December 28, 2011

christmas 2011: day

Oh, Christmas Day 2011 - you were unforgettable, for good and for bad. We woke up and William rushed in to find that Santa had been to town! He poured through his stocking and then we all got ready for church. It was really nice to concentrate on the birth of the Savior on Christmas morning. Sometimes we forget to do that. As soon as we got back, we dug into presents for all and William started enjoying some of his Christmas chocolate (or "cha-cook" as William calls it).
David's dad received a large container of cashews and gave William one. No big deal, in my book. The kid has no allergies and has had nuts plenty of times before. Ten minutes later William was looking peaked. He came over to me and had a funny look about him. I had a feeling he was going to vomit and took him to the kitchen where he proceeded to throw up 3 times. I originally thought that he must have had too much candy and we stopped opening presents to observe since it looked like he was going to throw up more. Sure enough, he vomited a few more times until the cashew was out. I gave him a bath and in the tub I noticed a little swelling on his eye. It wasn't severe but enough to catch my attention. Once he was out of the tub I started to notice a bit more swelling in his eyes but thought that maybe he had got some soap in his eyes from the shampoo but I thought I'd call my doctor in case. Being Christmas, I couldn't get a hold of anyone.

David went to the store to get some Benadryl but we didn't know how much to give him and the pharmacy was closed. In the mean time,William's torso, feet and ears became red and itchy so we decided to take him to the hospital. By the time we got to the ER William looked like this.
They gave him Benadryl and steroids and the doctor hypothesized that the cashew was the culprit but we don't know for sure. We'll have to take him in for testing. Have any of you had any experience with child allergies? It's a terrifying experience.
after the Benadryl knocked him out and was starting to reduce some swelling.
All in all, it was a nice Christmas and we were recipients of lots of generosity, for which we're grateful. If only a child allergy wasn't another little present on this day, then it would have been perfect!


  1. Oh I am so sorry for your sweet boy and for you! We are actually going through something similar with our 6 year old. He had a reaction to Amoxicillian, even though he had been on it before, and had golf ball size welts all over his back. He then had another allergic reaction, not so severe to another antibiotic in another "class". We have to do a blood draw in 2 weeks but in the meantime he was tested and found to be allergic to eggs and milk!!!!

    I will keep you guys in my prayers. I know it is scary, but Heavenly Father has our babies in his hands.


  2. I'm so glad William is OK. It's certainly possible to have a nut allergy when the reaction is stronger to certain tree nuts (like cashews) and barely registers with others.

    Here's a recent article specifically about cashews:

    I'm a longtime reader, and first time commenter. I hope your family has a happy, healthy New Year!

  3. Scary!!! We had a similar situation happen to our oldest when he was about Williams age! (not on Christmas of course- how awful!) he had welts all over his body & his joints, & tongue swelled up! Scariest thing in my life!! We rushed him to the ER (per the tongue/airway swelling!) they did all kinds of allergy testing etc & never found any positive allergies! They prescribed us an Epi-pen which we've had ever since & never have had to use! They hypothesized it being a viral thing that blew in that his little body had an allergic reaction to.. I hated not knowing for sure what to avoid so I hope in the testing they find some answers for you so you can know what to avoid! Good luck in everything! I definitely know how scary it is!!

  4. This is exactly what my son looked like when he ate a cashew at the age of 3. His whole body broke out in hives and he vomited for two hours. So, most likely it was the cashews. He is 12 now and stays far away from any type of nut. So sorry this happened on Christmas day. That was the scariest day of my life when it happened to my son!

  5. oh poor guy! that IS an eventful day!! what a sad allergy to have too. :(

  6. Hi there,
    My daughter has treenut allergies (pecans and walnuts, but we avoid all tree nuts except coconut, which is not usually a problem for most people with tree nut allergies.) and has outgrown numerous other food allergies. We've found Kids with Food to be a tremendous on-line resource, especially for grocery shopping and label reading. There is also a blog - - with lots of helpful info. You are already WAY ahead of the game because you enjoy cooking and will be able to make all sorts of "safe" foods for William.
    Did you get a scrip for an Epi Pen? If not, you need to call the pediatrician NOW and get one. I don't want to be overly dramatic, but benadryl is not enough to stop a severe reaction.
    We live in the SD area too and really like Dr. Welch at Asthma and Allergy Medical Group & Research Center. It is nice to have a pediatric allergist, as they have much more experience with food allergies.
    I carry my daughter's epi-pen and a few benadryl perfect measures everywhere we go, and we have another set at home in her "medication station" along with info on when to use the epi and what to do after using the epi. I'm thankful to have only had to use it once, and having everything written down made it so much easier.
    Our daughter also wears a Medic Alert bracelet. We chose Medic Alert of all the bracelet companies because they have additional services that paramedics can use to treat your child in an emergency. It also functions as a safe ID bracelet, which is nice.
    The first few months after a food allergy diagnosis are REALLY hard. I remember feeling like our world was closing in. Prayers and education and therapeutic baking is what saw me through. The great news is that children can and do outgrow food allergies, and more importantly, once you've learned the ropes, it really is possible to have a normal life again.
    Also, Disney is incredible with food allergies and William should have no problem eating safely at the park if you let them know.
    My heart and prayers go out to your family. Best wishes! Ali

  7. Oh no so sorry to hear. I've never had to experience that. Definately get him back for testing. Glad you all had a good Christmas despite his allergic reaction.

  8. Oh scary for you all. I'm glad he is okay, and hope the doc can pin-point what it was.

    Had an experience with one of my friend's with an allergic reaction to ended in an ambulance ride to the ER. It was scary for me, as an adult to experience that, I can't imagine it on a child.

  9. yes yes yes.
    both my kids and myself have food allergies.
    the only christmas mishap was my first with my hubs.
    it was the only year I have been away from my family and we were skiing with his
    we were out to dinner and he lovingly gave me
    the first bite of his fish
    his faced turned white after a few bites
    it was stuffed with crab
    (and I am allergic to shellfish)
    needless to say
    I went down for a long winters nap
    (Benadryl induced)
    get some testing done
    (its not exactly accurate but better than nothing)
    and always keep meds with you.
    much love, leslie

  10. ps. his face turned white only because he felt terrible, realizing he had just poisoned me, in the end he was likely the most traumatized. poor thing!

  11. The first reaction is usually the mildest, each additional reaction can be worse so you need to have an epi pen on hand at all times. We have anaphylactic cashew allergies in our family. Much easier to deal with than peanut allergy, peanuts are everywhere.

    We are starting LDA immunotherapy for my food allergic kids. Supposedly 80% effective in children according to our allergist. Good luck:)

    Oh, and I would recommend blood testing over skin testing. I have read that skin testing can actually cause additional allergies...

  12. I'm familiar with Christmas hospital visits. Last year we were there after my daughter was mauled by a dog on Christmas Eve. It is frightening! Were glad this year for no hospital visits. Watch your kids around dogs and dogs around kids. Sadly we can't predict their behavior.

  13. Both my boys are allergic to cashews, pistachios and macadamias. Now that we know, it's no big deal. We just don't have those types of nuts in the house.


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