This time of year always makes me think….I don’t mean about summer memories, warm weather all those things that you might think of. It makes my daughters allergies come to mind because this is the time of year that we go out to the allergist. It reminds me of one of my true fears in life….peanuts. Who would have thought right? Let me take you back and fill you in on the story.

When my daughter was young we found out that she was allergic to nuts, specifically peanuts and brazil nuts. We were very lucky we did not find out because she ate one but because someone who had eaten one kissed her cheek, this caused a swollen mark on her face. This led to a doctors appointment where we were all told to avoid nuts (obviously) and were referred to an allergist, not any allergist but in my doctors words ” I’ll make it so you can easily relate he is like the Wayne Gretzky of his field guys, why go to good if you have the opportunity to go to great” he made some phone calls and we were on the wait list for a phone call from “the great”. The phone call came and we were told our appointment date, she could not have any Benadryl, Claritin, any allergy medication for 10 days before the appointment. This was hard as she also had severe eczema which made her scratch until she bled, allergy medication brought some relief so she could sleep well.

So we stopped any allergy medication, hooked up our holiday trailer (we might as well make it a trip) and headed for a night at the lake in the way. Here it comes wait for it here comes the things we don’t think of……

We pulled in to a great campsite, checked in pulled over to the site we were assigned, backed in unhooked the trailer and took her out of the truck to play. Then we saw it……the whole campsite covered in peanut shells. It is hard to explain the fear that brought to us, remember we were new to all of these allergies. So we swept out the campsite and did our playing in the dirt that night on the beach instead. This made me first realize the changes in our lives we had done this before sat at the campfire and shelled peanuts to eat, heck sat at the coffee table and did that. We had already started to read the food labels but this one campsite made me realize all of the things I would fear.

We made it safely to the allergist, were told how to deal with the scratching and improve her skin, and went for a blood test to find out just how bad the apparent allergies to peanuts and brazil nuts were, then home we went.two weeks later brought a phone call saying the levels of antibodies in her blood for peanuts was off the charts. This means she was not just allergic but HIGHLY ALLERGIC to peanuts.

So we read the food labels, we pack an epi-pen, I have a written card that goes in her bag she takes to friends, to birthday parties those places she goes without me (now that she is 10 there are more of those places too) that has a list of contact numbers with her epi-pen. I’m sure that parents think I am nuts myself, the list has home, cell phone and work numbers for my husband and I, as well as my parents (alot of numbers I know). The things I never thought of though is the container of bleach and water in our camper so when we arrive at campsites I can spay the picnic table maybe they shelled peanuts here last night, when she comes home from school and says the new teacher this year forgot her allergy so everyone in class but her got a treat today, when even though all the parents in her class know her allergies someone brought cupcakes to school today and even though they told her up they were safe she was scared so she didn’t have one ( and I blink back the tears hoping she didn’t see them) . There have been so many things I just didn’t think of along the way and so many of these that are not obvious when you say peanut allergy are the things that scare me the most.

So I have to fit some knitting in on this post also sometime ago I found a pattern that I loved but did not suit me so I started anyways knowing I would find a home so I started a beautiful pale pink shawl with crosses made of cables and I knit. Finished it is wonderful I love the size, the color, the way it feels but alas still not my style so it went to a year end teachers gift as I knew it suited this teacher perfectly. I still can’t help but like the feel and look of this one though. Take care dear friends and I will try to have something more upbeat to say next time.

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