Monday, March 8, 2010

Awww, Nuts!

It's been several months since we found out that Persephone has a life-threatening peanut and cashew allergy and I'm still dealing with the diagnosis. I'm arming myself with all the information I can find. It's life changing for our family, but I'm trying to stay optimistic and up-beat. Here are some of the things we have to think about now:

* Reading every single label. She can't eat anything with nuts, that may contain nuts, or may have been processed in the same place as nuts.

* Restaurants have become scary places and this is a real bummer for a family that enjoys eating out. Asian food, ice cream parlors and bakeries are out of the question since they pose too much risk for cross-contamination.

* Carrying an epi-pen everywhere I go and always looking for possible signs of an allergic reaction. Staying up to date with my CPR and carrying a cell phone in case I need to call 911 has become a priority.

* Making cookies, cakes, and any other baked goods from scratch since most candies and chocolates are off limits for Persy

* Worrying about what we'll do for holidays like Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day. We've found a few sites where we can order peanut-free chocolate, but I've been working on coming up with creative candy alternatives.

* Concerns that she will pick up something with nuts and eat it or some other child or adult will unknowingly give her something with nuts.

On a positive note, Persy has been very cooperative about her asthma breathing treatments that we do each day. We call it "Bear Lungs" because it makes her strong like a bear and we do a big, ferocious growl each time. She also has a fun dinosaur mask that she uses with a nebulizer when she has an attack. I sometimes catch her putting her mask on her stuffed animals or "practicing" on her own.


JN said...

Allergies are so scary and so life changing. My Benson is severely allergic to dairy, nuts and eggs. I would love to share any info I have learned since his dx four years ago! Email me!

PixelFish said...

Oh, just so you know, when you go on trips, you can inform the airline that your daughter is allergic, and they can try to provide other snacks for the flight (sometimes they will do this for ALL the passengers) OR declare the three rows on either side of you a No-Nut zone.

(I found this out while I was trying to find out if I could put in allergic information so that I wouldn't be on a plane ride with people carrying cats and dogs. In Canada, I would be considered disabled and the airline would have to provide alternate arrangements....but in the States, not so much. And then of course, there's the service animal issue--my allergies don't trump somebody's service animal. I don't want to make pets ride below, but the air circulation in airplanes guarantees that even if I'm seated far away from a pet, their dander will still make it to me. I can only go about 2-3 hours before I have breathing issues.)