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Angela’s Story

Sharing your stories – continuing with Allergy Awareness Week 2014

Angela is one of our most active members within our support group and had been a huge help to fellow allergy mums, including myself. Like most of us allergy mums her story is still very raw to her but she has kindly agreed to share it with me and allowed me to share it with you.

When Afrîn was born he was a healthy 7lb 6oz, 5 days overdue and perfect skin. He took to the breast straight away and fed well. We brought him home 12 hours after birth and I had Mediterranean breakfast of egg and cheese with pitta bread and houmus. By the time the midwife had come to see us the following morning we were sent straight back to neonatal unit because he had a severe rash. The Doctors checked him over and said he has a normal but severe neonatal rash. The rash would fade and come back and at 4 weeks we were admitted to hospital with suspected infected eczema (though all cultures came back clear; had lumbar puncture too). I vaguely remember someone mentioning that at least we know it’s not an allergy because I was feeding him. A common misconception! We were referred to dermatology who prescribed anti inflammatory cream for his face, as the steroids were doing nothing for it, which did help clear it up but never fully. We discovered (through trial and error) that he was likely to be allergic to cetostearyl alcohol and derivatives which are found in the majority of creams and likely reacts to other unknown ingredients too. He’d had “just severe colic”, “just severe eczema” and “just severe reflux” to the point he was regurgitating the majority of his feeds and many had blood in. Regardless of this he was still thriving. His weight gain was slowly dropping down the centiles but not enough to worry anyone. We we’re prescribed omeprazole for that.

At 5 months old he took a bit of cheesy pasta from my plate, put it to his mouth but didn’t eat it and his face swelled up like a balloon. I was told to avoid milk for a few weeks and try again then. I had been considering putting him on formula at around this point as I had a problem with my foot and needed strong painkillers but couldn’t take them when breastfeeding. So a few weeks later I dipped my finger in his brothers baby porridge, wiped it off and touched his lip. Again, swelling and ambulance called. I managed to get him prescribed some nutramigen but he reacted to the milk in that and so went on to get neocate lcp. (Amino acid formula). His skin improved dramatically, almost overnight. He stopped being colicky, stopped refluxing and his skin was perfect after a few weeks. Except for the odd flare up.

At 7 months he was skin prick tested for dairy and egg which both came back positive, egg was quite a large wheal. He then began to react to all the baby jars or sauces or soups that contained celery and so we avoided that also, caused lips swellings and a break out of hives. He also got hivey rash around his mouth and dark circles under his eyes from penicillins and ibuprofen.

At around 9 months his dad kissed him after eating cashews and his face erupted in hives. Luckily he had kissed him on the cheek! I was still living in hope that the nuts were cross contamination with milk on the line but sadly blood tests confirmed the nuts when he was almost 2. At that point he had spt for celery which showed he’d outgrown it and now has it safely in sauces and soups. He had a jelly at about 2 years that contains carmine and through the night vomited that back up and his eczema flared massively. Had puffy eyes, runny nose and a bit of a wheeze and so we added carmine to the list.

He is now 3 years old. Allergic and airborne allergic to the majority of nuts and peanuts, allergic to egg and dairy and airborne to both when very hot and allergic to carmine. We still avoid penicillins and ibuprofen. His skin is amazing now. You would never know this boy has eczema. He also suffers from asthma and has been hospitalised several times due to it but, that’s a story in itself! He is one of the sweetest most thoughtful and caring 3 year olds I’ve ever met and is already better at taking care of himself than many adults. He is my little star.

His 4 year old brother is his best advocate and has been helping me tell people in mcdonalds and Burger King that his brother can’t have dairy egg or nut and I’m so very proud of him too.

Thank you for sharing your story with us – I know it was difficult.

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About Us

Who are we?

Allergy Buddies are custom made products to alert everyone of a child’s allergy or intolerance.

Inspiration

Ever had an instance at a crèche, party, play-gym where someone has given your child something that made them ill? Yes me too. I’m sure like me you want to keep your child safe and that is where Allergy Buddies comes in. My little chap is so far intolerant to diary, eggs and we think citric acid as well as hayfever of every description and pet allergies. So I decided to create a brand that would allow a child’s allergy/intolerance to be easily identified by any carer, teacher and other parents and to help prevent those dreaded slips.