In the back of my mind, I always wondered. I had issues with allergies throughout my entire childhood, including a peanut "sensitivity" that caused me to break out in mild hives and basically want to claw my own neck off. We don't eat a lot of peanut products in our home as it is. Marcus used to be a triple-decker peanut butter and jelly enthusiast, but has replaced that sandwich with a salami one. I hate peanut butter mixed with anything, preferring to eat it straight off a spoon, if at all. I hate it in my baked goods, don't care for it in my candy (unless you've got some Reeses's Pieces, in which case, bring them ON!), and could take or leave a PB and J. I have to watch my sodium intake, so I rarely eat roasted peanuts, as they are usually so salty.
So, what I'm saying, is peanuts are not a big deal in our house.
On Sunday, Dean asked (several times) for a peanut butter and jelly "on bread." I looked at Marcus, puzzled, and asked, "Have YOU ever made him a PB and J?" He said he hadn't and I knew I hadn't. I asked Dean where he'd eaten one. He said, "We have them at school for snack. ALL THE TIME, MAMA. I want strawberry jelly." I wasn't sure if they fed them these or not, but it fit in with the "heavy" snack they usually serve in the morning, which is sometimes toast and jelly or the like. So I made him a fold-over PB and J and he gobbled up every crumb.
We went outside to swing. About 10 minutes later, Dean said, "My tummy hurts. I need to go to the doctor." I suggested the bathroom instead, so he went there. We came back outside, started playing again, then he suddenly bent over and threw up. He looked up and said, "Mama, I sorry I barfed in the yard. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech." He got it all over him, which freaked him OUT (he doesn't barf often), so he screamed, "I NEED A BATH!" By the time we got him upstairs and undressed, his torso was covered in bumpy hives. We threw some clean clothes and socks on him and tossed him in the car, me in the back with him holding onto a bottle of Benadryl for dear life. Dean was very troubled by my being in the backseat. "Mama," he said between small wheezes, "get in your chair. UP THERE."
We arrived at the ER and were immediately taken to triage. Dean introduced himself and retold the barf in the yard story numerous times before we got to our treatment room. They tried to give him oral steroids, but he flat-out REFUSED to drink them. The nurse kept telling him that if he didn't drink the medicine, he'd have to have 2 shots. He didn't seem to care. After 5 minutes (hives spreading the whole time), I told them to just give him the shots. So they did. One in each cheek. We were left alone for about 15 minutes, during which time Dean fell asleep on me. The doctor finally came in, though for the good he did, he may as well have just sent the nurse back. He seemed genuinely afraid of Dean (because he was a kid) and didn't really answer our questions. The hives had gotten worse, covering Dean from scalp to toes. FINALLY someoene came in with an epinephrine shot (not an epi-pen--fortunately we never experienced breathing difficulties) and some Zantac. Dean cooperated and took the Zantac orally and was pretty brave about the shot. Within 10 minutes, the hives began to fade and Dean was ready to go.
When we got home, he said, "Let's have some juice and watch Jimmy Neutron now." And so we did. We followed up with our doctor on Monday and he's scheduled for some more allergy testing in April. Until then, no more peanuts anymore ever. We've been coaching him on what to say if he's offered peanut butter or peanuts. "No, thank you, it makes me sick." He likes to add, "And then I barf in the yard. Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh."
Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh, indeed, buddy.