up like a red balloon the day I let her have cow’s milk for the first time. It was her first birthday. And I felt like a giant butthole for having given it to her and then leaving to decorate her cake at her god mommies’ house. I got a call from a frantic Daddy, “How much Benadryl can I give her?” his voice shaking. “Half a teaspoon, WHY?” I shot back. “She’s covered. COVERED in hives”. I think I shot home faster than I have ever driven before. I probably would have led the Po Po on a chase had they decided to try and pull me over. I needed to get to her and see her. “Watch her breathing, if she starts having trouble, call 911!” I immediately called her pediatrician (who still didn’t think she needed allergy testing, I might add. Yeeeeah, she’s fired) to see if we needed to take her in to the ER. She hemmed and hawed and told me that as long as she was breathing ok, then to just watch her and give her the Benadryl. The Benadryl got her hives under control and I stayed up all night long watching her breathe. It sucked.
Well after what felt like four years, our appointment day finally arrived to find out the score. It was egg. Egg was the evil little hider in her foods that was messing with her calm and sweet sensibilities. Eggs, the food that even though I put them in front of her probably about 5 different times, she never even touched. Actually she wouldn’t even look at them. I guess she knew all along.
So milk, eggs, peanuts and shrimp are no longer welcome in mine or Plum’s diet. And after just five days her eczema is back under control and she’s had no hives.
So here we are. New normal town again. The Pants Family knows a thing or two about adjusting to a new normal. It’s gonna
take some time to figure it out but I have no doubt we will. Plum needs us to figure out how to eat so that she can too. And you know what? I really needed to give up the chocolate anyway. Like for riz. Also I’m thankful that we figured this all out a few days shy of Easter. The day when you give your kids hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, quiche and chocolate. I’m super thankful for that.
I’ve got some new rules and attitudes in place. It's just new. We will figure it out. And it's ok to be stoked about going to Trader Joe's again. Hey, you gotta find a silver lining somewhere. And driving forty minutes to grocery shop is like an adventure. I think we'll head there once a month to stock up on stuff.
So this week I've learned more than I ever thought I could about one subject. The good news is that there are places to go and get this information. Our biggest issue right now is in keeping Mr. Pants from giving Plum non safe foods. So the first order of business is to replace all snack foods with ones that are safe. At least for now. Until he gets out of the "Isn't it fun to throw food around the house" phase. I mean, that's a phase right? Someday he will stop crushing graham crackers into the floor, yes? Sigh. And any not safe foods are only during meal times at the table so that I can be there to monitor.
Second order of business? Become knowledgable about labels. Read everything. Reading labels is completely insane and takes forever. Did you know there are seven million different ways to say “milk”? Cause there are. And even if a food is free of milk, eggs and peanuts, they are often made on machines that have those things on them so cross contamination is possible. It sucks so hard to get excited that a food is safe and then go on to read that it was a neighbor to and may contain traces of the devil, er allergens.So I thought it was super nice of these folks to make this particular label a little quicker to read.
And finally, these last few weeks I have been shown that I am surrounded by amazing people. We have the luxury of not doing this alone. Along the way I have made friends that have been through this. Most of these friends I know only through the magic of the internet and have never met face to face. And still more that I haven’t seen in years. All of these amazing people have messaged me recipes, support sites, information and practically came through my computer screen to hug us and tell me that it's going to be just fine. That we can handle this. These friends of mine are amazing. I am this confident, not because of my superior adjusting skills but because I know we are not doing this alone. Not anywhere near alone.
You know who you are. Thank you. From Ms. Plum and all of us, thank you. Thank you.
Does your child have food allergies? Do you have any words of wisdom to share? I'd love to hear it.