This mother wants to share her experience about what a reaction to nuts really looks like in hopes it will help others.
A mother brought her daughter into the doctors for a Tree-Nut challenge. The Tree-Nut challenge is when children are brought into an allergist and are given different types of nuts to see if they react poorly to the nuts. They are given a very small amount of nuts in order to control the reaction if there is one. Parents are encouraged to do the Tree-Nut challenge to see if the child has a nut allergy while being in the vicinity of medical staff who can stop the reaction right away without causing any damage to the child.
The mother said that her child had anaphylaxis with one of the nuts and it was nothing like she thought it would look like and she wanted to help other parents understand what it looks like so they are prepared for all of the warning signs. Her daughter had a reaction to the cashews when the allergist only gave her 1/10 of a cashew.
Her first symptom that she experienced was experiencing some itching of the ears. She complained that her ears were itchy, but she was still in great spirits and she was perfectly happy. The itchy ears showed up about 5 minutes after having eaten the small portion of cashew. Shortly after she started to complain that her tummy hurt. Around the same time that she complained that she had a little bit of a belly ache was when she started to itch all over her body. Since she was exhibiting two symptoms of being allergic to the cashew they gave her the epi shot. The shot calmed everything for about 10 minutes, but then all of the symptoms starting coming back. Her whole entire body began getting covered in hives and she started to itch like crazy. They gave her Zyrtec. And then continued to watch the hives spread throughout her entire body. They gave her a shot of prednisolone at this point trying to calm down the reaction. She was fine for a few more minutes and she was not in much distress. She was playing with toys and was fine. Then she started coughing. She wasn't showing any signs of having difficulty breathing but coughing nonetheless. The nurse came in said she had started wheezing and that everything was starting to get tight. Then everything changed. Her daughter blacked out and they quickly laid her down. They gave her an albuterol treatment, and another shot of epi. An IV was started with a dose of solu medrol given. The reaction slowed down and she was back awake. She was transported to the hospital for further evaluations.
This mother said that she was so grateful for that experience. She had no idea that her daughter had such a severe allergy to cashews and she felt blessed that it all happened when she was around doctors and medical staff who knew how to handle this situation. She now has an epi shot that she can have in case her daughter accidentally gets into cashews. This mother said that it is important for parents to know that the epi shot doesn't mean that the reaction will stop and never come back. Even after the epi shot, parents should still bring their child to the emergency room immediately to be evaluated.