Holy Moly! I've never been able to keep a journal for more than a week or two in my entire life. Apparently that applies to blogs as well. But I'm going to keep trying!
What has happened in the past several months?
The Sniffles: The allergist was very interested in her constant sniffling. We had to endure two different nasal swabs, a sinus x-ray, and 3 different medications. The third medication did the trick and no more sniffles - although it REALLY affected her behavior so fingers crossed we don't have to go through that again! Who knows what the cause was, but we'll keep an eye on it.
Food changes: As I am learning, food allergies are an ever changing and evolving entity as you discover what does and doesn't work. We noticed Bethany's behavior was still being affected by something but we weren't sure what. One theory I had was she was sensitive to annatto - which is used as a food coloring but is derived from a seed. With her watermelon weird thing and the questionable latex issues, we went back in July for more testing. What we learned: watermelon is ok. Annatto is ok. Latex is ok. Cumin is not. So not only seeds but spices that are made from seeds are out. But what is still affecting her behavior?
Food trials: we successfully added peanuts back into her diet. The first day I gave her peanut butter she wanted to put it on everything! We also successfully got wheat back in her diet again. That is a huge relief: things like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. were added back in. I am still holding off on annatto because I'm not 100% convinced but we'll add it back in eventually. We are currently adding green peas back in her diet (she is SO excited to eat them again, atta girl!) and so far, so good. It looks like all of the things in the "low" category may be just fine. Fingers crossed.
There were still some behavior issues - usually after snack products like chips or popcorn - so on a whim I tried eliminating seed oils. Within a couple of days her behavior improved. So...even though the doc says they should be fine, I'm going without for now.
We had another big reaction to a dessert I made the other night - fresh peach pie with local peaches with coconut ice cream (since I am dairy intolerant). Big reaction for her - no epi pen needed, but it was out and ready to go! The Benadryl luckily did the trick. But back we go for more testing. It was the coconut (not the peaches, cinnamon, or nutmeg) - HUGE reaction to coconut and coconut milk!
I also asked about the seed oils, and the doctor said if it is a major company, it should be ok because they have to pasteurize the giant vats of oil. If it's a more "natural" product, it may have expeller pressed or cold-pressed seed oils which means the protein allergen is still in the oil. I can't believe the learning curve for all of this! So for now we will be trying one product at a time to see if it elicits any behavior issues.
Looking back on my old posts, I do have to say we've come a long way! Bethany is more likely to try new things than she ever has in the past - although it's taking me a while to catch up to this idea...I still assume anything new on her plate will constitute a global meltdown. She is much more likely to eat what I put in front of her instead of having me cajole her into eating through the entire meal. Her behavior is also much more predictable and what you would expect from her age. Life seems much more "normal" with her now!
She also started pre-K in September. I take a snack for her everyday instead of her eating what is supplied. Bless her heart - even if the teacher offers her what the other kids are having, like apples, Bethany tells her she has to eat HER snack because the other things might have eggs in them. :-) Also, the class moms know to call me if there is going to be any sort of special snack for birthdays or holidays. I want her to have as normal as a childhood as possible, and I can just see it now, "Mom! All the kids had cupcakes and I had to eat carrots!"
Again, I am so lucky that she is not as sensitive to some of these foods as other kids are that you hear about in the news and such. It means she can be around these other foods without too much fear of a major reaction.
That's all my brain can regurgitate for now from the past few months. I'm off to see if I can figure out how to make "sticky" posts so I can make one that keeps her allergy list current...