This is not the post I had planned for today. I just saw this article on Janeen's website. It also came across my Google alerts. It is a tragic story of a man who lost his life from a bite of a cookie. All it took was one bite and 90 seconds. Unfortunately he chose not to carry an Epi pen and the life saving measures they did take were not successful. You can read the story here.
This story has got me thinking about my own kids. My son R. has a severe peanut allergy (98.9 IgE on his last RAST,) but I have no idea what kind of reaction to expect if he were to be exposed to a peanut. He has only every had one reaction almost 3 years ago. He ate some of my peanut butter toast and broke out in hives. He had eaten peanut butter before did not have a reaction. We do not have a history of allergies ,so I was surprised he reacted. I knew immediately what was happening so I gave him Benadryl and took him to the pediatrician. He was fine and we have been carrying an Epi pen ever since. I guess we are doing a good job avoiding peanuts ever since. But, I have this huge fear of the unknown. What would happen if he were to eat a peanut? Is he one of those kids who will drop right away? Or will his reaction be gradual? Not knowing what will happen really has me concerned. I do not think he is contact sensitive, but I can not think of a time he has even been in a room with a pure peanut product.
Does anyone else have this same concern?
I also wish I had insisted that he have a RAST test done as part of the initial diagnosis. I did not know anything about food allergies then, and figured that the scratch test was enough. I would love to know what his initial IgE levels were. Have they increased over the last few years? I suppose one piece of advice I would offer moms who are just starting on this journey is to get a RAST done. It may not mean much right away, you need to avoid the allergic food regardless. However, it can be useful to track the progress of the allergy from year to year.