A couple of days ago Brody underwent some allergy testing with hopes of an egg challenge! His egg RAST numbers have been dropping by about half for the past several years. He started somewhere in the 60s I believe, but as of last RAST (June 2009) he was at 8.24. I didn't really expect him to pass raw egg quite yet,however, a recent study has shown that 70% of people with egg allergy can safely eat "baked-in" egg (350 degrees for at least 30 minutes) as this will break down the egg protein enough so that the body doesn't recognize it the same way.
So we started with the skin prick test (SPT) to raw egg. Actually, Dr. G also had us bring in some boiled milk to do a skin test with that too because some kids can apparently tolerate fully heated milk or baked-in milk just like the baked-in egg. They did the boiled milk and raw egg SPT at the same time and his skin bubbled immediately from the milk. In fact the nurse made the comment "whoa, and we still have 14 minutes on the timer before we measure it!" Then the raw egg wheal soon caught up to it. In fact at this point Dr. G wasn't even sure if he wanted to go ahead with the baked-in egg challenge. Brody was obviously feeling very defeated. You could just tell by his body language. One minute he had been so excited to get on with the test, and then after seeing how his skin reacted he was extremely sad looking. The doctor finally decided to take a small piece of the bread I had made and mix with water to make a "slurry" that they could use to do a SPT with to see how his skin would react to that. Luckily it only created a very small bump on his arm, so it was decided to go ahead with the challenge. He was a bit hesitant to take that first bite, but he loved the cinnamon bread I had made so it made the rest of the challenge go that much more smoothly. Good thing I didn't take the hockey puck blueberry muffins I had initially made! :) After 4 hours, Dr. G finally declared that Brody officially passed the "baked-in" egg challenge!!
I'm so happy and relieved the challenge is over! It definitely feels weird to feed him things with egg in them but also know that he will still have a severe reaction to egg that isn't baked long enough! I have quite a list of things I want to make now (brownies, angel food cake, lemon bars, etc...still dairy-free, but full of egg!), but I have to keep reminding myself that we need to start out slow and keep an eye out for any subtle reactions his body might show.
Dr. G also told us that because Brody had such a strong skin reaction to the boiled milk, that he is most likely one of those individuals who will never lose his milk allergy. I've always assumed this, but it's sad to actually hear it from the doctor. :( But on the bright side, after waiting 10 years, it sure is nice to at least have a little bit of good news regarding the food allergies!
This is a picture I took during the SPT. This is actually after the welts had started to diminish a little bit. In fact, the morning after the test he still had a small hive where the milk SPT had been placed!