Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Manufactured in a facility that also processes....

...a lot of peanut butter pretzels.

So it is official. The little man is going to be an epi-pen carrying kind of guy. This morning Heiko had his official allergy test, and it was unambiguously positive for a peanut sensitivity.
Well this is shitty. First and foremost, it is bad for Heiko, in all of the obvious ways. He'll have to carry an epi-pen (actually two epi pens, one is not enough) with him, possibly for the rest of his life. I think this is part of the genesis of the fanny pack, right? I guess it'll contribute to his nerd-cred, but sadly not in the way that I would hope.

Not to make everything about me-me-me-meeee (why I should be concerned about this here I'm not sure... this blog is clearly just a long gaze at my navel), but it is also bad for us, as parents. Putting aside my BIG love of peanuts and peanut products, it is inconvenient to carry those epi-pens (there goes my minimalist "diaper bag", if you can call carrying a ziplock bag of wipes, a single diaper and a single toy (a soup spoon!) a diaper bag). More than that, it is also frightening. We've seldom taken Heiko to restaurants to eat, but that will be a different experience from now on. However once he becomes more independent it is all the more terrifying. But I suppose we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

After his appointment this morning Heiko and I went grocery shopping. I glumly pushed the shopping cart around, visiting the nut butter aisle not once but three times in search of peanut-free nut butters. Sadly none were to be found. The funny (not actually funny though) thing is that Patrick and I joked multiple times in pre-Heiko days about "if we have a child with a peanut allergy....". It just seemed so implausible and inconvenient, given that nuts are such a central part of our diet. And so here we are. The kid is allergic to peanuts. Can I say that I feel this may be karmic repayment for every time I have enjoyed a peanutty snack and then touched a doorknob in a public place? Ugh.

Well, let me end on a note of that other favourite vegetarian protein source: cheese. Heiko may have been manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, but it was also one that processes a whole lotta love (and cheese, true). I suppose this is just the new, nut-free normal.



  1. Oh dear, that sucks. But don't some peanut allergies in kids go away, or lessen, over time? Did I make that up?

    I guess the positive thing is that it is so common now, so labeling is good and schools are watchful and people know what to do.

    I am terrified of this as well. I am also terrified the baby will be allergic to cats.

    1. Yes, apparently some peanut allergies do lessen. When we were at the allergy clinic there was a little kid doing a "peanut challenge". I don't know what that is, exactly.

      You are right that there is a lot more awareness about it. Still, it doesn't have the cache of gluten intolerance, which is funny because that one is usually not life threatening.

      And yeah, it is easy to get really worried about everything as a mother. I ate A LOT of peanuts in pregnancy, and EVEN MORE while nursing (soooo hungry..... all the time!). So it's tempting for me to blame myself. But there is also so much conflicting information about allergies. Some people say avoiding nuts causes allergies, others say that eating them does. I've had some people seem really judgey about the fact that we gave Heiko peanuts before his first birthday. Again, so much conflicting information, and the Health Canada guidelines are different from the american ones about food introduction. Don't even get me started on the wonks who think that peanut allergies are caused by vaccines. Awesome.

      Your baby is going to be super awesome. I've actually heard that kids who grow up with animals have fewer allergies, so let's hope that's true for your little man. You are almost there!