Monday, July 8, 2013

Our Adventure with Food Allergies

I was never one to truly believe the many children I know with food allergies.
{Trust me, as a teacher, I know many!}
It's not that I didn't trust them per se,
 it's just hard to think that SO many kids
have SO many issues with food.
Upon meeting these parents or kids, I often thought to myself, 
do they really have food allergies or are we just being a little dramatic here?

That was, until it happened to me, or really, to my child.

Around 8 weeks old, GG started breaking out in hives every time she ate.
When it first occurred I thought maybe it was heat rash
or some other benign rash that is common in babies {baby acne, etc}.
But after closely observing her for a week,
I noticed that her hives were not only popping up on her face and chest
but also on her thighs, belly, and shoulders.
The hives moved around with each feeding
and often disappeared within 30 minutes of her last meal.

We called the pediatrician
and he had us come in immediately.
I nursed GG in the doctor's office
and Dr. Thompson confirmed what I had doubted in so many others:

Dr. Thompson referred me to a specialist, Dr. Steven Smith,
because of his background in pediatrics and a fellowship in allergies.
{Not sure I said all that medical jargon correctly but you get the point.
He knows kids & he knows allergies.}
Dr. Smith saw me later that day and again confirmed 
that GG is indeed reacting to some food that I am eating 
and she is therefore ingesting via breast milk.

We scheduled an appointment with him for the following week
for both Greta and I to be allergy tested.
{Since GG is so young, Dr. Smith suspected 
that she must have inherited these food allergies 
and wanted me tested as well.}

My grandmother, Mimi, met us at the allergist's the day of testing to help hold Greta
while we were both tested.
They scratched our backs with the common food irritants
and we had results in 30 minutes.

Greta is allergic to beans, corn, milk protein, & eggs.
I am allergic to beans, soybeans, pork, cayenne pepper, tomato, celery, & lima beans.
{So much for being a vegetarian - no dairy, no beans.}

The game plan is to stay off of the foods GG is allergic to the whole time I nurse.
She will be retested in December to see if any of her allergies have disappeared.
Fingers crossed.

I will not eat the foods I am allergic to for a full month,
 then reintroduce the foods {other than beans} back into my diet
one at a time to see if any have more of an effect on me than the others.
Obviously, I will steer clear of the foods that have an adverse effect long term.

^^^ All the foods we have to get rid of from our pantry.^^^


So, I would like to take a second to apologize to all those parents/children 
with food allergies that I doubted before
and now ask for your help.

What do you eat? What do you feed your kids?
What resources do you use to find recipes?
Have you had any experiences where allergies that have disappeared over time?
Any and all advice is welcome!

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