It was Alex's actual 2nd birthday.
We came home from the park for lunch and I decided to try peanut butter and jelly as a special birthday treat- really, there was another mom at the park who was asking her little girl if thats what she wanted for lunch and it just sounded good. Well, Alex wanted nothing to do with it as expected but I thought I would try. He did touch it and then pretend to taste it by touching his lip. God was on his side that day. Unfortunately his lip swelled up like a grape! Super! I quickly gave him Benedryl,which we are so familiar with in this house. I wasn't too concerned since it was just his lip but called the doctor anyway- they said we had to go to the ER. Alex was playing and acting totally normal so I tried to stay calm but the thought of going to the ER sent me off. I was so upset...upset with myself for giving it to him, upset that it was his birthday and he was going to the ER, and upset that he was allergic to peanuts. I actually have to say that I thought he would be allergic since he is allergic to milk and they say that they go hand in hand often. I was thinking he wasnt though because he has had the french fries from chick fil a and everyone always says that they cook in peanut oil so if they can eat that then they aren't allergic. (Later to find out, that is a myth. When allergic to peanuts, you are not necessarily allergic to peanut oil.) I called my mom and had her come over to stay with Eliana so that I could be focused on Alex. She dropped everything to rush over (so thankful for this!). I wanted to leave right away so I ran over to the neighbors house to ask if they could just wait in the house for my mom. Eliana was sleeping so it wasn't a big deal. The man was there but he said his wife was gone but he gladly said he would do it and was walking with me in a heartbeat. Super sweet man. I didnt even give him any info (like where she was sleeping even) because I knew my mom would be there in a few minutes. After I got home my mom laughed and asked me "how old was that man, like a hundred?!" LOL! Its true he is old. But I didn't care. She said that he insisted she check on the baby because he didnt even know where she was. My mom laughed and said she was sure the baby was okay. No worries. She found her in bed.
So at the ER....there is all this rush to get there quick but then you get there and wait. What a let down. I also quickly realized that there were a lot of people in the waiting room and not much movement....super. I then realized that I was super mom and didn't have anything in my diaper bag for Alex. Not sure why I brought it- no diapers, no snack, no drink. Thankfully there was a tv and some books there. I started to worry though when the lady next to me said she had been there 2 hours! Are you kidding me?! Terrible two will not last 2 hours without any supplies in a sterile waiting room!! His lip didn't seem to be getting any worse and maybe slightly getting better. It was slow but after some time I realized that he was fine, it was going down, and I should just leave. I was glad that I was there to make sure that he was safe though.
snapped this before I went to the ER
A couple of weeks ago we headed to the allergist. We were planning on going anyway because we have been wanting to get him tested for eggs and peanuts. It's also been a year since we have been and they say to go and follow up every year anyway. We see Dr. Liberman and he is wonderful. One of the best and only pediatric allergists in Austin.
So we found out after doing the scratch tests on his back that he is in fact allergic to peanuts AND eggs (in addition to his allergy to milk). We plan on also doing blood tests soon to find out the likelihood of a reaction. I am not looking forward to this because I am not sure how they will draw blood from a two year old. Alex is now "ruined" from his last doctors appointment where he got shots. He is now old enough to remember and cries when he sees any nurse (and climbs up my body to get away!).
So, what does this mean. Well, it means that he can't eat anything with milk, eggs, or nuts in it. It really won't change too much of what we already do. I will still take food with us where ever we go. I will still read labels before giving food. I will still have my epi pen with me where ever we go. So really, the hard part is just the reality of it. I have a hard time with the idea that I have to tell him "no, you can't have that". It breaks. my. heart. I cry when I have these kinds of days where I have to face the truth and talk about the allergies. He has no idea, singing in the backseat to twinkle twinkle, so it's really my sadness for him. I have to protect him from more things now and that seems tiring and just scarier. It makes it more serious to me. Before, I felt like "oh, its just milk." but now I feel like he has some serious allergies (silly really, because the milk IS serious). And I know that the older he gets, the harder it will be for him. It is really hard to travel and eating out is not easy. Travis and I have to just embrace the fact that we will have to handle things a little differently.
I have my pity party and then I have to move on. The positive side to this heartache for me is that there are so many children with allergies 1)worse off and with more things- thank the Lord that he can have soy and wheat! really!! 2) there is such an awareness for allergies today which makes it a little easier. There are so many food products at my local grocery store! and It is easy to get information, talk with others like us, and get help on the internet. 3) there are SO many worse things/sicknesses he could have. This is not the end of the world. I praise God that he is healthy and happy!
Really the hardest allergy to deal with that Alex has is to Dogs. We know so many people with dogs and he can't even be in their homes without having some major reactions. Zyrtec helps but I don't always know ahead of time and it does seem to effect him (more tired, out of it). I also think that because I have always kept him away from dogs, he is now scared of them. I hate that. The doc did say that shots would be an option when he is older to help with this allergy if we want to.
So we will survive. I have to have hope that the Lord will take care of it. I pray that he will grow out of them but I realize that the chances are slim. I pray that someday (if he doesn't outgrow it) that desensitization will be researched enough to be an option to overcome the allergies. It is still very new right now. By the time he is old enough (around 5) to do it, hopefully it will be the practice. I also just pray that the Lord takes care of him. Keeps him from harm.
The other part of this trip that really hit me hard was that Eliana is at high risk for these or other allergies. I had thought of it but I just assumed that the chance was low that she would have them. But of course, its genetic- same genes. So really, if she does, it wont change much of what we do anyway (because I want Alex safe she was going to be given soy milk and dairy free food anyway). But it was the thought that she wouldn't have to battle this same issue - she could have real cake at her friends birthday parties. We will see. I pray she doesn't.