Last summer the boy completed three oral challenges at hospital. That basically means that they fed him nuts and we all crossed our fingers. It was in a “controlled” environment – which just means that they started small, fed him increasing doses and it was in hospital – the safest place to be if you’re going to do something as silly as feeding nuts to a child with an anaphylactic allergy to at least one nut and possibly more (as far as we knew at the time).
When we had finished the last one, the nurse gave me a sheet of paper with instructions on how to carry out an oral food challenge at home (or in the hospital car park, if you prefer). I snorted internally and shoved the piece of paper in my bag.
After lengthy discussion with the husb, we thought we might try an oral challenge at some point. Funnily enough there never seemed to be a good time. Either I was ill, or we had stuff on, or the kids were at school and that didn’t seem like a sensible time to be risking his health.
Then we got to Christmas. A tiny little voice in the back of my head started mentioning, in passing, that “wouldn’t it be nice to marzipan the Christmas cake?” Of course, there still didn’t seem to be a good time to do it, so Christmas, and the cake, came and went.
We had to give him anti-histamines on the 27th because he was sniffy and itchy. You can’t carry out an oral food challenge within 5 days of having anti-histamines because they might mask a reaction. So, that brings us to today.
What seemed like a reasonable idea before we actually were definitely going to do it, suddenly didn’t seem like such a brilliant idea when I was crushing an almond in the pestle and mortar so I could dab a tiny bit on the inside of his bottom lip.
In fact, I nearly didn’t.
Marzipanning cakes faded into insignificance with my increasing fear, but the thought of striking yet another thing off his “can’t eat” list eventually won and he’s currently half an hour into his first exposure to almonds in a very long time.
It’s all looking good so far, but please keep your fingers crossed just in case…
p.s. – Yes, you’re right, I have numbered this post. I feel a 365 attempt coming on.