Message Of Hope
I am a mother of three boys ages 8, 6 and 2 years old. I had no experience with allergies myself until my oldest son Bradley was born. The first few months were normal for me. I nursed my baby and did not have any problems switching to milk. It was not until his first birthday that I realized I had a child with severe allergies.
At his first Birthday party I baked him a cake and we decided to give him his first taste complete with chocolate icing and a candle. My great aunt was having a wonderful time feeding him his cake. As she continued to push this cake I noticed he was becoming agitated. At first I thought it was just from her persistence and all the commotion but then that Mothers instinct kicked in. I just knew his cries were not normal. After a few minutes I took him out of his high chair to see what was wrong. Over the next few minutes his eyes began to swell and he broke out in hives. I had no clue what was going on. Fortunately my Brother in law who is a neonatal nurse was there and realized there was a problem. Luckily we acted quickly and gave him benedryl. He recovered without a major medical catastrophe.
After seeing an allergist I was told he was allergic to eggs. After a year or so and many problems at the daycare with rashes and a few incidences with asthma we had further testing done and found he also had a few other allergies including a severe peanut allergy. He also tested positive for several other nuts, hay fever, dust, asthma and atopic dermatitis (eczema). So like many of you the epipen was introduced to us along with the fear of losing my 2 year old child to an accidental exposure to peanuts or eggs.
The good news is we have managed to keep him safe. We have educated our family and friends, his teachers and anyone else that we could along the way and each year his levels have gone down. He is no longer allergic to egg and peanut. He is now 8 years old and he just took the peanut challenge in the doctor’s office this past September. The only reaction he had was 2 small hives two hours later and that was it!
While his doctor has advised us to still keep the epipen on hand and with the school nurse, I do feel some relief in knowing that he is not going to go into anaphylactic shock from someone touching him at school after eating a peanut butter sandwich. I am not letting our guard completely down and still have an uneasy felling letting him eat anything with a peanut warning even though the doctor said it was fine, but things have definitely improved for him.
Keep doing what you can to protect your children and educate all those around them and keep thinking positive. The severity of your child’s allergies may not be a life long problem for them.
I wish you all health and peace of mind.
Long Island, NY