Last week I told you that I took Q in for allergy testing. Since it was our first visit I wasn’t sure what they would actually test for. They started with the normal allergens: trees, weeds, grasses, animals, dust, mold, etc. Foods were not on the list.
That poor thing reacted to every single tree, weed, and grass, plus dust, mold, cats, and guinea pigs. Surprisingly she did not react to dog, which she was excited about because I’ve always used it as an excuse not to get one. And I also thought she’d be allergic to horses because she came back from a trail ride this summer covered in hives. We were on vacation and we had to go to a pharmacy for benedryl and itch cream. The doctor said maybe it was mold or something in the woods that triggered the hives, not the horse.
I told the allergist that I have had a true milk allergy since childhood and I would like to go ahead and test for that. I also recounted Q’s walnut story.
A few years ago I was baking and one of the ingredients was walnuts. Q grabbed a handful of walnuts to snack on. She started complaining that her throat hurt. I noticed that she had red blotches around her mouth and on her cheeks.
I didn’t really think much of it because Q has had nuts before…and since. But she says over and over that she’s allergic to walnuts. Now mind you she eats Banana Nut Crunch (walnuts) and Blueberry Morning (almonds) for breakfast as least once a week. She also has several PB&J sandwiches every week. In my mind there was no way that she was allergic to nuts.
But she is. She reacted to every single tree nut they tested her for.
Hearing the news of her newly diagnosed tree nut allergy, Q began to cry. “I can’t eat my favorite cereal. Call daddy and tell him to throw it away before I get home.”
I have to say that the level of education you get with a diabetes diagnosis far outweighs that you get with a potentially life-threatening tree nut allergy. I was handed a stack of papers, told all of the prescriptions that would be called in, and the nurse showed us how to use an epi pen. And we were basically sent on our way.
I felt a little ill prepared leaving the office. It’s serious enough to have an epi pen, yet I wasn’t really talked through any of the logistics of being a tree nut free family.
Obviously I can read up. I’m the type of person who does her own research. But still. Two weeks later and I’m not sure if I have really grasped it.
Maybe I am under reacting. Maybe having a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes first prepared me to handle other diagnoses. Maybe I am completely delusional.
I would bet that if the nut allergy was the only (or first) health issue that my child had I would be freaking out.
I chatted with a parent at play practice whose child has both peanut and tree nut allergies. She said if I needed info or support she could be there for me. She said that not everyone is going to be supportive and it’s going to be too much of a bother for them to read labels, etc. I wasn’t in any way trying to discount her feelings or her child’s allergies, but I told her that compared to Q’s diabetes diagnosis, this didn’t seem as big a deal to me.
Like I said, maybe I’m delusional. I just know that I’m being cool and calm about it. At least for now.
More of this story to come!
* Image from Allergy Free Table