It was another, typical, specialist Doctor visit kind of day recently… D&K were scheduled to finally be tested for food allergies. Regular readers of this blog may recall that we’ve been gluten-, dairy-, legume-, root vegetable-, and egg-free for over a year and a half. About six months ago, D&K’s asthma pediatrician put the fear of God into me regarding possible food allergies and what she suspected were anaphylactic reactions to some of the foods D&K were ingesting. I immediately started ridding our house of any remaining potential allergen foods (which meant pretty well every type of processed food I’d ever bought), started my research on alternative diets, and the rest, well, is history. So, it came as a MAJOR surprise to me when the kids tested negative for every suspected food allergy. Every. Single One…negative. I felt as though a massive weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
D&K’s suspected food allergies had affected every single aspect of our lives up until this point. I had been already growing weary of having to make most items for the kids meals and snacks (think, painstakingly making crackers every other day), not only for home but for daycare as well. The fanny packs that contained D&K’s epipens, puffers and assorted other allergy medications had started to feel like massive concrete weights, ensuring that I wouldn’t have enough energy to allow my children the simplest of excursions away from our home.
And in a couple of moments, it all changed…
D&K’s tests were over in about 20 minutes. They were tested for an allergy to eggs twice just to make absolutely the results came back the same. As the doctor went over the results with me I could feel tears welling up. I simply couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Not every meal was going to be a life or death scenario now.
Once our appointment was over, it didn’t take long for me to start planning a celebration. Now, you might think that after such a long time of deprivation of many foods that our Allergy FreeDOM party might look like this:
Or, maybe a little of this:
However, neither of those pictures would be an accurate representation. In fact, our Allergy FreeDOM party looked more like this:
That’s right – good ol’ fashioned bread and butter. It was easily the best thing the kids and I had tasted in a VERY long time. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t go all out and splurge on your basic white bread right away, but I did make an excellent loaf of sourdough bread with (wait for it) grains that contained gluten! I also used an egg in the recipe! This type of reckless behaviour was unheard of from me! Eggs and gluten?!
You might be wondering why we didn’t dive right into the processed foods, junk food, and every other food that had been removed from our diet. Well, the simple answer is that it would be total overload for D&K’s sensitive systems. Just because they don’t have life threatening food allergies doesn’t mean they don’t still have sensitivities to foods. For example, D was diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein intolerance. Thus, most dairy products are still out. Dairy products that are highly processed, like your typical supermarket cheese, seem to be fair game. I believe the processing of the cow’s milk breaks down the offending protein(s) enough that D is able to digest the food without horrible repercussions. That being said, as soon as I let D try 2 oz of cow’s milk, he experienced a horrible reaction and so we won’t be trying just plain milk again for some time. The Doctor did advise that a cow’s milk protein intolerance is one that kids typically outgrow and she was hopeful D would be able to tolerate cow’s milk by the time he’s 3.
Foods that we’ve since introduced successfully (i.e. without any reactions) have been eggs, legumes, root vegetable (except rutabaga, parsnip and turnip) and, of course, gluten. Cow’s milk is a work in progress. K has had success eating cheese and drinking about 2 oz milk a day so far so I’m not going to push it much further. I would like to try Milk Kefir for both of the kids as it’s thought that the fermentation process helps to break down some of the offending proteins. We shall see…
So, here we are… Free from some of our chains and yet still prisoners to others. Life is looking up health-wise for D&K these days though and we are all enjoying our new found Allergy FreeDOM.