^^^ Hard to believe that it’s been a challenge to figure out what to feed this big guy!
It’s been two months since we (officially) began our journey down this rabbit hole of food allergies, and it has been a doozy of two months. Yikes! I have read more articles about allergies, looked through more food allergy instagram accounts, and chatted with more food allergy moms than I could count! We don’t have a lot of answers yet, but I figured it was time for an update and a few pictures to show you what we’ve been dealing with.
To catch you up, Jonathan had an allergic reaction with severe hives and welts after eating a bowl of lentil soup two months ago. We proceeded with allergy testing and so far Jonathan has been diagnosed as allergic to eggs, tree nuts (almond, macadamia, walnut, and hazelnut), peanuts, lentils, soy and wheat. We believe soy and wheat are both false positives (common for kids with eczema to have false positives) as we have reintroduced both with no obvious problems. The eggs I don’t really care about, other than the safety issue (if David ate a non vegan cupcake at a birthday party it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it could be a serious problem for Jonathan to do the same). We will retest the nuts when he is 18 months old by feeding him nuts under direct supervision in the doctor’s office.
We’ve seen two different allergists. Our first allergist, while very nice, was not helpful at all. She told me his diagnosis was devastating, suggested that we might want to see a nutritionist, and then said it looked like I had my hands full with a very tired and fussy baby and she left the room. We decided to find a new doctor right away, and sought out a referral from a friend. We really like our new doctor, and while he didn’t have a different diagnosis he has been very patient and helpful answering questions. That said, we still haven’t figured out a lot.
We thought we had a good handle on the allergies, and had a good list of things to avoid. He went about 7 weeks with no major reactions so I felt like maybe we were in the clear. Then two weeks ago he had a HUGE reaction while eating hummus. Probably the most severe yet. He was covered in hives wherever his skin was exposed (neck, face, and arms). We quickly administered benadryl and got him in the bathtub to clean his skin. He was completely fine within 45 minutes, other than the skin he had itched raw during the hive outbreak. So we added garbanzos and sesame (tahini) to the list of foods to avoid.
The next day welts popped up on his hands while eating polenta (which I immediately yanked away before the hives spread). Add corn.
Two days after that he was eating pizza toast—spelt bread, tomato sauce, and veggie cheese—and he got hives again. Not as severe as the lentil soup incident or the hummus, but enough that I gave him Benadryl and a bath. Again, within 45 minutes he was smiling and jumping again.
The following weekend hives popped up on his hand while he was eating Carrot Cake Pancakes. No obvious allergens there.
This past Thursday he got a welt and a few rough patches on his hand after eating broccoli and pasta. When will it end?
Yesterday we went back for an already scheduled check up. We are now testing for corn, tomato, garbanzo, and sesame. We are also testing to rule out something related to tryptase mastocytosis—Googling it makes my head hurt so we’ll just be waiting on that. Our doctor asked if Jonathan had been sick recently. Well, he’s not quite 1 and his brother is in preschool so he has basically had a cold of some sort since Christmas. It is possible that some of the reactions could be the way Jonathan’s immune system attacks a virus when he is sick, and that his body reacts with a histamine response.
We are working to figure things out, all the while trying not to worry too much about it, and especially shield both of our boys from our own worry. Jonathan is in the dark about all of this, but David gets very upset when Jonathan has the hives, and his upset feeds off of ours. We’re also working on educating David about the allergens, and explaining that even though they make Jonathan sick they won’t make David sick. This is especially hard to explain because I am on the same restricted diet as Jonathan due to breast feeding. It’s pretty hard to sell a bowl of lentil soup to David when we can’t even let Jonathan touch it! The bottom line is that we just don’t know yet, but I will keep you posted!
Questions? Ideas? Experiences? Commiseration? Please share! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And if you think our experience would be helpful to a friend, please share this post! I have several friends—both in real life and online—that I call my “allergy mentors” and they have been so helpful! I would love to be able to help others through our experience.
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