Re-Sensitized

Ever since getting the all-clear from the allergest, Mikey has been a cautious peanut eater. By this I mean that once every few months, he will agree to eat something that’s been near a peanut.

Yesterday, he sat with Cody on the couch and asked to share his snack–peanut butter pretzels. These, Mikey quickly realized, are delicious. He started scarfing down the peanut butter pretzels, maybe eating a cup? Maybe a cup and a half of them.

And almost immediately, he broke out in a bright red rash all around his mouth and complained of itching. We gave him Benadryl, and he pretty much talked about itching until bedtime 2 hours later.

A call to the on-call allergist fellow (how awesome is it that we live in a place that has pediatric allergists on call??) revealed that apparently, kids can get re-sensitized to peanuts even after passing a scratch test. Even after getting bloodwork that showed no allergy to peanuts.

The current thinking is that kids need tiny, frequent exposure to peanuts (she said something like one peanut a week) to maintain…I can’t remember her word. Immunity doesn’t feel right, but I’m in a dither.

Anyway, we ran in for an emergency epi pen prescription and I’m back on red alert. I’m to maintain “strict avoidance” until we can get in with Dr. G. This means school is a minefield again. We have nothing in place anymore!

Our cupboards are filled with peanuts. I freaking subscribed to peanut butter on Amazon. Most days, the only food Alex will agree to eat is peanut butter sandwich. I’m not ready to go back to scrutinizing labels, keeping an epi injector on me at all times, harping on school to get kids to wash hands after lunch and before touching communal materials.

And, of course, Mikey has gotten used to eating school lunch, which I can never guarantee is peanut-free. So I’m anticipating meltdowns over packed lunch. Which, of course! I have to PACK.

Lesson learned: There’s always another shoe and it’s always going to drop.

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2 thoughts on “Re-Sensitized

  1. Allison

    Oh man.
    I’ve always been very grateful that our kids don’t have anaphylatic reactions to any foods. It’d be so hard to protect them when they’re out in the world. (The Bean’s milk allergy is bad enough and all he gets is severe constipation with diarrhea.)
    Are peanut allergies ever “just” allergies or are they always life-threatening?

    Reply
    1. Diana Post author

      In our experience, peanut allergies are always considered life-threatening. The reactions are cumulative to peanuts, so one time he might have a rash and that might build to hives, vomiting, or closure of the airways. There’s a large study happening in PGH with youth and peanut allergies, so we’re hoping to get him enrolled in that.

      Reply

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