Allergy Testing

July 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm 1 comment

When we first suspected our daughter’s milk allergy (at age 7 months) we knew it was serious. But since she was so young, it was very easy to control her diet and keep her away from any and all milk products. When her 1st birthday rolled around, we were on vacation visiting family on the West Coast and I made sure to find a cake mix with no milk in it. Angel Food cake was what I found. As soon as she ate a few bites, we realized she had more allergies than we had counted on. Needless to say, we flew home a couple weeks later and got to her doctor who referred us to an allergist and had her tested. We went the route of the 40 prick skin test. The results were an off-the-chart milk allergy (the nurses couldn’t even measure it – they said it was the biggest reaction they’d ever seen to a skin prick test), an egg allergy and a peanut allergy which were both in the normal range of a result. I was so surprised and left that office not really knowing the extent to which our lives, especially my daughter’s life, would change. After MUCH research, reading, scowering the internet, etc. I began to feel overwhelmed. The thought of waiting til Kindergarten to have her rechecked seemed like an eternity. I always kept that summer before Kindergarten in my mind whenever I would pray for her to outgrow her allergies. Babies with food allergies have a 75% chance of outgrowing their allergies within 3 years and I was counting on those odds for my girl. She’ll be starting Kindergarten soon and today I took her for her recheck. It has been 4 years since she was first diagnosed and has never been retested until today. I really wasn’t sure what the results would be, but I knew I was hoping for good results. We have been praying about this for 4 years. So, when her tests came back positive to all three allergies again, I was a bit disappointed. We had purposed not to make this a big deal unless she had outgrown the allergies, so she was just a little disappointed, but not distraught. Afterall, this is the only life she has known. She’s been on an allergy-free diet since she started table food so this is her ‘normal’. As she gets older, the journey gets a little more difficult. When I see disappointment in her eyes over having to eat something different than everyone else at social gatherings, my heart breaks. And then, my resolve to make her life as carefree as possible strengthens. Let’s just say, she motivates me. She has the sweetest spirit and a great attitude about her food allergies. She handles it so well and I am amazed at her. As her parent, I want to see her live her life to the fullest extent despite her food allergies. I realize it can be a major source of fear to have your child’s life (or your life) threatened by something you eat. But, I don’t want my girl’s life to be defined by food allergies. Yes, we live cautiously around food, but that is not what our lives revolve around. My goal for her is to make her life as normal as possible without making allergies and limitations the focus. Tonight, I was talking with her and telling her how proud I am of her for being so brave when they ‘itched’ her (as she says – the hives the test caused made her so itchy and she was not allowed to scratch them for 15 minutes). She is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ according to the Bible. And I loved being able to point out to her that everyone has unique qualities that God allows each us to have. That’s what makes us special. And because our Creator God doesn’t make mistakes, she is exactly the way He wants her to be right now….allergies and all.

Even though we did not get the negative results we were wanting, I was able to get her an excuse from the MMR and Varicella vaccines that she reacted to previously. (They both contain egg and it turns out that egg is her worst allergy now, as opposed to milk.) Her allergist agreed with me that it would not be wise to have those two vaccinations with this food allergy, especially because of her reactions previously. Now that this is behind me, it’s time to finish preparing my girl for Kindergarten! She’ll be in good hands with teachers that will take precautions around her. I’m so thankful for that.

Here’s to praying my girl can outgrow her allergies before her next recheck in 3 years. Until then, we’ll be busy living our lives to the fullest!

My girl enjoying a blue-raspberry italian ice! Yum!

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Entry filed under: Allergies @ School, Immunizations, The Caregiver, The Journey, The Target. Tags: , , , , .

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret… Meat Loaf Muffins {Dairy/Egg-Free}

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