Friday, June 08, 2007

Nut Wars

Sounds like a silly title, doesn't it?

Yet, I'm being serious. I'm going to share a personal scare with you. Some of my regular readers (thank you) know that I have a little one with a life threatening peanut allergy.

It's made life a challenge, because when you start looking for the ingredient, either in the food or contaminated by crossover exposure on manufacturing equipment, you realize the scope of the battle ahead.

Ignorance is a big obstacle. "But they're PLAIN M & M's. They're safe!"

No. They've come in contact with the peanut oils from the previous batch of Peanut M & M's.

I realize that I've shared that example before.

Here's a new exposure threat.

Yesterday was the last Paws for Reading program for my little one. He really enjoyed this semester and his reading has improved wonderfully.

As the last class drew to a close for the session prior to his, I stayed to observe the changing of the guard, so-to-speak. There were three dogs to choose from, or so I thought.
Turns out one was leaving and wasn't THAT a blessing.

Seems the handler, in celebration of the programs final session, presented homemade doggie treats to the other two handlers to share with their dogs.

Imagine my horror and trepidation when I hear, " Oh! Just smell how wonderful the PEANUT BUTTER makes these cookies smell! Here! Have some!"

There she is, breaking off bits and giving them to the other dog and then some to the handler. My son walks by the dog going goofy for peanut butter laced treats, and the handler looks down at him and says, "Do you want to go over and wait for Blossom?"

He said,"No, I want to read to that dog." pointing to the black and white one off to the side.

"That dog" just happens to be Silly Gilly, the border collie that he knew from a few times in the past and the ONLY dog NOT eating the treat. Gilly's handler only gives her beef treats.

My son wasn't even aware of the peanut threat. He just knew he liked Silly Gilly and the dog liked him. That was good enough.

Can you imagine the potential for risk, harm and trauma?

Needless to say, I called the head librarian and organizer of the program aside and informed her of the averted potential disaster. Her eyes got real wide when she realized the ramifications of what I had told her. She said that she knew very well not to give candy and treats out to kids at library functions in general because food allergies are becoming more and more a prominent safety issue. However, it never dawned on her to question the food/treats the handlers gave the dogs.

This will be the second time I've been instrumental in making them aware of important and needed policy changes in their program.

After all, some one's life, a child's life, literally is on the line.

After all that, Guess what?


Yep, you got it. I have one blasted gourmet almond at work yesterday and my lips went numb and the back of my tongue swelled up within one minute. I can't believe how fast it hit!

I have a piece of advice. You know that warning that they put on the labels of Benydryl and other products with antihistimines?

Take. them. very. seriously.

I had slugged 2 1/2 tsp's of the liquid stuff to counteract the swelling. It worked, no ER for me.
BUT , I had a 45 minute drive home ahead of me.
Wasn't that a lot of fun.
If the label says "May cause drowsiness", there is no "May" about it. It does.
I got scared shitless a few times when I thought I was awake and yet became alert to realize I was drifting to the side of the road. Thank God, again, that he was my co-pilot because I always went to the right, towards the breakdown lane and not the oncoming traffic.

I made it home, obviously. And I'm telling you , I will NEVER do that shit again. I mean, I had no choice in that I had to get home to get the kids off of the bus, but what I would and will do differently is that I will find someone to drive me home. Somehow.

Do NOT drive with the shit in your system. It's NASTY.

So, there you have it: warnings, advice and education.

How's that for a heavy topic?

1 comment:

Brandy said...

GIRL! Never, ever drive if you are succeptible to benedryl. Blessed be to God you made it home okay.

Allergic to almonds. ACK! That's my favorite nut. Is this the first time?

Close call at the library. Glad it worked out okay and it was great that you were able to alert the handler about the danger of even the treats being near a child. I'm guessing your Son's allergy is one of those that can't be outgrown.

Guess what? Went to the games today and I am a burnt biscuit. So red it's almost purple. *sigh* I can't believe I forgot the sunblock. And? *head thunk* I'm the only one!!!!!

Hope you're having a great weekend.