East Texan Shares Story Of Severe Peanut Allergy - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/8/05-Tyler

East Texan Shares Story Of Severe Peanut Allergy

"It's embarrassing to go to someone's home and ask what's in the food," says Maureen Parkhill. She has been battling a severe allergy to peanuts since she was 17 years old.

"I ate an ice cream sundae and I immediately broke out in hives."

That delicious sundae was topped with nuts and the more she was exposed to them the worse the reaction.

"I immediately feel my tongue swelling thick. My throat starting to feel scratchy and swell. My eyes turn blood red, my ears turn bright red."

Maureen says her symptoms are instantaneous and relies on what's called an epi-pen, a dose of epinephrine that she injects into her leg.

Over the years she has developed a long list of foods she can no longer enjoy.

"Most candies are out, most desserts are out it's just not even worth it. I can't even touch peanut butter and any kind of nuts we just don't keep them in the house."

Maureen says reading labels on foods is key and due diligence when eating out can prevent another episode.

"If I see that there's several dishes that are cooked with peanuts or other nuts I make the waiter or waitress go back and ask the chef. It wasn't until I came close to dying twice that I realized that it was indeed something I had to take seriously every time it occurred."

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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