Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sam News

We discovered Sam's egg allergy when he was 5 months old. He has since outgrown a milk and peanut allergy (Hallelujah!), but the egg allergy has hung on strong. We were originally told he'd likely outgrow it by age 5 and now they're saying by age 12, hopefully.  But as recently as this past spring, he had another reaction to a very small cookie with a very small amount of egg in it.

We originally planned to take him to China with us despite the egg allergy. But after doing more research, we realized that having to pack most of his food for a 2 week plus trip would be very hard and stressful for everyone. So we decided he would not go. But then we saw his allergist and learned that his recent bloodwork showed a drop in his egg allergy numbers. So she recommended we try an at-home baked egg trial to see if we could slowly build his immunity to egg over time.

So about a month ago, he had a cookie with 1/96th of an egg in it... and didn't react! So he continued eating a cookie with that amount every day for a week.  The next week, we doubled it and he tolerated 1/48th of an egg, then 1/24th of an egg... we were getting there! That was more egg than he'd ever been able to tolerate before, so we were hopeful. His allergist said if we can get him to 1/6th of an egg baked in something, then he should be okay to eat any baked egg item. But this week we upped the amount of 1/20th of an egg, and he had a reaction.

His reactions have always been very consistent. About an hour after he eats the egg, he gets severe stomach cramps that last a couple of hours. He sometimes has vomiting or diarrhea. This time was the same and he was miserable, both physically and also emotionally knowing that the allergy is still hanging on.

It's so disappointing and upsetting. Coincidentally, this reaction occurred at the exact same time that we discovered Maggie's fistula in her palate. It was not a good day!  But, the good news is that he has made some progress and can tolerate more egg than he used to. He's obviously very sensitive to it, as most people with similar bloodwork numbers are able to tolerate baked egg.  We're holding onto hope that he just needs more time for his body to mature and to better handle egg.  We've very thankful that his reactions are not usually anaphalactic. It doesn't seem to affect his breathing, etc. which is a huge blessings. (Of course we have no idea what would happen if he would get a lot of egg at one time.)

Since starting the trial, we've been living in limbo, not knowing if he'd be able to go to China with us. So I've been packing for him to come and also preparing for him to stay. This reaction lets us know that he's not meant to go with us. It breaks my heart that he'll miss out on such a big life experience due to a ridiculous allergy to such a common food! But our main purpose of this trip is to bring Joey home, and we need to be the best parents to him we can possibly be while we're there. He deserves our full attention. Bringing Sam and trying to feed him safely is an unnecessary stress and a risk to his safety, so he will be staying home.  I'm sure he'll be a great help to his little sisters as the man in the house while we're gone. :)

It's hard to see your child suffer for any reason. He's missed out on so many things due to this allergy: birthday parties, school events, going to a friend's house, eating out, sporting events etc. all are stressful since so many foods are served that he can't have. It's so hard to see him miss out on things that kids love to eat. But I know this is making him stronger and it also gives him such a heart for others who are also suffering. When he saw Maggie throwing up blood at the hospital, he was in tears. He said he "felt all tingly" all over because she was hurting. He has the biggest heart and I have no doubt that his food limitations are helping to facilitate the growth of that love he has for others, and that's priceless.

I'm thankful that he's safe and I'm thankful to have a final answer on the China trip.  Most of all, I'm thankful that we have hope that one day he'll be free of this allergy!

Man do I love this kid!

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