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Support: Toddler allergic to Tree Nuts, Melons, Carrots

Looking for support and others with similar experiences.   My son, 2 years, was diagnosed with tree nut and melon allergies in December.  He is also allergic to peanuts, but seems to tolerate them.  We are adding carrots to the list.

This week, he had an ANA reaction to raw baby carrots.  Nothing on them, he didn't eat anything else on his plate.   Gave him benadryl for hives and ended up using epi for a secondary reaction 3 hours later and found ourselves admitted for overnight observation since he continued to get new hives and rash despite meds in the ER. 

He has a full panel prick test scheduled for this Friday.   I'm curious to see if he has any pollen allergies, as well.   Also worried we will discover other allergies and further limit his diet.  We are lacto-ovo vegetarians and he was my best eater of the three kids, but all his healthy foods keep getting eliminated through allergies. 

Also, worried for his future with play dates, parties, babysitters, etc. I haven't been to the gym because I'm anxious about leaving him in child care there, even for an hour with no food.   His allergic reactions are generally subtle and even his father was doubting his secondary reactions while I watched the pimple-size hives pop up, DS didn't want to talk and said his stomach hurt.     His hives are not overly obvious.   I'm starting to fear ever leaving him in other's company, but I also have two older kids and need the community support.   

Complicating matters is his seemingly perpetual cold, which means coughs, sneezes and runny nose aren't clear indicators for allergy attacks.   He also has a nebulizer at home after two RAD diagnoses and clear x-rays, making each cold he gets require nebulizer to keep him breathing easy.  I'm sure it's all related.

Thanks in advance for your support!  Feeling bummed and stressed about feeding this family and most of all keeping everyone healthy and safe.    Who else is in this boat?  

Sorry for the lengthy post. 

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  • Melissa G

    Hi MRSBUTTERS! You have had a lot going on! I have two children with life threatening food allergies. You may also be interested in our sister site . I have been apart of KFA for over 10 years.  The community has helped me so much over the years. 

    Here is some info that might help you on your new journey: 

  • Melissa G

    In the beginning of our food allergy journey, it was very hard and over whelming. As things settle down, and things get confirmed, you do get a better grip on things and things do get easier. As leaving them with other people, that is hard. I have some people my children have stayed with and other cannot be trusted. 

     has a lot of great information on food allergies and support. They have an amazing recipe database.  

    Good luck on your appt on Friday! Keep us up to date on how things are going and if there is anything we can do, please let us know! 

  • MrsButters

    Thank you, Melissa.   I definitely was feeling a little more comfortable and in control as far as the tree nuts and melons went.  There were still questions with the other health issues and figuring out all of the unlabeled cross-contaminates with tree nuts.   Then the carrots threw me for a loop and I feel like I am starting over again, just as you described.   Glad to hear it gets easier.  I feel like part of me is resisting the reality of it all.

    I will check out more KFA articles.  Was reading some material on there earlier.  

    Appreciate your support.  Truly.   From your signature, I can see you have a lot on your plate, as well.  Thank you for taking the time to write back.   I'll let you know how Friday goes!   

  • Melissa G

    You're welcome! Let me know if I can help you with anything!

    It is like your world gets rocked with each new food allergy diagnosis! We went through that with my youngest.  She would be doing well for awhile, than BANG, there is another. I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide! 

    Having these support forums, have saved my sanity! I know someone else truly understands what we have been going through and we are not alone on this journey.

  • Kathy P

    Welcome and hugs on the reaction. Kudos for catching the biphadic reaction and acting quickly with epinephrine. If you weren't already familiar, here is an article about risk factors - 

    I hope you can get more info on what's going on at the appointment on Friday. Have you called the doc to check in regarding the recent reaction?

    Hang in there…it does get easier. My kids are now in college and I remember that feeling when they were little of not trusting that anyone was going to be able to keep them safe!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Mrs. Butters! I'm hoping that you guys will get some more info from your doctor.

    My DD has an allergy to corn, and like your kiddo, she had anaphylaxis to a vegetable that usually doesn't cause a problem for people. So I definitely hear you on your anxiety!

    One thing you might want to discuss with your doc is the possibility of oral allergy syndrome. A cross reaction to birch trees can create issues with foods that a kiddo normally tolerates. AAFA has a blog post about 

    My DD also has an allergy to apple. But after component testing of several different proteins that a person can be allergic to, our doctors cleared us for "baked" apple — where the apple is baked for a certain length of time (30 minutes) at a certain temperature (350 degrees.) They did warn us that certain times of the year, like the spring when birch is in full bloom, she may have issues with foods she normally tolerates. 

    KFA (Kids With Food Allergies) also has a great resource on 

  • Shea

    My son has Oral Allergy Syndrome on top of food and environmental allergies (which I also have). His first sign is "itchy armpits", and sometimes it doesnt go beyond that, but I dont push him to eat anything that makes him feel itchy. Recently bananas and carrots started to bother him again (raw)– and our pollens here in Florida are high every day so I think its just that time for him (a few months ago he was eating them fine). But he has allergy to soy and nuts that we fervently avoid all the time (except for soy lecithen–he can eat things with soy lecithen with no problem and I have read online that it doesnt have soy protein in it which is what most people with soy allergy are allergic to–but it depends on severity too). 

    This is a paste out of a few Oral Allergy Syndrome triggers:

    • Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
    • Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
    • Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini

    (My son can eat sunflower seed butter and cooked foods above, and things above at certain times of year so that is how his allergist has separated what is allergy and what is OAS). 

    I, on the otherhand, am very allergic to apples, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, nuts–cooked or uncooked, all times of year– so it is good to know the difference!!!

  • Shea

    I am about to switch allergists because of our move–I think I will talk to him or her about having my son tested to see if its Oral Allergy Syndrome or Allergy because it does progress beyond his mouth. I was just reading up on it again and I read:  you or your child experience a reaction beyond the mouth area after eating a fresh fruit or raw vegetable, that food could be considered a risk for , a serious reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. In one study, researchers found that oral allergy syndrome symptoms may progress to systemic symptoms in nearly 9 percent of patients and to anaphylactic shock in 1.7 percent of patients. Consult with your  for more information and to determine whether you should carry an epinephrine auto-injector to treat such potential severe reactions.

    Excerpted from 

    I already carry epipen jr for him for his other allergies but I would know better how strictly to avoid it this way. It is confusing to me a little so to have them clear it up would be nice. It is just hard to find foods he both likes and does not react to in any way…. Besides icecream lol. 

     

  • MrsButters

    Thanks so much, everyone, for all the support and resources!   I have been reading all the articles and taking note.  I want to digest as much information as possible before his prick tests on Friday.    My worry is that we will get a lot of positive results from the prick test and eliminate an excessive amount from his diet.   On the other hand, this may be for the best while we figure out the foods that are true risks, versus intolerances or OAS, right?    Since he's only 2.5 (though quite verbal) it is hard to assess when foods give him OAS or not.  Which makes it extremely difficult to avoid potential allergens until they become a problem. 

    Although I wish no one had to deal with these worries at all, it is nice to have community support and know I'm not alone.  Good to talk to people who have been through it or are going through it.   

    Thank you, all, again.   Crossing fingers for Friday!  Hoping to talk to the dietitian that works with his allergist, as well.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Mrs. Butters, hugs! Could you jot down what you remember of the foods that have caused your kiddo problems? 

    Most allergists today don't like to give huge "panel" tests for the very reason you said.

    When I needed to be tested for celery, my doc wanted to cover everything that could have been served in the meal, so he tested potato as well. (It was a Thanksgiving meal, and he got it into his head that of course we'd have mashed potatoes — even though I said we didn't.)

    Anyway, I tested positive for potatoes. I explained that I hadn't ever had a reaction to potatoes, so he advised that I eliminate them from my diet for two weeks, then add them back in using a certain procedure to see if there was any difference.

    Two weeks wasn't that long to eliminate a food, and I was able to add them back in without any issue. Celery, though …

    Another possibility: since your kiddo is very verbal, could you talk to your doctor about the possibility of an ? That's the gold standard for diagnosing a food allergy.

    We're here to help you!

    Shea, I think it's a great idea to check with your allergist about whether this would fall under OAS or a regular IgE food allergy. Since Tommy is older and able to communicate, maybe you could ask about an oral food challenge as well, so that the doctor could see exactly what you're seeing and make a call on what that reaction means?

  • Melissa G

    We are here for you for anything you need! Thinking about you this week and looking forward to an update after the appointment. 

  • MrsButters
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Mrs. Butters, hugs! Could you jot down what you remember of the foods that have caused your kiddo problems? 

    Most allergists today don't like to give huge "panel" tests for the very reason you said.

     

    —-

    Another possibility: since your kiddo is very verbal, could you talk to your doctor about the possibility of an ? That's the gold standard for diagnosing a food allergy.

     

    Hi K8sMom2002!  Thanks for the suggestions.   I have definitely been keeping track of foods that have caused problems or suspected to have caused problems (if more than one food was ingested at the time).    I have even kept packaging for foods when there was packaging.     My son had actually had two previous reactions to foods with unknown source of the problem (holiday jelly belly jelly beans and annie's bunny gummies, grape variety.   Later research showed that jelly belly is known to sometimes have cross-contamination for tree nuts).  I had made note of these and held off messaging the allergist since it may have been cross-contamination.  Both occured when he consumed only a couple of the treats.   

    Then when he had the third unknown reaction (with annie's mac n cheese, steamed broccoli and raw carrots on his plate) I messaged his allergist.   His allergist called and suggested we do a full panel SPT, if I was interested.    That was a couple of days before the biphasic reaction which confirmed raw carrots were the culprit of the latest unknown reaction.  The first two are still essentially a mystery. 

    We did do an oral food challenge for almonds back in January, since he seemed to tolerate them and he passed the challenge.   I'm sure if too many things light up on the prick test we may talk about further testing and oral food challenges.        

    Crossing my fingers!! 

  • MrsButters

    @Melissa G  Thank you so much!!!   I got your note last night in my email and it really filled my heart.  Thank you for thinking of us!   

    Unfortunately, the prick test this morning produced more questions then answers.  (It didn't include pollen….but our Doctor said that didn't matter in this case.)   My son who has had ANA response to cashews and carrots and has had always produced hives when eating any type of melon…. tested negative today for all three of those items in the skin prick test.   Not one single nut, not even cashews, was positive. Nothing.     Other things that did show positive were all over the place – chocolate, chicken, fish, beef, pork, cauliflower, and few others came back positive.  He's never eaten meat or fish, so don't know about those, but he does fine with cauliflower and chocolate that we have observed.

    Strangely,  he also had few hives and a "sick feeling in my mouth" while eating a veggie hot dog last night at dinner.   Rather than administer benadryl and have to cancel the test today, we observed him for several hours.   Nothing appeared beyond 3 hives on his upper lip and his demeanor and all else appeared normal.  I was thinking maybe OAS or contact dermatitis.   

    At the present moment we have about four more allergist appointments on the table for the coming year.  The first will be to start him on zyrtec daily and test all the question mark foods (NOT melons, cashews, carrots) where hives appeared in early May in the office to see if he reacts in any way.    If not, they will suspect and likely diagnose Chronic Idiopathic Uriticaria (a skin condition where hives come back again and again with no known cause).

    For the actual food allergies, we would then do separate cashew, carrot and melon -oral challenges for each one at different appointments. 

    At least….that's what I understood from our appointment.  The doctors looked nearly as perplexed as we were with the results.  Maybe even more perplexed?  ha.   Siiigh.  

    Our doctor also mentioned that it is pretty rare to have more than one or two allergies across different categories.   I was curious about this statement because it seems many people on here have several or their children have several allergies.  Though perhaps some are OAS and others are in the same basic grouping??   Food for thought.  No pun intended.  lol

    Such a journey!   I know others have been there too.   Will be happy when I see the light at the end of the tunnel and know what I need to do to keep my child safe. 

    -Linda

     

  • Melissa G

     Linda! 

    My oldest has idiopathic uticaria, it is very frustrating! She will get hives for no reason and she is 18. 

    Is the allergist you are seeing a pediatric allergist? 

    I got over the "it is rare for this to happen", my youngest breaks every medical rule in the book! The one thing I learned a long time ago, is that reaction trumps results and there can be false positives in testing.  In the very beginning of our food allergy journey, Bekah didn't test positive to much, but was definitely reacting to everything. It is what it is. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and not knowing what to feed her. If I thought about what I would do next week or next month, I would have a melt down. Take it one day at a time. Less stressful that way. 

    Know we are here for you and will help you in anyway we can. 

     is a good reference for food allergy testing. It can be so confusing. 

  • MrsButters

    Thank you, @Melissa G   I do believe strongly in mother's instincts and I think sometimes we know our kids best.   We know what is a reaction, what is an irritation and when something feels off.  Sometimes we get it wrong, but most of the time we get it right. 

    I also get that reaction trumps tests and luckily my allergist sees it that way, too.   Essentially, he is moving straight to the oral challenges, to get solid information, since the prick test results didn't add up.    Rather than doing all sorts of blood tests and possibly more skin prick tests, he wants to do several oral challenges, the first being while my son is on Zyrtec and testing all the question mark foods where he has had hives that immediately calmed down after taking benadryl.      After that test, which unfortunately isn't until May 7th, then we will look at oral challenges for foods that had anaphylactic responses but tested negative on the SPT for those same foods today (while previously testing positive for these foods).   

    Anyone else confused yet?  haha.   I think I should try to respond more tonight or tomorrow.  My brain is drained and, as you suggested, I'm trying not to think too far ahead.  Trying to remember what I can feed him and what to avoid or be on high alert for in the coming month while we are still in unknown waters.    

    Also agree all those "it's rare for this to happen" didn't seem to sync with my son's history, even if there is something other going on beyond the allergies.   He still had anaphylactic response to foods from two totally different groups and consistent reactions from yet another food group.      What else should I expect from a child who flipped to breech at 39 weeks gestation.  And THEN had the nerve to wait until 41.5 weeks to arrive.   Little stinker!   

    Thank you for continuing to share your journey and reaching out.  It is immensely helpful speaking with people who have been through it and understand all the ins, outs and variables of the tests.   So hard to explain to family and friends.  Especially when things aren't adding up.    

    Very happy to have found this group at just the right time!  I so appreciate your support. 

    -Linda

  • Melissa G

    After dr's appts there are times I need to take some time to digest all the information that I have been given. Especially the appts where things went in a different direction than I was expecting. 

    When my kids were diagnosed, I didn't know of anyone that kids with food allergies. I felt so alone. One day, I just opened the laptop, and started searching for more info and found . I am not sure how I would have made it this far without all of the support we have had over the years. 

    I know everyone's situation is different, but it is nice to know people are walking similar roads. 

    I hope you have nice and relaxing weekend! You deserve it. 

  • Shea

    Mrs Butters, I (not a doctor but a person with multiple allergies) would suggest a pollen test for dure because foids that start as OAS can become true allergies over time and examples of foods that cross-react with pollens are

    • Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
    • Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
    • Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini

    My son has OAS and so when it bothers him, I remove it from his diet or do the recommended cooking time which alters the cross-reactive protein enough to not make a reaction. 

  • MrsButters
    Shea posted:

    Mrs Butters, I (not a doctor but a person with multiple allergies) would suggest a pollen test for dure because foids that start as OAS can become true allergies over time and examples of foods that cross-react with pollens are

    • Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
    • Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
    • Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini

    My son has OAS and so when it bothers him, I remove it from his diet or do the recommended cooking time which alters the cross-reactive protein enough to not make a reaction. 

    Thanks, Shea.  Yes, I agree,  I would like to get a pollen test because it does seem like it could be related.  I don't know if it's because we go to a "Food Allergy Center" that they didn't test for pollen, or if it's the Allergist's own belief?  Either way, I would feel better if we ran some tests on pollen for him, as well.   Especially considering all the colds he has had that have led to RAD and in general he seems more prone to colds, coughs, sneezing and runny noses then my other two.   Could simply be that he is the youngest and the other two are in school, but it could be related to allergies – food or environmental. 

    Only thing is, (a) I'm not sure how I go about either convincing his current allergist or pediatrician to run the test OR get a second opinion and (b) due to the latest skin prick test being very confusing with data that didn't sync with previous tests or historical reactions; I'm not sure a pollen skin prick test would be all that helpful at this point.       

    Really perplexed and trying to digest all the information and data to decide on next steps.   For now, I am holding to our previous food avoidance while preparing for the May 7th oral challenge.     I'm also looking into insurance coverage to see if we have a cap on allergist visits, which would help me determine when and if to get a second opinion.  

    Feel so badly for my little one.   He had apple juice today and said it made him feel sick.  I really don't know what to think now when he tells me these things.  He's only 2 and a half and therefore sometimes he merely quotes what he's heard before.   For instance, maybe the apple juice was too sugary (we mainly stick to milk and water in our house and he hadn't yet eaten his lunch) or maybe it was a pollen allergy (does that happen with juice or just raw fruit) or he simply could have been tired or done with the juice and knows if he says it makes him sick then we won't ask him to have any more?     ???????????    Oh, all the questions.

    I'm also trying to allow him to enjoy life and not be paranoid about the food that he eats (as I am).    I need little games to check for hives, oral changes and the like that I can play with him and his siblings so it's not all on him.  Anyone done this?  Suggestions?

    Sorry for the lengthy post, once again.   Sometimes I have a minute to myself and it all comes pouring out.

    -Linda

  • Melissa G

    Linda, I think one of the hardest things you are battling is your child's age. It is so hard at that age. Communication with them can be hit or miss. 

    And testing can be as clear as mud.  Doesn't help does it? Toss in seasonal/environmental/pollen allergies and it is just one big mess to deal with. 

    I think you are very wise with the the wait and see approach and taking it one appointment at a time. 

    As far as games, when we did food trials, or I needed to check Bekah for hives, I just checked her. But I didn't hover over her. I just would "spot check" her. 

    I do feel for you. I remember those days, and boy were they hard. Many chocolate bars were consumed in order to get through the days back then. 

  • MrsButters
    Melissa G posted:

    Linda, I think one of the hardest things you are battling is your child's age. It is so hard at that age. Communication with them can be hit or miss. 

    And testing can be as clear as mud.  Doesn't help does it? Toss in seasonal/environmental/pollen allergies and it is just one big mess to deal with. 

    I think you are very wise with the the wait and see approach and taking it one appointment at a time. 

    As far as games, when we did food trials, or I needed to check Bekah for hives, I just checked her. But I didn't hover over her. I just would "spot check" her. 

    I do feel for you. I remember those days, and boy were they hard. Many chocolate bars were consumed in order to get through the days back then. 

    You are so right, Melissa.   Age and communication are an added challenge.   I'd say it'd almost be better if he were younger, but then again…I think when he was younger and exhibiting signs, his pediatrician wrote them off as "contact dermatitis".   I, in turn, didn't pay strict attention to the hives and wrote everything off as contact dermatitis.  Now I'm kicking myself, of course, for not taking notes.   We did avoid melons early on, but how many other things might I have sorted out before the poor little guy had to suffer through anaphylaxic symptoms?    Hindsight is 20/20.   Trying not to be hard on myself.  Darn mom guilt.   

    I do try to be quick about the hive check.   I feel like he's getting annoyed and resistant to it now.  LOL.    I've been trying to make it more like an I Spy game or "hey look out the window at that bird!"     All we can do is keep on keeping on and trying new things, right? 

    Haha chocolate bars!  Yes, I have unfortunately gained most of the weight back that I lost last year.    :-P     Nachos and cookies are my go to.   No bueno.  LOL

  • Melissa G

    I hear ya on the weight gain! I told my dh we need to move. We live too close to food places. We have a donut shop, convenience store, pizza place and a chinese restaurant across the street from us. Way too tempting on a daily basis.

  • MrsButters
    Melissa G posted:

    @MrsButters how are you doing?

    Hi @Melissa G!   Thanks for checking in.   Sorry I've been a bit MIA.  We have been quite busy plus cycling through sicknesses (currently I'm the lucky one with an absolutely miserable head cold and I'm hosting an event for the school this Friday.  Hooray! Isn't timing always so perfect. haha).   

    At any rate, we had our smorgasbord oral allergy challenge this past Monday after DS had been on 5mg Zyrtec daily for 3 weeks.     They wanted him to test all suspect foods while on the medication to rule out or confirm chronic idiopathic urticarea.   The suspect foods, which they gave him tiny pieces of, were:  pizza hut personal pan pizza (from Target), LightLife jumbo veggie hot dog, Annie's grapes galore gummy bunnies, Jelly Belly jelly beans (previously holiday Disney Cars variation, which I couldn't get, but got regular jelly beans), and Chocolate Coins (from CVS which "Santa" had put in their stocking which I luckily still had).    

    Well, he chowed down the whole plate of little bites and…. immediately started blushing red and getting little hives here and there.  Soon his behavior also changed and he was wiggling about and agitated.   Definite allergen in the bunch.

    While we observed him for an hour (without any further medication), I did more digging and more research on the suspect foods.  Come to find out those that the one I hadn't previously confirmed had cross-contact with tree nuts, actually had carrot among it's ingredients.  That reaction was to Annie's grapes galore gummies, prior to me knowing he had a carrot allergy.   Which is why it seemed so perplexing at the time. 

    The only question mark food now is the Lifelight veggie dogs.  We aren't 100% sure what else he ate that night, so it may not have been the hot dogs.  Though the company is supposed to get back to me with regards to carrot or melons being used or in their facility.     However, I'm guessing the answer will be no, as we continued the oral challenge Monday with the remainder of the veggie dog and he had no further reactions.   

    Such a long update.  Sorry!  I know you all understand.  

    At any rate –  like you said, always trust your gut and question things.  Even if it's "very rare".   The allergist said he was still amazed that my little guy had these three separate allergens, when it is very rare for people to have more than one true allergen.  I said, "It's very rare, but is it unheard of?"  He said (I'm paraprasing), "No. But you will hear, 30% of people have more than one allergen…etc. And then I will bring my patients in.  We do oral challenges and come to find out they only have one true allergy.   It is very very rare." 

    Well, like I always say, this kiddo is always trying to keep us on his toes and break the mold.  He turned breech at 39 weeks gestation.  He lives for that 1-3% margin. :-P 

    Feeling better knowing that my instincts and initial thoughts were correct.  At least we know what we are dealing with once again.   I just hope he doesn't develop more allergies.  He used to absolutely love carrots.  And melons and nuts, for that matter.  Makes me worry he will develop allergies to other foods he absolutely loves.  

    Hope everyone is having a good week!   Back to event-prep and sibling rivalry refereeing.   

    -Linda

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, my! You have had your hands full: food challenges, colds and event prep! 

    Hugs on the confirmed allergies! Sometimes it's very frustrating when our kiddos' immune systems "don't get the memo" that one allergy is quite enough, thank you very much. 

    Carrots are used in quite a lot of foods as a vegetable based dye, so it's going to take a good bit of calling to manufacturers to avoid it. 

    But what I like to remember is "This is for NOW and maybe not forEVER." Our allergist has said that kiddos' immune systems grow and mature and settle down, even through their teen years. 

    Hoping things get better for you — that cold sounds awful!

  • MrsButters
    K8sMom2002 posted:

    Oh, my! You have had your hands full: food challenges, colds and event prep! 

    Hugs on the confirmed allergies! Sometimes it's very frustrating when our kiddos' immune systems "don't get the memo" that one allergy is quite enough, thank you very much. 

    Carrots are used in quite a lot of foods as a vegetable based dye, so it's going to take a good bit of calling to manufacturers to avoid it. 

    But what I like to remember is "This is for NOW and maybe not forEVER." Our allergist has said that kiddos' immune systems grow and mature and settle down, even through their teen years. 

    Hoping things get better for you — that cold sounds awful!

    Yes, great reminder to keep in mind that this is for NOW and maybe not forEVER.   Our allergist even mentioned trying oral immunotherapy in a year or two.  (I got the feeling he'd try it sooner, but unless my littlest is reacting to new things or if we can't identify the carrot in all things, then I think we'll wait.  Just get his little body a rest and deal with what we've got for the time being.)

    Good point, too, on the calls to manufacturers.   When I see "natural vegetable coloring" or "natural vegetable flavor" I immediately say nope, sorry, hard pass.  ha!  Poor little guy.  Now I've traded out healthier treats for the junkiest gummies on the market. LOL.  Parenting is such a funny juggling act.   I find myself laughing when I read ingredients and give an internal sigh or relief and external nod of approval after seeing that there is not one single drop of anything NATURAL in a candy/gummy/sprinkle/etc.  Hahaha

    Of course, have to also be mindful of that pesky cross-contact.   Going to be a fun ride.   Glad I'm not alone in this.   <3

    And thank you.  The cold seems to be on the upswing.  In the way that colds slowly ever so slowly lift.  But I'm taking it!!!  Today is better.  Tomorrow is the event, so hopefully my ears will unplug by then and I can hear better. LOL

  • Melissa G

    You have been very busy! You have such a great outlook on things! One day a time, and knowing things change, and it may not be forever. 

    I hope you enjoy yourself tomorrow! You deserve it! 

  • MrsButters
    Melissa G posted:

    You have been very busy! You have such a great outlook on things! One day a time, and knowing things change, and it may not be forever. 

    I hope you enjoy yourself tomorrow! You deserve it! 

    Thank you!!  Things are looking good for the event.    Now if only we can maintain some kind of normalcy in our household today…

    Ended up in the ER again, yesterday afternoon, due to cross-contact with carrots for my little guy.   It went well, avoided epi.   He got steroids and about an hour and a half after steroids (benadryl at home did very little) his hives started to subside and he perked up.  Now we just need to watch him for the next 24-48 hours and hope there is no secondary reaction.

    Then at night, I had the worst menstrual cramps I have had in a very very long time.   (TMI?) I mean, I couldn't see, walk or even stand.  I was so nauseous and dizzy and would nearly pass out if I tried to move.  It was crazy.  It was worse then the after birth pains.   Cramps are better this morning, still not comfortable, but more of a normal pain level. 

    So long as we can keep the little guy hive-free and happy today (picking up another dose of steroids from pharmacy this morning) then all will be well.   

    Wish us luck!!  (she says as she pastes a broad and nervous smile on her face)  hahaha

  • Melissa G

    Oh my goodness! I am so sorry for all you have been through in the last few days! That is just awful! Then to have bad menstrual cramps is enough to drive a lady crazy! Sending you lots of   and !!

  • MrsButters

    Thanks, Melissa.  Luckily, no further allergic reactions from the little guy over the weekend and the event I was chairing was a great success.  We had a comedic hypnotist perform.  I haven't laughed that much in a long time.  Good tension relief after a long week!  

    In other news, we did have an anxiety-filled lunch with the in-laws for an early Mother's Day lunch with my MIL on Saturday.   They were insistent that we eat at a restaurant and not one of the safe ones I mentioned (even though I texted options from the ER on Thursday after cross-contact and noted my concern about other restaurants that serve carrots).    The wait staff at the restaurant was absolutely amazing and considerate about my son's allergies, the tension came from being on high-alert two days after a cross-contact reaction and for the exasperated looks and questions from the in-laws.  I'm sure many of you know how that goes.   They were understanding…to a point.   I'm sure they thought we were crazy.  But your toddler having a reaction to cross-contact that you thought you had guarded against would make anyone crazy.    As all of you well know.

    Getting to the point – I was wondering if anyone knows of an allergy-friendly restaurant list.  Especially for lesser known (non top 8) allergies.   I'm sure there is a forum on here or the KFA website.  I'll search as well, but if someone has a direct link.  We are in the Northeast, if that helps.      

    Thanks, as always, for reading my ramblings and for all your support.  It truly means the world! 

    Hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day!

  • Melissa G

    Yikes on a stressful Mother's day! Have you ever looked at the website AllergyEats? You can put in your location and the food you need to avoid and it will show you restaurants. 

  • Melissa G

    I want to clarify something about AllergyEats. It would suggest restaurants that are allergy friendly, meaning they try to be accomodating, not that certain foods are not in the restaurant. 

  • Shea

    I like Red Robin for Top 8 allergens.. And Chilis.. BJs… Because they have allergy menus. If its not one of those restaurants I pack my son a lunch box. No one has given me grief so far– if they look questionably at me I just say– he has food allergies. I pack a yogurt, and some type fruit or veggie, and a little dessert, and then if we find something safe to add from the menu we will but if we don't, he's got food. 

    My 6 year old has a lot of food allergies as well so Im surprised your doctor says so few kids have more than 1 true allergy: my son is allergic to soy (to flours, oils, beans–but he is able to eat soy lecithen no problem I guess bc it doesnt have enough of the protein to cause him to have a reaction but it does in some people), peanuts, and legumes (he had a reaction to peas and lentils so doc says avoid all legumes), other nuts, and he had a reaction to chicken under a few occasions with vomitting, nausea, and itchiness but I dont have a skin prick test yo confirm that one yet– I am considering doing one or an oral food challenge.

    Then he has oral allergy syndrome to certain foods certain times of year: to cucumbers and bananas and oranges– but other times of year can eat them fine… And they never cause big reactions– just itchiness.

    And then he has environmental allergies to cat/dog dander and pollens (which is what the OAS foods are criss-reacting with).

    So– we have our appointment with his new allergist (because we moved recently) and I am nervous about it because I am hoping we dont have to do the skin prick test again– my little one did NOT like the test– it was difficult and took 2 people to hold him down and prevent him from itching his back and watching all the big welts was stressful for me. 

    I get the difficulty eating out AND the difficulty dealing with relatives who dont quite seem to understand. What helps us is the FARE food allergy action plans and print out pages from AAFA to keep on the fridge at home or to show to all babysitters and caretakers– I go over them once a year with family too. It is good to keep it fresh. They have all caught on to the way we like to do things: 1- let me check ingredients, 2- using the lunch box of safe foods, 3- if u cant check ingredients then dont give him it. 4-carry epipen, action plan, and benadryl and know the plan. 

    I have multiple food allergies too. I am highly anaphlactic to nuts but also allergic to apples, peaches, pears, plums, and grapes and the reactions seem to get worse each time I accidentally ingest so I try to vigilant. Eating out is hard for me too. I should probably pack myself a lunch box. But I do bring our emergency meds everywhere.

  • MrsButters

    @Melissa G and @Shea, Thank you for the recommendations.  I hadn't heard of AllergyEats and will definitely take a look.    Allergy menus also sound very helpful, Shea.  Thank you!     We did offer up a few restaurants who seem to be both allergy-friendly AND are known to have no reactions (so far) when we have eaten there post-known-allergens (or they simply don't serve nuts, carrots or melons – like Chipotle, for one.)   But the in-laws were not into those choices for Mother's Day.  Which I get.   Just wish they were a little more understanding while things are so new and when we were at the ER *just two days prior* for a cross-reaction.   Oh well…it is what it is.  

    Shea, thinking of you and wishing you luck with the new allergist!   Hopefully no skin prick test is necessary and you can transfer records from the old allergist.   Watching those welts is not fun at all.   And to have to restrain your little guy from itching sounds awful.  Love all the suggestions.  I, too, have the print outs posted in our home and go over them with family and babysitters. Even with DH, who sometimes seems doubtful of my assessments.  :-P        I will have to start packing a back-up lunch box.    My little one (and all my kids really) get SO super jealous and frustrated when they can't eat what the other one is eating.  Adds an extra layer of stress to the allergy situation and particularly to restaurants.   I'm sure that will get better in time.   Just extra challenging with a toddler at the moment. 

    To your point about it being rare to have more then one allergen.  I'd be interested to hear what other people's allergists say on the subject.  I wonder if we all found each other and are active on these forums because of the extra obstacles we are facing.   I wonder if your allergist say they same…that our kids (or us, in your case Shea) are a small percentage who have more than one true allergen.    My allergist does separate OAS (oral allergy syndrome like the pollen allergens and your sensitivity to certain fruits) from allergens that cause multi-symptom reactions and are anaphylactic in nature.     Hopefully your fruit allergens never get that far.  Very wise to avoid avoid avoid.    Anyway, simply pondering the different medical opinions.   Also, it gets me wondering if there is an increase overall in multi-allergen individuals and  if it's an environmental or cultural change.  Or perhaps genetics, and the allergens get more sensitive overtime and we are the lucky generation who is striking gold? ;-P      Really, just curious.   Unfortunately, whatever the answer, we all have to deal with the reality of the day-to-day food challenges. 

    Keep us posted on your visit with the new allergist, Shea!!! 

    Hugs to all!   

  • Melissa G

    @MrsButters how are you doing? 

    I have noticed over the years, there are specialists and then there are "specialists". Our allergist has been in the field for many years and has food allergies himself. He is sees the rare kids and looks at the big picture. We have had specialists who blow things off because they do not think things are possible. I normally say, Meet Rebekah, she goes against everything you learned in medical school. It is possible. 

  • Shea

    Well I did the environmental tests for my 6 year old and he still tested positive for cats, dogs, dust mites, ragweed, Timothy grasses. I bought him a new video game for his portable Nintendo ds, so that he had something to keep his mind off the itchies, he didn't like the test.. I don't know how I am going to get him in next time for the food tests. :/   

  • MrsButters

    @Melissa G, Thanks for checking in!  Sorry I didn't see this earlier.  My little one has had a few more questionable reactions.   I got an appointment with Allergy & Asthma Physicians through our pediatrician, for a second opinion, since our Food Allergist didn't test for pollen and kind of wrote off pollen as an issue (he sees it as only OAS and not presenting with full-body hives, etc).         

    Long story short – LO tested as highly allergic to most pollens, particularly Birch, Ragweed and Grass.   @Shea , sound familiar?      Which makes sense with the carrots, his sometimes reactions with apple juice and soy, and his recent reaction to cucumbers which he never had an issue with before.   This doctor said it was unusual for a toddler to test this high on pollens, that typically they don't start showing up until age 3-5 years and then progress from there.  However, it was one puzzle piece that finally seemed to fall into place. And fits with his RAD/Asthma symptoms.  The doctor also confirmed that full body hives, stomach "hurting" (most likely itchy) and even sometimes mouth swelling, can and will happen with OAS.    Most common is the itchy mouth/throat with a few hives but the other symptoms are quite plausible, which appears to be how my son is reacting.   We go back in a couple weeks to do an oral challenge with cooked carrots.   Fingers crossed!   He did NOT like this skin prick test and kept saying it hurt him.  

    @Shea, glad to hear your son made it through the first set of skin prick tests (though  not with the results either of you had hoped. :/ ).  So sorry you have to go through it all once again for the food testing.   I agree with Melissa that if he likes legos that might be a good distraction.   Another might be a favorite movie on a tablet/iPad, since that doesn't require any action on his part so he might be less annoyed with itchiness distracting him from game movements?      My six year old also really likes mad matt*r or kinetic sand.  Mad Matt*r is less messy than kinetic sand and might be very therapeutic too.    Hope you find something that works and that you get better results with the food testing!!!   Will be thinking of you!    (Mad Matt*r:    )

     

     

  • Melissa G

    I am so sorry the previous doctor didn't take things seriously! But certainly glad to hear the new doctor listened and that the appt went well! My youngest daughter, Bekah showed allergies to pollen at 11 months on testing. Our doctor was shocked too but it did explain a lot. Good luck on the carrot challenge and please keep us updated!

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    MrsButters posted:

    @Melissa G, Thanks for checking in!  Sorry I didn't see this earlier.  My little one has had a few more questionable reactions.   I got an appointment with Allergy & Asthma Physicians through our pediatrician, for a second opinion, since our Food Allergist didn't test for pollen and kind of wrote off pollen as an issue (he sees it as only OAS and not presenting with full-body hives, etc).         

    Hi MrsButters!  Just checking in with you to see if you had your appt yet for your second opinion.  Hoping that the rest of July was calmer and that you were able to get some answers!  

  • Shea

    I had to cancel Tommy's food test because he refused to go, I tried everything to get hom to go but I did not want to hold down a screaming child so I am just going to wait since we already have done tests in tbe past, and know what to avoid and this was just since we switched doctors. Maybe next year he will be more open to a retest. 

    Mrs Butters, my son's ragweed allergies also made OAS for carrots and cucumbers for a good chunk of the year here in Florida (longer ragweed season)– but he does fine with cooked carrots. His honeydew and cantaloupe allergies we werent sure if are OAS or true allergy because he hasnt been tested but has had hives around his mouth and face reddening when he was younger and I treated it with benadryl right away and watched him like a hawk and it went away and didnt come back– but we avoid those fruits. It is tough with unusual allergies and OAS to eat out but the OAS is usually just raw foods so it makes it easier to see– his soy allergy is more difficult because it is hidden in so many flours and oils– although he is able to eat soy lecithin (because it has little to no soy protein in it) so that is good because soy lecithin is in so many food products. 

    And yes, like Brenda said, et us know how the testing went if you can!

     

  • Melissa G

    Shea, I'm sorry you have to cancel the appt. It is hard when the kids are young and have to have lots of medical testing.