What a busy summer we had! Time to catch up on some blogging! Let’s see, some of the things that have gone on since I last posted include:
• Brody continues to eat baked-in egg. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this means he will eventually outgrow his egg allergy completely…but it hasn’t happened yet.
• Brody passed in-office trials to almonds and hazelnuts!! I still have a hard time believing this one! His RAST for almond and hazelnut has always been quite low and this year when Dr. G did an SPT for each they were negative. I can’t even explain how bizarre and terrifying it was to sit in the doctor’s office and watch Brody eat something that has always been considered poison for his body before! But thank goodness all went well and Brody now eats almonds and Barney Butter (almond butter) almost every day. He wasn’t as impressed with the taste of hazelnuts for some reason, so I guess I’ll have to start sneaking those into cookies once in a while.
• I taught a couple cake decorating classes over the summer for the members of our local food allergy support group, the Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin. I know how frustrating it is to not be able to just order a big beautiful cake from a bakery for my son’s birthday, so I’m more than happy to teach other parents how to make one themselves too!
• Brody had an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist last month to discuss growth hormone shots because he is so small compared to all of his friends and it really bothers him. Unfortunately we were told he doesn’t qualify for the shots because he is not under the 5th percentile on the height chart. He is currently at the 13th percentile and she is fairly certain that his short stature is mostly due to the fact that he has been on steroids for his asthma and eczema pretty much his entire life. But the doctor was very concerned about his weight and she was worried that if he doesn’t start gaining weight then that might affect his height growth even more. The doctor suggested I basically fill him with as many calories as possible every day and then go back for another appointment this fall for a weight check. She said she is hoping that the extra calories might help him grow taller too. So I’ve been on a hunt for high-calorie foods/recipes! He’s eating lots of hamburgers and bacon and I’ve been making him slurp down a smoothie every day consisting of strawberries, blueberries, banana, soy yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, and DuoCal powder (a tasteless powder that just adds extra calories to whatever food you mix it into). He likes the smoothie, but I think he’s tired of having to drink it every single day. I also add the DuoCal powder to pretty much everything I cook/bake. The only problem with that is that my husband and I certainly don’t need the extra calories, so I try my best to remember to only add it to his portions.
• We found a new restaurant that Brody can safely eat at…well new for us anyway! Red Robin lets you request allergen-specific menu information through their website. For each allergen you ask about, you will receive a list of items that you could safely order. The trick is when you request information for more than one allergen, you have to take the time to cross reference every item from each list they send you. So as I sat on my bed surrounded by multiple pages of lists for milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, and shellfish-free menu items and with my highlighter in hand, I discovered that Brody could order a bacon hamburger (no bun, no seasoning) or a grilled chicken breast (no bun, no mayo) and all you can eat steak fries! Brody decided on the burger (we took our own bun) and he was thrilled! I’m determined to find a couple more sit down restaurants that I am comfortable with Brody eating at because as he gets older he will eventually want to eat out with friends and needs to know how to order safe food for himself and feel comfortable doing it.
• Perhaps the biggest news is that I am now the mother of a high schooler and a middle schooler! How did that happen? It just doesn’t seem like it was 9 years ago that Josh was just starting Kindergarten and Brody was only 2. My babies sure are growing up fast! I met with the middle school principal, 6th grade teachers and staff the week before school started to discuss Brody’s food allergies. I’m feeling fairly comfortable with the teachers looking out for Brody…the principal not so much. Anyone who jokingly makes a stupid comment like “I guess I should cancel that peanut factory tour” while I’m explaining that Brody’s allergies are life-threatening is not someone I plan on being friends with. And while my husband was waiting for the lasers to start shooting out of my eyes when the principal made this comment, I held my emotions together for the sheer fact that Brody will be in this school for 3 years and I need to pick my battles carefully so nothing is taken out on him. Very frustrating to say the least!
So that pretty much describes my summer, other than a couple of family trips here and there. Feels like it flew by…again. Hopefully this school year will be fun, productive, and reaction-free!