June 4, 2012

Addi's Peanut Challenge

Our family has been avoiding peanuts (and all nuts, for that matter) for so long that I was terrified when the allergist suggested I challenge Addi with peanuts at home after a negative skin test.  As much as I wanted to believe she wasn't allergic to peanuts, I couldn't get myself to sit her down and feed her peanut butter.  The scenario of an anaphylactic reaction, Epipen injection, and frantically tossing three kids in the car to get to the ER ran through my mind, over and over again.  Finally, I requested an in-office challenge.

Considering my neurosis over peanuts, you can only imagine Addi's response when I told her we would be going to the allergist to try some peanut butter.  She cried and screamed.  I held her and reassured her, and told her what would happen.  I explained how lucky she was to try peanut butter as it tastes just like soy nut butter--one of her all time favorite things to lick off her plate, her spoon, her fingers, a celery stick...

On the way to the office, she seemed confident, and so did I:
"We're seeing the doctor and I'm going to have peanut butter, just like soy butter.  Right, mom?" 
"Right sweetie.  Lucky you."

We sat down with the allergist for a few minutes so he could explain to her about the challenge.  Here's how it went:

1:14 pm Dr. gave Addi a crumb-sized portion of peanut butter.  She held it stuck to the back of her teeth for a few seconds before licking her teeth and lips, and swallowing.  Big smile.  Proceeded to dress her ballerina magnets and sing the theme song to "Little Einsteins" while she awaited the next dose.  No allergic signs.

1:35 pm Allergist came into the waiting room to greet Addi who had run out of lyrics to "Little Einsteins" minutes ago, and was starting to get bored.  Jar of peanut butter, double crumb portion = another big smile.  Some jumping around, drawing "potato people" and scribbling of "words" with my pen and piece of scratch paper for another 20 minutes.  Some whining that naturally comes from skipping a much needed afternoon nap.  But still no allergic reaction.

1:55 pm Big smear portion.  Happy girl.  Realizes she loves peanut butter.  Finds a friend in the waiting room to be silly with.  Some jumping and twirling, giggling.  Still no reaction. 

2:15 pm  Last check by allergist.  All clear.  Mom and daughter go home with one less suspected allergy, a little bit lighter, a new confidence to slowly introduce tree nuts into her diet. 

Addi after her peanut challenge--all smiles!

 It was a good day.  A great day.  A happy day.  Happy Monday everyone!


  1. I am so happy for Addi and you! So is she in the clear for all suspected allergens (tree nuts, shellfish, etc.)?

    Remind me if Tristan's and Logan's numbers for peanuts and tree nuts have gone up or stabilized? I remember Tristan's milk and egg were still high and Logan's egg was high.

    Ryken's IgE for peanuts continues to increase each year and we retested him for all tree nuts and got some new allergies there. Walnuts, hazelnuts, can't remember what else but we avoid them all except for almonds. Callan had a strong skin reaction to cashews and the slightest skin reaction to peanuts that the nurse said it wasn't big enough to qualify as a reaction. We'll keep both boys away from peanuts and tree nuts except for almonds.

    1. Irene, addi has had a negative skin test for cashews, which is the tree nut the doctor uses on the first panel. So I will introduce tree nuts into her diet cautiously yet optimistically. She is still allergic to penicillin as far as I know. The boys have only been skin tested and they are still allergic as far as I know. Logan will get his peanut challenge this fri as he had a negative skin test for peanuts. Tristan hasn't outgrown anything but we've still only skin tested him.

  2. Hooray for a successful test! How'd the doc know when to test her again for the allergy? Are there other kinds of nuts that she could have a reaction to?

    1. Kepanie, she was negative for cashews on the skin test. That gives you a general idea but I will proceed with caution as I introduce nuts into her diet. I always go into it with the assumption that they could be allergic to anything!