Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pinenuts & Pistachio Shells

Well it has been quite a week for getting my blood pressure soaring through the roof. It seems that we have been having one scare after the other, unfortunately.

We were playing at one of Ella's favorite play date spots which features a ball pit. Usually, I steer clear of these places as they are a mecca for all germy things that are horrible. But throwing caution to the wind, I encouraged my darling daughter to jump into the pit. She had been playing for 20 minutes or so, when she reached down and pulled up something and said, "Mommy, what is this?" It was an empty pistachio shell. I almost croaked right there. There is nothing in this world that Ella is more allergic to than pistachios. And we have been warned to avoid them at all costs. So I quickly snatched the offending object and checked her up and down for a response. The sun was shining on us that day, because Ella had no reaction. PHEW! Crisis averted.

We are now staying with my Mom for a little summer break. I always take all kind of snacks and foods to prepare while we are away from home. My Mom is a fabulous cook and also likes to cook for us. She is normally very attentive to all of Ella's allergies, so I feel quite relaxed when I am here. Until last night. She made us turkey medallions wrapped in bacon. As she prepared the grill, I saw her rubbing what I thought was a garlic and spice sauce on top of them. By the time the meat was ready, Ella was starving. I quickly grabbed the meat and sliced it up and placed it onto her plate. I then prepared Milo's meal as Ella began to eat. And then I sat down with my own plate. As I dug in, I realized that the sauce the was on the turkey was actually made out of pine nuts. (Cue: Screams). I freaked. I said, "Um, Mom. This has pine nuts in it!" She seemed confused and said that she didn't realize that as she had not been the one to prepare the dish (it was from Dream Dinners). And then she said, "Well, there aren't any nuts on Ella's plate so she should be fine." Not so much. Thankfully she had only had a few bites (delicious as they were.) Small itchy hives began to appear on her arms almost immediately. Not a serious reaction but enough for me to reach for her meds. She and I happen to be sharing a bed. Around midnight she awoke, itching like a mad woman. Her ankles, knees and abdomen were all welting up. Thankfully, she was able to go back to sleep and the reaction subsided. A very scary few hours for this mommy. But by morning she seemed to be back to normal.

So I am happy to say that I am counting my lucky stars. But all of this is a powerful reminder that caution must not be thrown to the wind when we are talking about severe food allergies. Things COULD have been a lot worse and I am happy to report that they were not. I am now shadowing Ella more than ever. And hopefully it will pay off...

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