Living with allergies

by , under Mom, personal

My youngest son is 2 3/4 years old. When he was 6 months old, he was diagnosed with a long list of allergies. We had started to suspect that something was wrong when he was about 3 months old, suddenly he was covered with eczema.

Our pediatrician urged us to try basic remedies- to change to hypo-allergenic lotions, and bath him more frequently. Nothing changed. She referred us to a dermatologist who put us on better lotions and had us eliminate fragranced items. When he didn’t get much better, she referred us to an allergist.

He was 6 months old by that time, and two years later, it sometimes amazes me that it’s the same kid. Sure, he can’t have dairy, wheat, soy, peanut or eggs. But there are plenty of things that he can eat- especially in his toddler mindset where he only eats a handful of foods. Tortilla chips? Fresh fruit? Turkey meatballs? He loves them.

His skin is clear. Unbelievably clear. His feet are a little scaly- after 2 1/2 years of scratching, it’s become a habit of his to scratch when he’s tired. But it’s clear. He can run around in grass barefoot and not have to be wiped down afterwards (he used to get itchy while in the yard). He can play with the in-laws cats and not need a bath afterwards.

We used to have to give him a daily dose of allergy medicine, and now we only use it for the occasional allergic reaction.

He hasn’t outgrown all his food allergies. He had some eggs at Thanksgiving last year and started to break out in hives. He had some crackers with soy and broke out in hives. He has some regular crackers (wheat and soy) and broke out in hives. But we haven’t found any new allergies, and he’s living quite happily with the food restrictions we have. I couldn’t ask for more.

Has it been easy? No. When he was a baby he had a hypoallergenic formula that we could only get from a medical supply company. His allergies eliminate most premade meals, forcing me to make things. We have to bring foods to restaurants for him, since I’m never sure what might have crossed paths with something that seems safe. We still travel with Benadryl and epi-pens everywhere. But it isn’t impossible.