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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hipster in Training

My all consuming quest to find an answer (or excuse) for Big Dub’s poor sleeping habits brought me to the allergist’s office about a month ago.  Somewhere in my non-rational sleep starved mind I decided that Big Dub was itching all night long, horribly uncomfortable and needing his mama to soothe his little body back to sleep.
In my defense, this is not completely irrational.  Big Dub was cursed with eczema and his father (did not think to really check the gene pool before choosing the man I would fall in love with) is allergic to both wheat and fish.  I had to go off all dairy, soy, gassy foods, acidic foods, coffee and chocolate during my first four months of breastfeeding due to my delicate flower having severe gas, reflux and eczema which the doc indicated was a strong indicator of food allergies.
At 8 months I finally found a doctor who would refer us to an allergist.  We met with the grey haired grampa who took the time to actually draw out diagrams and make notes for us (it was obvious he could see the haze of first-time parents desperate for a night’s sleep, he knew we would retain nothing the second his office door hit us in the rear on our way out).  He told us all about itching at night and how the histamines in the body are highest and 2 am and 4 am, making persons who suffer from allergies the most miserable in the wee hours of the morn.  I was instantly convinced this was Big Dub’s issue – he was up at 2 and 4 like clockwork!  I chose to ignore the fact that was also up at 10, 12, sometimes 3, other times 11.
We moved forward with the allergy testing.  Poor Big Dub had to have a skin test.  He took it in stride for the most part, twitching briefly with each poke while I twitched and teared up with him.  I anxiously awaited the results, constantly checking the dots on his back.  The nurse said 10 minutes…  After about 2 minutes I was sure I saw a raised bump.  My husband disagreed.  My anxiety level raised with the ticking of the clock…  Little beads of sweat started collecting on my brow…
Big Dub’s future lacking any sort of decent food allergy flashed before me…  In high school he would just be another kid, nothing special.  He would never be in the in-crowd, a hipster.  He would never have the air of a cool and complicated Jr High school kid saying “no thanks, I don’t do dairy” or “no, ha, are you kidding me? I don’t do wheat.”  What was I going to do?  He was forever destined to normalcy…  Everyone knows that to be cool these days you HAVE to have a food allergy!
And then, seconds before I started to hyperventilate, I saw it, an angry red welt.  I pointed to the spot excitedly, asking my husband, “Was that wheat? Or was that dairy? Maybe soy?”  I stared at the spot, thanking the popularity gods when the nurse returned saying sadly “oh, I think that’s a positive for eggs.  It is one of the most common allergies for babies, he’ll likely outgrow it as a toddler.”
While I was a little peeved that she would try and minimize his allergy with a “he’ll outgrow it,” I continued to be grateful for our stroke of luck.  Eggs, I’ll take eggs.  Who isn’t vegan these days?  The doc came back in and confirmed the positive for eggs, again minimizing, telling us he’ll likely outgrow it in his toddler years.  He further explained to us (not in these words exactly, but this is the hook I was able to hang it on, as the saying goes) that the negatives don’t actually mean a whole lot.  Like a pregnancy test, you can take it and it says negative.  Don’t believe it.  A positive however is a positive no two ways about it.
We were sent home, thankfully with at least one positive, and strict instructions to be wary of all foods…  Oh, and at least a flicker of hope that Big Dub inherited his dad’s allergy genes and will at least skim the outskirts of the cool crowd.
Of note, he appears to be allergic to wheat as well.  I don’t think it is my just high hopes for his future social calendar either.  Also of note, the confirmation of a food allergy has not helped the quest for sleep in the slightest – it is not like I was giving him eggs in the first place.



I'm just and average mama who's not afraid to say all the things you know you are thinking.  Or just not smart enough to keep my mouth shut.

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1 comment :

  1. I love your writing!! We to have an egg allergy among us... course I was consuming eggs by the dozen and feeding my child egg pasta... so she was quite miserable. Gotta say, there are some yummy ways to make cookies vegan... but the wheat thing. That's a hard one. There is hope yet for him to be a "cool kid"!


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