17 Nov 2011 1 Comment
It all started a year ago when we came back from Hawaii to celebrate Jordan’s first birthday. My husband, Jordan and I went out to eat at our favorite Thai restaurant with his grandparents. Since Jordan loves noodles, I gave him PadThai. About 10 minutes later, his eyes started to get watery and his face seemed to have gotten a little red so I took him to the restroom right away to look at it more closely since the lights at the restaurant were pretty dim. I noticed that he got some rashes around his mouth so I immediately left the restaurant to buy some Benadryl. Luckily for us, there was a grocery store a few stores down after the restaurant. By the time I got to the grocery store, Jordan’s eyes were already swollen and hives all over his face and body. He was also starting to cough so I was panicking while I walked through the store aisles looking for Benadryl. I know he was having a bad allergic reaction and I needed to give him that Benadryl ASAP. I literally cut everyone in line, paid for the medicine and gave it to him right there at the store. I then called his pediatrician to ask if there’s anything else I should do. About 15 minutes after taking the Benadryl, he started getting better. As per his pediatrician, we avoided all kinds of nuts since then.
Fast forward to yesterday, Jordan was officially diagnosed with nut allergy. He was tested for positive allergy to peanuts, cashews and pistachios. Until our visit to an allergist yesterday, I was blissfully confident that he wasn’t really allergic to nuts – that maybe he just reacted to the spices in the Pad Thai that he ate. But now, I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that my son’s peanut allergy will more than likely be a part of our lives forever because only 20 percent of people outgrow peanut allergies. As his mother, I need to be strong and keep him peanut-free while educating myself and those who care for him now and those who will in the future (including teachers and coaches at school) about food allergies.
For now, my biggest concern is how to limit the risk of someone unknowingly gives Jordan anything with nuts. I know I had to start at home so I created this sign to post on the fridge to make sure that any guest, especially overnight guests we have are aware that we have a nut-free home. If you want, to print the sign, you can download it here.
The level of public understanding of severe allergies is minimal at best and life-threatening at worst. For those parents with children allergic to nuts, I’d love to hear some safety tips!