We had some pretty big news in our family over the last few months. My twelve year old son grew out of his egg allergy! Here is how it all went down. I took the kids in for the bi-annual allergy testing, but this time we saw a new doctor as our old doctor had changed his practice and no longer met our needs. We had the usual skin tests done for each child and then we waited. When the kids were small I was so excited before each test that I literally planned out the celebration meals we would have when we got home from the testing that said they had outgrown their allergies.
After countless disappointments, I adjusted my thinking and perspective to assume we would live with these challenges forever and stopped thinking about it so much. I have always made as much effort as I could so that my kids never missed out on any type of food or activity due to allergies, and we have been living a pretty good life. I had zero expectations going into this test. So imagine my utter shock when the allergist pronounced that my son didn’t appear to be allergic to eggs any more. He went from severely allergic to all forms of egg at our last appointment to having zero reaction to the skin tests for both yolk and white. He immediately starting jumping around and whooping – he was so ecstatic. I was trying to keep my emotions in check as my 14 year daughter was still severely allergic to nuts and not seeing any sign of relief in her skin tests. She was so wonderful and mature though and got right into the celebration. In our house, if one person was allergic to something, then none of us had it when we were all together. The first thing we started doing was listing off all the forbidden foods that were now opening up to us…eggs! Store bought baked goods! Pancakes! Waffles! Bagels! The possibilities were endless.
Before we got too crazy there were a couple more steps to take. First, we needed to get a blood test to confirm the skin test results. We drove immediately to the lab and got it done and anxiously awaited the results. I think I called the allergist 10 times before they came back from the lab. Negative! Woohoo! Last step was an egg challenge at the allergist’s office. The allergist asked us to bring in some scrambled eggs which he would then feed my son in small amounts over a 3 hour period to confirm there was no allergic reaction. I don’t think he realized how much stress this simple request caused us. Scrambled eggs? Where would we get this mythical concoction? We hadn’t bought eggs in 12 years. I had no idea how to even cook scrambled eggs anymore. When you have known that something can kill your child, and you have avoided it like the plague, suddenly being told to bring it into your home and then give it to your child can be quite unnerving.
I took the day off work, and sent my son to school for the morning. I went to the grocery store and looked at all the eggs for a long time trying to remember which kind was better and what all the differences were. Then I brought them home and just quickly scrambled 3 eggs and put them in a thermos to bring with me. My husband and I picked my son up and we went in for the big challenge. All three of us were so nervous and excited. When it came time for my son to taste the egg for the first time he was pretty trepidatious about the whole process. He was so brave for taking that first bite, my husband and I were so very proud of him. I don’t think any of us really breathed for the first few minutes until we realized he wasn’t going to react. After that, the doctor just kept increasing the amount until he had finished it all up and was declared allergy-free. What a celebratory moment!
The first thing my son said was “What a huge weight off my shoulders.” I think we were all kind of in shock that the moment we had dreamed of for twelve years was finally here. We asked him what he would like to try first and his answer was a Boston cream donut from Tim Horton’s. He ate is so fast that I barely got a picture and the one I got is blurry because he couldn’t wait to finish it. Then we had a big eggs-travaganza of a dinner – fried eggs, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs. Bakery bought cupcakes and cookies rounded out our dessert.
It has now been a few months and living without the egg allergy is so freeing. My daughter is still allergic to nuts but a lot of food options have opened up to us now that there is only the one allergy to think about. He has to make sure to eat eggs twice a week to help prevent a relapse. He doesn’t love eggs by themselves but he eats them if they are scrambled or poached. He of course loves all the new things he can order in restaurants like pancakes and hamburgers with the bun. Hopefully my daughter will someday grow out of her allergy as well…