23 February 2011

Precise Dose for Peanut Allergy Treatment- Oral Immunotherapy

Now that Alexander's peanut allergy treatment has progressed he is having his peanut dose increased each week.

Date Dose     Amount     Frequency     Total Peanuts per 24 Hours
Jan 27          1 Peanut    Twice per day         2
Feb  3           2 Peanuts    Twice per day        4
Feb 10          3 Peanuts    Twice per day        6

Feb 17          4 Peanuts    Twice per day       8
Feb 24          5 Peanuts    Twice per day      10

I need to shell more peanuts
Why does Dr. Wasserman required to buy in-shell peanuts and shell them myself?
He is being cautious. Unfortunately, Alexander may be allergic to Almonds so we must avoid possible cross-contamination in processed peanuts.
Click here to see my post "Shucking Peanuts for Alexander's Big Day".  
Alexander's dosing amount is very precise! Each peanut must an an average size peanut. Not too big and not too small. 
To obtain an average sized peanut from an in-shell peanut is hard to accomplish. This morning my son requested I provide new peanuts because only large peanuts remain from the first batch I shelled.
We are so thankful that due to the peanut allergy immunotherapy treatment our son is able to actually Eat Peanuts safely! 
I will happily shell the peanuts for him.
As I set about the task again, I experience the same issue that occurred the last time I shelled peanuts. The first few peanuts split in half. I shell a few more and their size is too large.

In an odd sort of way I now have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde relationship with peanuts.
They scare me but I need them. Shelling these peanuts is like panning for gold. 
If a peanut pops out of the shell and falls into the sack of peanut shells then I have to sift through the shells and peanut debris to find the golden nugget, a whole peanut.

Once I dropped a perfect peanut specimen into the sink. Ugh! I thought about saving it. 
I wiped it off carefully but I came to my senses thinking "what has been in that sink?"
Yes, I tossed it into the trash.
So what is my shelling "success rate"? Curious, I decided to calculate the yield from my harvesting of the in-shell peanuts. Here are the details-
1) I shelled in batches of 10 in-shell peanuts. Each peanut containing 2 shelled peanuts for a total possible yield of 20 peanuts per batch.
2) I shelled 7 batches for a total possible yield of 140 peanuts.
3) My harvest averaged 7.28 peanuts that were perfectly whole and average in size 
out of 20. 
4) Rate of success in obtaining "perfect peanuts" only 36%.
At this rate I will be doing a lot of shelling.

I thought perhaps the quality of the in-shell peanuts I purchased was inferior in some way.
The shells are hard to crack, the peanut dust flies everywhere and the peanuts break apart.
At Dr. Wasserman's today I shared my story with another Mom of a peanut allergic child. She tried shelling peanuts. Same issues. Then she bought peanuts from a different source, Albertson's Grocery store in Dallas and the shelling experience was better.
So I will be heading to Albertson's.

After 2 hours of work my "Total Harvest" was only 88 Average Size Whole Peanuts
32 unusable Extra Large Peanuts and a Jar Full of Half Peanuts also not useable, or so I thought.

Alexander's dose was recently increased 4 Whole Peanuts per dose for a daily total of 8 Whole Peanuts.  The next dose will be 5 peanuts per dose or 10 total per day.
My peanut supply will not last long.
I have a plan to solve the challenge. I will conduct a science experiment to determine the average weight in grams of an average size shelled peanut.
Watch for that post. The results will save you a lot of time if you need to shell peanuts as part of a peanut allergy treatment program.

I am so thankful that Alexander's peanut allergy treatment is proceeding so well. 

1 comment:

Cariclark04 said...

I was curious if the weighing of the 'average size' peanut has been successful? Did Dr. Wadded an think this was an acceptable/reasonable alternative?
Thank for all the wonderful info you provide and details on Alexander's progress.