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Offline noelohwell

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New
« on: October 08, 2015, 08:57:44 AM »
Good morning! 

I'm Noel and I have a teenager with a newly acquired peanut allergy.  Her allergy is such that she has anaphylaxis just from smelling peanuts.  This is proving very difficult with school.  We've had two such responses this week alone and Monday's resulted in an ambulance ride.  We're considering homebound schooling but I really hesitate to do that since it sets a precedence for her life.  I don't know how she's going to live with this.  Peanuts and their residues are everywhere! 

Is there anyone else with a similar story?  How do you handle this?  How does your child?  My child is getting more and more depressed and nearly agoraphobic! 

Thanks!

Noel

Offline rebekahc

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Re: New
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 10:03:29 AM »
Hi Noel, that kind of sensitivity is a lot for anyone, but it seems like it would be especially hard for it to hit all of a sudden in the teen years! 

I'm airborne reactive and it's very rare, so rare that many experts don't believe it exists - it's even more rare to experience a very severe airborne reaction. 

I was PA all my life, but my airborne reactions didn't start until I was about 14 years old.  The first reaction I had that I know was airborne was when my friend was sitting about 5-6 feet away eating a Nutty Buddy bar and my lips began to balloon up.  By high school, I was so sensitive I could tell if my mom had eaten PB for lunch because my throat would itch just walking into the house after school.  At first she didn't believe me, but I was right 100% of the time, so she became a believer.

For me, when I start noticing symptoms (in my case it usually starts with my face, especially eyebrows & forehead, itching), I can stop the reaction by leaving the area/getting fresh air and I always wash my hands and arms in case I've picked up residue.  If I don't leave the area, my reaction will progress to throat itching, hives on exposed skin, red/swollen eyes, runny nose, wheezing, etc.  I will have symptoms long before I can see or smell the peanuts, so it's important that I pay attention to the subtle early signs.  I also try to avoid places where airborne peanut is likely - the school cafeteria, the grind-your-own nut butter section at some grocery stores, Asian restaurants (not that I could ever eat at one anyway), etc.  For me, it's worse in enclosed areas - outside is better, but I still can't sit right by someone eating peanuts, etc.

If your DD is having anxiety, that can mimic a reaction or make a reaction seem more severe, so that would also be something to explore.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 10:13:00 AM by rebekahc »
TX - USA
DS - peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, corn, soy, several meds, many environmentals. Finally back on Xolair!
DD - mystery anaphylaxis, shellfish.
DH - banana/avocado, aspirin.  Asthma.
Me - peanut, tree nut, shellfish, banana/avocado/latex,  some meds.

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: New
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 01:50:27 PM »
Hi Noel and Welcome!

My DD is 16 and is airborne protein sensitive but not to the smell.  For her the smell sends her into fight or flight mode to protect herself. 

She is sensitive to grinding peanuts and peanut dust in the air from opening a package or peanuts being shelled.  If we lived somewhere where they are commonly cooked or roasted, I would expect she's have problems with that too.  She has asthma so itchiness and an asthma flare are her warnings to get somewhere safe.

Offline rebekahc

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Re: New
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 02:13:01 PM »
I agree with PurpleCat - it's not so much the smell but mechanical manipulation or heating that releases the proteins into the air.  In my case, someone chewing peanuts/PB is enough to do it.  I'm guessing so would stirring a jar of PB, but I'm not gonna find out!  And yes, definitely the fight/flight response to the smell - it's an awful smell and I feel an urgent physical need to get AWAY. 
TX - USA
DS - peanut, tree nut, milk, eggs, corn, soy, several meds, many environmentals. Finally back on Xolair!
DD - mystery anaphylaxis, shellfish.
DH - banana/avocado, aspirin.  Asthma.
Me - peanut, tree nut, shellfish, banana/avocado/latex,  some meds.

Offline noelohwell

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Re: New
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 02:18:56 PM »
She had a 19 week migraine last year, which results in 2 months in the hospital.  Then, in February, she had a peanut butter sandwich and started throwing up.  5 days later she ingested peanuts in the form of topping on cheesecake and went into anaphylaxis.  She hasn't actually eaten peanuts since then.  This week, with her 2 responses, she didn't even smell "peanuts."  Her reactions start with hives on the arms and chest and 1 to 1 1/2 hours later, anaphylaxis.  It makes no sense to me, but it is what it is I guess.  The doc says there is no treatment.  She is taking 2 Zyrtec twice a day, 1 Singulair twice a day and Pepcid twice a day.  She stopping peanuts, she's had relatively few migraines.  I really think these issues are all related. 

We're to go see a Dr. Burks at UNC in January and I just got off the phone with a Christian school in town that is willing to go peanut free for her. 

I don't know what else to do.

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: New
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 08:07:33 AM »
You are doing it....one step at a time....it's all any of us Mom's can do.  Thinking and planning ahead.  Connecting with the right fit doctors.

It is awesome that you have found a school willing to create a safe environment for her.  She will be able to relax and learn and make friends.  And when that happens, you will be able to relax a bit and breath!

Keep us posted.