Peanut allergy revisited
In the summer of 2008, little D puked immediately following a bite of his first-ever peanut butter cookie.
The day of his allergy test in November 2008, little D learned that moms lie.
He was great with the skin pricks and the sitting and waiting for a skin reaction in the doc’s office. Then off we went to the lab for a blood test. He looked at me with big trusting eyes as I said, “it’s not going to hurt much, just put out your arm”. He was appalled by the pain that followed and he looked at me with such shock and horror. How could his mommy, his nurturer, protector and caregiver, betray him like that? He cried inconsolably for a good 15 minutes in the waiting room and in the car on the way home. We proceeded directly to the toy aisle at the nearest box store where a selection of Hot Wheels calmed him down.
A few days later we learned he did in fact have an allergy. However, his levels of whatever they look for in the blood (IgE) were low and there was a good chance he would grow out of it. We could retest in a year. If he was still positive with low IgE, he could go on to have a food challenge (i.e. eat peanuts and see what happens). In the meantime, we were to carry epipens for him, avoid ALL nuts and traces of nuts and maintain a nut-free home. Apparently, you never know whether the next reaction could be an anaphylactic one with peanuts.
Here we are almost 18 months later and it’s time for the next allergy test (on April Fool’s Day no less). Much googling for recent journal articles on diagnosis of peanut allergies in children has given me hope. I am looking forward to the results, as we have had no further reactions. Yes, we have kept him “nut-free”, but we have eaten in hundreds of restaurants (pathetic, I know) and I can’t believe that they would all be free of traces of nuts (even if we’ve asked). I’m hoping the coming appointment will bring us some results that will free me up from one source of anxiety in my life. But perhaps it won’t.
Oh yes, I mentioned anxiety – it would appear that little D is quite anxious about his coming appointment with the allergist/blood lab. In fact, he stated that there is no need to retest him. He does not like peanuts or nuts and does not want to eat them for the rest of his life (though he has never tasted them beyond that fateful pb cookie bite). I tell him that is fine, but that we need to know so we don’t have to make him wear a belt with an epipen holster when he gets older. Right now he hates all pants but those with elastic waist, so this may be a motivator for him. I have also told him that nuts are healthy and they have great fats that make your brain grow. He is into growing these days so I hope that’s a good reason. At any rate, I’ve dropped the subject and will revisit it the morning of the appointment.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed… so are my parents. They used to have bowls of nuts all over the house and this has severely cramped their style.
Would love to hear about any other experiences with peanut allergies “disappearing” -or not.