(This is the final post in a three part series on food allergies by Molly Ridenhour.)
Six years into our journey, things began to change! At an annual allergy appointment, our beloved allergist suggested a food challenge! Mack’s number (annual blood work and skin tests) showed that he may be outgrowing his dairy allergy.
We scheduled challenges. Mack successfully passed a baked dairy challenge eating an entire muffin, baked with milk, over the course of several hours with no reaction. After several months of muffins, Mack successfully ate half of a cheese pizza in the doctor’s office. Another challenge passed and another childhood dream come true – he could eat real pizza!
After several months of tolerating pizza, our allergist decided he was ready to proceed with full dairy. We promptly scheduled an appointment and showed up bright and early one morning, with a half gallon of vanilla ice cream in hand.
I nervously sat as they gave him the first tiny bite. I was nervous but couldn’t stop selfishly daydreaming of the reintroduction of ALL dairy goodness back into our family’s meals. Cheese, milk, creams, ice cream, BUTTER! I was excited. But within the first few minutes, the reaction began. Luckily, it was minor and was able to be stopped before progressing beyond an itchy throat. While it was a devastating fail in that moment, it was progress.
Fast forward six months, and we were there again! This time, instead of ice cream, Mack challenged yogurt. And he passed!!! After now SEVEN long years, we had dairy back!!
New foods, new likes, new dislikes. It’s been really fun to watch an older child describe new foods for the first time. Not exotic foods, but the common foods kids typically indulge in before they can even speak. Macaroni and cheese (not a fan!), cheese sticks (nope!), go-gurt (never!), and more. Chocolate ice cream is by far his favorite.
Now, after eight years on this journey, Mack can tolerate baked egg. He is on track to fully outgrow his egg allergy within the next year. Our prayer is that this will happen.
Seafood is no longer off limits (after testing negative many times over). Peanuts and tree nuts are still off-limits, but the research and treatments on the horizon are exciting! We hope to be a part of desensitization treatment in the next few years.
As I’ve said time and time again. Allergies have been a challenge, but not a sentence. Because others have been so kind to share their experiences, their failures and their successes, we’ve been able to live more…and better! We’ve got this now. We know what to do and we often know what to expect. For others that are just starting on this ride, I only hope that I can be the same blessing that so many others were to us eight years ago.
Thank you for letting me share Mack’s story – our story – and for taking the time to see the experiences that have fueled my passion for helping others on an allergy journey. I’m looking forward to sharing recipes, products, tips and tricks regularly!
I want to hear from you! Have you been affected by allergies? Have questions or want me to share certain experiences? Let me know!