author of Feeding Eden

Nut Cases? Back To School with Allergies!

I don't care what the cynics say. My son Eden and the other 3 million children living in the US who carry Epipens for potential anaphylaxis virulent allergies are unlike those of generations past. Nevertheless, many of us allergy parents find that spring boarding off that TRUTH is a free fall into the unknown: Why do allergy tests sometimes contradict reality? Why don't our children fall into neater patterns? Why one sibling and not the other?

Allergists know a lot. For example, they know that cooking can, but does not always, alter some food proteins enough to make them less allergenic. And that there are correlations between a child's age and his immunity, families of allergens, and genetics. And that some birth circumstances can, but will not always, effect the allergic profile.
Like his allergic peers, Eden is a bit complicated. Take eggs. When Eden's blood and skin tests indicated a lowered sensitivity to egg, together, Eden's allergist and I manufactured a food challenge. Eden's blood tests didn't indicate total outgrowth so we proceeded with caution. Baked yolks in the hospital setting. As we hoped, Eden passed muster. Back at home I kept baking and boiling yolks. Okey Dokey, no hives, no complaints, all was well. Over the course of two years, I progressed thus:
I hard boiled eggs and gave Eden slivers of the yolk every day until her tolerated a whole one. Then I moved onto the white. Currently he can eat an entire boiled egg but should I soft boil it, his throat will immediately become itchy.
(**Before I continue - I'm going on record with the obvious THIS IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE )
I continued to throw a yolk into cakes and gradually added the white. Bingo. One egg baked into a cake was usually tolerable baked at 350 degrees. Or sometimes not. One more egg or a lower oven temperature or maybe Eden is fighting a cold and again . . . itchy throat. Yet Eden loves hard boiled eggs and especially my egg salad mash one well-boiled egg with olive oil and a dash of sea salt.) It's his favorite lunch sandwich.
Recently, when Eden started 2nd grade last week, his teacher asked me to write a letter detailing his allergic restrictions, along with supplying his medical forms. I wrote:
Dear Ms. ______,

To begin, Eden is allergic to the following foods: Dairy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sesame Seeds, Some Legumes, Salmon, Soy (with the exception of soy oil and soy lecithin) and Eggs.
Then I wrote: While you may observe Eden eating an egg salad sandwich on a near daily basis, he is nonetheless allergic to eggs and must avoid them otherwise.
Nice eh? I may as well have written:
While we, Eden's parents, may not appear to be crazy, we are nonetheless total NUT CASES!