A Death In The Family
Someone who has been a part of our family for 5 years has recently left us.
His name was Egg Allergy.
When my oldest was still brand new, he suffered from severe eczema. Not just a little dry skin, but red, cracking, oozing, man-that's-gotta-hurt eczema. He also screamed.
All. The. Time. I'm not joking. It sucked.
After a workshop about babies and colic, my always wonderful wife was suspicious of allergies. It seems food allergies are connected to proteins, and one can be allergic to any kind of a protein. Who knew?
We had to change pediatricians to find one that would give us an allergy referral, but we finally got my baby in to see the allergist. Step one was a blood draw. No big deal, right? They would only poke his foot like they did in the hospital. Right?
Three vials of blood out of his arm! I didn't think my 3 month old baby had that much blood to give! When the results came back, we learned he had a handful of allergies including a mild peanut and eggs.
You've all heard a story or two about peanut allergies. Imagine the panic that sets in. Then realize it's not the peanut that's the problem, but eggs. How are you supposed to avoid eggs?
It's not easy, but you learn. After one anaphylactic trip to the ER, you change your whole life around and learn harder. It becomes such a part of your life, that it's normal to bring special food, ask lots of questions, and trust no one if they can't give a satisfactory answer.
We were told he could outgrow this allergy by the time he was five, if we consistently avoided the allergen. That's seems really far out there when the baby isn't even half a year old yet. But at each blood test, his numbers kept lowering. We always had hope.
A couple of months ago, his tests came back low enough that the allergist wanted to try a challenge. My boy would sit in the doctor's office and eat the allergen (egg whites in this case).
He passed. Flying colors, if you will. No physical response at all. Something that had been deeply embedded in our life for 5 years is suddenly gone.
My wife put it best.
It feels like a death in the family.
But I assure you, this death will not be mourned :)