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So, I Have This Kid...

Posted Mar 11 2013 12:00am


And, like all of my other kids, this kid has asthma and allergies. This kid has never had any food allergies, though, other than being somewhat lactose intolerant when she was younger.

About six months ago, this child came to me and said, "Mom, whenever we have pineapple, my mouth feels funny. I get little sores, and my tongue feels thick and fuzzy." Okay, don't eat pineapple.

I know, I'm a genius. Others beg to be as smart as me.

Over the past couple of months, the same thing has happened with mangoes, peaches, pistachio nuts, and broccoli. Each time, she would report same thing – fuzzy mouth, puffy lips, and sores inside her mouth.

I know enough about food allergies to know something about Oral Allergy syndrome , and this fits the bill. This child has a birch allergy. She has a grass allergy. Ragweed makes her sneeze like crazy. It all makes sense.

We practiced avoidance, and she learned to like other fruits and vegetables. Which wasn't really a hardship, being that she is a great fruit and vegetable eater, as are my other kids. I'm pretty lucky with that.

Hey, we may have smart mouths and bad attitudes, but at least we are eating fruits and veg. I take what I can get some days.

Said child went away over the weekend, and I was very nervous about it. Not for her safety, but for her food choices. After all, she would be far from me, and what if she ate something she was allergic to? I packed her some Benadryl, signed over power of attorney, wrote everything I could about allergies on an index card and shoved in her medicine bag, and hoped for the best.

She didn't text me much this weekend that she was much too busy, but she did text me once to tell me that she ate fruit salad, and that her mouth felt really bad. The fruit salad had pineapple, but she didn't eat it. I don't think she thought about the juice. I instructed her to take the Benadryl, tell her teacher and hope for the best.

And it was all fine. Probably I'm over thinking this, I thought to myself.

But then yesterday, she texted me from a restaurant on the way home. She had eaten sesame chicken, and was feeling very bad indeed. She said she had no pineapple, but I told her to ask what was in the sauce. The list of foods that she can't eat encompasses more than pineapple, and maybe one of those was in it.

Ding ding ding. Give me a medal.

She took a Benadryl. It didn't work. She took another Benadryl, and I sat by my phone, wondering what in the world I was going to do if it progressed.

But it didn't, and she came home, apologetic for her lack of forethought, very tired from the Benadryl, and with a firm pinky promise to never eat another food without checking the label.

Knowing what I know about food allergies, though, I'm very nervous. These symptoms have grown with each exposure, and I know that doesn't leave us in a good place. She had an allergy appointment scheduled, but it's not until May - I really wasn't sure we could wait that long.

Today, I got in touch with the allergist. We have an appointment tomorrow. I am predicting that we'll have a blood draw, and leave with prescriptions, a medic alert bracelet request, and epi-pens.

I wish I could be wrong. But I've seen this too many times in the past couple of years to be able to close my eyes to it. I'm annoyed, frustrated, and wondering – where does this stuff come from? I don't have food allergies. Or, at least I didn't, until I began to develop enormous, paper plate size hives every time I ate pizza from one particular restaurant, and went to get tested and found out that I have a sensitivity to fish. Which he puts in the red sauce.

Where does this stuff come from?

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