The Club No Mother Wants To Be Part Of
Back in 2009 my family and I joined a new club. It’s not exclusive and you don’t get an invitation. It’s a life long membership though you wish this wasn’t the case. It’s the “My child has an allergy club”. Nut allergies run in the family so when then Master 2 came out in a bright red rash after eating peanut butter on toast we thought it was time to do some testing.
Throughout my pregnancy and even while breast-feeding I avoided nuts following the health authorities advice that it was best to avoid potential ‘at risk’ foods to avoid developing an allergy in the unborn or young child. Note – this has completely changed now. So after 5 months of being on a waiting list (which included been excluded from a day care service due to his potential allergies) we found ourselves in the waiting room of an allergy specialist in Canberra.
Master 2 had a thing for Doctors. As far as he was concerned they have cool toys like stethoscopes and ear checker thingy’s and they give you lollipops, the really messy kind that mum never buys.
Once we were finally into the testing room the strawberries and cream lollies I had saved for after the appointment but caved when the Dr was running over an hour late had taken full effect and Master 2 was not going to put his glucose energy to waste. So when 2 minutes past and I hadn’t heard a single peep from him I knew something was up and sure enough I find Master 2 under one of the waiting rooms chairs with that look on his face… “I’ve just pooed my pants’.
We were still working on number twos in the toilet so it wasn’t completely unexpected but the timing was terrible. The specialist honestly didn’t seem phased though and suggested that while I was changing him he will set up for the skin testing.
So how could I be cranky at him when I knew what was coming next… It’s quite a strange feeling to watch someone deliberately break the soft creamy skin of your first born's arms. Even more so when you’re the one having to hold that arm still. We distracted him with more lollies, which he was very happy about (the trip home was a long one) but he did look up at me and say ‘hurt mummy’ which broke my heart a little.
So 8 skin pricks later, we saw a massive welt on the peanuts testing area. Sure enough, it’s more than enough for a peanut allergy diagnosis. How severe it will be, we don’t know, no epi pen at this stage but vigilance required with what he eats.
So now he is master 8 and has progressed to having an epi-pen after testing at 4 and 6 years showed there was the potential for an anaphylaxis reaction. He is well educated in his allergy and I'm so grateful that friends and family are so accomodating with parties and playdates..
So hello to everyone that is already part of this ‘club’ and welcome to those of you that will join us in the future. Together we can support and educate each other and hopefully with future technologies and advancements in vaccines and medications we may be able to let our memberships expire forever.
Elise Easdown, mother of three