In April (yeah, I know that was a while ago) we took Bulldog to the allergist. We knew from feeding him scrambled eggs that he was allergic to eggs, but I wanted to know if he could tolerate egg in baked goods. Many kids with egg allergy can, but you need to find that out at the doctor’s office, just in case. Before they would do the food challenge, we had to do the scratch testing to confirm the allergy. We decided to do the most common food allergens and peanut popped up along with the egg. The nurse came in with an Epi-Pen trainer and a prescription for an Epi-Pen. My world changed in 10 minutes flat. The time it took a welt to raise on my 16 month old’s back.
You don’t think about peanut allergy unless you have to. I didn’t. I didn’t really have any idea how serious it is, apart from knowing that schools ban peanut products, and every once in a while you hear on the news about how a school eff’ed up big time. Peanut is the scary allergy. The one that you can react to from touching a grocery cart that is contaminated. The one where 80% of the reactions involve airway. Luckily, Bulldog has never had a peanut product. With all of Monkey’s intolerances, I was reluctant to introduce peanut, and we went straight to Sunbutter with both boys. But damn, “What if?”
A peanut allergy changes everything. I had to ask our neighbor to stop feeding peanuts to the squirrels because the shells end up in our yard. Playgrounds give me serious pause now. I am still in the process of rethinking the playgroups we belong to – I am not sure how to even bring up the topic without sounding pushy and completely psycho, so we just haven’t gone in a while. And then there is snack in my son’s preschool class at church. Kids with intolerances bring their own snacks – my son does too. But a few weeks ago one of the other kid’s brought a peanut butter LaraBar. My three year old doesn’t have a peanut allergy, but he touches everything, and then goes home to play with his brother with the peanut allergy, who adores him and climbs all over him.
Sigh. I don’t have the tools to manage this. How do other peanut allergy moms do it? Where are they anyway?
When a Google search proved fruitless I turned to Pinterest. Some people hate Pinterest because it makes us think our real lives aren’t as good as our pretend Pinterest ones (or some of us, anyway – I never felt that way). But it was the only place I found other peanut allergy moms. Here are some of the peanut allergy blogs I have found most helpful.
1. Food Allergy Fun. There are some awesome cartoons here.
Link to all cartoons here.
2. Food Allergy Bitch, an excellent, no holds barred blog about food allergies.
3. This rant by Portia at Rants from Mommyland pretty much sums up how I feel.
4. So does this one by Poker Chick at (Mis)Adventures of an Ad Girl In New York.
5. Peanut Allergy Kid is a great site. There is a great page titled, “New to PA?”
I’m still feeling my way into this new territory. I am still grieving the loss of “how I thought it was going to be” – but knowing that there are other people out there doing the same – it helps.
It helps a lot.