One of the many ways I sacrifice with a child with food allergies: I don’t get to lick the spoon when we make brownies or cookies. Cake is allergic to eggs but can handle them cooked…..so he can’t lick the spoon of batter when we make cookies or brownies. I tell him it’s not safe to eat….if I ate it he would think it would be safe to eat.
It’s one of those ‘hidden’ negatives of food allergies.
We go to a park sometimes that we call ‘sand park.’ It is one of the only parks around that has sand in it, and Cake loves the sand (like most almost 3 year olds). There’s sand, 2 play structures, swings, a basketball hoop, bathrooms (key for a potty training kid)…..it’s a fun park overall.
One of the last times we were here was over a year ago. I brought along a Lara bar (which I loved before we found out about Cake’s nut allergies). I let Cake have a bite (this was before we knew he was allergic to nuts, at that time we were only avoiding peanuts). Then Cake went and played in the sand. He somehow had sand in his hand that he rubbed on his face….then started crying. He had some kind of bite on his face that stung. Looking back, it was probably a giant itchy hive and not a bite from a bug, but who knows.
Then the crankiness kicked in. And the throwing up. Once Cake got whiney (which is rare for him), we headed to the car. Cake threw up twice before we got to the car. I got home, where Allergy Dad was conveniently working from home, and got Cake cleaned up. Allergy Dad looked online to see if a bug bite could cause throwing up. It can, especially if it’s a spider bite. I called the pediatrician and we went to see her after lunch. By then Cake had thrown up at least three other times and had giant red hives around his mouth. Fun stuff.
We saw one of the doctors that could fit us into her schedule (not our normal one). She thought it was a stomach bug and recommended benedryl and to call her if it continued. She didn’t think it was a bite from a bug or a spider and had doubts that it could be food related. Thankfully the benedryl helped and Cake stopped throwing up. I asked for an epipen, just in case the reaction was from the cashews that I ate (or in case of another incident like this one). I was denied an epipen. She left a message for Cake’s normal pediatrician with me asking for an epipen. Denied again.
Looking back, I should have fought harder for an epipen. We ended up getting one a few months later from Cake’s allergist and now keep it on hand at all times. If Cake started throwing up like that now, I would administer an epipen and go to the emergency room.
Oh, and today’s fun trip at sand park? It ended with Cake getting sand in his eye. I’m thinking this park has something against us!
Something caught my eye in the cabinet the other day. It was a bag, with round, tan looking things and was way in the back of a lower cabinet (where Cake has access). I pulled it out……and it was macadamia nuts. Cake wasn’t tested for macadamia nuts but it falls under the category of nuts so those went into the trash right away. And then I cleaned out the cabinets.
When Cake got tested for allergies this time around, I was 6 months pregnant. It’s been almost a year and baby brother (Bear) is now 6 months old. So I feel like we are finally getting out of ‘baby survival mode’ as I call it – when you don’t get anything done except take care of the baby and older child and don’t get any sleep. So it’s taken me this long to finally have time for things like noticing there are deadly foods for your toddler in the cabinet he has access to.
So I’ve been busy emptying the cabinets and taking out anything on Cake’s ‘off limits’ food. I found way more than I would have liked to – a container of peanuts, a package of cashews, and a bag of pistachios. Funny how Cake has take out almost every other package of food in these cabinets but has never, ever taken these out and asked to eat them.
They all went in the garbage since they were all opened. Packages that weren’t opened yet, which included a pasta sauce with cheese in it that I bought by mistake and never got around to returning, went to a local food bank.
Allergy dad brought home mysterious chocolate chips from the grocery store. There was no label! Allergy dad didn’t realize until he got home (we’ve all been there!) so while Cake whined that he *needed* the ‘tockolet tips’ (chocolate chips) allergy dad searched for the ingredient list online.
Thankfully, the company had the ingredient list online and there is no milk ingredients in the dark chocolate chips. Cake got to eat a few…..& now we can make chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day!
The milk allergy. How did we figure it out? Well, it was a guess. By 3 months old, Cake hadn’t gained much weight – he gained the absolute minimum and was below the charts or at the first percentile, he had all sorts of ‘baby acne’ and rashes, he spit up a ton, and the poop…..oh man the poop was green and snotty. It was gross.
So I joined an online message board where the other breastfeeding moms said, “quit all milk products and see if there’s an improvement.” So I did. His spits up/projectile vomit happened less and less, his poops got closer to ‘normal,’ and he gained lots of weight. He gained about 6 pounds in 8 weeks. He went from being a skinny, sickly looking baby to a chubby baby!
When I did a milk challenge about two months later (I ate a cupcake that had milk in it), Cake projectile vomited for a day or two, became the crankiest baby ever, and started scratching the crap out of his legs (excema). So I stopped all milk products and continue to do so today – partly because it’s easier but also because Cake has a baby brother. Baby brother (who I’ll call Bear on the blog) has never had milk products or nuts in his system, not even while I was pregnant.
Everyone deserves to eat a cupcake every once in a while, right? (We eat them more than once in a while). I’m not good at baking from scratch, so that means if we want good cupcakes we have to go out and buy them. But finding decent cupcakes that are milk free is a challenge…..many vegan cupcakes just don’t taste that great. Lucky for us, there’s a bakery that caters to food allergies about 20 minutes away.
My husband and Cake drove 20 minutes to our favorite bakery that has vegan and peanut-free treats that we can eat last week, since it was my birthday. After forgetting his wallet and having to make the trip twice (which is super fun with a toddler), we had yummy cupcakes!
My husband even had one (he usually gets a regular cupcake, not vegan), and gave his approval – something that’s not often done!