Jessica is anaphylactic to treenuts, sesame and latex.
She is reactive to egg, potato, peanut, banana, dust, mould, animal dander, rodents, grass, pollen, and a myriad of other things. She also has severe eczema (currently 90% controlled with immunossupression therapy) and asthma. All of which interact.
Now, allergy, anaphylaxis, intolerance are definitely "buzz" words at the moment. I'm not so sure many people really understand the difference between an intolerance and anaphylaxis. Hell, Blogger is even flagging Anaphylaxis and Anaphylactic as spelling errors, so clearly not even in their dictionary!
Anaphylxis Australia describes Anaphylaxis to mean..
Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is a generalised allergic reaction, which often involves more than one body system (e.g. skin, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular). A severe allergic reaction usually occurs within 20 minutes of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening.
This is what we, the parents (and the sufferers) fail to get people to understand.
• Tingling of the mouth
• Hives, welts or body redness
• Swelling of the face, lips, eyes
• Vomiting, abdominal pain
Severe allergic reaction- ANAPHYLAXIS
• Difficulty and/or noisy breathing
• Swelling of the tongue
• Swelling or tightness in the throat
• Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
• Wheeze or persistent cough
• Loss of consciousness and/or collapse
• Pale and floppy (young children)
My daughter Jessica suffered an anaphylactic reaction in November last year and it was terrifying! She wears a MedicAlert bracelet always. She doesn't take it off to sleep, shower, swim.. I replace it as she grows or things change, I always include my phone number. My biggest fear is losing her. All parents could lose their children, but I know the risks are so much higher with Jessi due to the speed at which Anaphylaxis can kill.
Did you know that the airways close, they swell shut? If a person goes without oxygen for 3 minutes they can suffer severe, irreversible brain damage. My daughter could die within minutes of ingestion or contact with one of her allergens. DIE. DEAD. Gone forever. Yes, it really IS that serious. Why is it people still think food allergy is a joke? Just people being bothersome?
|In Bunbury hospital after suffering Anaphylaxis|
in Nov 2009
|Jessica's IV after Anaphylaxis|
The guilt still sits deep within me, knowing I gave her 2 squares of a chocolate that I didn't realize contained hazelnuts. Just 4% hazelnuts (as stated on the pack) and only 2 squares, and that's what my daughters body did to her. That's what I did to her.
Jessica will never play with a basketball, never enjoy the freedoms of eating out and eating anything on the menu. As she gets older boys will be a huge issue for her as she can't just kiss some random guy, what if he's just eaten nuts? Not to mention the latex allergy causing issues for contraception and womens toiletries.
80% of kids with egg allergy "outgrow" their allergy, just 20% of kids with nut allergies will outgrow their allergy. That is a huge, HUGE 80% who don't. And sadly, latex allergy will never go away and will only increase in seriousness with more contact. Sesame is on the Australian list of top 10 food allergens, but not the American. It's interesting how those top 10 lists differ in other parts of the world.
I wish Anaphylaxis would get more coverage, more understanding. By telling your child they should "wipe peanut butter along the corridors" may seem harmless and funny to you, but how about I tell my daughter to walk those same corridors carrying a gun? Yes, your harmless peanut butter is like a loaded gun to children with food allergies. It, like the gun, will kill. You have the comfort of knowing your child will safely eat that peanut butter, or clean it away and laugh at it's sticky, gooey texture while the anaphylactic child is huddling in a corner from fear.