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All views, opinions and conclusions are solely those of the author and do not imply endorsement or recommendation by any other party.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Formative Experience

We had a formative experience on Boxing Day 2006.

I cannot even put into words the fear, dread, concern, love and helplessness that I felt as my 21 month old daughter struggled for air after an extreme allergic reaction to something that she ate. It was later called an 'anaphylactic' response by our paramedics.

We did not know how it started.

We had no idea what was happening.

Within seconds our daughter could not breathe, had thousands of hives covering her face, neck and hands and was terrified as she lay on the bathroom floor. I raced to call 9-1-1 while Mommy and Grammy attended to our daughter. The ambulance came within two minutes and by the time they arrived things already turned for the better. Our daughter is perfectly fine.

So why am I blogging?

The moment where I dialed 9-1-1 is the critical moment of what I feel is a formative experience. In that moment you are completely terrified and you do not know how things will play out. It was crazy.

I am a changed person. I have read before about severe allergic reactions but I have to admit that until you see it first hand it is too easy to quickly put it out of your mind and move on. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. This is not a statement of judgment … it is what it is.

After last week’s experience I have decided to embark on a journey. The journey will first and foremost be to support my daughter in dealing with her allergy. In conjunction with that I also want do what I can to support current and future parents in their struggle to come to terms with a severe allergy in their family.

This blog chronicles that journey.

NoPeanuts Tip:
I would suggest that you never bake with peanuts for a 'cookie exchange'.

Huh? ... It appears that the offending peanut arrived into our home via an annual holiday cookie exchange among my wife’s friends. Kind of ironic, don't you think? I do not begrudge the well-intended baker in this case as people just don’t automatically think of peanut allergies, or any allergy for that matter. If you do not know who is eating the cookies, leave out the peanuts.

2 comments:

NoPeanuts said...

I have had some response to this post that I was too judgmental and harsh in saying that you should leave out the peanuts when baking for an unknown audience. Given the extreme worst case scenario of a fatal anaphylactic reaction in a child (or adult) who has a peanut allergy, do you not think it reasonable to leave out the peanuts?

Lorna said...

I believe that people should be careful when baking for other people most definitly! As a Dietitian I have worked in various Centres which just leave nuts out all together and especially when kids are involved. You can just never be sure. It's not to come down on other people it should just be a learning experience for the "baker" to be aware that's all. It's too risky and more kids are allergic these days!

Under the circumstances that you know you audience or guests you are cookingbaking for and given they have no allergies then and only then you can include nuts. These days you should not assume!!

That being said peanuts are apart of our world. Especially be cautious of peanut oils as restaurants use this oil as it is very resistant to heat and is a fairly inexpensive oil so it's out there!!