Josh has lived through a number of allergies growing up, since he was an infant. He was originally allergic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, and had some lactose intolerance thrown in there too. It was a lot to deal with, but some kids have it worse, so I guess he/we couldn’t complain. We spent many meals ordering specific food items, navigating away from many foods with eggs or dairy in the ingredients. His allergist (plus research that Namita found on her own) advised that we should stay away from all of these allergens, with the hope that the body would slowly grow out of these allergies. In the meantime, we continued to purchase expensive Epi-Pens, in the event of accidental exposure to peanuts, as well as ensuring his various school nurses kept him away from other kids and their meals. Kinda sucks to spend elementary school stuck at the “peanut-free” table.
We went painstakingly about it for many years. Over time, he grew out of his allergies to eggs, lactose, and even gluten. It’s opened up a world of food choices to him. About two years ago, his skin test and blood work showed little to no sensitivity to peanuts. Tree nuts yes, but no peanuts! Still, the allergist recommended that we wait another year to confirm the results. Last year, again little to no sensitivity. They put us on peanut challenge wait list (about a year for us to wait it out.)
In March, his name came up on the list, and we scheduled the peanut challenge. Unfortunately, we also got blasted with a very late March snowstorm, and the doctor’s office was closed. Unbelievable — we had waited three years for the peanut challenge, and a freak snowstorm blows in. Thankfully, they were able to slot us into a last-minute cancellation the following Wednesday.
We got to the doctor’s office around 7:45 am, filled out paperwork, and carried in his clear apple juice. Over the course of 4+ hours, Josh drank increasing amounts of peanut powder dissolved in the apple juice, which he said was somewhat disgusting. We got worried at first, because his tongue was tingling after the first dose, but it calmed down after some water. After each dose, we had to take pictures, and the doctor and nurses inspected him for allergic reactions. While we waited patiently, Josh hung out and worked on stuff.
After the last dose, Josh and Namita had to wait around for two more hours in the doctor’s office for further observation, and I had to leave in order to get to my own office, so I high-tailed it out of there to grab some lunch and then to the train station. I’m happy to report that Josh officially passed the peanut challenge. It’s been a long time to wait, but this was huge progress. Later in the week, Josh enjoyed a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for the first time.
He said it was delicious.