Friday, August 04, 2006

EpiPen and life with a food allergy

A few weeks ago Stephen was at Grandma Sue's (my mother) playing for the day. As any good grandmother would - she had fresh chocolate cookies for the boy. However, this time she put in the fateful ingredient: English Walnuts.

Apparently Stephen had a few cookies and within a few minutes he vomitted. My mother just thought it was because he was jumping up and down as he was excited they were going to go get my niece. She told me about the incident and I agreed.

However, later that night at his dad's apparently he had more of the said cookies and vomitted again. (The good grandmother that she is made him a goody bag to take to Daddy's.) Leigh Ann called to tell me what had happened so I in turn called my mom.

After a few minutes of talking and confirming that everyone else ate the cookies with no ill affects my mom remembered that this time she put nuts in them. After talking some more I realized that Stephen has never had anything with tree nuts in them. Not that we avoided them on purpose - we just didn't think he'd eat anything with nuts in them.

So, on Wednesday (last day of my vacation) I took Stephen to the asthma/allergy doc. Yup - the boy tested positive for English & Black Walnuts as well as Pecans. All other tree nuts were negative and so was peanut butter. Basically he has a severe allergy to Black Walnuts and a mild allergy to English Walnuts and Pecans. I add this because if my mom had used Black Walnuts in those cookies Stephen's reaction could've been sooo much worse.

Now were the proud owners of 2 EpiPens as tree nut allergies are known to cause an anaphylatic reaction. Plus since he's has asthmatic issues in the past this will be the most likely reaction. Great - the boy is finally out growing his asthma and now I get to deal with this. The sad thing is that due to his age and severe lack of ingesting this food he will most likely never outgrow this allergy.

Off to inform everyone in Stephen's world about his allergy and what to do should he accidentally ingest them.

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