Archive for August 29th, 2007

Scary Nuts

A few months ago, I had shopped at a new store nearby and bought two things I don’t generally have in the cupboards.Pistachios and Apple Jacks.

The pistachios were for me and the Apple Jacks were for the kids. For dessert, not for breakfast. (I can’t give my kids sugar cereal for breakfast, it is reserved for movie treat time only, usually go stale before we finish the box, which may be worth the lack of added sugar to our diets)

Anyway, Blue, the adventurous one, asks “What’s that?” to my green pistachio. And so I hand her one and she eats it and loves it.

The next bite she took was that of an Apple Jack and she immediately started to cry and cough and saying her throat hurt. At first, I thought she had scratched her throat with the roughness of the Apple Jacks. Because I have swallowed Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks the wrong way before and yah, gosh darn-it, it hurt.

But something about this made me wonder and I sat with her for a bit watching her. She was somewhat calm, on occasion crying that it hurt to swallow (she was no longer eating anything at this point). And then she was fine. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking “nut allergy, nut allergy….”

But it was so short lived that I didn’t think anything else about it.

Until last week.

And this is where we get to the part where I feel like a bad mother.

As previously mentioned, my girls had been with their dad for a week in Maine for their final week of summer vacation.

I had talked to the girls around 4 in the afternoon and an hour later, got a call from Ex husband.

Now, Ex husband calls only if a) he wants something or b) if something has happened to one of the kids.

“Have you ever given Blue a cashew?” he asks.

And immediately, I knew there was a problem. And I was kicking myself for not addressing it or paying more attention to it before.

Apparently, the adventurous eater in our family (Blue), saw him eating some nuts, and tried three cashews. A minute later, she started to cry and complain about it hurting when she swallowed and she wouldn’t stop crying…and then she broke out into hives on her neck.

Yes people, we have joined the race of “tree nut allergy” in the house.

The good news is that she continued to breathe “well enough” and shortly, was fine. (I am still not clear on how long)

The scary thing is, he was in the middle of nowhere in Maine and had no idea where the emergency room was. (um, dial 911 perhaps?) And by the time he had looked it up on the internet, she appeared to be fine. So, after telling me the story, I spoke with her and she was seemingly her usual self.

At 9:30 that night, I got another call from him, telling me that they had gone to dinner a few hours later, a few hours that had her being lethargic and kind of mellow. They sat down at a restaurant on an outdoor patio and ordered their food and suddenly she just started to throw up. Over and over and over again. And then she started to sneeze. Over and over and over again.

And then, she was good to go.

They left with their food in take out packages and she ate dinner and was her normal self again. The throwing up and the sneezing was her way of purging what wasn’t right in her system.

When I hung up, I felt helpless. I felt helpless being a three hour drive away. I felt helpless in that I wasn’t there to hold her and comfort her, I felt helpless in that I didn’t key into this earlier, even though my instinct said there may be a problem.

Since then, we’ve talked to the pediatrician, had an incredibly peaceful drawing of blood to be tested for all nuts (awesome nurses, neither Blue or I didn’t cry), including peanuts …which would REALLY suck, if it ends up being a problem because she lives on peanut butter…never had a problem with it…I can deal with keeping her away from tree nuts and traces of tree nuts but to omit peanut butter would be life changing. (and the two are different, which has some promise) I realize, nuts and traces of nuts are in pretty much everything in my cupboard. Which is scary.

We’ve talked about it, Blue and I, about how right now we have to just stop all nuts, and things that have nuts in them. And that nuts can be “scary” if she eats them.

Blue looked at me sadly and said “But Mommy, I just SO looooooove nuts.”

And I said “I know honey, hopefully you can go back to eating peanuts at least, we’ll see what the doctor says.”

And she says, “Good. I wish I WAS nuts, I love ’em so much.”

(we are still awaiting the results, yet determined by the reaction she had to eating three cashews, Doc suspects that we will need to have an EpiPen handy)

Lastly, this morning I overheard the two girls in a conversation about nuts.

Red: “You can’t have a peanut butter sandwich, YOU have to have HAM.”

Blue: “Well, if I eat nuts, I might not be able to BREEAAAAVE.”

Red: Well, when I have my head under the covers at night, I sometimes have trouble breathing!”

Blue: “Then you should stick your nose out!



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