A lot of people have seasonal allergies. A lot of the things sprouting this spring are making your nose run and your eyes water. But when you are allergic to nuts your life changes dramatically and it's a daily challenge to not get sick.
6 year old Marissa Friemuth is practically allergic to everything. The worse being peanuts and tree nuts which are pistachios, almonds, walnuts and cashews. Plus, she is allergic to dogs, cats and has an array of seasonal allergies. When she went to kindergarten this year at Discovery Elementary in Sioux Falls, you can only imagine the anxiety her parents must have felt.
Marissa's mom Ann Friemuth says, "I had to bite the bullet and put her care in the teacher's hands and just make sure they were aware of her allergies. She caries an EPI pen incase something would happen."
Thank God, nothing has, but Marissa knows exactly what to and where to go in the event she accidentally ate a peanut.
Marissa tells us, "I would grab my EPI pen and tell my teacher Mrs. Banek and she would call my mom and we would go to the hospital."
Pediatrician Dr. Kara Bruning at the main McGreevy Clinic Avera says, "It's a huge lifestyle change if you are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. It's not just reading labels and staying away from peanut butter. Peanuts and nuts are in all sorts of stuff you don't even think about. You mostly need to keep an EPI pen in case you are exposed. It really is life changing when you are allergic to that."
Marissa's parents have her so well trained that anytime anyone offers her a piece of candy or even an animal cracker that she asks her parents or teachers first. Even though a product may not contain peanuts it may be manufactured in a plant that has nuts.
Ann says, "She could go in to anaphylactic shock. Her throat closes up, her lips would tingle, and it could close off her airway."
Watching Marissa enjoy her last few days of kindergarten you'd never know how careful she has to be. I hope she only reads about anaphylactic shock and never has to share a real life story about it with her friends.