Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We are the Weird Nut Family

Just as I was getting used to the idea that the babe has to have eye surgery (booked for March 18th), the pediatrician called to inform me that the babe is now allergic to eggs and soy as well as peanuts and dairy. She recommended I see an allergist (again) to discuss the results. So I made an appointment with a new allergist as I wasn't particularly impressed with the old one. Yesterday we packed up the car and trecked out to Wheaton, MD to the Institute for Asthma and Allergy.

I have to admit I feel much better after my hour-long appointment with Dr. Athena Economides. She made me feel as though this wasn't as big a deal as it had become in my head. I now have an action plan and feel better prepared for an allergic reaction. I know when to give the babe what, and when I need to call 911.

I was also stressing about what kind of milk-type product I could give the babe (no dairy and no soy?). The doc advised that I stop feeding the babe the pricey hypoallergenic Alimentum formula we had been using since speaking to the pediatrician. THANK GOODNESS (it was too expensive, too smelly and the babe didn't like it)! So, as strange as it may sound, she told me we can continue to give the babe soy milk, soy formula (stage 2 Go and Grow), and tofu, as we had been doing up until last week. She said that if the babe wasn't showing any kind of reaction from these soy-based products, that we are fine to continue use.

The doc assured me that the babe has a pretty good chance of outgrowing her food allergies in the next few years. Apparently, she also has a 20% chance of outgrowing her peanut allergy (which is news to me as I had thought peanuts were a permanent allergy).

So, until the babe has outgrown these pesky little allergies, we are to strictly avoid peanuts, tree nuts, seasame, eggs, and all dairy. No problem, right? I've contacted The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and have received a bunch of litterature from them. I ordered tags with info on the babe, her allergies and what to do if she has an attack (I've attached them to our diaper bags). I also ordered a fancy red bag with "medicine kit" written on the front to hold her epipen and liquid Benedryl (I keep it in my purse at all times). Now I just have to get creative in what I feed her while trying to not become a paranoid Mom. It's going to be challenging to avoid all products labeled something along the lines of: made in a facility that may process nuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, etc.

It is easier for me to control things and to not freak out as I am with her all the time. But when the day comes for her to go into some sort of organized care/school with other children, I fear we will be tested in whole new ways. Until then, I'll be grateful she's not allergic to more than she already is. But it's going to be a long time before she's eating samples at Costco.

PS-I still have not worked out what is up with the spell checking feature, so again, apologies for any errors. How annoying.


Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you are taking it all in stride Christine. This doesn't sound like an easy situation but glad to hear Priya may outgrow these allergies. Good job Mom!

Anonymous said...

Hi - I'm another mom of a child with peanut allergies. I surfed in via google blog alerts. We've been dealing with this for six years and you do get used to it. Sounds like you're doing all the right things!

In addition to FAAN, another site I've found helpful is It's a message board for families dealing with food allergies.

Best of luck to you!