I have asked a few friends to guest host on my blog. With unique experiences I felt that they could offer support, comfort and maybe some advice (non-medical of course). My first guest host is a good friend. We met through work and as luck would have it we were pregnant together, not once but both times. Lauren is such a great mom and has adorable, friendly and cuddly children. She is guest hosting to share her scary experience with her daughter Molly. It was only 2 months ago when Lauren discovered that Molly suddenly had an allergic reaction, not to the typical strawberry or peanut but to something a little harder to control. The tree nut! Tree nuts are used in everyday food processing and anyone who has a toddler knows that quick hands grabbing snacks can be hard to keep up with.
This is Lauren's story..
Well, we just found out my daughter, Molly, has an allergy to pecans of all things.
She woke up one night with red swollen cheeks coughing and just screaming. Severe teething? Maybe but called doctor nonetheless. As she was not blue around the mouth there was no need to go to urgent care. However, the next day her face was so swollen her eyes were slits.
We called our pediatrician, scheduled tests and avoided all nuts in the interim as I knew pecans were the only new food she had eaten. Found out that Yes she is allergic to pecans, but not peanuts (thank goodness!).
The pediatrician gave us an epi pen and the office staff warned us to stay away from all nuts. We were given a referral to an allergist but that's all of the info we were given.
We left the doctor's office thinking that the allergy was just to pecans so it was really no biggie. Then I started reading on line because we weren't given much information at the pediatrician's office (usually they're very good, but I feel that they could have given us more info in this situation-we really only got vague advice to see a particular allergist and a prescription for an epi pen). I saw that coughing during an allergic reaction is a sign of respiratory distress and anaphylaxis. What! This is very serious! Terror set in.
I called the allergist and there was a 2 month waiting list for new patients (we still haven't been). I joined a nut free on line forum. I called all friends to tell them no nuts at play dates. I found several other moms who's kids have nut allergies and spoke with them.
Here's what the mental process was. First, I though no biggie. Then, my on line research had me terrified. Now I have accepted the situation and am managing it as best I can without having been to the allergist yet.
I've been thinking about why its can be so frightening. I think it's because I love my little girl so so so much (as all moms do, I'm sure) and she trusts me to keep her safe. I feel that if something were to happen it would be my failure as a mother and protector
As I stay at home with my kids, I do all of the grocery shopping, prepare every meal, and even order every pizza consumed by my family. This is a double edge sward. I have complete control of everything she eats. On the other hand, I am 100% responsible for managing her allergy. It's a lot to bear at first.
I want a little wacko for a bit but even without the info from the allergist it's becoming the new normal. I read labels anyway. Now I just check for any notation of tree nuts. Some mothers go as far as to call manufactures but I feel that unless she has another reaction what I'm doing is fine.
Even with reading labels and nagging all of my friends and relatives I know eventually she'll have another reaction. We'll keep calm and administer her epi pen and go to urgent care as we should and go on with life. That's all we can do..,
Here is a picture of Sweet Molly- Thank you Lauren for sharing your story!