Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome to Allergic Living

"Yep, it's positive for peanuts."

"Oh, okay," I thought, as I sat holding my 11-month-old, while the allergist checked his arm where she had administered the scratch test. "My baby is allergic to peanuts."

Wait... what???

My mind flashed back to to weeks earlier, when Samuel had broken out in a pretty bad rash after eating peanut butter spread on a rice cake.

My husband also had a mild peanut allergy as a child that he thankfully outgrew, and we had suspected what she was telling me for a while.

However, even though in a lot of ways it wasn't really a surprise, I don't think you can ever be fully prepared for that kind of news.

I waited in shock as the allergist brought me the tester epi pen to practice with and wrote out the prescription for multiple epi pens.

We need to have two on us at all times, she said. Just in case.

She showed me how to use it, handed me some literature, and asked me if I had any questions.

I had a lot of questions.

I asked her if we had to avoid "may contain" items, what reaction to look for before giving the epi pen, and other practical questions.

But I had many other questions going through my mind.

What will this mean for our family? Can we ever eat out again?

What does this mean for Samuel, who is still at an age where he puts EVERYTHING in his mouth?

Will I ever feel safe dropping him off anywhere again, knowing that even a small trace of peanut can cause a life-threatening reaction?  

It's so scary. In an instant, everything food-related became so much more complicated. And even though I pretended like it wasn't, it was a really bad day.

I know that peanut is a really common allergy and I'm so thankful for peanut-aware schools and the abundance of peanut-free foods available, but it's been really tough to take in.

It's something you hear about often but never really expect to happen to your family, and it's definitely not something I wanted Samuel to have to go through. 

I know it will be okay. I do. I just need some time to adjust to allergic living.


  1. I totally understand! My kids were allergic to multiple things from a very young age. I found the book "The Peanut Allergy Epidemic" by Heather Fraser to be incredibly informative.