|My son and I with silly faces at his last food challenge at Primary Children's Hospital - April 2013|
I went to college and am now married with two children. Thankfully in all that time I have only ended up in the ER once. I can deal with myself but 3 years ago my world of food allergies expanded. I was watching my 10 month old son experience an allergic reaction to a tuna fish sandwich. We had him tested and found he was allergic to eggs and peanuts. But to be safe the allergist told me to also avoid all fish(my husband is allergic to tuna fish in some cases) and all nuts. I left the doctor's office completely overwhelmed. I knew how to deal with my allergies but now more? I called my older sister for support. Her oldest son had allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts. (He has virtually outgrown the egg allergy now!) She gave me some tips and even a powder egg substitute. I calmed down and headed to the grocery store. I started carefully reading labels which I had done here and there to check for tree nuts and as I did so now I was grateful. Grateful that my son could still have milk, those that have to avoid milk have a much tougher job. Months past and because of the advice of my sister I checked out Utah Food Allergy Network (UFAN) and attended a support meeting. I honestly had teased my sister about needing a "support group" to deal with her son's allergies, I had done it my whole life essentially on my own. But I realized now I needed help in knowing how to handle my son participating in activities with other children away from my home that was safe. I needed ideas in how to educate those around me about what to give my son to eat. It helped me to gain more information and also realize I didn't have much to complain about, there are kids that deal with A LOT more.
My son is now 4 and we are doing good. We have discovered that he is also allergic to peas and some beans (I think pinto beans and maybe others) and tree nuts have started to appear positive. The good news is that he can eat anything that the egg is baked, cookies or cakes etc. And he recently successfully completed two food challenges to clear him from a fish allergy, all but shellfish that is. And he LOVES fish! I also have another son who is 18 months old. He is not allergic to peanuts (yay!) but I think may be allergic to eggs. We are doing some at home tests, at the recommendation of our allergist.
Life is good and we are at a good control point. My oldest son is pretty good about asking if he can eat certain foods and we will tell people what his allergies are. He is going to be starting preschool soon and so I have a new worry but I know others have gone through this and others continue to go through it. Open communication and spreading knowledge is key. That is how people learn to be careful and aware. There are others kids like mine and they don't have to feel alone or think no one else is like them. There are new studies and knowledge discovered all the time and one day life might be a lot easier but for now we know we have been blessed and we are grateful for wonderful allergy resources available now.
A Shot to Live
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
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