On Monday, we have our first oral food challenge to something that we know for sure L is allergic to. It’s scary.
His previous challenge was to cod, when he had just turned a year old, and I felt well prepared. When he’d had cod the first time, he had a small hive under his eye after the first bite (which he didn’t enjoyed!). Subsequent blood tests showed he wasn’t allergic, but the consultant wanted him to have a hospital-based challenged. So I’d read all the paperwork, baked him a piece of cod in a foil parcel and off we went.
How the letter explained it, the first step would be rubbing the cod on his lower back, then waiting 20 minutes before rubbing it on his lip, then giving him a crumb, a bit more etc until he’d had a full portion. I was thrown when the nurse said they now skip the first step and go straight for rubbing on the lips. Any parent who has witnessed their child having an allergic reaction will understand that this is terrifying.
However, she rubbed the cod and after the 20-minute wait, nothing had happened. He reluctantly had a crumb, and went back after 20 minutes for more. We used distraction, trickery and mild force (which I hated) and in the end, after a couple of hours or so, the nurse was satisfied that we could introduce cod into his diet. Of course we haven’t yet, because he hates it!
What’s also annoying is that not being allergic to cod doesn’t mean all fish is safe. We still need to trial tuna, salmon etc. and it is really something that I feel is hanging over my head. Fish is so important in a healthy diet, but the timing just never feels right to introduce a new type of food. We’ll get there.
But Monday we will. L has reacted to oats previously and blood tests confirmed what the paediatrician described as “some sensitivity” to oats. The paperwork is the same, so I expect they will go for a lip rub first. Visualising it now terrifies me and I’ve been praying over it for weeks. But before that, we need to find safe oats, as the Quaker Oats we have here at home is a may contain for some of his other allergens.
Then, we need to make a final decision about how to make it. L doesn’t have alternative milk, and while I probably can make it with breastmilk, there’s no guarantee something I’ve eaten will not come through in my milk. He has coconut yoghurts (finally, after trying most, he loves strawberry Koko yoghurt), but hasn’t had coconut milk as a drink yet.
So I expect he’ll turn his nose up at oats with water, but hopefully we can get enough in him and he’ll tolerate it.
Him being able to have oats will add several breakfast, baking and snacking options, not to mention the fact that he can have Oatly products. They do such a variety of convenient dairy alternative products, that I feel this could change our lives. (That read like such an ad for Oatly. It’s not! But if he passes this challenge, Oatly, if you’re reading this, hook us up!)
So Monday is a big day for us. I’ll be sharing updates on Instagram!