For the past six months, I have hoped and prayed every single day that when the time came for E’s allergy blood testing, her food allergies would have vanished. POOF! Just like that. After all, it’s quite common for babies with dairy and egg allergies to outgrow them by the age of one
Last week, the time for the blood testing arrived. E had her blood drawn for the first time and she handled it better than I do. (*Hangs head in shame.*) We could expect results sometime in the next two weeks, but it took only two days. As I answered the phone, visions of E cramming a handful of Colby Jack cheese into her mouth fluttered through my imagination. Then:
The egg allergy is still present. It’s bad enough we can’t even do a bake test to see if she can tolerate eggs baked into things like cookies or cake.
The dairy allergy is still present. It’s very possible she might be in the beginning stages of outgrowing it, but it’s still there and it’s bad enough E can’t have any dairy. We will retest in six months.
The peanut allergy is still present. It’s bad. Like, E-is-getting-an-EpiPen-bad. So actually it’s not just bad, it’s downright shitty.
When I got off the phone with the nurse who gave me the results, I cried. During my pregnancy, I thought a lot about whether or not my baby would be healthy, about her development, about the challenges B and I would face as parents. Multiple severe food allergies was never a scenario that ran through my head. I feel so ill-prepared for something like this.
That was a few days ago, though. Since then, I’ve put on my big girl panties and I’ve realized that this is something we can’t change. We have to accept it and, hard as it might be, try to embrace it. I don’t want E to grow up thinking she’s fundamentally different from other kids because she can’t eat the same things they do. I will have to get creative and I’ll have to research and I’ll have to try recipes with ingredients I’ve never used.
As far as the Epi-Pen goes, the thought of it is scary. While the doctor gave us a crash course in using an Epi-Pen, I had a real “what the fuck” moment where it hit me how surreal all of this is. But honestly, I’m not afraid of it. I’m beyond grateful that my daughter is growing up in an age that things like this exist to save her life if needed.
I am an allergy mom. It’s a title I never expected to have, but it’s what I am and I’m going to be the best damn allergy mom I can be.