Rhonda is a mother and business owner. This last fall, she advocated for food allergy awareness in the Great Lakes Bay by hosting the Midland FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) Walk. She and her husband own Collector’s Corner Inc., where they sell friendly-food items for individuals with allergens.
One Out of Thirteen
Anaphylaxis, what does this word mean to you? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as “hypersensitivity (as to foreign proteins or drugs) resulting from sensitization following prior contact with the causative agent”. To our family, it’s one of the scariest words we’ve ever heard.
When our son was two years old, we found out about Anaphylaxis shock. We were enjoying a fun morning out shopping; we picked up some doughnuts on our way out of a store. This was a special treat and as he smiled taking his third or so bite, he stopped chewing and spit out a very small piece of peanut. We didn’t purchase peanut doughnuts, so it must have come from another one in the same case. He grabbed his tongue as he started to cry that his mouth burned. My husband took him into the restroom and rinsed his mouth with water. Our son cuddled into my husband as we walked through another store. It became obvious to us that our son wasn’t feeling well, so we left the store. We arrived home to him sleeping, and as my husband got ready for work, I held onto our son while he slept. All of a sudden, he sat straight up and projectile vomited across the floor and I noticed a rash starting on his cheeks. This is when we decided to take him to Urgent Care.
On the way there, our son was crying and rolled into the tightest possible ball while in his car seat. He continued to get worse while we waited to be seen. Coughing, wheezing, vomiting, and hives all over. We spent a few hours at Urgent Care while we watched his heart rate and blood pressure drop. Then he became unresponsive. The Doctors were there giving him treatments and standing beside us watching and waiting for things to hopefully change for the better. It took a few treatments for things to turn around. We watched as his heart rate and blood pressure returned to normal, his rash disappeared as quickly as it came, and he opened his eyes and smiled at us. We all took a deep thankful breath, but were told he wasn’t out of the woods yet. This reaction could happen again and/or his organs could have suffered damage from the response of having peanuts. We stayed at Urgent Care until very late and were put on call list at the emergency room just in case he had another reaction in the next 24 hours. Our son suffered severe diarrhea for the next two days, but now, five years later, is alive and well. We do not eat or have anything peanut related in our home as he is anaphylaxis to them.
We have found that we eat at home with foods mostly made from scratch, and are happy to do so. When at an event that has peanuts & tree nuts, we remove ourselves. We worry constantly about what he touches and if there’s nut proteins on the surfaces. Throughout his life, we’ve even discovered that nut proteins are not only found in foods. Oils, lotions, body and beauty care, soaps, detergents, toys, crafts, fragrances, and pet foods are only some of the other products we need to be cautious of. One out of thirteen kids under the age of eighteen have food allergies. We try not to live in fear, but as parents, we do. We lay awake at night and think about how we can change the world for our little man, because we wouldn’t change him for the world.
Great Lakes Bay’s FOOD ALLERGIES Resources:
|McLaren Bay Region – Website: FOOD ALLERGIES
Bay Allergy Clinic – Website: FEELING POOR AFTER EATING
|Allergist 411 – Website: FIND ALLERGY & ASTHMA SPECIALIST|
|No Nuts Moms– Website – SUPPORT GROUPS IN MICHIGAN
University of Michigan Health – Website: ALLERGY SPECIALTY AND FOOD ALLERGY CLINIC AT DOMINO’S FARMS
FARE – Website: FOOD ALLERGIES RESEARCH & EDUCATION
University of Michigan Health – Website: FOOD ALLERGY RESOURCES
MSU Extension – Website: FOOD ALLERGY ARTICLES
Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Article: FOOD ALLERGIES IN SCHOOLS
FDA – Article: FOOD ALLERGIES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
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