Thursday, July 14, 2011

The News We Have Been Praying For...

Once a year, we take a trip to our allergist's office. Our 6 year old daughter is skin tested with all of the things that she has shown to be allergic to. We have been doing this for the last 4 years. Often, we see some reactions decrease, slightly. Sometimes we see new ones emerge (cinnamon, popped up last year). Every since we have known about Ella's allergies, we have been told that it is statistically possible for her to outgrow SOME of them. Namely, wheat, soy and eggs tend to be allergies that people tend to get over as time passes. Often, this can happen when a child is between the ages of 5-7... or so we have been told. We have always had it in our minds that maybe, just maybe things could change. The nut allergies are different. The doctor has told us that it is unrealistic for us to think that Ella will ever be able to consume them. Or at least, it is highly unlikely. So we have focused all of our hopes and dreams on the possibility that she can eat wheat again. After all, this has been a very annoying thing to have to avoid. It is an expensive allergy to have (hello, Whole Food's grocery bills!) and it has been isolating for her, socially (birthday party, anyone?)

Skin Test. Photos like these are as common as school portraits in our house

Ella is pretty good with her skin tests. She despises getting blood tests and will do almost anything to avoid them. But I always try to pack lots of distractions and sweet treats. This time around we took 4 spools of crafter's lacing to make lanyards, a pad of paper to play hangman and a purse full of Dum Dum Pops.

Blue Raspberry Relief, courtesy of a Dum Dum Lollipop

Lanyard Bracelet. I'd show you our hangman games,
but she wiped the floor with me.
And getting beat by a 6 year old is pretty... humiliating.

We waited 15 minutes to see results. Ella was a little anxious because it was the first time we have skin tested her for nuts since she had a horrific reaction, 2 years ago. Our doctor came in, with her poker face and slowly charted the results. Ella, naturally, kept asking her, "Can I eat wheat now? Can I eat wheat now?" Dr. Baum is an ocean of calm. She never raises her voice, always is comforting... she simply asked Ella to wait a few minutes more.

Drum roll... ELLA IS NOT ALLERGIC TO WHEAT ANYMORE!!!!!!! The same thing goes for soy and cinnamon!!! Truly, this feels like such a miracle. Ella was practically floating from the news. Honestly, I have never seen her glow as much as she did in that moment. She was so happy. The doctor told us to approach this with baby steps and to not jump into eating bowls of pasta, at least for now. Maybe a bit here and a bit there. Possibly working up to more as time goes on. I could see Ella imagining all of the things that she can now eat, that she could not before... crackers, challah, pancakes, the cupcakes I make that she is never allowed to eat, breadsticks, CROISSANTS, pie and the list goes on. I told her, "You can also eat wheat pasta and Grandma's spaghetti sauce!" And she looked at me and said, without missing a beat, "Just because I can eat wheat doesn't mean that I now want to eat sauce, Mommy!" Ella hates anything saucy.

As for the tree nut allergies, the results were pretty much what we anticipated... she is still highly allergic to almost all of them. Same goes for peanuts and sesame. But we can handle that. SHE CAN EAT WHEAT!!!!

As a reward for her bravery and to celebrate her new ability, I asked her what she wanted to have for dinner. She opted for a pancakes at Du-Par's... a place in LA that makes the most amazing light and fluffy pancakes....

Just one pancake, but oh so blissful.

Now we have been handed a new deck of cards and it seems like this hand might be better. The one good thing about the wheat allergy is that it has limited the amount of possibilities for cross contamination with nuts. Wheat is in everything. So pretty much anything processed has been off the table. Now that she can eat store bought bread and snack foods, it seems like we are going to have to be much more careful about label reading. Same goes for restaurant "adventures". It has been hard to go wrong with a bowl of brown rice, steamed veggies and grilled chicken.

For the moment, I am just going to be happy for her and will try and hit "pause" on my worry button. I am just so excited for her, as the world just got a whole bunch more interesting.

To be continued...

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