Allergy Warrior Annie
The food allergy road can be long, and very discouraging at times. I started this site to provide support for families, children, and individuals with food allergies. I chose the name Allergy Warriors, because anyone who has a food allergy knows how much of a battle it is to be safe! It is dedicated to all of the brave people out there who have a food allergy or who have a family member with a food allergy. I hope this is a safe (allergen free) place you can come to discuss, learn, and get support.
A little about me…
I am Allergy Warrior Annie. I am a mom of a two beautiful daughters. My oldest daughter, Bean, was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy and egg allergy when she was 18 months old. I still remember the exact moment when I realized she might be allergic to peanuts.
When she was 15 months old, and I was teaching her how to trick or treat using snack size bags of Reese’s Pieces. Bean was having trouble saying trick OR treat, and kept saying “trick treat”. Finally, after trying a few times, she got it and in a very confident little voice said, “trick or treat!” I was so excited. I hugged her and spun her around, and told her now she got to have some yummy candy! It was going to be the first time she ate anything with peanut butter. I love peanut butter, and could not wait for her to share my love of peanut butter too. I gave her two little Reese’s Pieces. A few minutes later, she got bumps all over her chin and around her mouth, and it got all red and itchy. She was not coughing or wheezing. I thought she had touched something or had gotten something ON her face, so I took her in the bathroom and washed her face with soap and water. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I was so naive back then. I did not give her any Benadryl, but after about an hour or so, the bumps started going away. I made a mental note of it, and vowed to tell her pediatrician at her 18 month appointment – three months away. Later, I was talking to my husband, and we were discussing what she could have gotten into to cause such a reaction on her face. Then it dawned on me… could she possibly be allergic to peanuts? Nooooo! There was no way she could have a food allergy, because neither my husband or I had any food allergies. It had to be something she touched, right?
At her 18 month appointment, I told her pediatrician about the incident. He immediately said he wanted to send her for a blood test to test her for food allergies. I still had high hopes that it was just something she touched. Two days later, I got a call from the nurse with the results. She was severely allergic to peanuts, and was mildly allergic to eggs and dairy. They referred us to an allergist. At our first appointment with Bean’s allergist, I told her everything, but then explained that I didn’t understand how she could be allergic to dairy, because she ate between 3-5 servings of dairy daily – milk, ice cream, milk shakes, cheese, yogurt – with no reaction. The allergist explained that her numbers were so high for peanuts, that sometimes it causes a false positive on other foods. She did a scratch test, and sure enough she was anaphylactic to peanuts, mildly allergic to eggs, and was not allergic to dairy. Suddenly we were parents to a child with food allergies. We had to read labels, watch everything she ate, carry an Epipen, and adjust how we did a lot of things. We also made our home peanut and egg free for her safety.
When she was 4 a food tolerance test showed that she had outgrown her egg allergy. However, due to the severity of her peanut allergy, she most likely will never outgrow it. She also has environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, mild eczema, and asthma. My younger daughter, Bubbles, does not have any food allergies that we know of, but she is lactose intolerant, and is pretty allergic to guinea pigs. Yes, they actually have a scratch test for guinea pigs. She also has environmental allergies, and season allergies. I am lactose intolerant, and have seasonal allergies also.
*DISCLAIMER* I am not a medical doctor and information on this page is for educational purposes only. Please do not use this information to diagnose or self treat any condition. Food allergies can be life threatening. If you think you might have a food allergy, please see an allergist!