Food Allergy Challenge: Peanuts

This kid tolerates peanut butter.

This kid tolerates peanut butter.

Charlie tolerated peanut butter at his food challenge today. No, he shouldn’t eat it again. But, it’s not lethal to him. MK and I are so happy, we could pop.

After being off his allergy meds for several days, Charlie walked into the doctor’s office, hopped onto the little bench, and downed 10 consecutively larger portions of peanut butter, starting with a portion so small he couldn’t even taste it, and ending with a sizable bite. We waited 10 minutes between each portion, and I (and the nurses and doctor) monitored him closely. The whole thing lasted an hour and a half, but it felt like 20 minutes to me.

Charlie’s face didn’t display any hives during the test, but his arm got a bit red at the inside elbow and a tiny hive appeared on the other arm. The doctor also skin- tested him for environmental stuff (he’s allergic to mold) and tree nuts. He’s allergic to everything except hazelnut. (We initially thought that opened the door to Nutella, but it contains whey.)

At this point, the doc says, the peanut butter appears to exacerbate Charlie’s eczema. The doctor thinks Charlie will outgrow peanut by his next food challenge, which is in the Spring. But, for now, we’re happy just knowing that he’s not likely to experience anaphylaxis from accidentally eating something that has peanuts in it.

Still on the anaphylaxis list are egg (confirmed), dairy (confirmed), and tree nut (possibly). Knocking peanuts off the list is a huge win, and gives us hope that the others will be outgrown, too.

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Food Allergy Challenge: Banana

We have officially knocked banana off the list of foods that Charlie is allergic to. As we did with the beans/peas challenge, we drove to Children’s Medical in Omaha and Charlie took the challenge in his allergist’s office. An hour later, Charlie’s face was looking fine and bananas were back on the menu.

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The test was pretty straightforward. Charlie and Max each ate one tiny little piece of banana every fifteen minutes. The banana pieces got progressively larger over the course of the hour, and we watched his face for signs of trouble. Charlie was fine and happy, and Max enjoyed taking the test with him. Each time I gave banana to Charlie he said “Nom, nom, I want more!”

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We’ll do strawberries next weekend and then, believe it or not, we are going to do a peanut food challenge in early April. That’s a big day. We’ll use peanut butter. The doctor thinks Charlie’s numbers are low enough.  Hope, hope, hope.

Square One

Well, Charlie doesn’t seem to be out of the woods on peas. At the end of Charlie’s pea challenge, the doctor said we could give him 20 peas at home, and assuming that went fine, we could start giving him food with pea protein in it. We waited for Saturday afternoon so we could both be there and so Charlie would be hours away from nap/bedtime. We cooked the 20 peas and gave them to Charlie. Max had some, too. They both begged us for more, but we stuck to the 20. Then Charlie’s face got red splotches.

After some Benadryl and plenty of sitting around in the hospital parking lot, Charlie was fine. So, not the typical horrible reaction, but something was definitely up with him. We’ll be checking in with the doc today to see what’s next. Lame, lame, lame. I so wanted this for him. And for us.

Food Allergy Challenge: Peas

Charlie passed his peas food allergy challenge. Holy cow.

Barring any disasters as we work peas into his diet, Charlie has knocked the first allergy trigger off his ridiculously long list. In fact, all legumes may be OK for him (we’ll find out in the coming weeks). Just thinking about the meals that he (and we) will be able to eat now is overwhelming. Peas are the food that have prevented us from eating many dairy alternatives. Take them out of the equation, and soy cheese opens up. Grilled cheese. Cheese on our tacos. Mac and cheese. The only mac and cheese he’s ever had was some mushy pasta died orange with carrot shavings. Wow.

You eat peas all the time. Charlie never does. Until now.Charlie took the test at the pediatric center attached to Children’s Medical Hospital, which has proven to be as great for kids as every one told us it would be. The test was pretty simple: we sit in a room and give Charlie increasing numbers of peas every 15 minutes. If he reacts, he gets a shot of epinephrine. If he doesn’t, his life gets easier.

This was a good day. His first food challenge, last year, was egg. A few crumbs of a cupcake with egg baked into it sent Charlie into a reaction and they had to give him a shot on the spot. MK was with him for that terrifying trip. I was afraid he’d have to go through that again. When I cooked the peas (one of those microwave steam-in-the-bag deals, so the protein wouldn’t get on our dishes), the smell of them made my stomach hurt. I wouldn’t think twice about them in a restaurant, but here, in our house? My parent radar was going nuts.

For now, I’m going to kick back and check out all the new Charlie-friendly foods MK has been emailing me about. Win.