No Nuts Allowed: L’s Peanut Allergy

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L has a peanut allergy. I didn’t think a peanut allergy would ever be a problem because Mr Boots and I are not allergic to nuts. I don’t even know anyone with a peanut allergy. I’ve given L tastes of peanut butter and never saw any adverse affects to think this would even be an issue.

But he has one. The skin test he had a the allergist said so. We were told to have L avoid peanut products and hopefully that would also clear up his eczema problem. The allergist said his allergy wasn’t so severe L would need an epi pen, but it was wise to avoid peanuts until we could test him again in a few months to see if L was starting to outgrow the allergy.©

A couple months later I took L for a follow up. His eczema was better, but wasn’t gone (and I knew it wouldn’t be because we really didn’t feed him peanut products to begin with). Before we left, I asked the allergist about retesting G’s allergy. He suggested L have a blood test to see just how bad the allergy is and we’d go from there. If his blood work showed a slight allergy, we could discuss giving him a peanut tolerance test in the office. The allergist said a lot of kids show a peanut allergy when they are young like L, but it’s something studies are finding that a percentage of them will outgrow as they get older.

Mr Boots and I got a phone call from a nurse regarding L’s blood work. The allergist wanted L to avoid peanuts and tree nuts and they’d send in a prescription for an epi pen.

Woah, what? An epi pen?

Mr Boots initially spoke with the nurse because she couldn’t reach me. I called back because I needed to know: How bad is L’s allergy, exactly? Do we need to avoid nut oils now too?

L’s allergy was a Class 3 out of six, and they consider that severe. The nurse couldn’t really tell me if nut oils needed to be avoided, but said it was better to be safe than sorry.

Food Allergy Ribbon

I looked up tree nuts because I could only name a couple. OMGoodness, it’s like ALL the nuts!

No peanut butter. No Snickers. No Nutella!

The allergist prescribed the Auvi-Q, which insurance initially didn’t want to pay for. I was annoyed that we had to wait for pre-authorization to get it approved. Knowing L had an allergy bad enough for an epi pen had me a little on edge. Finally, after a week of phone calls and unsuccessful trips to the pharmacy, we got L’s prescription. The nice people in charge of pre-authorizing L’s prescription told me about an Auvi-Q discount card, which I promptly printed out. It made the prescription free.

The Auvi-Q is actually pretty neat. It’s the first epinephrine auto‑injector to actually speak to you and tell you each step in administering the medication. I know it would be helpful for me when I’m freaking out (because I know I’d freak out if L had an allergic reaction). The prescription came with one Tester to practice with and two auto-injectors. I haven’t figured out where to keep them. One is sitting in the toiletry bag from the boys’ overnight visit to their grandparents’ house the other night. The other is in the kitchen. I guess I should move it to a diaper bag, but I don’t always carry one with me. I don’t even carry a purse with me every time I go out with L. I guess I need to start.

We are a family that needs to carry an epi pen. I am now a mom that is stressing out that the blueberry muffin Mr Boots brought home from 7-11 might have traces of nuts and my child will have a reaction from eating it. I have been looking up nutrition facts from the fast food places we frequent to see if they fry their foods with peanut oil.

I didn’t think I’d be that mom. I didn’t think we’d be that family.

I really hope L will outgrow it.

Did you know that May is Food Allergy Awareness Month? Food Allergy Research and Education has a lot of cute graphics and ways to raise more awareness about food allergies — in addition to a lot of great information.

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