Saturday, July 31, 2010

We Finally Ordered His Medical Alert Bracelet

After struggling with whether or not to get the Medic Alert bracelet, I finally ordered it today. I don't know why, but I kept putting it off. We have gotten many opinions about this from people saying "well he's always with you why get it", to "you must have one". The reality is Cormac is not always with us. He's with people we trust when not with us, but it's not the same as mom and dad . I think part of me felt that getting one made it official. That sounds crazy I know. You would think when Cormac had that horrible reaction to peanut butter, or when we got the test results, or going to the Jaffe Center, I would feel the "officialness" of it all. Don't get me wrong I did every time. But, picking up that phone, signing him up, and picking out his bracelets (yes I ordered two), made me so sad today. I know it's the right thing and can only help keep him safe.

I said we ordered two bracelets. I know, I know he only needs one. I just couldn't pick one. I have a strong feeling that Mac is not going to be happy about wearing it and will loose it. So I got two different ones. I ordered a more updated sports band and the traditional chain with the the logo in red.

OK so why medic alert you may ask when there are so may different and cuter kinds out there? Well I chose Medic Alert because emergency personal have access to his Emergency Medical Information Records or EMIR. They can contact us or our other emergency contacts in case we are not with him, or if in an accident and non responsive. We actually have 5 people listed as emergency contacts! It is also a universally known symbol. We do pay a discounted yearly fee of $15.00 because he is in the Kid Smart Membership. His membership came with a free bracelet and an emergence contact card which includs his Dr's contact info as well. I also like that they inscribe it with his allergies. We had Anaphylaxis peanuts, tree nuts. Treat with Benadryl or Epipen Jr. inscribed on his.

If you don't want to use Medic Alert, there are many others to choose from, but they don't have the EMIR service. You can google medical alert jewelry and a bunch will show up in your search results. Some of the ones I've seen are quite fashionable and cute. What you get all depends on what you need.

I'll post photos when they come in and we'll see if Mac will wear it.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Takeover Tuesday Guest Blogger Jessica: It's A Good Thing I Hate Jelly!

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica and I'm the wife of an awesome man and mommy of an energetic little boy. I work full time, chase my toddler when I get home, and blog after he goes to bed- I'm busy! I was born with a congenital heart defect and have had a total of three open heart surgeries. I was also diagnosed with an allergy to peanuts and bananas at the age of one. Despite all of that, I have had a totally normal and largely unaffected life, I swear! I try to find the humor in everyday situations and that keeps me sane. I have a great family and more than I could have ever asked for. I'm a lucky girl!

It's A Good Thing I hate Jelly!

As someone who has had a severe peanut allergy all my life, I could tell you a thing or two on the subject. One of the silliest things I’ve ever heard (and I heard this over and over again as a child) “Oh my! How horrible! What do you feed her?”. Really people? You take away peanuts and your cookbook is empty? Apparently I lucked out and got the creative mom, because I never felt deprived. Instead of PB&J sandwiches I got grilled cheese or turkey- problem solved!

As soon as I could read I was a label reader. I knew to ask if there were peanuts in foods if my mom wasn’t there to ask for me. I didn’t know any different and it was never a big deal to me. I was also fortunate in that I was still able to eat other nuts, such as almonds and pecans. It’s hard to miss peanut butter when you have Nutella! For those who don’t know what Nutella is, it’s a delicious spread made from hazelnuts and cocoa. Allergic to tree nuts all together? Try Sunbutter! Sunbutter is actually a personal favorite of mine, made from ground sunflower seeds. I prefer it to almond butter any day. The brand I buy is organic and processed in a peanut-free facility so no worries there. It’s also almost the exact consistency of peanut butter, so it can be used as a substitute in recipes.

Check out: for several safe food products!

The two biggest dangers to those who suffer from severe food allergies are:

1. Foods at parties. the worst offender for me was always cookies. I almost never eat cookies unless I make them myself. Believe it or not, I’ve actually had people think that the cookies they made were ‘OK’ because they used peanut butter, not whole peanuts. I’m not joking. It’s best to avoid unless they are prepared by someone familiar with your allergy. Occasionally I’ll take a gamble on sugar cookies (as long as they are on their own plate). Most chocolate looking cookies are risky... and I can spot the tell-tale double fork pressed top of a peanut butter cookie from a mile away. Even a “safe” cookie is off limits if it’s touching one of those.

2. Coming into close contact with people who have just eaten peanuts. I always tell a particular story (…or is it my husband, who thinks it’s hilarious?) of one unfortunate night early in our marriage. My husband loves peanut butter. We’re a match made in Epi-Pen heaven. He knows he’s not allowed to kiss me for several hours and at least one tooth brush after eating it. Anyway, so we’re sitting on the couch one night playing war.. you know.. that card game. He had just eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We’re playing, it’s a long game, cards are exchanged back and forth, the next thing I know my eye is swollen shut. Yep. Apparently some trace amount of peanut butter on his hand was transferred to me by the cards and then I proceeded to touch my eye. A few gulps of liquid Benadryl and one night’s sleep later I was totally fine, but it was definitely a wake-up call.

That brings me to the golden rule of food allergies- ALWAYS have liquid Benadryl on hand. Regular children’s Benadryl is fine for all ages. In the event that you or your child ingest something that causes a mild to moderate reaction, nothing coats the mouth/throat and stops it like liquid Benadryl. Of course, if the reaction is immediately life-threatening use of an Epi-Pen may be necessary.

Remember that food allergies, like anything in life, are what you make them. It’s not about deprivation, rather substitution. Nowadays peanut allergies are much more common. You may find that obtaining a peanut-free life is much easier than you imagined!

Guest Blogger Disclaimer: The information shared by the guest blogger does not represent the opinions and policies of No Nuts For My Peanuts and it's creator. As always seek proper medical attention for any issues, medicine dosage's or questions you have regarding your health and allergies. Always read labels before eating or serving any food to anyone who has food allergies.


Eating Out

Eating out has become an anxiety ridden experience for us. It generally goes something like this: We finally pick a restaurant, and I start getting the knot in my stomach. Then we ask about the use of nuts and peanuts. If the sever knows the restaurants procedures and seems to understand what we are talking about, we stay. We order and wait. When the food comes the knot in my stomach gets worse. After about 20 minutes of Cormac eating, I start to relax. Sounds fun right? We don't eat out much anymore, but am always looking for ways to make it more enjoyable.

Here are some tips and advise I've received since this all began.
1. If you have time, call ahead. If you prescreen your restaurants it will decrease your chances of having to leave.
2. Make or get cards made. A friend and a coworker have suggested making business like cards to give to the chef. You can make and print them yourself using a program like Microsoft word, ordert soem online or even try Staples. You can make business cards, or make them bigger using the labels wizard. Another great option we use is the Food Allergy Buddy from Supermarket Guru. This came from a mom in an online group I am a part of. All you do is type in you e-mail and then click away. It's free and you can customize it with your specific allergies as well as emergency contact numbers and the names.
3. Once you find a few safe places that you like, make them your place. Become regulars, and let the staff get to know you, and your special needs. Make sure to tip well too! Your needs make their jobs harder. Show them that you appreciate the extra steps to make sure you or your kids stay safe. Always remind them of your allergy. Even though you may be regulars, the ingredients of their dishes may change at any time as well as the staff. We have a pizza place that we like and works with us.
4. When on the go, figure out your go to food. For us it's pizza. Nine times out of ten, that's what we do since most don't use any kind of nuts or peanuts or peanut oil. However we always ask.
5. Lastly bring your food. It's usually not a problem. If you are nervous call ahead. We carry a little lunch box for Mac just in case. Another mom told me to bring a safe dessert since it is not likely Cormac will not be eating dessert out. It's just not safe.

As always ask before eating or serving your kids anything. I hope this helps you enjoy eating out a bit more. It's not always easy but it can still be enjoyable.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Good & Bad

We survived the 1st pediatric allergist appointment. Overall it was a good experience. The Dr. was great and spent a lot of time with us, and answered our questions as best she could. I would definitely recommend her to anyone. The office was clean, colorful and welcoming. We felt like we were in the right place as soon as we walked in.
Ok lets get down to business. I'm going to start with the bad first. There are no real answers for food allergies, and where they come from and how to prevent them. The skin test was not so fun. In fact it broke my heart, but is was quick. The results came back positive for tree nuts. So I was disappointed. She also confirmed that Cormac has a mild egg allergy, but not much to worry about right now. He can't have scrambled eggs (which we already eliminated from his diet), but can still have it in things.

The good news is we don't have to eliminate anything else from his diet! We were worried he may be allergic to tomatoes, but nope he's in the clear! We are very happy about that. We were also told that we are doing everything right, and that were not just being over protective. The confirmation makes me feel like I'm not crazy, believe it or not. So we will just keep on doing what we are doing. It's been 3 months now and we have gotten a handle on some things. However I know there are many more challenges to come. Our Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAP) is all done! It's not as aggressive as I thought it would be. I'm glad we waited for the Dr to help us with it.

We took pictures for our own records, but I thought about it and think it would be good to share. I hope this helps others get an idea of what the skin prick test is.

The samples before the pricking
The skin pricking. This was not fun for anyone.
Right after the pricking.
Waiting for the results.
Getting the results. He was scared but not in any pain.
The Results
Pizza for our brave boy!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tomorrow Is The Big Day!

Tomorrow we are heading to Mt. Sinai for Cormac's 1st pediatric allergist appointment. I'm excited and freaking out at the same time. One of our readers (Laura), was kind enough to give us the rundown about how it will go. I am so grateful for that, and it did make me feel better knowing what to expect.

I'm excited to get some answers since we have a ton of questions. I am also really hoping to rule out tree nuts, and anything else as an allergen. The less the better. It would open up so many more food options for him and us. I make a delicious pecan pie and want him to be able to eat it! I would love for them to say oh there's been a mistake, your son isn't allergic to peanuts. However, his eyes swelling closed tell me that's not going to happen. At this point I will be grateful for eliminating any allergen.

I'm freaking out about the skin test. Actually I'm dreading it. I heard good and bad things about this, so the pessimist that I am can't see this as going well. It has to be done I know, but I wish it didn't.

Wish us luck and send Mac your positive thoughts! I will be sure to let you know how it goes.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Food Allergy Action Plan

What is a food allergy action plan (or FAAP), and do you have one? Well a FAAP is basically a set of instructions of what medicine to administer, when to give it, how much, how often, emergency contact names and numbers and any other important information someone may need to help and treat you or your loved one in case of an allergic reaction. It can also give directions for using your epipen. If you google Food Allergy Action Plan, a number of links with plans you can fill out and use will come up. Here is just one I found Ask your Dr too. They probably have one for you.

I've been meaning to do this, but haven't just yet. We're actually waiting to talk with the allergist next week and have her help us with it. I'm still not 100% clear when Cormac will get the epipen vs only Benadryl. It's a bit overwhelming so I suggest talking with your Dr. to make sure you get it right.

Ok, so what do you do with it? I plan on keeping a copy on the fridge and copies with his epipens at home, and epipens that go everywhere with us. When it's time for school the teacher, school nurse, and bus driver will have one. Since my husband and I can't be with him 24/7, I will show the FAAP to who will be watching him.

Right now we explain how to use the epipens, and how to administer any other medication he needs. I will feel better if they have directions as well. Explaining this over and over again gets tiring and frustrating but it's a must now. Trusting people with out little man is so difficult for us. At the same time it also can be overwhelming for them too. Watching someones child is hard enough, but one with a life threading allergy or other condition is just pain scary. As the parents of the kids with allergies, we have to remember that too.

I urge you to talk with your Dr. about your own FAAP. It could help keep you or your loved one safe.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Awards & What Not

No Nuts For My Peanut was recognised by as a Top Health Blogger. I was so happy to receive this. I am also a happy to report that Jessica from The Caterpillar Family Blog sent me a blog award called The Versatile Blogger! The Versatile Blogger award comes with rules so here we go!

1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.

2. List 7 things that people may not know about you.

3. Pass the love to 15 deserving bloggers that you have discovered recently.

4. Let them know that you gave them an award.

Seven things about me you may not know:
1. I secretly watch some of the worst TV on the planet.
2. I am addicted to Baby Center.
3. I grew up in Long Island NY, but now live in Rockland County NY.
4. I miss the beach terribly.
5. By working part time I get the best of both worlds.
6. I wish I wasn't such a control freak.
7. Looks forward to nap time every single day.

Now 15 Blogs!
1. Sara Bakes Cakes
2. This Mamma's Heart
3. He Gives Me Grace
4. The Nut Free Mom
5. Living on Love & Cents
6. You Don't Know
7. The Girl Creative
8. Review Retreat
9. Jenieshell Design Challenge
10. A boy and His Dogs
11. The Shores
12. Milk Free Recipes
13. Kevin and Amanda
14. Long Island Mom of 2
15. Blanket Statements

Well I think that does it!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guest Blogger

Have a funny or scary story to share? Or maybe some great tips and advise for food allergy sufferer's? Could there be something you need to get off your chest or just want to talk about your anxieties? I am looking for guest bloggers to contribute a post to my blog each week. My requirements are simple:

1. Topic must be related to any kind of food allergy. It doesn't have to be about nuts.
2. Post must be submitted to me via e-mail at
3. Post will need to be approved.
4. Post may be edited by No Nuts for My Peanuts, but not without the authors approval.
5. Must be a follower or like on Facebook.
6. Requirements to be a guest blogger may change at any time, without notice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Random Nuts

My mom has been great thought all this allergy stuff and has been on board right from the start. We totally trust her. When we go visit, the house is basically nut free. She moves unsafe food around so he won't be able to get it. She also cleans the house from top to bottom just in case. Well I received an e-mail from my mom today that made me cringe and laugh. She is finally getting rid of a very old couch. While taking off the cushions she found peanuts under them! Now my son doesn't spend much time in that room if any when we are there, but still he could. I don't know what we would of done if he got his little hands on them. So scary, but kind of funny. Nuts in the couch just sounds weird.

So today's lesson is check under the cushions and always be on top of your game. You never know where you may find random nuts!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Getting Ready for the Allergist

In 2 weeks we will be heading to NYC to see the pediatric allergist. We have a little notebook that we are writing questions in to ask. I wonder how much time they give us? Though our new pediatrician gives us time, not all do. You are lucky if you get 5 minutes to ask one or two questions. I know we are going to do the skin test (not looking forward to that at all), so we will be there a while. But I wonder if they see other patients during that time, or if they stay with us. I am so anxious to go. I have so many questions and concerns that I don't think they will be able to address them all. Heck I will probably go blank and not remember to ask half of them.

Someone in my online food allergy group sent me this link to get started. So I am sharing it with you!

If you have any ideas of what else I should be asking, please share!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

We just want to wish everyone a happy 4th of July! We hope you enjoy yourselves. We also want to give a very special thanks to the men and women who are serving our country (past and present), so we can celebrate our country's independence. You and your families sacrifice so much. Thank you.