One of our sons — the second one — is very allergic. When he was a baby, we discovered that he is allergic to cats (we had two, had to get rid of them), dairy (he’s outgrown that one, thank goodness), and all nuts including peanuts.
I had a pretty good record of never being the one who gave him anything that caused an allergic reaction. It was always my doctor wife — who is far more hesitant and anxious about things like allergies than me — who gave something that caused a reaction.
Thankfully, we have never had to use the “epi-pen” either.
It seems that our daughter — the fourth child — is most similar to child #2. Like him, she is allergic to dairy, but not peanuts.
Peanuts are a huge deal because they’re in lots of things, and a staple in the diet of American kids is peanut butter. She can peanut butter sandwiches.
A month or two ago my wife gave her something with walnuts and she had a reaction. The allergist said to avoid tree nuts, like walnuts and pecans.
Last night, the can of salted peanuts and cashews was out on the counter while we were getting dinner ready. I (stupidly) reasoned that since she was not allergic to peanuts, she could safely have a cashew.
I gave her one quarter of a cashew, and within five minutes, she was scratching her tongue, coughing, drooling, had red and irritated eyes, her face was all blotchy and red, and she was developing raised welts all over.
We gave the epi-pen, for the first time in eight years of having one in the house.
The good news is that it helped instantly, and as my wife was rushing out the door to the ER, you could tell that the baby was already feeling better and looking okay. It was like a miracle.
This morning, she was fine, but maybe a bit more tired than usual, so I put her down for her nap pretty early. Within 5 minutes of laying her down, this happened in our front yard for the next thirty minutes: