Our Peanut-free Journey

Life with a peanut allergic son.

First Scare — September 4, 2012

First Scare

So last week we ate at Olive Garden. Something we’ve done many times. Alex gets buttered spaghetti noodles and doesn’t eat the salad or breadsticks. Not because he can’t but because he chooses not to.

Fast forward to the end of the meal. The mints. Everyone loves the Andes mints you get after your carbohydrate laden meal. Alex especially likes them because they’re safe.

However, after eating the mint he starts to complain that his throat burns. Odd. He’s never complained about this before. We try to ascertain exactly what is going on. Did he drink water after the mint? That would make your throat burn. Nope. No water.

Then he starts to panic. He feels weird. His throat burns. A full on anxiety attack is happening.

If my husband hadn’t been there I would have given him his Epi-pen. But since my husband noted that he had no other symptoms he didn’t want to use them. I ask Alex about other possible anaphylaxis symptoms and he starts to say his stomach hurts. Again, is this real or anxiety?

We decide to head to the ER. He is not in any distress except for the anxiety of a possible reaction.

On the way to the ER he asks to play with my phone. Once his mind is off the incident he is magically better. We stopped at a Walgreen’s and I got some Benadryl and he took a dose while in the parking lot. Crisis averted.
No Epi-pen, no ER.

But did we do the right thing? I don’t know. The allergist would probably say no. I would say no. My husband would say yes. Who’s to know?

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Halloween 2011 — October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

It’s heeeeeeeeere. My poor boy wants nothing more than to trick-or-treat like the other kids but I just can’t do it. So him and his sister will dress up and hand out Nerds, Airheads and Sweetarts, candy that is safe and that they enjoy. Perhaps in a year or two I’ll feel comfortable going door-to-door but for now we’ll have a little candy scavenger hunt at home and we’ll enjoy seeing all the crazy costumes that kids wear from the comfort of our own home.

Hershey’s and I need to have a talk. — November 22, 2009

Hershey’s and I need to have a talk.

Every year I count on Hershey’s chocolate chips for my holiday baking. Now I am thinking that perhaps I will need to buy them from a safe peanut-free internet site. You see, Hershey’s has decided that Mexico is a wonderful place to manufacture some of their products. I do not know the conditions of these factories and I do not know how well they adhere to the food allergy guidelines.  

If a Hershey product says “Mfd. by The Hershey Co.” on the back near the ingredients, I know that it was made in Hershey, Pa. If it says “Distributed by The Hershey Co.” it did not come from Hershey. In fact, we don’t know where it came from. They’re tricky like that.  

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, the chocolate chips now say Distributed by. I’m very upset. I will more than likely be buying my baking chips from Vermont Nut Free Chocolates. I am not thrilled about this as I hate that I can’t just buy my chips when they are on sale for $2.00 at the store. I am now paying considerably more plus shipping. Yes, my son will be safe but why did Hershey’s have to sell out and take away jobs from us Americans. It’s disgraceful.

Halloween 2009 — November 3, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween this year was a crazy mess. We arrived home from Disney around 2:00 in the afternoon. Trick-or-treaters were due to arrive at 6:00.  We came home, unloaded the car and then headed to K-Mart to get some candy for the TOTers and for Alex and Isabelle. Alex was surprisingly happy to dress up as a vampire and hand out candy to the kids. I’m hoping this is the start of something new for us. It was wonderful being able to buy the kids candy (and popcorn) I knew they could have while still giving them that Halloween rush. We had a ton of kids come to the house and at the end of the night Alex informed me that he “sold” a lot of candy. Lol! If only that were true! Ha!

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Necco All Natural Candy Wafers — October 31, 2009

Necco All Natural Candy Wafers

Through TwitterMoms.com I was able to participate in receiving a free bag of Necco wafers. As one of the first 50 people you had to send an email to Necco with your address. When I did so, I asked if the wafers were peanut-allergy friendly. If they weren’t I simply said to disregard my email.

A week or so later I got an email stating that I was one of the first to respond and that the wafers were peanut-allergy safe! Yay!

When we got home from Disney our bag of Necco’s were waiting for us. Neither of my kids liked the Clove flavor but I kind of expected that, the orange and lime however were big hits! We also got a few rolls of the chocolate wafers and they were very tasty!

Pick up a bag the next time you see them, the rolls are small so they fit nicely in a diaper bag or purse. It’s great when you need that quick treat for the kids so you can get through the grocery store! 😉

Halloween or in other words “Food Allergy Nightmare Night” — October 14, 2009

Halloween or in other words “Food Allergy Nightmare Night”

Halloween has always been a source of worry for me. To trick-or-treat or not to trick-or-treat, that has always been the question.

When Alex was first diagnosed Boscov’s department store would give children with diabetes a $10.00 gift card to their store. I approached them about Alex’s peanut allergy and they let him participate also. All you had to do was give your candy bag to the customer service desk and they give you the card. Awesome! That worked until Alex was about 4. When he turned five he wanted to TOT and not give away his candy. Hmmmm. That’s a problem.

So we tried TOT’ing and denying candy with nuts. That left very few houses to receive candy from. It also got old telling people “he’s allergic to peanuts but thanks anyway”. Several times I got the “but this one doesn’t have peanuts” and then I would have to quickly explain that he still can’t have it.

This year we are getting home from Disney the night of TOT’ing. I’m hoping that is my saving grace. I have explained to Alex that he can dress up and give out candy while enjoying candy that is safe for him. Then the following night they can dress up and go to our parents’ homes and TOT there. As of now he seems ok with this. Whether that still holds true on the 30th remains to be seen. Fingers crossed!