Friday, November 03, 2006

A Helping of Reality

Yesterday was a big day for us, well, for Tanner.

The last two month's labs have shown that Tanner's egg allergy had resolved. We were so excited - we've been battling the egg allergy since the kids were about 15 months old.

Now, food allergies are an interesting thing. I think they may actually be worse than the Tanner having a liver transplant. Yes, there are day-to-day things that people around Tanner need to do to help ensure his health & safety with a transplant. But, Randy & I are in control of most of those (medications) - and there is little that a person can do that will pose immediate harm on him (as far as his liver is concerned).

But, food allergies are a whole different beast. Someone can walk up & offer your kid a cookie. Think of all the times you've gone to your local grocery store or warehouse club and they hand out food samples. You send them to school - and parents bring in "special treats". You have no control over it - and at this point, Tanner isn't old enough to understand or know what contains eggs. And, it isn't easy to judge - many adults don't even know what contains eggs and what doesn't.

Breads - not typically
Marshmallows - sometimes
Cookies - usually "soft" cookies do (like chocolate chip ones)
Salad Dressing & Dipping Sauces - oftentimes
Pizza Hut Pizza Sauce - yes (but the crust doesn't!)

So, when the blood test came back that Tanner was negative to eggs. I was so hopeful. We scheduled a food challenge for Thursday. We got up yesterday, scrambled an egg, and then took Tanner in for the test. They started an IV (after two sticks) - and then we slowly started to feed him the egg. A crumb to begin with, then a nibble, a bite, a spoonful, until he had finally finished a whole egg. He had no reactions.

After waiting another 2 hours in the office to see if there would be any delayed reaction, we headed out. Tanner to preschool, and mommy to work.

My hope escalated. I started making plans in my head to bake cookies with the kids this weekend. To make pancakes with eggs instead of applesauce. At the extravagant birthday cake for next year.

Two hours later - daycare called. Tanner had hives from head to foot. Big, angry, red hives with blisters on the top of part of them. They came on within 5 minutes. Thankfully a dose of Benadryl helped to calm him until we could get to the doctor.

How much did I try to deny that it was the egg? I actually asked the doctor if it could be Hand Foot Mouth Disease - and it just *happened* to coincide with the allergy testing. We went away with a firm diagnosis of hives, a delayed reaction to egg, and a prescription for a hefty dose of Prednisone.

I wanted this burden to be lifted - I didn't want to have to check the label anymore or only go to restaraunts that I know are "safe" for allergic kids. I didn't want to have to worry about taking special food to school - or worrying about the list of birthdays on the wall. Would there be special treats in class? Would Tanner be happy with his oreos - and not whine when everyone else had cake?

I know it's "just an allergy" - and I am so lucky. Tanner's egg allergy is moderate - and he is not currently anaphylaxis to egg product. He is here, and he is really doing very well post-transplant. This is a minor thing to deal with - something that can be managed and dealt with. But, just for once, I wanted that normalcy. I wanted one less thing to differentiate Tanner from the rest of the kids. Something that would allow him to fully participate, and not exclude him.

5 comments:

Laurie said...

Stacy,

We wanted this so badly for y'all, too. It will come, though! Tanner will outgrow this (I am SURE).

You know that our love and prayers are always there. Call if you want to talk.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

No way. This is HUGE! It eliminates a huge hassle from your everyday life. It allows your whole family to be more normal. Food allergies (especially to really common foods that are used as ingredients) are debilitating.

Congrats!

Tonya said...

Oh Stacy I am so sorry. I can only imagine how this would be for you having to check eveything and always having to worry what he might be eating. I know I would feel the same way. I am sure the older he gets the better it will get.. I mean if it took so long to actually come out this time maybe it will just go away eventually.

Amy said...

I'm sorry. I know we have kids at our school who have different food allergies, and they accept it pretty well. It always makes me feel bad for them, though, when they can't have the same treats as the rest of the class.

Billie said...

Stacy,
I'm sorry that poor Tanner had a reaction. That sucks. Your post was interesting though, and got me thinking... My daughter Holland has an egg allergy too. Not anaphlactic, but the rash/hives. She reacted the first time I fed her a teeny tiny bite of boiled egg yolk, and it showed up in the skin testing. After that we avoided all egg product for over six months. Little by little we have added in some things, like noodles made with egg, some pastries, ice cream, etc, and she has not had another reaction. I haven't given her straight up egg again, and I probably won't try that for at least another year...but I wonder if Tanner might be okay with other things. Not eggs, but maybe other foods made with small amounts of egg in them??? Just wondering about it...it sounds like this is something he will hopefully outgrow. Holland is allergic to peanuts, almonds, and cashews too. I'm hoping that she will outgrow all of them.

I totally understand what you mean about this just being another thing that our poor kids have to deal with that makes them different.

Your kids are amazing and beautiful and I love reading about them:)
Billie