That title may not sound like much, but for Nat, it’s right on point! Yes, it can be a “challenge” just to try and eat something. Especially something new. She’s 9 years old now and still experiencing new foods.
Whenever she tries something new, it’s always a photo op for us. We get so excited that she’s found something new that she can eat.
Once a year, her levels are tested to see how they are maintaining. About 4 years ago, her egg allergy level dropped to a number where she qualified for a baked egg food challenge. This meant that she should be able to eat foods with egg baked in them such as a cake or muffins. For this challenge, she would be brought into the office, she would be given a food with the allergen baked in it to eat over a period of time and wait to see if a reaction occurs. If no reaction…then she is said to be able to eat that particular allergen baked in foods. We were hesitant at first but assured that she would do well, so we agreed.
I was given a couple of choices of recipes to use for the challenge. I would need to choose one and bake that particular food the night before to be ready for her challenge. I chose to do an old fashioned Sponge cake.
As you can see, I cut a huge slice from it. (Didn’t use all that. I wanted to be sure I took enough though). This is the slice that went with us for the challenge. It contained 5 eggs baked in. (It was actually a pretty good cake). So off we head to the challenge. Once there, they took all the vitals they needed to, laid out the meds in case of emergency, (and we had our own as well), did the skin testing, and explained the routine.
She would eat one bite of the slice on the hour, then another bite each 15 minutes afterwards, then finish off the rest at the end of the hour. After that, she would be monitored for one hour to watch for any type of reaction. So it began…..
She commenced to eating her cake.
She actually liked it. Thank Goodness! Hard enough going through the challenge itself, but throwing in a separate challenge of trying to make her eat it would not have been fun. So, she made it all the way through with just a small rash around the mouth, but certainly not anything to be concerned with.
We were so excited and I was already planning a “Have your cake and Eat it too” party, just to show off her achievement. We did our monitoring hour, she got her certificate and we said goodbye.
So we get down the road about 10 minutes out and Nat states from the back seat (with Snoopy in hand), “I’m gonna throw up”. Her daddy is driving and glances back at her to see she has a smile on her face and figures that maybe she’s just a little nauseated. (How could she be that sick with a smile on her face…..Right?) So we continue to drive and she states this once again with a little more emphasis this time, “I’M GOING TO THROW UP!”. So this time I look at my husband and just tell him to pull into the next convenient store and I’ll get out and check her out. Well, we were highly mistaken and about a minute shy of the next convenient store. Luckily we had just passed the fire station because she had a moment of projectile vomiting in the car that finally got our undivided attention. Remember Snoopy was in her hands…..Yep! Snoopy got the majority of it. AND BOY WAS I GLAD ABOUT THAT! If Snoopy had not been there, the back of my head would have been the barrier. Whew!!! So we immediately pulled over. I snatched her out of the car seat to start my overall exam of her body and see exactly what was going on while her daddy took hold of the car seat to attempt a temporary cleaning job that would hold us over. She was vomiting and as I lifted her shirt, I could see the hives beginning to appear. We popped her back in the car seat and turned around, heading to the fire station we had just passed. We pulled in, my husband stepped inside, and in less that a minute, we had a crew at our car checking her out and calling 911 for us. As soon as the ambulance arrived, we were on our way to the emergency room. She was given Benadryl and Epi and monitored for the next 5 hours. Needless to say, her “certificate” was REVOKED!
Once her monitoring period was over, we were given a set of child scrubs for the ride home. I also contacted her Allergist to let her know what had happened and she agreed that it’s best for now to avoid all versions of egg till further testing. So even though these tests say one thing,….their body has the last say!
Now. What happened to Snoopy you wonder…..! Well, Snoopy was placed in a plastic bag for the ride home and I began praying that we could get Snoopy clean. My husbands response, “I guess we need to start looking for a new Snoopy.” I looked at him like “WHAT?” You just don’t replace Snoopy. That’s NOT how this works! Snoopy had to be cleaned because there were no other possibilities that was gonna work for this situation. When I tell you that this child is attached to Snoopy, I’m not kidding! She and Snoopy have an unbreakable bond.
Once we got home, I immediately threw Snoopy in the washing machine, turned it on, and prayed for a miracle (remember, he was the barrier between the back of my head and a forcible stream of vomit [sorry, just no other way to put it])! However, to my dismay, Snoopy just came out “matted” with puke. I had an overwhelming urge to burst into tears, but I still had an ace in the hole I hadn’t even tried yet. MAMA!! If anybody could help Snoopy, it’s my Mama!! So I called and told her how he came out of my washer and she calmly says, “Well bring him over here and I’ll see what I can do.” Yes, you just don’t know how much that gave me hope. And I was right!!! The next day, I picked up Snoopy all clean and purty! All was well again!
So that is our story of our first (and last at this point) food challenge. We have been asked about a milk challenge since then, but have so far been reluctant to agree. Our argument: “She’s thriving on what we have done and what we do, she’s not missing it because she’s never had it, so why put her through that again.”
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