Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Big Test

Our big boy has a big appointment tomorrow morning. He is scheduled to have his yearly allergy testing done. Last year we were told that he may outgrow some of his allergies in the next year. We are praying and believing that he comes away with a clear test! No more allergies please!

As a baby he cried ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously. He was not a happy camper. He also had skin rashes and threw up with every feeding. I took him in to see his doctor when he was just a few weeks old and was told that he just had colic, and that the rash was likely due to the detergent I was using. So, I switch the detergent, and it helped a little but our poor little man was still sick.

I took him back to the doctor a handful of times convinced that something else was wrong. Each time I was sent home and told that he was fine- he was probably just a baby who spit up a lot. He was probably just teething. He probably had colic.
I felt like I was being told to just relax and that this was normal. I felt a little like I was being laughed at - "paranoid first time mom syndrome". Grrrrr!

Finally we demanded to be referred to a pediatric allergist. After being on a waiting list for a few months we went in to have him tested for allergies, and when he was 10 months old we found out he was allergic to dairy, eggs and peanuts (he's anaphylactic to the peanuts and has an Epi-pen. Thankfully we haven't had to use it.)
As soon as I cut these foods from my diet (because I was still nursing him) we saw a dramatic change. I'm talking like night and day! He stopped crying all the time. His skin rash went away. He stopped spitting up every time I fed him. I was so relieved to finally have the answer, but at the same time felt so guilty that it took me so long to figure it out. Especially because the solution was so simple!
(oh, and as a side note: yes we've switched doctors since then!)

I've been asked many time how we do it. At least one of his allergens seems to be in everything. It's true we've had to adjust how and what we eat, but it really has become like second nature. You really do just learn how to read labels and memorize the different names that these ingredients go under- like did you know that 'casein' is another name for dairy or that 'ovolbulin' is another name for eggs? Why can't companies just list the ingredients in plain english?

For the most part our boy doesn't notice that he's missing out on anything. He really doesn't know any different. I usually try to make meals that he can enjoy with the rest of the family, and if a meal does call for an ingredient that he can't have I just pull a little out for him and substitute whatever it is to make a variation of what we're having for him. ( ie: I'll put soy milk in place of cow's milk or egg replacer in place of eggs.)
As he gets older though it is more of a challenge. My heart just breaks when he goes to a birthday party and can't have the cake. I send him a cupcake of his own that we made together but it's just not the same. Thankfully my big boy doesn't seem to mind. He just knows that certain foods will make him sick.

Sending him to school has been a huge stretch for me. Up until this year I've been able to monitor what he's been exposed to but at school my baby is on his own. The school has been wonderful and his teacher is very sensitive to his allergies, but even still I am nervous that someone may accidentally bring peanuts in their lunch and he could have an anaphylactic reaction.

Through it all I have grown so much in my faith. I know and trust that God is in control!
I really do know that even when I'm not with my son HE is!

So needless to say tomorrow's appointment is an important one. His allergist has said before that a lot of children outgrow the dairy and egg allergy by age 5 but the peanut allergy will never go away. Well, I believe that our son can be completely and wholly healed of all his allergies!

If you have a chance, please pray for my little man....not only for his allergies to be gone, but also for him to get through the testing- he has quite a fear of needles :(

Thanks so much!

1 comment:

  1. oh that is a lot for a first time mommy. hopefully all goes well today.

    a girl in our congregation is severely anaphylactic, so we now have a peanut free church!

    i have come to recognize that God has allowed symptoms in my children (allergies, psoriasis) that frustrate them, BUT God uses it for His glory, growing compassion, and sensitivity towards others. that is more important than anything.


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