Monday, September 10, 2007


So L had her allergist appointment. They tested wheat, dairy, soy, egg, various nuts. Some other things I can't remember.
All negative.
Part of me is relieved. The doctor still recommended being careful about nuts--I shouldn't indulge, and she shouldn't have any for a year. This is pretty good news. It will be nice not to be horrified if I see nuts around--sure, I'll still be careful, but she's not showing any danger of anaphalactic shock yet, so I won't be so anal about it.
Part of me, though, is a bit disappointed. I still think L has food sensitivities. I still think she'll likely outgrow them. But the allergy thing--it would have been an answer. It would have definitively justified all the food I've given up. It would have cleared murky waters and assured me I wasn't just making things up.
Instead, I just have vague suspicions, nervousness about missing sleep, and decisions to make.
Like, should I start eating bread? Or dairy? Now I know it's unlikely to cause serious allergies in her, which is great. But the question is: do I want to risk more bad sleep? Or is that just a really sadistic coincidence?
It seems weird to complain about this. But I'm glad the tests are over, glad at least not to be so worried about L swelling up like a baloon and wheezing, and glad that I have a healthy baby girl.


writermeeg said...

I understand how you're feeling, Heather. After years of my own health problems (allergies, digestive problems, pregnancy problems, etc.) with no answers to pinpoint, I am so familiar with that frustration, that wanting to *know why*, know if I was imagining it or causing it, know what to do.

I will admit to you that I even had similar thoughts as yours after my DH went into full anaphylactic shock last Memorial Day (landing him in the ER) and testing showed his allergies off the charts for one thing: honeybees (he had stepped on one at the beach). I remember thinking: wow, one thing, so clear. We can deal with that, how easy!

Now, of course, the reality that, as the allergist told us, there is a 30-40% chance he will die if he is ever stung by a honeybee again (even with EpiPen injections) started hitting us. Once we knew that tiny buzzing creature drawn in cute cartoon on all the baby toys could actually kill him, his whole relationship with the outdoors, simple things like a morning surf or picnics or walks, had to change. Getting that positive, off-the-charts confirmation -- knowing for sure -- wasn't better, I realized. Now I wish for the frustration that a negative test would've shown. But I didn't know that before. How could we?

THEN, I suppose God or the universe (or whatever one believes) decided to drive the point home for me, as Senna started having those same scary anaphylactic-type reactions, to the first tiny nibble of foods. And her tests came back showing, indeed, she is allergic and, indeed, like her dad, she could die if exposed. And it's real, and it affects many parts of our lives now.

I so understand wanting an answer, a positive confirmation, I truly do. I wanted them for so long. Of course, now, from the other side, I got them, and only now do I actually understand what good news those negatives really are. Frustrating, for sure, yes, no question. But, in hindsight only, I can tell you that I liked them a lot better than this.

I hope and believe, as time passes, you will be truly glad, too. And, while I'm here to share your struggles with figuring out her little system (I know that's a big deal), I am honestly, deeply happy for you guys that Lucy is not allergic. It's really good news. (hug)

Heather said...

Oh, Megan, thanks for your comment. Yes, I _know_ that the negative is a good thing. And especially after reading your post. Sometimes I think our culture makes us feel we have more control than we really do--your struggles with your family's allergies really show that. Sure, we're soooo lucky to have the tools to combat these life-threatening reactions, but they're not magic. And just not having to enter that realm is so much simpler. Blessings to you and yours. I pray that God protects all of you.

writermeeg said...

Oh, big hugs, Heather. I send the same back to you and your family. And, I'm serious, I'm here to support you through figuring it all out, too! I look forward to getting to know you (and our girls' systems) better!