Food Allergy Experience

The good and the bad

Yesterday was my Little Guy’s food challenge for milk. It had been a crazy week leading up to the challenge with dance recital prep and softball practice starting. That was kind-of a blessing because I didn’t have much time to think about or worry about his challenge. I usually get so pre-occupied with it as it approaches. This food challenge was potentially especially nerve-racking due he’s been anaphylactic to milk in the past.

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The night before the challenge I made 11 muffins with 1/2 cup of whole milk for the appointment. We got up quickly and rushed out the door, two muffins in hand. He was excited to eat the muffin and couldn’t wait to get to the allergist. He does love his food. The appointment start as all doctor’s appointments started with a weight and a review of his medications.

Then I was given the consent. The simple white piece of paper makes everything seem real. The risks are laid out there for me to see. It reminds me that this could be very dangerous. I’m reminded at the importance of my choices for him. This simple piece of paper reminds me that I am 100% making a risky choice for my darling boy. I nervously signed that line feeling relief that we are trying this new food in the security of the doctor’s office.

The actual challenge started off really slow. A small crumb on his lip, then a small crumb of a bite, a slightly larger bite, and so on. Each step was 15 mins after the one before it. With each step down, I relaxed a bit. I thought, maybe we’ll be ok. Maybe we’ll start eating dairy again. No reaction was noted all the way up to the last big bite. However, right before, we noticed a small red/puffy area on his upper lip. The doctor came in and looked over. His belly, back, and extremities looked good. So, she said lets wipe his face off and give him the last big bite. If he manages to have no further reaction after 60 minutes, we’d be cleared.

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We were amazed that even by the time the 6o minutes passed his spot had essentially disappeared. And that was without treatment! We all celebrated a victory and we received our instructions. One muffin once a day for a week and if he does well we’d increase the baked milk from 1/2 a cup.  We left with me on cloud 9. I was so excited I announced on Facebook that we passed the food challenge.

Well, the posting on Facebook should’ve been my warning. I shouldn’t have done it. My husband got home about an hour later and he and the Little Guy ate lunch. And sure enough, about the time he was going to daycare- 2 hours after we left the doctor’s office, he’d developed a red rash and became very hot. He had some hives on his abdomen and under his armpits.

After a couple of conversations with the on-call doctor (the allergist office closes at noon on Wednesday), we had a treatment plan in place and a decision to make. Do we risk feeding him a 1/4 of a muffin for a week with the hope of increasing his tolerance to the milk or hold-off until after a retest of his labs. Each one had benefits and negatives. The safest choice would be to hold off until his numbers drop lower.

Well, the decision was a hard one. I really felt like the fact he didn’t react right away and wasn’t anaphylactic he had a pretty good chance of eating the quarter of a muffin. And if he could eat it, then maybe building up a tolerance was possible. We’d only be giving him a 1/4 of a muffin or a 1/4 o of an 11th of a 1/2 of a cup of milk (did I lose you there?), he’d have such a small amount of the milk, that he’d be ok.

So, the question really became, did the risk outweigh the benefit? We decided that the risk was relatively low and his benefit was high. So, I called daycare and arranged to have him closely monitored. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful daycare teacher. She truly loves my Little Guy. I called several times today to check on him and he did fine. Tomorrow is day 2. We will try again and we are praying that this week goes by without incident. And we will see what next week brings.

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