What a relief! After ten long months of not knowing, we finally have the list of foods that was causing so many problems for our son.
Once our dog was moved out of the house and the house was cleaned I saw a huge improvement in our son’s skin. I no longer had to use the potent prescription with the horrible list of side affects on my baby’s skin. He no longer scratched and we were seeing such an improvement in his overall happiness. I made the majority of his foods from scratch, which for a ten month old is pretty easy. The other easy part is that because he was so young he had not yet already established a relationship with foods.
He didn’t know what cow’s milk tasted like. He had never had cheese, or nuts, or eggs. He didn’t know what he was missing. But I did. I had been nursing him since he was born and because the proteins of the food that I eat enters my milk I had to restrict my diet too.
Now let me tell you something, you take away a girls chocolate then you got yourself some major problems!!! Add on top of that bread, cookies, muffins, pasta, butter, cheese, deli meat..now you don’t just have problems…you have major F5 catastrophe!!! But how else could I possibly learn what it would feel like to be my son? How else would I get the motivation to research everything I possibly could if I wasn’t “suffering” too? So that’s just what I did.
Every day I was finding new foods. I was coming up with new recipes. I was educating myself and anyone and everyone else around me about foods and allergies. I was finding more and more foods and making new recipes that we could eat and it felt great!
The not so great moments…I remember taking him grocery shopping and having a cart full of food. I opened up a package of those gummy snacks for him to eat while we shopped (he was about a year old at the time). All of a sudden he started rubbing his eyes and crying. I looked down at him and saw hundreds of little hives covering both eyelids and spreading. The cries turned into screams as he just kept rubbing at his eyes. I brought him to the car, gave him some benadryl and loved on him while waiting for the medicine to kick in. Finally, after the rash subsided and he was calm, I read the ingredients on the gummy snack box. Sure enough it contained coconut oil. How could I have missed that? What kind of mother am I that I didn’t thoroughly read the box for my son with allergies? Those are the thoughts that entered my head. Need less to say, I felt horrible. 🙁
Of course I realize now that it was just a mistake. But I also realized on that day that I could no longer assume. I couldn’t just quickly skim a label. I couldn’t rely on my memory to determine if something was safe. That lesson was learned pretty darn quick and I’m thankful it was only a minor reaction. I also realized that sometimes we need those mistakes to remind us of the seriousness of what we were dealing with.
Our son still occasionally had “episodes” where he would get very fussy and scratch his head frantically. His allergy test at his one year mark (just two months later) would show us why. On top of his other test results he now also showed the following:
Garlic – 4
Cedar – 3
Cat – 2
We didnt’ have a cat, which was great news. However, I’m part Italian. How the heck could I cook with no garlic??? And cedar? We lived in South Central Texas where the only trees that grow in abundance are cedar. So, garlic was off the list and we now knew we would be dealing with seasonal outdoor allergies. Well, if we could deal with all the other restrictions what were three more right?
Piece of cake…or uhhh…watermelon?