Monday, August 26, 2013

Peanuts, Get Your Peanuts, He'ya. No Thank You.

We're still waiting definitive word on whether our grandson Finley is allergic to peanuts. Several weeks ago while visiting his maternal grandparents at their Virginia lake house, he reacted negatively to a single peanut. In other words, he threw up, had welts on his body and complained of a scratchy throat. 

Dan called Gilda who immediately recommended children's Benadryl to combat what might have been a slight case of anaphylactic shock. 

Finley’s brush with a closed wind pipe brought back memories of the time we brought the four-month-old Dan to Friday night dinner at my parents’ home in Brooklyn. It was the first time Gilda's mother and stepfather were there as well. When Dan had visited the pediatrician earlier that week the doctor suggested he could try milk for the first time.

We filled a shot glass with milk. With excellent hand to mouth coordination for a four-month-old, Dan quickly downed the milk. He so impressed his grandparents that we set him up again for a second shot. 

Show time ended, Gilda took him into the bedroom for some mother’s milk. She put him down to sleep while the grown ups sat down to dinner.

Uncharacteristically, Dan started crying. When I checked on him I found his stretchy and diaper soaking wet. I asked Gilda if she had changed him. Of course, she responded. When I undressed him I noticed his chest really caved in as he struggled to breathe. I called in Gilda to see. With her first look, the former newborn intensive care nurse spun into action. 

Quickly, she said, we have to go to the hospital. Though the nearest one was Coney Island Hospital, she chose Maimonides in Borough Park. Still seated at the dinette table, our parents were too surprised to move as we whizzed by on our way out the door. To this day I never found out how long Rose and Gus remained for dinner with my parents.

When we arrived at the emergency room the doctor gave Dan a shot of epinephrine to stabilize him. From then on we stayed away from giving Dan any dairy product. Even touching his body with butter or cheese would produce a welt on the spot. We bought him a medic alert bracelet. Eventually he grew out of his allergy, though he still is not a big dairy consumer.

If Finley has a peanut allergy it will be tougher to monitor his food intake. Too many foods are processed at plants that are compromised by the presence of peanuts. But, I may be getting ahead of the facts. For now, with EpiPen on hand, Allison and Dan, and his grandparents, await results of his allergy tests.