut and her ear was puffy....she looked pretty scary.  We took her to the pediatrician but our regular doctor wasn't there, again we were told it was probably NOT food allergies.

K had blood work done at the pediatrician's office and she tested positive for peanuts and cashews.  Strangely she tested negative for egg.  I was given a prescription for an Epi-Pen Jr. and went to the pediatrician's office to get trained on how to use it.   I felt my world was turned upside down.  I spent a lot of time blaming myself.  I ate a lot of cashews, pistachios, peanuts while I was pregnant and while I breastfed K.  I know now that I'm not to blame, but I still wonder at times if it is my fault somehow.

I did a lot of on-line research (which can be good and bad).  I read "The Peanut Allergy Answer Book" by Dr. Michael Young from front to back.  I started formulating a plan on how to keep K "safe" and away from nuts.  I told B that I wanted to have a nut-free household.  We had tons of cashews, pistachios and peanut items around the house.  We agreed to keep nuts in one cabinet, up high and only eat them when K was asleep and then clean up/wash up afterwards.

I started reading labels like a maniac.  I worked on educating friends and family members on how to read labels, bake safe treats for K and how to use an Epi Pen.

When K was about 3, I took her to see a pediatric allergist.  It took me a while to finally accept the fact that she was allergic and months to get an appointment.  The appointment confirmed that she was allergic to peanut, cashew, pistachio, AND egg.   See I wasn't crazy about the egg thing.  For what it's worth, K always refused scrambled eggs, I think she somehow knew that she was allergic.  The GOOD thing was that K could eat egg in baked goods.  The egg protein actually "becomes less allergic" when cooked at high temperatures, like baking.

Anyway now she is almost's been 3 years since her first (and last) reaction - knock on wood.  I am SUPER careful and also grateful that I have friends and family that understand her allergies and the potential consequences.

At her last appointment at 5 years old, she tested negative for egg.  She had a food challenge back in July and passed.  The allergist said she has outgrown her egg if she only wanted to eat eggs...

We still keep a mostly nut-free household.  I do crave the occasional peanut M&M or Snickers Bar.  I will admit that I do get one or two a year and eat it while she sleeps...and it's a little sad to me that she can't experience those part of this blog will be how we navagate a very "nutty" world.

1 comment:

  1. That's great about the eggs! My friend from hs, e, had a sister who was allergic to eggs, and as far as I know, never grew out of it.