So today we went back to see Charles’ pediatric allergist to retest his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds. I decided to take him into the city with the commuter train.
He was really excited when the train arrived on the platform and we lost no time in boarding. Charles happily sat down while we waited for the train to leave, but when it did he had the surprise of his life! Oh my, he became so startled when he realized that the scenery outside the window was moving, he quickly gestured that he wanted to sit on me. Of course, his surprise isn’t really surprising, when we’re in a vehicle, he’s always strapped in. This time, though he had more freedom. As soon as he realized this, he became super happy and split his time between looking out the window and chattering with the random people who would pass by us inside the train.
We arrived at our appointment with about 20 minutes to spare and were called in rather quickly. We first went to see the allergist who asked how everything was going and if we had discovered new reactions. When I mentioned basil, she told me that she thought (given the very small reaction he gets) that it is more of an irritation than an actual allergy. She was also very happy to hear that the little guy eats a variety of foods and wasn’t bothered when I told her that, besides water and juice, Charles has a variety of non-dairy milks instead of toddler formula (even though she had suggested we keep him on soy-based toddler formula until 2 years of age). I guess she found him to be pudgy enough to go without the formula ;)
We then went back to the waiting room and Little Dude had fun drawing with the markers while I listened for his name to be called. It didn’t take very long until it was his turn and back we went for the skin scratch test. The nurse tested his reaction to dairy and flaxseeds and we were sent back to the waiting room for 10 minutes. I expected the patch of skin exposed to dairy to react very quickly as it had six months ago, but was hopefully optimistic when, after 5 minutes, there was still no reaction to be found. By the time we were called back in, Charles had had a very small reaction to dairy (a LOT) smaller than the first time ’round and absolutely no reaction to flaxseeds!
Score 1 for Charles!
Because of the big difference in reactions to dairy after a six month dairy-free period, a second scratch test was then done with a drop of real milk on his skin (as opposed to the synthesized dairy solution that had been used earlier). This time, we weren’t even back in the waiting room and his skin had already started to puff up around the scratch. Oh well, we can’t win them all now, can we?
Nonetheless, our allergist was super positive about the results. She encouraged me to try flaxseeds again, starting with very small quantities mixed in with other stuff and working our way up to bigger quantities if Little Dude doesn’t react. She also explained that since Charles had hardly reacted to the first dairy test of the day, we should go ahead and try to use cows milk when we bake (and work our way up from there). She explained that the solution they first used didn’t contain all of the proteins that fresh milk does and that this usually indicates that though I very clearly still can’t give the little guy a glass of milk to drink, I can use it in recipes because once it is heated up and mixed with other stuff, its composition changes enough that Charles’ body doesn’t recognize it as being a danger.
Perhaps, in January, when we have another follow-up appointment, I’ll have more good news!
So….score 2 for Charles, right?
A part of me is excited by the news, but another part of me is still fearful. I mean, I know I should try flaxseeds and dairy in baking recipes, but this is my little boy we’re talking about. We always have benadryl on hand and an epinephrin injector, but still…
I will try though.
Does anyone have experience to share in the realm of disappearing allergies and progressive re-exposure to the past allergen?