It had been a few months since we’d been to the allergist and they’d told us that our daughter didn’t have a reaction to the skin test for a peanut reaction. We were thrilled but nervous about the next step; an in house observation where they were going to give her peanut butter. Something we had kept her away from for almost four years.
The receptionist told us to bring lots of activities, letting us know that this would be a long day, we would have to wait for lengthy periods between tests, and there would be no leaving the office.
I packed a bag full of toys and activities, prepared our daughter for the tests and let her know that she would be tasting peanut butter for the first time that she would remember.
She was not thrilled.
A child that would not even eat hummus because it looked too much like the thing we had trained her to stay away from.
Her father, allergic as well, was more nervous than all of us.
“You’re going to do great!” He told her, before leaving for work.
“I have to do this to know!!” She yelled. Confident and certain that the outcome would be positive.
The waiting room was packed full of children and adults all there for various reasons but all connected under the same allergy umbrella. We gave each other knowing glances and waited for our name to be called.
When it was our turn I watched my daughter march confidently into the room, ready to face her fear.
First she underwent a second skin test, just to be sure.
She passed with flying colours and my stomach tightened. That would mean another test and this time she would have to ingest it.
The peanut butter was spread across her lip and wiped clean. She immediately grabbed for me and gagged.
She hated it.
The taste made her feel sick.
But, as the minutes passed, nothing happened.
Her skin remained the same, her eyes weren’t puffy, and she wasn’t itchy.
So we went onto the next round.
He placed some on her tongue.
She cried and gagged further; the taste making her so sad and very uncomfortable. For four years we had kept her away from this food, made her repeat over and over again that she was allergic, and here we were making her eat it.
But she didn’t swell up.
The final round she had to eat the peanut butter on a cracker. She refused.
But with a little convincing and a yummy cracker she did it, only taking one bite because she couldn’t stand the taste of the peanut butter.
We met with the allergist after the testing and he congratulated us on our visit. Confirmed that she was no longer allergic.
Just a girl who hated the taste of peanut butter.
So we celebrated!
I cannot even write the relief this has brought me.
I don’t know how to feed my child without worry, or go to a public place without looking around for a dangerous food.
This has brought so much relief for our family, as well as peace of mind for the start of school.
We are blessed.
But there are still millions of families who are not.
Please consider them when you are out and about, packing lunches, eating in public, etc. There might be a child who is severely allergic.
That was once my child and it consumes your world as a parent.
A child’s life is everyone’s business.
Make it yours.