Finding out our son has allergiesA Day in the Life Health & Fitness Kids Parenting
Last spring we had a feeling that Zac was beginning to experience seasonal allergies. His eyes were getting red and watery, he was sneezing way more than usual, and he was stuffed up more. We didn’t think it was such a big deal because we knew we could just give him some children’s Aerius as needed and he’d be fine.
But we did decide to take him to the allergist just to confirm our suspicions. And they were confirmed, and more…
The First Round
Of the generic allergy testing that he had done, his seasonal allergies were confirmed, but his results also came back showing a “possible” allergy to tree nuts. Specific wording was “had a small reaction to tree nuts”. He wasn’t checked for specific tree nuts, just a general overview. Why she didn’t check the specific nuts is beyond me, but it’s not like we can do anything about it now.
It was recommended that he use antihistamines or nasal steroids for persistent symptoms for the allergies. And because he hadn’t and doesn’t typically eat tree nuts or have issues with people eating them around him, we were just told to come back if we experience anything or if symptoms are not controlled.
So we left and didn’t think anything of it.
Fast forward a year and nothing has changed. He continues to eat the same way, even is okay with items labelled with an allergen of “may contain” or “produced in facility that contains…”. We’ve never had a problem.
Until a few short months ago…
You know as a mom, I want my kids to eat well. So I try to find them healthy foods, or at least healthier choices to eat. So one day I decided I am going to make energy balls. I had gone to an event where we tried some and I loved them. They were like mini chocolate Timbits, without the chocolate and the fat! They were super simple to make, and so, I did. Never thinking about the fact that the recipe has cashews.
I was so proud of them too since I barely bake and am not so savvy in the kitchen. And I even called them my mini Timbits, cause that’s what they looked like and that’s how I knew the kids would try them. And Z, even as picky as he is with trying new things, agreed to try it. He took the tiniest bite, which of course I said, “come on take a bigger one”, but luckily he didn’t. Even with the smallest taste, as soon as he swallowed, I knew something was wrong.
The first words out of his mouth were “my tongue feels funny”. And I was in shock. I was scared, nervous, and so mad at myself for not thinking. We both realized that it was the cashews, I gave him water (cause ya, that’s gonna help), and agreed we would watch his mouth and how he felt for the rest of the day. That was 5:00pm.
I wanted to scream at myself for not thinking, but at the same time, we didn’t know. The allergist basically made no big deal of it, and we had gone a whole year since without even thinking of it. But at that moment, everything changed.
After a few minutes Z’s mouth started feeling better, he wasn’t reacting on his tongue any longer and his throat felt fine. He was showing no signs of hives or rash or breathing difficulties to our relief. But soon afterwards, his stomach started to hurt bad. Like keeling over in pain hurt. We tried so many things to make him feel better but nothing did. For 7 hours. The stomach pain lasted until 2:00AM.
As bad as it was, we were “lucky” that was his reaction. Had he taken a bigger bite he may have had a completely different one.
Needless to say, it was time to go back to the allergist. We had a couple of months wait before we got our answers.
Getting the results
His tree nut allergy is confirmed. In fact he is allergic to 4 of them; brazil nuts, pistachios, pecans and of course, cashews.
I know so many people with some sort of peanut or tree nut allergy, but I never thought that I would have it in my family.
There are so many precautions we have to take now; we’ve educated ourselves, we received Epipens. I have learned how to use one and I showed Z how it is used. Now he carries one around with him wherever he goes.
He’s been educated by us as best we can, teaching him how he has to be careful now with what he eats when he’s out. That he can’t just try something or take something without knowing what is in it. We need to be extra careful at restaurants or anywhere we go.
And the hard part is, we don’t know how long he’s actually had it for or if he’s just developed it over the last year.
We’ve had cashews and other tree nuts in our house and even eat them around him. Luckily he hasn’t reacted. But that doesn’t mean he never will. In a way we are lucky that it is only those 4 and not more, let alone a full nut allergy. But still, it isn’t easy to figure out and deal with.
So for now, we keep our heads up and take it day by day. Being careful and more mindful is what we have to do. And just like any other hurdle life will throw at you, we will deal with it and make it work.
Do you have allergies in your household? How has it been for you?