It’s Tragic

My 6-yr. old granddaughter is allergic to peanuts.

Let me rephrase that.

She’s deathly allergic to peanuts.

And that’s not even an adequate description of how allergic she really is.  Once she ate what could only be called a crumb-that-would-fit-on-the-head-of-a-pin piece of chocolate that may, or may not, have been manufactured in a facility that also processes pine nuts, aftershave, toilet paper and peanuts, (I may have read just a few too many product labels) and wound up in the ER with a screaming fever, vomiting and a terrified mom and dad.  It all turned out okay, but it was just another reminder that she lives in a minefield.

It’s a minefield of anything remotely related to peanuts of any kind.

There are no Snickers, no M&Ms and tragically no Reese’s.

No Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.

The very manna of the gods and my granddaughter will forever be deprived.

It’s not fair.

As a result of her allergy, the entire family – her mom, dad and brother – have had to swear off the same foods.

For the brother it’s not really a big deal.  He’s never had a peanut product, so no biggie.

For mom and dad, though, it’s quite another story as was evidenced last Christmas when I walked into the kitchen to catch my daughter and son-in-law hastily scarfing down an entire bag of M&Ms..and not the little bags, nooooooo…they ate one of those ginormous bags of candy in about 37 seconds.

Every time she visits, my daughter will take any peanut product I happen to have and either hide it or put it way up high on a shelf.

I don’t know why she does this..maybe she thinks her daughter will try “just one” bite of something when no one is looking.

She needn’t worry.

Last weekend my granddaughter and I were watching some Halloween-themed cartoons when a commercial came on for candy, candy, candy. 

I had gotten up to do something, but I could hear her in the other room as the commercial blared scary music and talked about the treats she was saying, “Allergic, allergic, allergic, might be okay ask mom, allergic.”

I chuckled to myself and realized we needn’t worry about her so much.  She knows.

Sigh…and someday she will know that the cruelest truth of all is no matter how long she lives, there’s never going to be that moment when she sinks her teeth into the chocolate covered deliciousness of peanut butter mixed with sugar that melts just so…. 



Posted on November 1, 2011, in Random Crap and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I think nut allergies are the saddest/worst, followed by corn and strawberry allergies and they also have the severest reactions. My son was diagnosed with a wheat allergy (not gluten or celiac’s) and gets the stuffy/runny nose along with an asthmatic wheeze. It’s still a balancing act figuring out how much food made with wheat in it can he have and still not end up on antibiotics because of a sinus/eczema infection.

    One of the things I’ve always allowed my son to have was Reeses Peanut Butter cups, and he could have it with breakfast/lunch/snack whenever… it was something without wheat in it. For three years I sent him to daycare with a bowl of scrambled eggs w/ketchup, a juice box and some reeses cups for his breakfast. His classmates were so jealous and I had to remind my son that he could not trade his lunches with his friends.

    Who knows, they are making strides in allergy related medicines, they may find some drug or something that helps bodies tolerate their allergens better.

    • I remember growing up with very few kids that had allergies, and always felt for those who did. Seems like these days so many kids are allergic to something – with I think peanuts being the most prevalent. It’s crazy how many things peanuts come in contact with, too!

      I once worked in a daycare where one of my kids was allergic to corn! Do you know how many things have corn in them? A helluvalot, that’s how many.

      I didn’t have food allergies as a kid, but as an adult I’ve developed a severe allergy to pineapple and a minor allergy to cinnamon.

      Go figure, right? The human body is a strange critter indeed.

  2. I would not like being allergic to peanut butter cups in all of their chocolately-nutty goodness! The mini ones are perfect for keeping in the fridge.

    I wonder sometimes why so many children are developing allergies and why so many of us well into adulthood are suddently developing them too. Are we just better at diagnosing what makes people sick, or are allergies on the increase? I don’t know the answer.

    With me, it’s plastics. I will touch just the wrong thing and my hands swell up like water balloons and hurt like the devil. This provides a lot of amusement for others, and even wonder (just how far can the skin puff out before busting open anyway?) but for me it’s not that funny……. and it started in my 40’s. On the good side, it gets me out of carrying luggage and shopping bags!

    • My opinion, and this is by no means a factual statement, just my opinion, is that alot of processed foods have introduced substances not meant for consumption. As a result people’s immune systems have overcompensated for the introduced toxic substances and anything that has a similar chemical makeup causes a hyper-reaction.

      And I think that children can be born already allergic if these toxic substances cross placental walls. Do you know how many petroleum based products are in our foods and candy? Mind you… I’m not a health-food fiend.. but I do watch labels now and if it has long incomprehensible names in the ingredients list, I don’t buy it.

  3. My personal SWAG (scientific-wild-ass-guess) on allergies and asthma increases is this:

    We are too clean.

    We give our immune systems little to fight against and little to build on these days. Hell, we all carry around hand sanitizer for Pete’s sake! Has it made us healthier? Hardly.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion for post-birth development of allergies and asthma. Babies born that way, though, I really believe it’s a genetic hiccup of some kind and may be hereditary. This granddaughter’s father, paternal grandfather and I all have asthma. None of us has the peanut allergy, though.

    Oh and yesterday when she ate some granola we found out sunflower seeds are also on the never-eat-again list. She had a pretty significant reaction but not one that required going to the ER, just some Benadryl and careful monitoring by her mama bear.

  4. She has my sympathy – my mum developed a nut allergy after my dad died, probably stress-related, and now gets the full-on anaphylactic shock response if she has even a tiny amount. Weirdly, a few years after she developed it, so did I, and just after the first time I tried Reese’s peanut butter cups, so you can imagine how sad it makes me. So far I just get a sore throat, eyes and sinuses but it’s enough for me to avoid nuts completely.

    I have a good friend who’s been coeliac from birth and remembers hating her older brother when she was little, because he would take unsuitable food from her. When she got a little older, of course, she realised he was looking out for her.

    • Aww…I’m sorry for you…you knew the awesomesauce that was Reese’s and now..nevermore, nevermore.

      Sigh..mine’s pineapple. I have no idea why, but about ten years ago I developed an allergy to pineapple. My first reaction came when eating a trail mix with dried pineapple in it. Hands ballooned to easily twice their size, I developed hives and my throat constricted. Luckily a friend had Benadryl handy and I took it. The reaction stopped, but a subsequent reaction after eating pineapple again made me realize I had to forever let go.

      *sniff* I miss pineapple. 😦

  5. Addicted Reader

    A friend just developed a peanut allergy as an adult. I’m so sad for her.


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