17 Sep The Day I Found Out My Son Has A Peanut Allergy
I’ve been very particular with what my kids eat. While my daughter can eat anything (even unhealthy ones once in a while), my son can only eat the good food – no junk food, only healthy stuff. Whenever we eat something that’s not healthy, he usually just stands there watching us – I know that sounds cruel but I just didn’t want him to consume anything unhealthy until he’s 1. That doesn’t mean that he’ll be eating unhealthy all the time as soon as he turns 1; it just gives me the peace of mind to let him try anything.
That said, my husband and I have been looking forward to the day he turns 1 because that would mean he gets to enjoy everything that we’re eating. Or so we thought…
It was Thursday morning, the day before my son’s 1st birthday, his teacher called me to let me know that he has hives on his face and body. I picked him up from the daycare and brought him to his doctor’s office to have him checked out. By the time we arrived at the doctor’s office, the hives have almost cleared up but there were still enough for the doctor to see.
I told his doctor that it was the second time he had a reaction to scrambled eggs and this time, it appeared later than the first one did. I then shared with her what happened after he had scrambled eggs for the first time – he had hives on his face and shoulder an hour or so after eating some. I called his doctor’s office right away and I asked if it could be an allergic reaction. I was told that it’s most likely not an allergic reaction because allergic reactions are instantaneous and are usually in the mouth area. The nurse said that it could just be something that could have come in contact with his skin so we were asked to give him a bath. The hives disappeared shortly after his bath.
His doctor said that because every child is different, allergic reactions could appear in any parts of the body and could happen within a few hours after consuming food. His doctor was concerned that he could be allergic to eggs because he had reactions both times he had some. I was told that the most effective (but expensive) way to do an allergy test for kids his age is the blood test. I was informed that insurance doesn’t always cover it but was assured that the doctor would help us out if ours didn’t. (Hopefully, she sticks to that promise) They drew his blood (and he did so great – he didn’t cry at all) for the allergy test. Before we went home, I was instructed not to give him anything new until we get the result which should happen within 2-3 business days.
Later that afternoon, we drove to Great Wolf Lodge as planned, for his birthday.
Friday noon, while everyone was taking a nap, my phone rang; it was his doctor. I quickly got up, ran to the hallway and answered the phone.
Doctor: Hello. This is Dr. *** from *** calling about your son. I already have the results of his allergy test (my heart pounding) and unfortunately, (as soon as I heard that word, my heart sank) I was right about the egg allergy and so much more (Wait! What?! I became even more anxious).
She went on to explain that they tested for common food allergens; explained that the blood test returns a number from 1 to 100 and from there they categorize the allergies to 3 levels – Level 1 (10-20% allergic), Level 2 (50% allergic), and Level 3 (allergic). She enumerated the different allergens that they tested for and found out that my son has a Level 2 allergy to eggs and Level 3 allergy to peanuts. (At this point, I don’t know how to react).
The call lasted for another 15-20 minutes, she told me that we have to follow up with an Allergist and that my son could outgrow his egg allergy. Tests will be done at the Allergist’s office when he’s around 18 – 24 months to confirm. She also told me that she will be issuing an EpiPen prescription at our pharmacy and explained how it works. I did my best to listen to every word she was saying; but at this time, I just didn’t know what to feel. After I hung up, I went back inside our room, restless. I wanted to wake my husband up so I could tell him, but I might end up waking up the kids so I didn’t.
As they were sleeping, I started thinking – Why did this have to happen? My husband and I don’t have any allergies; how come our son does? Why, of all days, did I have to find that out on his first birthday?
You could be thinking that I am being melodramatic, it’s just an allergy and it could be managed. Yes; you are right, it could have been worse. I know there are far worse diseases that people are suffering from right now; but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t take it seriously. I actually had one parent told me not to worry about it because it’s common. I know it’s common (here in the States, but not in the Philippines so this is new for me), there’s no doubt about that, but that doesn’t mean I should care less about it. Peanut allergy is one of the most fatal food allergies and in one careless mistake… I don’t even want to think about it.
I realized I have a choice; I couldn’t let this news ruin our trip, our celebration; most importantly, our life. I couldn’t live each moment worrying about his allergy since I have to enjoy it with them. As a mom of two beautiful kids, I have to remain positive; I have to see the good in everything. When my son was born, I learned a very valuable lesson that I shared with him in my letter here; and maybe it’s one of those things that has to happen because it serves a purpose.
I should focus more on the bigger picture and not on what’s happening right now. When the right time comes, it will all make perfect sense. For now, I just have to trust that He has a plan and whatever that is, it is for the best. Maybe it’s one of those trials that we have to undergo as a family and we will come out of it closer together and stronger. I must believe that we can get through this.
Moving forward, my husband and I would just have to be vigilant in what he consumes and what he comes in contact with; and keep our fingers forever crossed that we won’t have to use the EpiPen that I was dreading to get from the pharmacy.
While in the middle of all these thoughts, I heard my son cry; he has already woken up from his nap and of course, he woke his sister up. Shortly, everyone was awake and I heard giggles from my daughter. I turned the lights on and saw my kids; I then thought to myself, everything will be okay.