Let me start from the beginning. We had known from an early reaction that Logan is egg-allergic (he vomited immediately after having a bite of a scrambled egg when he was around one). He had also had an early reaction to penicillin at around 2 years old (broke out in a rash on day 8 of a dose of penicillin for an infection). When he was about 3, I noticed that his taste aversion to shrimp was probably more than that, when a bite of dim sum containing shrimp immediately caused "itchy tongue," as he called it. Gradually, Logan became an more of an allergy enigma than I had originally thought.
And so, about a year ago, Logan tested negative for peanuts on his very first skin test. It was encouraging, but, like with Addison, I couldn't muster up the courage to challenge him with his first taste of peanut butter in our previously nut-free home. I requested an in-office peanut challenge.
With Addi paving the way for Logan, he entered the allergist's office self-assured and happy. He spoke to the doctor, got along like old buddies, and had his first bite of peanut butter.
|Logan was in a happy mood at the allergist's office|
Part of the challenge is trying to get your child to describe how the food tastes in as clear a way as humanly possible for a five-year-old. Words with negative connotations for kids like "spicy" could be an indication of an allergic response. Sometimes the tongue will feel "prickly" or "itchy," or even sting or hurt. So the first child's first response to the food is important.
Unlike Addi, who loved peanut butter after the first lick, Logan made a face.
Doctor: Do you like it?
Doctor: Why? How does it taste?
Logan: It tastes like salad. Smirk.
Doctor: You don't like salad?
Logan: I do.
Doctor: Then why don't you like this?
Logan: (Very matter-of-factly) It's not salad.
Unfortunately, the words that come out of my five-year-old's mouth are completely unpredictable. He was in a bit of a silly mood, and the doctor and I kind of looked at each other with amusement, with a bit of frustration (at least on my part).
|Logan passed the time between peanut butter tastes by pulling out superhero books and figures from his pack.|
Doctor: So Logan, are you ready for some more?
Logan: It tastes like poop.
Doctor: (Without skipping a beat) So do you want some more poop?
Logan smiles, opens his mouth, and eats the peanut butter.
Logan: Tastes like poop.
(I have three young kids so it takes a lot to faze me, but Logan was doing a pretty good job).
At this point, the doctor explained to Logan that even though he might not love peanut butter, it's important that we have him taste it a few times so we'll know whether he could have peanut butter if he ever wanted it. Magically, logic prevailed and Logan seemed satisfied with this explanation.
More itchy red arm before the next dose, so the doctor decided to scratch the challenge. He put some cold water on Logan's arm, and applied cortisone. Logan felt much better and was ready for some fresh air, but I was disappointed over an inconclusive test. We will try again another day.
Through the ups and downs of being an allergy mom, we must remember that keeping our kids safe is our number one priority. And even after forgetting to bring an allergy-safe treat to a birthday party, unsuccessfully trying out a new allergy-safe recipe to a less than enthusiastic brood, or going through an inconclusive peanut challenge, life is still pretty darn good.