On the surface…

March 5, 2009 at 3:50 pm 1 comment

When I first found out about my daughter’s food allergies, I automatically assumed that those allergens would only affect her if she ingested them.  In some cases, that may be true for some people with food allergies, but not with others.   When my daughter was 18 months old (6 months after we found out about all of her allergies), my oldest daughter was having chocolate milk for breakfast.  We have taught her not to leave anything on the table when she is finished eating, but that day she forgot and left her cup on the table where my allergic daughter could reach it.  I was at the mall, my husband was home with my two girls and I remember the phone call vividly.  My husband called and said that my youngest had gotten ahold of the cup, which apparently still had some chocolate milk in it, and because she was shorter than the table she dumped the entire thing on herself – head to toe.  Immediately, hives broke out all over her body.  She was wearing layers of clothes and overalls, to beat!  It was winter.  So, the milk soaked into her clothing and since overalls are hard to take off quickly, her skin was exposed to it for several minutes.  While I was on the phone with my husband, he stripped her down, put her in the tub, gave her liquid Benadryl and was trying to help her calm down.  She was covered in hives – even to the bottom of her feet!  And anyone who has ever had hives knows how itchy they are.  She was scratching herself to pieces.  To our knowledge, she did not ingest any of the milk, but her throat did start swelling and she was coughing and choking, as well.  I immediately left the mall, stopped by Walgreen’s on the way home and bought some Benadryl cream.  As soon as I got home, I rubbed her entire body down with the creme and the hives started to disappear.  I had never seen such a sight!  It was very scary to me and alerted me to the fact that even her skin was allergic to these allergens.  Later that night, the hives returned to a lesser degree, but it’s just a reminder that allergic reactions can reappear even though you think the worst may be over.  Ever since that day, we only give my oldest daughter milk to drink when we are at the table with her, even though my other daughter is now old enough to know that she cannot touch anyone else’s cup or food at anytime.  Always be cautious!  (And as a side note, even when my daughter is kissed on the cheek after I’ve had a dairy product, she breaks out in a hive in that spot.  That is how sensitive her body is.)

So, I shared this with you in order to either remind you or make you aware of the effect allergens can have on those who are affected by them.  It’s not just eating allergens that causes serious problems…sometimes it is on the surface.  Whether you have allergies or not, please be aware of those around you who DO have them.  Take it seriously.  It could mean life or death to them.

Entry filed under: The Caregiver, The Journey, The Target. Tags: , , , , , , .

Eating Out With Food Allergies Special Allergy Alert!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  March 6, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Wow Amy. I don’t think I know anyone else that sensitive to a milk allergy. I can totally sympathize with your sweet little one. When I had my food allergy attack at 17 I had hives for 5 days straight. One set just brought on another set, which brought on another set. It was misery. And I had benedryl and steroids flowing through my veins in an IV. It was the most agony I had been in, so uncomfortable. I would say it was even worse than natural child birth! I now have eczema in my adult life and I can itch so badly at times all over…it often reminds me of my allergy attack. Horrible memories!


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