Posts Tagged ‘food allergies’

Egg challenge, take one

October 19, 2012

For the few of you who are more into allergies than failed procreating, let me tell you what made Wednesday (our pregnancy test day) more bearable: Snort had to spend the day in the children’s hospital for his egg challenge.

A food challenge is given when the doctor believes, based on bloods, skin prick, and history, that a child has outgrown a food allergy. In the case of eggs, powdered egg is mixed in with yogurt, and then increasingly large amounts fed to the child. In our case, half teaspoon, teaspoon, two teaspoons, four teaspoons, and about seven teaspoons. I don’t recall the equivalent in whole eggs that a kid eats. Maybe two? Each dose was given every fifteen minutes, and was testing for tolerance for cooked/partially cooked eggs.

This happened in hospital, with a nurse constantly at our bedside, doctors within reach, and proscribed medicines at the ready in case Snort had a nasty reaction. Prior to each dose, his oxygen levels, heart rate, temperature, and breathing sounds were checked.

He had one weird cough after the second dose, and a bigger bout of coughing after the third. His lung sounds were all clear, though. What was interesting was that he started the thing in high spirits. He and the little girl in the bed opposite raced round and round the room, pretending to be race cars. As more egg was given, his energy plummeted, he began to complain of tummy pain, and he just went all quiet and limp. He also had itching.

The challenge carried on, since tummy pain is more of an intolerance thing and they wanted to see if he still had an allergy. Well, he made it all the way to the end of stage two (stage one is eating eggs in cake, called a cake challenge, and we’d been able to skip that. Stage two is yogurt with egg mixed in, stage three is raw egg.) and then I was like, ‘Was his cheek like that before?’

For some reason, he responds to egg by getting a bright red patch on his left cheek. While I was peering at his cheek, the nurse came over to do his observations. Then I was all, ‘Hey, dude, he’s got a hive on his temple.’ By the time she had looked at it, hives had sprouted on his nose and the corners of his eyes. The egg challenge was cancelled and antihistamines were given. We had to stay for observations.

As it always does, the antihistamine quashed it. No more hives, and the ones he had subsided quickly. His energy levels shot back up, he was playing race cars again, etc….and then myself and the nurse noticed him scratching his arm. I pulled back his shirt sleeve. DUDE.

He had a second major (technically minor as it was not anaphylaxis, but it was a pretty big minor response!) reaction about an hour after the meds, just as we were getting ready to go home. Hives on his eyelids, forehead, neck, shoulders, arm, back, face. His eczema behind his knees flared, and bizarrely the inside of his outer ears became coated in eczema (nothing he’s ever had). They also turned a lurid maroon colour and were boiling to the touch. His temperature shot up, his eyes began swelling. His face became very flushed, as did the back of his head. Collections of hives joined together to make giant blisters. He was stripped naked and we found his groin was also a lurid maroon colour and hot to the touch. WTF. The nurse paged doctors, talk was made of injecting steroids.

His breathing was still fine, though, so as he had already had the maximum safe dose of antihistamines for a twenty four hour period, it was decided to let him tough it out and see how he did.

And, folks, brother was awesome. Within an hour most hives were gone, and the rest were setting down. His tummy pain subsided, his ears slowly faded to a normal flesh colour,etc. By the next day you’d never know he’d had any reaction, though let’s say his potty has seen a lot of unpleasant action today.

The nurse said he is probably outgrowing his egg allergy and is right on the cusp of passing the egg challenge. We will probably wait a year and try again, hopefully passing stage two and aiming to pass stage three as well. In the meantime, we go back to avoiding egg. And, oh yeah, his minimal wheat allergy (seriously, what the HELL) may be ramping up. Fish fingers have caused him to have much unpleasant potty time for the last three exposures. And he was sick today after having bread at lunch. So wheat and fish are going to be more closely explored. Add that to his egg and peanut allergies and probable dairy intolerances, and you have a kid who would be exclusively eating raw vegetable creations if his mama was more caring and talented.

His bloods and skin prick suggested he had no egg allergy anymore, yet obviously now he is still classed as having an allergy to eggs. His peanut bloods suggested a stage three allergy (zero=no allergy, five = this shit will kill you), though his skin prick suggested a much more severe allergy and the doctor was confused as to the moderate blood result. His wheat bloods suggest a stage one allergy, though the solution for the skin prick was not available on the day. But going by his peanut and egg tests, perhaps his wheat allergy is actually more severe than the bloods think. Whoop de woo.

Much like cats and dust mites, and our failure to avoid them (Snort’s other allergies, at least of the ones I can recall), we are keeping wheat on the menu for now. Otherwise all that brotha has to eat is plums and clementines. And raw carrots.

Our discharge paperwork suggested getting him a medic alert bracelet. I’ve found some kid friendly ones that are nylon, with the metal alert plate sewn on to it, but I think they look so normal and kid-like that no one would realise it was medical. I also don’t really think it is totally necessary yet. Maybe in another year or so, when he will be attending classes and things without me present. Do any other allergy kids out there have medical jewellery? Link me up if so. He already has this very cool hardy plastic bracelet, with allergies written in on pen along with my phone number, that permanently is looped onto his backpack.

So. Yes. This has largely been a week of allergies and diarrhoea filled potties, among the more dark and disappointing non pregnancy results. Congrats if you read this far. You deserve a medal.

Here here here.

July 27, 2012

I’m here. We all are. And I have lots to say. Much of it more insane worries over how tall my kids may or may not be.

Pushing that little bit of my own personal crazy aside, I’d like to say for posterity that we had Coconut tested for a peanut allergy. She had a few hives when the kids tried peanut butter, but her reaction was pushed to the side in light of his much more severe reaction. The doctor said if she was borderline, her immune system has kicked that allergy’s ass.

Snort wasn’t so lucky on the peanut front. His skin prick showed a bigger reaction than last year. The doctor also wanted him tested for wheat, but it wasn’t available. He tested negative to early flowering trees, which was a shock.

But the biggest shock of all – his immune system is kicking the egg allergy’s ass. Last year his egg reaction was much larger than the peanut. This year it was tiny. 2 mm. (whereas the peanut measured 10 mm with smaller hives all around the large one.)

He’s having blood tests to confirm that it has gone down, and then if they are okay we will soon be having an egg challenge. We get admitted to hospital, with a resuscitation team and medication at hand, and he gradually is introduced to more and more egg protein powder.

We are all excited that eggs may return into our life. We shall see, though. We’ve been warned this test is just to make sure eggs won’t kill him, but it may totally fuck up his eczema.

It’s a half day or so in the hospital. Coconut will stay with her Nana, and this will be the first time I’m the parent responsible for a hospital admission. Exciting in a totally sick way.

The doctor did ask about the height of the sperm donor, and myself, during the appointment. And before we even went in, while reviewing Snort’s chart, he came out to grab the boy’s height growth chart thing.

This has worried us. I didn’t ask for either kids’ height or weight to be given to me, so I don’t know how he measured, but we measured him at home. He was in the 98 percentile at birth, dropped to 75 and hung around there for awhile before settling and staying around 50. Well, dudes, he’s like at the ninth now.

Of course, I’ve also measured him as being in the 98. So, you know. What the fuck. I do think his growth has slowed, though, as he no longer towers over coconut. While she has held steady and perhaps even gone up a bit in percentiles. We generally don’t care about what charts say, as long as we see we have happy, healthy, thriving kids, so they haven’t been measured or weighed in a long time. If he has dropped this severely, of course I am slightly freaked.

Going to try for a same day appointment on the 3 August, so wish us luck!

Can’t believe the kids will very soon be three. Yikes!

And in TTC news, TMD is now on the pill. Things are moving forward. I start the pill in August when my next period starts. I have lots of feelings around how I haven’t been physically preparing for the process this time, largely guilt and fear, but that’s for another day.

I’ll leave this entry with the fact that we had a brutal and awesome post picnic dinner water fight last night. Massive. I did not win.

But I loved it anyway. My family are great, even of Chick-fil-a disagree. (what, you’re out of the loop? I’m getting pretty active on my Facebook page again – come find me! It’s called, predictably, ‘existere’ and features a pic of one kid pushing the other in a toy trolley.)

Creating from scratch.

May 10, 2012

image

I don’t remember cooking as a child. I do remember being a teenager, and being yelled at to come help. Or being moaned at that someone else had been slaving over the stove all day.

My impressions of cooking were that it was hard work and no fun.

I need to learn to properly cook. For our health, for the tasty vegetarian/vegan world that is out there, and so that the kids can learn. We’ve made pizzas and sandwiches since they were babies. Chocolate buttons in baked bananas, and the amazing creations they make out of their meals daily.

This morning they asked for pancakes. So I ponied up, looked at a recipe, dragged a little table into the kitchen, and we did it.

Some mess and mayhem followed, but it was fun. They did every step of the process, excepting the stove, but they stood on stools and watched me cook.

I’ll be honest. I had no idea WTF I was doing. I was like, ‘This doesn’t so much look like batter as thick ass dough. What the hell, let’s throw some more milk in. And some more.’ We used white vinegar rather than eggs.

So we didn’t know what we were doing. But the kids trusted I knew what to do. They laughed, mixed, sifted. We experimented with no pressure for what the final results would be.

I think I’m going to be learning right alongside my kids, rather than teaching them. They have a lot to help me learn.

We made pancakes from scratch. They are growing into themselves from scratch. I’m a bit dented, but if I just add more milk I’m sure I’ll turn out fine.

A week in the life of our tummies

July 26, 2011

Please ignore all horrible formatting issues – this was written on my phone and is less than perfect!

But I have people asking us about food all the time. What do you feed toddlers? Vegetarian toddlers? Baby led weaning kids, one of whom is allergic to everything?

This is what we had last week- a week’s worth of food with no meat, eggs, peanuts – and no fighting, no food power struggles, no grief. Glorious!

Monday

Pre breakfast
Milk for coconut

Breakfast

Wholegrain Cheerios (with oat milk, we don’t do cows milk)
Plums
Water

Snack
Organic herb and tomato puffs
Bananas
Water

Lunch
Pizzadillas (tomato paste, broccoli, carrots, olives, mature cheddar)
Baby oranges
Milk
Water

Snack

Water
Milk
Fruit sticks (apricot, pear)
Crackers

Dinner

Mexican bean burgers (patties only)
Green beans (only ever had plain, but tried mixed herbs and butter on them tonight)
Mashed red potatoes (smash)
Nectarines
Organic yogurt (peach, raspberry)

Tuesday

Breakfast

Cheerios
Plums
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Snack
Water
Crackers
Raisins
Milk

Lunch

Potato waffle
Cod fish fingers
Green peas
Blueberries
Milk
Water

Snack
Water
Dilute juice
Organic carrot and pumpkin rice cakes
Olives
Fruit stick
Grapes

Dinner
Existere’s awesome bean soup – red kidney beans, black eyed beans (better with black beans but all shops near us apparently no longer stock), sweetcorn, chopped tomatoes (in the liquid), garlic, chili powder

Baked long baguettes
Milk
Water
Sliced mature cheddar
Bananas
Baby oranges
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Wednesday
Breakfast
Cheerios and milk
Plums
Oranges
Water
Plain bagels w/ cream cheese

Snack
Oat cakes/crackers
Water

Lunch
Creamy veggie soup
Hummus (carmelized onion) sandwiches (wholemeal bread)
Weird red fancy pears

Snack
Organic herb puffs
Water
Olives
Chocolate chip granola bar (one third each)

Apple /  pear – literally minutes before dinner, so don’t know where to put these!

Dinner
New potatoes, chopped into chunks with melted mature cheddar
Baked beans
Cherry tomatoes
Organic yogurt – raspberry, peach

Snack
Wholemeal toast w butter

Thursday

Breakfast
Cheerios
Plums
Toast
Water

Snack
Strawberries
Rice cakes
Juice

Lunch
Lentil soup
Full fat cream cheese sandwiches (referred to as ‘poor man’s sandwiches by us!)
Weird red fancy pears
Water

Snack
Baby carrots
Apples
Milk
Water

Dinner
Dominos fully loaded veggie pizza
Baby oranges
Organic yogurt – strawberry

Friday

Breakfast
Cheerios
Bananas
Water

Snack
Organic yogurt – apricot
Blueberries
Organic tomato and herb puffs
Water

Grapes

Lunch
Mandarin oranges
Blueberries (fruit given while I made lunch, as both freakishly napped before lunch and woke up starving!)
Toddler crack (wholegrain twisty noodles, bit of green pesto, some shredded mature cheddar)
Baked beans
Water

Snack
Chocolate (given by someone else tho I kept saying no! Ha. Broke the giant bars in half. I ate the pieces I took from kids. Score.)
Crackers
Fruit sticks
Water
Olives

Dinner
Italian vegetarian sausages (tofu based)
Potato waffles
Broccoli
Carrots
Honeydew melon
Organic yogurt – peach, strawberry

Daily liquid vitamins for vegan/veggie children


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