THAT WHOLE FOODS LIFESTYLE
We got some hard news today from the allergist after taking Braden in for his comprehensive blood test. His tests came back positive for dairy, egg, and peanuts. Level 6 egg and dairy allergies and level 3 nut allergy. Woof. This was not what we imagined when we thought about the challenges we would face as parents.
It felt like our world got turned upside down the first time around with Connor. When Connor was really little I remember distinctly having this overwhelming sense of dread that he had a peanut allergy. I struggled through some postpartum anxiety after Connor was born, so I told myself it was just standard new-parent anxiety. It was such a strong fear though that I ended up being too afraid to let him try peanut butter even after he turned a year old. Low and behold - he tries peanut butter for the first time and ends up puking all over Dave and the church pews at the evening Christmas service 😓 Allergy testing small children is not fun by the way...
After getting his results back I thought to myself - how can we possibly make this work? I'll have to carry an EpiPen everywhere, I'll have to check food labeles on everything, going to a potluck event will be like navigating a miefield...and don't get me started on when he goes off to school and has to be responsible for watching what he eats himself...ugh. I love peanut butter you guys. But we got rid of all the nuts in our house the day the allergy test came back positive...along with sesame, chick peas, and raw legumes. Oh and he has a dust mite allergy - which our allergist told us could be resolved by getting rid of all stuffed animals and blankets, replacing all carpets with hardwood, and dusting and vacuuming 2-3 times a week...yeah freaking right.
And now comes round two. Right away I was nervous about Braden because he had eczema that was super itchy just like Connor. If you didn't know, eczema and allergies are linked although not fully understood how. He also seemed bothered by his stomach a lot and spit up a bit more than seemed normal. So one day I decided it was time to give formula a try. Well he developed a red contact rash around his mouth immediately after drinking the milk based formula, so the next day I gave him some yogurt just to see...and he broke out in hives all over his body.
So now we have three major food allergies between our two boys. How do you feed two small picky humans that can barely communicate and are allergic to (what often feels like) everything? Well thankfully there is a Whole Foods nearby with loads of alternatives. Also we have a surprising number of friends with a wide variety of food allergies who have walked this path before us. Also have you seen some of the new research coming out on allergies? Honestly it's very hard right now, but the future is hopeful. And someday our boys will be able to eat whatever they want without fear of allergies. That is the real truth to cling to in all of this. While this world is broken. Someday everything will be whole again.
In the meantime if you have some great vegan recipes on hand, send them our way! Cause you know, I guess we're vegan now 😏