Monday, November 7, 2011

Peanut Allergies Stink

Dylan has a "moderate" nut allergy.  He's had two allergy "attacks" that I've witnessed.  While scary, they were not the rush to the hospital kind of attack, but did require Benadryll.  We've had him tested, and the doctor said to avoid all nut products, but that we don't have to be concerned with things that say "made in a place that also makes nut products" (or whatever it usually says).  We can eat peanut butter around him - he just can't have any.

Dylan is great about it all.  If he is at a party, or somewhere I'm not, he always asks someone "Does that have nuts in it?", before eating something he's not sure about.  He's never seemed sad or upset about the peanut allergy - just very matter of fact.

When I went through his Halloween treats, taking out anything with nuts, he didn't seem to care.  He did want to count and organize them, before I separated them, but other than that, no big deal.  I've wonder at times if it bothers him, though.  When we meet friends at the park for a playdate, and the other kids are eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I wonder.  When we went to someone's house, and they had just made peanut butter cookies, and offered us some, I wondered.  When I hear him explaining it to another kid who wants to give him something with peanuts, I wonder.

Today, we were sitting eating lunch, and I was trying to pry some information about school out of him.  He finally threw me a morsel.
D:  "Well, it was Connor's birthday today".
Me: "Oh... What did you have for snack then?"
D:  "I had goldfish".
Me:  "Connor brought in goldfish for his birthday snack?!"
D:  "No, he brought in a cookie cake".
Me:  (slowly understanding)... "So, your teachers weren't sure if it had nuts in it, so you had to eat goldfish?"
D:  "Yea".
Me:  "Did that make you sad?"
D:  "... Well... a little bit..."
Me:  "Does that happen a lot?"
D:  "Well... sometimes".

The whole thing just made ME sad.  I thought back to the first day of school, when the teacher called me to ask if he could have one of the doughnuts that someone brought.  I THOUGHT I had explained that they don't need to be super concerned about the nut allergy.  I figured since I hadn't heard anything since, that it wasn't an issue.  I discovered that wasn't the case.

Just last week, we had a friend over from school.  His mom told me that when it was her son's turn to take in a snack, that he told her, "We have to make sure the snack doesn't have nuts, because I don't want Dylan to have to eat goldfish AGAIN!"  How sweet is that?

I was talking to Jim on the phone, and told him about the conversation with Dylan.
Me:  "So the other kids were all eating their piece of cookie cake, singing "Happy Birthday", and poor Dylan was sitting there eating goldfish!" (I told Jim)
D: (who was coloring in the other room)  "HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT?!?"
I think he was worried I was out in the bushes, spying on him!  You should have seen the look on his face!  I tried to explain that I just "imagined it", but he was still looking at me funny.

I guess I don't blame the teachers for being concerned, but I wish they had let me know what was happening.  The plan is that I will pick up some single serve bags, with things that Dylan would be excited to eat ( like Chips A Hoy cookies - not TOO different from a cookie cake), and take them to school.  Well that, and an Epi-Pen.

("Peanut or Groundnut" photo by Stoonn)

1 comment:

lisa(rambler) said...

Jonathan can't have milk because of his lactose intolerance. Luckily he can take medicine to block the lactose so they have that at school and if they have milk he can still participate. So far the teachers have told me they've given him his medicine and have never said they made him eat something different. I've seen kids with gluten and peanut allergies go through something similar. I bet a little reminder to the teachers will help them remember they don't need to be as careful. I can imagine it is hard for teachers to know how careful to be. if they let him have something and he has a severe reaction then they would feel horrible. I think taking in the extra snacks is a great way to help them out too!