My poor Maevie.
She is quite the mobile little lady. Grant it, she doesn't quite walk independently yet. However, she has mastered the fine art of cruising and manages to get into EVERYTHING! About a month and a half ago, she made her way around the family room and spotted Mo's cup full of milk. Before anyone noticed, she had gotten it into her hands and started sipping. She reminded me of the character "Woogie" in the movie There's Something About Mary Hives popped up all over her face, one quite close to her eye and a few on her back. We headed to the pediatricians office and the doc on duty guessed it was a milk allergy. With a script for an epi-pen in hand, I headed home, left attempting to figure out what exactly my kid could eat.
I was in limbo of sorts. I knew she had some food with milk products before. She had scarfed down my meatballs a few days before; made with both eggs and ricotta cheese as ingredients and had no ill effects. She ate pasta fagoli sprinkled with parmesaen cheese and waffles and on one day, two spoonfuls of cottage cheese. Nothing happened, but she had some hives with the cheese puffs and veggie puffs from Gerber and her face had a lot of redness after a wheat teething biscuit. When she broke out in hives on her face after wrestling around with Mo after her sister had eaten peanut butter and jelly for lunch, I got scared. For the next few weeks I over analyzed every. little. morsel. of. food.
What is going on with my kid. Is she allergic to milk and eggs and peanut butter? Can she drink milk or would she need soy? Can she have a cake on her birthday? What am I going to make her for meals if milk, cheese, eggs, and wheat must be removed from her diet?
We got our answer in the form of a scratch test. We met with the pediatric allergist yesterday. After filling out the paperwork and then answering a bunch of questions from the doc, the nurse came in and explained the test. Basically, they have small concentrations of the suspected allergens in liquid form. After marking her arm with numbers corresponding to the liquid, the nurse drops small amounts of the liquids near the numbers, and then uses a small needle to create a scratch allowing the concentration to enter the broken skin.
We suspected allergies to milk, egg, wheat, and peanuts. The allergist also added walnuts and macadamia nuts to the list. After 10 minutes, hives had risen on all six sites.
After the nurse measured the hives, the doctor came in and basically explained, that yup, since Maeve had a reaction from the test it can be deduced that she has an allergy to milk AND egg AND peanuts AND apparently, tree nuts. The reaction to wheat fell on the high end of normal.
So what does that mean?
Will my kid be sitting secluded at lunch in middle school because milk might be her kryptonite?
Do I have to give up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups since she's allergic to peanuts?
Do we have to watch what she eats a little closer?
Do we have to rule out anything with milk or eggs or wheat in the ingredients?
We left with instructions to basically abstain from strapping her head to the udder of a cow or giving breakfast of wheat toast and scrambled eggs. We are to play a game of chance, per se. Since none of the reactions were severe, we can introduce things with milk or eggs as ingredients and monitor her reaction or lack of reaction. Basically no yogurt or cheese or milk or ice cream YET!
I have to take her to get a blood test to check the severity of the allergy and then if it's not too bad we will do something called a "Milk Challenge" where she'll try drinking milk in the office and we'll all see what happens in a few months! I keep going back to the statistic that 80% of kids outgrow milk allergy around age 3-5.
I had it so easy with Mo in relation to food. Basically, if I put it in front of her, she ate it. (Today is a different story, but I attribute that to being 2.5!) Now with Maeve, I've noticed I get a feeling in my stomach every time I give her something new to eat. Will those hives come back or worse? I keep reminding myself that in the whole scope of life, a milk allergy is nothing. More then anything it's going to be a pain in the ass to manage but it is manageable. If this is the worst thing we have to deal with in her childhood, then we are very lucky parents.