My Diagnosis Story

My Diagnosis Story

It took about five years to figure out that I was allergic to peanuts.  I had several reactions before my parents took me to an allergist (although none of them landed me in the emergency room).  The first was when I was a baby.  My family had gone to a restaurant that served peanuts to every table.  Peanut shells littered the floor.  Before long, I got sick.  My parents (understandably) assumed that I just had a stomach bug.  As a toddler, I refused to eat peanut butter.  I always pushed away peanut butter crackers and if ice cream had peanut butter on it, I would keep my mouth sealed shut.  I did not, however avoid chocolate covered almonds.  I ate them all the time (and now I know why they always gave me stomach aches).  I was roughly four when my parents took me to see the Nutcracker.  During intermission, I bought a candy that I thought was filled with chocolate.  The moment I bit into it, I realized that it was in fact filled with peanut butter.  I spit it out immediately, and did not swallow any of it, but it did not take long for me to feel extremely ill.  I was about the same age when I bought a bag of M&M’s from a girl on my street.  The first candy I pulled out of the bag was yellow.  As soon as I put it in my mouth, I realized it was a peanut M&M and spit it out.  Nevertheless, I was soon extremely lightheaded nauseous.

My parents became suspicious of these events.  They took me to an allergist when I was five.  They did a test that involved a huge tray of needles being scraped on my back and that traumatized me quite a bit (I was five and had a fear of needles).  Each needle had a sample of a common allergen.  The spot that corresponded to peanuts swelled, and I was sent to get a blood test.  The results came back that I was deathly allergic to peanuts.  I was also allergic to tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.).

Ever since, I have avoided all nuts like the plague.  My peanut allergy is worse than my tree nut allergies, but I do not eat any nuts in order to avoid cross contact.  I also do not eat food cooked in peanut oil.  My epinephrine is always with me.  I have also gotten involved with FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education).

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