I remember this day as if it were yesterday. Normally during the summer, Dan would let me sleep in and he would get up in the morning with Olivia. They would watch cartoons, eat breakfast and play together until I got up an hour later. But for some reason, on this particular morning, Dan was the one that wanted to sleep in. Olivia had just turned 8 months old and we were diving right in to having her try new foods. I was making myself a delicious peanut butter and jelly toast and I thought to myself “what a great thing to have Olivia try, peanut butter”. I snuck into the bedroom and asked Dan if he wanted to be with me when I let her try it but he declined and rolled back over to return to sleep. So, at 6:30am, Olivia and I made our way to the kitchen and opened up the peanut butter. I took a small spoon and took the smallest little bit out and let her have a taste. She took the bite and gave me a face of pure confusion. Was it the texture? Was it the taste? All I knew was that it didn’t seem like she liked the peanut butter very much. I gave her one more bite and then put away the breakfast foods and we went to play.
About 10 minutes after giving Olivia her first taste of peanut butter she projectile vomited out of nowhere! It was very strange but she seemed to bounce back rather quickly so I thought nothing of it. A few minutes later, it happened again. It was at this time I noticed one small hive on her cheek. But knowing absolutely NOTHING about food allergies, I really wasn’t sure what all of this meant. I woke up Dan and as we went to go check her out in some brighter lights, she threw up again. At this point we knew something was not right. Dan looked at me white as a ghost and said “Maybe she’s allergic to peanut butter!” I was in shock! Neither of us have any food allergies! I am lactose intolerant and Dan has a color sensitivity but we never had experienced anything like a food allergy. We got in the car and rushed Olivia to the Emergency Room down the road to be safe.
By the time we got to the hospital, the vomitting had stopped but the hives had spread a bit. We of course, googled food allergy to peanut butter on the way and were now on high alert and full on panic mode to get her seen. Unfortuately, the ER did not take our emergency with the seriousness they should have and I had to go full on momma bear to get us in the door to be seen. We were watching for coughing or swelling…any signs that she could be in serious distress. When she got checked out, the doctor assured us that she was okay. Her oxygen levels were normal, the hives had faded and she was smiling at all the nurses. We waited there on watch for about 2 hours and she was given a steroid to make sure she didn’t have a biphasic reaction later on. Dan and I left the hospital feeling over whelmed and scared but relieved that it was unlikely a food allergy reaction and more that she just didn’t like the food. Or at least thats what we chose to believe.
We took her to the beach that day and played on the sand bar for hours. She loved the splash in the waves and ate lots of snacks under the umbrella – all nut free to be safe of course! We held each other tight and tried to calm down from such a traumatic morning. I remember we kept saying that she already has enough going on with her PFV and nemo eye – there was no way she would also have a food allergy. There was no way we would have to deal with something else let alone something as serious and life threatening as this. That day we hung out with friends, had a yummy lunch and relaxed at home – all while being completely on edge that Olivia would soon be diagnosed with food allergies. I couldn’t get it out of my head – if only I hadn’t given her that peanut butter. If only I had waited!
The next day I called and made an appointment with an allergist near by. Because of our circumstance, they got us in for a week later. So for that week we avoided all nuts and prayed this was just a fluke accident.
Being that this is Food Allergy Awareness Month, we will be sharing our story and spreading the word about food allergies. Please check back in, in a few days to read about the allergist appointment that changed everything. In the meantime, just keep advocating my friends.