Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Food Allergy Bites the Dust

I think you can plot my Seasonal Affective Disorder by the number of blog posts I write in winter. I've been meaning to give you guys an update for weeks now, but then Christmas happened...and my daughter got pneumonia...and work got hard... And, here we are.

But I had to finally get a blog post up because I have happy news. My son passed yet another food challenge on Friday. This time it was green pea, notable because he failed a challenge for this four years ago. It's also in the dreaded legume family, all of whose members have has been really problematic for him.

The challenge itself was completely uneventful. Two peas, four peas, eight peas, then a cupful and he was done. He had no symptoms. I don't think cold peas for breakfast will be a common occurrence for him. However, it was wonderful to make him a Swanson chicken pot pie for the first time for dinner the night after the challenge. Being able to tolerate peas will also significantly broaden the soup and stew options he has.

I'm sure I seemed ungrateful when the doctor came in to discuss his pass and next steps. "Yeah, yeah, great, peas. Yadda yadda. But what about milk?" Last time we saw her, she said the plan was to do the pea challenge and re-run the milk numbers. This time, either she could tell how anxious we were to do the milk challenge or she really thought a sea-change in his immune system had occurred. Whichever it was, we're scheduled for an open milk challenge at the end of February. In the meantime, the instruction is to stop babying him. Not just a piece of cheese pizza or a spoonful of lasagna - he should eat what we eat. (Never mind that all of us are trained by now to avoid cooking with milk - we know what she meant.) Babying him. Point taken.

While we were walking out the door of the office, I admit it: I got a little weepy. I explained to my son that, while it may be his allergy, the precautions and lifestyle to avoid milk have affected all of us.

"If I passed, maybe you could focus on my sister for once," was his pithy reply.

Ouch! Serves me right for projecting my feelings onto his allergy. But sadly, he's right. I've tried my best to not make him the fragile child, but I suspect that I've failed. The time I spend on food allergies is much greater than any time I devote to my daughter's issues. It's always been that way. When her field trips and class parties rolled around, I was burned out and off duty. But it's hard to hear that the over-attention has negatively impacted my son. Pass or fail on milk, it's time to work harder on cutting the apron strings.

One other thing I wanted to mention: while we were waiting for the final timer to ding, we had time to review all the current RAST scores with his doctor. I wanted to know what the heck we do about all the other varieties of beans now that he's passed two."Go ahead and try them at home," was her answer. Even the Class 2 black beans? "Yep, give it a shot. I really think something has changed for him and all of these Class 2 and maybe even Class 3 levels are going to turn out to not be a problem."

From her lips to God's ear.

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  1. Thanks for that post...I have three kids, my oldest has the allergy, and I always feel like I'm letting the middle child swim on her own. Oh the guilt....

  2. So glad your son is doing so well! Is this contributed to the FAHF-2?

  3. That is great news, FAB! Congratulations!

  4. So happy for you FAB! If it is from the FAHF-2 then thank God for it!

  5. I think the $64,000 question is whether this is FAHF-2 related. There's just no (scientific) way to answer that, because my son wasn't challenged for these allergens before the trial - just peanut.

    I think it's been kind of funny to watch our doctor and my husband both come around to admitting that yes, perhaps the drug really did change his immune system. Both were very skeptical at the beginning of the process, but as allergen after allergen has gone by the wayside, they both do now grudgingly believe. My husband was the one who supervised the first pea challenge, so this one was particularly meaningful for him.

    I wish the results on this study would be published! Then we'd know if my son's experience is still the outlier in this study, or whether other kids have seen gains.

    Thank you all very much for your good wishes!

  6. How exciting! I am so happy for you all! I hope it was the Chinese herbs!

  7. Thank you for this long awaited post! I was keeping fingers crossed for your challenge since you mentioned it on the earlier post comment and so happy that it was a success. You made my day. Every allergy that falls by the wayside for your son feels like a small victory. Praying that those herbs will help all FA children.

  8. First - So excited for your son, and for you and your family! Whether treatment or not, I hope the positive momentum continues into Feb. :-)

    Second - Thank you for your wonderfully, honest posts. That last part about your daughter really hit a personal note for me. I have been so eyeball deep in all things food allergy related and tending to my son 'A.D.' that I often worry if I'm neglecting or missing out on all the little things with his not even 1 year old baby sister. I have to remind myself almost daily to stop letting my obsession? paranoia? distract me from everything else. That includes paying attention to my poor hubby and little baby girl.

  9. I'm so excited about your son! Congrats! A successful challenge for any FA child, even if it's not my own, really makes my day. We will be thinking and praying for a pass on the milk challenge. We know how big that is.

  10. That's wonderful news! So glad to hear your son's allergies are going away. I really, really hope it is the FAHF-2!! My dd is also taking FAHF-2 (privately thru Dr. Li). I haven't tested her yet or done any food challenges yet, but I am super hopeful!

  11. That is such exciting news! It's always great to hear about a successful challenge. Hope for us all :)

  12. I never, ever, ever, ever, ever comment on blogs. Never. But I just feel like I've wandered into an oasis in the desert. I'm a first-time momma of toddler who's making the Allergic March in her father's celiac/leaky gut/food allergy footsteps. So I'm in this desert alone, with essentially no sojourners (dad doesn't count, cause I'm trying to figure out all his food issues, too)...and then I found your blog. And I'm just laughing and sighing and saying "yes, sis, I get ya" and drinking in the sense of being understood. And I read this post and thought "Wow...this is like looking into the crystal ball of my future." So, thank you. For sharing about the other stuff that comes along with food allergies. The grief and the fatigue and the strain on relationships and the never-ending grind of things just being harder than before, harder than they have to be, harder than everyone else. And yes, thanks also for owning that there are good things about having food allergies (like forcing us to be more mindful of what we eat and healthier than I would ever have wanted to be, etc.), but that I don't always feel like looking at the positives. Sometimes I just need someone to BMC to who gets it.

    Thank you. Thank you so much. I am gratefully drenched with the relief of being known, even without being known. Thank you so much for taking your time and energy to do this. Thank you.


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