Saturday, January 12, 2008

Peanut Allergy




In December last year, Thia was diagnosed with Peanut Allergy. Peanut allergy is common in the states, but not in Indonesia. I didn't know anything about it and I thought peanut-free sign at almost every day-care or school was strange. But then I found out that peanut allergy can be dangerous. It can be deadly!!!

Allergic Emergency Care Plan:
Mild reaction:
-Mouth itching and swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth
-Skin itching, rash, hives, swelling
-Gut nausea, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting
Treatment:
Benadryl 1.5 tsp by mouth

Severe reaction:
-Throat: itching, tightness, hoarseness, hacking cough
-Lungs: shortness of breath, repetitive cough, wheeze, tightness
-Heart: "thready" pulse, faintness, passing out, low blood pressure
Treatment:
- inject EpiPen immediately and call 911 or go to emergency room immediately

Extra careful:
Thia had mild reaction, but her doctor said that was possible for her to have a severe one. Now I have to be very careful with the food she eats. I have to check food labels at the grocery store every time I want to introduce new food to Thia. In a party I have to ask the host which food contains peanuts. If you are not sure about some food, you better avoid it.

The chance:
The doctor said that people with peanut allergies have a 15% chance to be outgrow the allergy. This is a good news for Thia even though the possibility is small. I hope and pray someday Thia will be free from her peanut allergy.

Be ready:
I have Benadryl, an Epipen, a cell phone and allergic emergency care planl( see above) in my pocket book. I carry those around everywhere Thia and I go. The most important thing is when you are helping people with severe reaction, do it as fast as you can: inject epipen firmly into outer thigh immediately and call 911 or go to emergency room immediately.

Take seriously:
Now I take all allergies seriously. Gus is allergic to bee stings. The reaction was pretty bad. So I suggested that he get it checked out, he might need an epipen too.

Sources:
- Dartmouth Hitchock Clinic
- The Peanut Allergy Answer Book: 2nd Edition by Michael C. Young, M.D.
Thia's doctor recommended me to read this book. It's a great book. It has all the answers you need to know about peanut allergies.