Monday, September 19, 2011

Peanut Butter at last?

A few weeks ago Sam had his annual retesting for his food allergies (eggs and peanuts). We were thrilled to learn that his blood and skin test both showed completely negative for peanuts. The peanut allergy is the most dangerous and when we discovered it 3 years ago it definitely rocked our world. He was only 6 months old when we found out about it, and since then our house has been completely free of peanuts, peanut butter, all other nuts, and anything processed around nuts. That eliminated a lot of food we used to eat! But we adapted, and really the only difficult times came when eating out or holidays came about and he became very good about asking "Is this safe for me?" before eating. However, finding out that he may be safe to eat nuts now was unexpected and so exciting.
So we took him back to the allergist on Sept. 7th for a "peanut butter challenge". We were there 2.5 hours. They began by giving him a quarter of a teaspoon of PB and waiting 15 minutes. They checked him over very well, making sure he had no rashes, hives, itching, trouble breathing, etc. He was fine, so they continued to double the amount of PB every 15 minutes. His allergist pronounced him free of his peanut allergy!!! We were so thrilled, I was crying, we called family, it was amazing. Such a weight lifted off our shoulders to not have to worry about his health and safety in that way anymore. (He's still allergic to eggs, but most kids outgrow that by age 6.)
To celebrate, we bought him his first ever M&Ms on the way home (all M&Ms are processed around nuts). While we were thrilled, Sam was pretty confused to be given all this food he was always been warned not to eat! However, when we got home, he started to not feel well, and ended up throwing up. He was so upset and kept saying that he would never eat peanuts again. The allergist thinks he just had too much PB and other sweets on his stomach. Sam isn't a sweets eater anyway, he much prefers fruits and veggies, so I think it was too much for him all at one time.
So we have continued to try to give him peanut butter at least once a week, still being careful about it and watching him carefully. However, he has developed an intense fear of it and now refuses to eat it!! We've tried PB cereal, PB cereal bars, PB M&Ms, Reese Cups, PB cookies, and other snacks that contain PB. I don't tell him if it has PB in it, but he this sixth sense and just KNOWS when something contains PB and tells me it's nasty and he won't eat it!! It's been crazy to finally have permission to feed him these things and now he won't eat it. The Dr. said he should have at least one serving a week to maintain his tolerance of it; people have been known to redevelop the allergy if they don't eat it at all. So we continue to try and hope that his fears will subside. The rest of us are definitely enjoying the freedom to have PB in the house, that's for sure!
The pics show him getting a new toy to keep him busy at the allergist, one of his first attempts at eating PB (which was REALLY weird as his mom to give him something that I used to fear could seriously make him sick), Sam keeping busy with the stirrups (he is easily amused), and his first taste of M&Ms.

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