Friday, July 16, 2010

Am I going Nuts?

Last week as my sister and I were visiting our parents in Nova Scotia, we had a wonderful time enjoying the sights. I don't know what I expected but area is so green and wooded, there are lakes and bays everywhere, it's truly beautiful. Our Friday plan was off to see Prince Edward Island. We traveled from Dartmouth to catch the ferry; we landed on the southeast side of the island, Cavendish where the Green Gables House is was on the northwest side. As we traveled the scenery around us was breath taking.

Fields of green, darling farm houses many with wrap around porches and laundry drying on the cloths lines. I could see how this place inspires so many. As we drove we came upon a field of yellow, my sister squealed stop! I want to take a picture. So we got out of the car, trampled through some weeds to get into the field of mustard. We continued on, we had great time with the all Anne stuff (I will be posting about that in another post). Returning back home I found myself getting itchy on my hands and the backs of my legs. Not bad, but enough that it bothered me. The next morning when I woke up I had a rash and welts on my arms, hands, legs and back. Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun I just pushed forward. We went to Eastern Passage a quaint fishing village, but as the day went on I could feel my lips and hands swelling. I had no idea what was going on.

Christi and Lisa's in the fields of mustard. Prince Edward Island. 7/9/10
We enjoyed a great dinner at Wharf Wraps and walked down the board walk to the rocky shore of the Atlanta. By now things were getting pretty bad. We stopped at store and got some Benadryl and anti-itch cream. Maybe I gotten into some poison Ivy, or a bug bite? This was our last night there, it was a long night as Mom, Dad and my sister Lisa check on me through out the night, I had a fever and I was having a hard time breathing. The swelling was getting worse and I was itching everywhere. I needed medical help but going to a hospital in another country didn't sound like a great idea. Mom had a plan, she was going to fly with us to DC and take me to a hospital there. I said no Mom; I just want to make it home, I told her I would be okay. I made through customs and boarded the first plane and sat in a window seat and went to sleep, that was a blessing when I was asleep I didn't feel the itching. After a good amount of time I woke up to my sister saying "Oh Christi", now the left side of my lips were swelling. We changed planes in DC, I kept my head down and boarded the next plane this one to Denver. This was a longer flight but again I was able to fall asleep. When I woke up my lips and face were even bigger and now my ears were swollen too. All I knew is I had to make it through the next flight. It wasn't a long one to Salt Lake City I could do it.

Lisa's husband Steve picked us up at the airport. The look on his face was shock, my face now quit contorted. But we still had about a 50 min ride to Provo. We went straight to the hospital; my husband Donny met us there. When he saw me he started to cry, he never imagined I was as bad as I was. I was put through pretty quick, now asking me a number of questions the Dr asked if I had started any new medications or had eaten anything new, "what about nuts, raw nuts". That was it; I had been eating raw pecans in my breakfast two of the mornings and just as a snack on the way home from Price Edward Island. So he started treatment, I received Benadryl (H1 blocker) and Pepcid (H2 blocker) through an IV, two shots of Epinephrine and 60 mgs of Prednisone. Wow, I had no idea that could happen, I love nuts, I always have. As the Dr struggled with either to admit me or let me go home, I said I just wanted to go home. It has taken some time but I am feeling much better. Now as I have been learning more about this kind of allergic reaction I am very concerned. I wasn't even aware of how many things have some kind of tree nut in them. I will have to be very careful from this point forward. 

This was just the beginning

Don't Wait to Get Help!!!
Tree nut allergies are common potentially life-threatening food allergies. They are often lifelong. Tree nuts may belong to different food families which are unrelated to each other and tree nuts are not related to peanut. Peanut allergic people can often eat tree nuts and tree nut allergic allergic people can often take peanuts. However, some allergic individuals may be allergic to both peanut and tree nuts. In addition, you can be allergic to some but not all tree nuts. Almond seems to cause the least problems of all common tree nuts.

Walnut: walnut, pecan
Birch: hazelnut, filbert, hickory nut
Mango: pistachio, cashews Plum: almond
Legythis: brazil Macadamia
Beech: beechnut, chestnut

Nuts may be found as a hidden, unlabelled part of a food because of accidental cross-contamination during manufacturing. Allergic reactions are often caused by eating unlabelled foods, by not checking food labels properly for presence of nuts, or from foods which contain hidden unlabelled nuts. Nuts may be used in many of the foods that people like to eat. The most common types of foods causing allergic reaction due to nuts are chocolates, cookies, candies, granola bars, ice cream.

Special occasions such as Easter, Halloween, Christmas and birthday parties are more dangerous for children with nut allergies because there is much more likely to be nut containing foods eaten, and because it is more difficult to supervise children properly. In addition, usual common sense precautions may be forgotten in the excitement. At school, allergic reactions to nuts can happen if children share foods or a parent sends foods containing nuts, e.g., muffins, as a treat for the whole class.

What may contain tree nut?
- chocolate, candies, cookies, desserts, sweets, almond paste, donuts, sundaes, cereal, milkshakes, granola bars, trail mixes, pesto sauce, European chocolates, muesli
- suntan lotion, shampoo, nut shells, bath oils
- popcorn and speciality cheese spreads
- gianduja (chocolate and chopped toasted nuts)
- speciality coffees, liqueurs
- small animal food e.g., hamster, gerbil

What contains walnut (grenoble, noix royal) / pecan (pecan)?
- pecan pie, walnut containing muffins
- Crosse & Blackwell Worchestershire sauce
- AIM herbal fiber blend, pesto sauce, pralines, walnut oil, "Turtles" chocolates

What contains hazelnut / filbert (noisette)?
- Nutella, nougat, Toblerone chocolate bars, hazlenut liqueur, Frangelico liqueur, hazelnut coffee

What contains pistachio (pistache) / cashew (cajou)?
- cashew butter, pistachio ice cream, chicken with cashews

What contains almonds (amande)?
- marzipan, almond mocha, almond paste, almond guy ding, trout almondine, pure almond extract (artificial is okay), amaretto

raw pecans


Shawntae said...

Hey! I found your blog on
"New Friend Friday" I just wanted to stop by and say Hello. That is soo scary about your reaction I am glad you are okay!!!

IF you want you can visit my blog too.

I hope you have a good weekend.

- Shawntae

so kikay said...

following you =) Happy Friday!!

I am Harriet said...

Hi there.
I'm stopping by from Friday-Follow to thank you for participating.
My biggest fear would be to be allergic to nuts. I live on them.
I hope you are okay!
Have a great weekend!

Erin Wallace said...

Sorry to hearr about the tree nut allergy - you do have to be vigilent because nuts are in everything.

Here for Friday Follows and following you now. Hope to see you at Dropped Stitches!

xo Erin

Lucky to be the mom said...

Welcome to my world, Christi! You'll always be safe to eat at my house. I hope they told you that each reaction is more severe than the last - my house is fully stocked with epi pens,

Organic Girl said...

Happy Friday, I am a new follower!! Organic Girl

Mama Hen said...

Oh you poor thing! That is not fun! I had poison ivy for months and I was really not having fun with that either! You have a new follower from Friday Follow! Come and visit Mama's Little Chick.

Mama Hen

Estylo Jewelry said...

Such a beautiful place! I love the mustard flowers, there are a lot over here in the Napa Valley area. So sad that you got the allergies though. Hope you're feeling better!
I found you on Social Parade. Please visit my blog as well :)

Have a nice weekend!
Sandra - Estylo Jewelry

Jennifer said...

Wow! I can't believe your reaction to those nuts! Following you from Social Parade. Check out my blog too when you have time...

Amanda Joy said...

That is a horrible situation to go through! My step mom is allergic to black walnuts which leaves a lot of Christams and other year 'round treats untouched by her. Allergies are scary when you know items go unlabelled. I am glad you are feeling better. Thanks for visiting my blog:)

Deila said... scary. Were you able to eat nuts before this incident? I hope you are feeling better--maybe get allergy testing to see if there is anything else to avoid.

This Lil Piglet Boutique said...

That must've been pretty scary; nut allergies are the worst and can be very serious really fast. I hope you are feeling better.

Now following your blog; hope you stop by mine and return the follow. :)

The Fischer Family said...

Oh my gosh! That is so scary! I was reading thinking "Man, I'd love to go to PEI" and then kept reading thinking "Oh my goodness you poor thing!" I'm glad you are OK, and thanks for the very helpful information!