Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kids are expensive!

Kids are expensive. Medications are expensive. Combine those two facts and what do you have....expense!

The alternate title for this post could be No More Nutella For Me! The first time I noticed that the boy had a problem with hazelnuts was when I had been eating Nutella (straight out of the jar...I love that stuff!) and then I kissed him and his lips all puffed up.

I took a day off work today as I had to take my son to the allergy specialist at the hospital to have him confirm what we already knew - he is allergic to hazelnuts. He also advised that he is allergic to pecans and walnuts. He's not allergic to peanuts but it is probably safest to avoid all nuts in case there is anything else.

The doctor prescribed some epi-pens if there is an extreme reaction if he does eat some by accident, and then to use anti histamines if there is a mild reaction. I took one of the Epi-pens to the school, and was thinking that I would have to be carrying the other one around with us wherever we go, but now the before and after school care program wants their own, and therefore I have to wait for a call back from the doctor to tell me whether he can prescribe another one at the reduced prescription cost, or if I am going to have to pay full price (over $100) for a third pen.

Total cost so far today - well over $350 when you include the cost of visiting the specialist, the car parking, the cost of both types of medication, lunch and other expenses, and it will be more if I have to pay full price for another Epi-pen. I rang the doctor to check as soon as I got home, but they haven't come back to me with an answer yet.

Of course, I am glad to know once and for all and to have a strategy in place to deal with this issue, but I am glad that I don't have any huge bills due this week!


  1. Marg, that's bad news. It also means that you have to be aware of where else you might find traces of nuts. Any machinery that can be used for nuts may have traces of them in products that are supposed to be nut-less. e.g. icecreams (e.g. Cornettos), biscuits etc etc. You are going to have to train him (and yourself) to be a label reader.

  2. He is very cautious when it comes to desserts and things as it is. I also think that he is allergic to vanilla beans as well, but there is no test for that - only experience. He is fine with normal vanilla icecream but anything with the little flecks of vanilla in it makes him throw up - usually in the most inconvenient of places.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear this Marg and I hope your son gets better soon. It seems he is already aware that he has to watch what he eats so maybe it wont be that difficult to avoid nuts and vanilla beans.

  4. He is very cautious. Luckily we haven't had any issues recently, and he's not sick at the moment. Last time it happened was at the top of the escalators at a train station...yuck!

  5. Marg, why are you taunting me with that picture???

    On a serious note, nut allergies are pretty scary. Hopefully your son outgrows the allergy one day. And how fortunate that you found out just from incidental contact and not actual ingestion, which I assume would have been worse.

  6. As soon as he tastes something he can feel that something is not right. On the one occasion where we have had ingestion he has been sick so we have been lucky so far. The doctor thinks that he is unlikely to outgrow this one, given that he is 9 already.

  7. No more Nutella?!!

    I'm sorry. I know the entry was really about the expense (and yikes about that!), and nut allergies are, indeed, WAY scary.

    But ...

    No more Nutella?!!!

    (BTW, my son chose your name first out of the hat for the Monday giveaway. :-) I know you said not to put your name in, so I didn't post you as the winner, but I could pre-order the new Sarah Strohmeyer for you if you haven't done it already. What d'ya think?)

  8. Oh yes, nut allergies can be real nasty! And doc visits are always expensive... I hope your son gets better soon!

  9. oh, I am SO SORRY you have to go through this! My son has allergies to 10 foods (I blogged about it here) and it takes quite a bit of getting used to.

    The thing with the medicines does drive me crazy though. His school needed an epi-pen, plus an unopened bottle of benadryl. Of course, we also have both of those at home, but we had to get extras for the school. And although you never want to have to use the epi-pen, it's also irritating to have to buy new ones each time they expire.

    So the point is, I'm over here commiserating with you in spirit. :)

  10. Yikes all around but I'm sure you're happy knowing you are prepared. To be 9 and to not have had a peanut butter sandwich? I guess he won't miss nuts ;)

    I was at the pharmacy yesterday and 3 months of meds for hubby and myself were 600 bucks. Luckily we have benefits and we get re-imbursed. It's have a credit card handy to take that kind of stress!


  11. Dangit - I was going to ask if he was tested for other food allergies? I'm thinking shellfish only because I've linked it in my mind with nut allergies. But it might be that someone ate something but it was cooked in peanut oil.

    Just scary!