A lot of exciting changes have happened since I last wrote about my son’s multiple food allergies – http://allergyfoodie.com/2009/09/20/there-is-hope-a-personal-story/. It definitely merits an update of my 5 year old’s journey navigating the bizzare world of allergies 🙂
His 5th birthday was super special – for the first time he got to celebrate a cake made from wheat. Thanks to http://www.hotbreadsusa.com/ (Hot Breads – a bakery which traces its origins to Hot Breads in Chennai, India) – Arjun had a nut-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free Spongebob Squarepants cake 🙂 The owner was so particular about keeping it contamination free that he let me stay through the entire process of baking and decorating so long as I promised not to reveal his trade secrets on youtube 🙂 The cake was so yummy that even the parents could not resist a bite. The sense of wonder was palpable – how could a cake without eggs or dairy be so good?! It was a very proud moment for Arjun – for the first time his birthday cake not only looked like his friends’ cakes but also was a huge hit. The Hot Breads baker called me after the party was over to ensure that Arjun was ok. Now, that’s what I call cusomer service. Hot Breads is definitely one bakery that is a must try whether you are a vegan or suffer from food allergies!
Over the summer of 2010, Arjun had his annual blood work done to see if he had outgrown any of his allergies. The best news – his overall IgE level remained the same. Whew – at least the situation had not worsened! Not expecting any major changes in his diet but armed with the blood work results we went to meet the allergist. Imagine my surprise when the doc told me that the egg and dairy allergy numbers had come down enough that I could try to introduce these in his diet in small quantities if it was fully cooked and a part of another dish. In other words, I was not supposed to give a small piece of boiled egg or cheese as is. Specifically, the allergist wanted me to take a two step approach:
1) Give Arjun dishes with a small amount of dairy incorporated for a period of 6 weeks – mashed potatoes with butter, cookies made using butter or milk, vegetables sauteed in a small amount of butter etc. If he did not exhibit any adverse reactions, I could move on to the nest step.
2) Give him dishes made with a small quantity of egg in it for a period of 6 weeks – pancakes, waffles, cakes etc. If he had no adverse reactions, then I could start giving him dishes with small amounts of cooked egg and/or milk on an everyday basis.
With much trepidation, we started the process in September. Fortunately, Arjun suffered no adverse reaction. He was at last able to eat dishes with small quantities of egg and/or dairy. The whole family celebrated over a huge breakfast at IHOP where Arjun had a sumptuous meal of pancakes, hashbrowns and sausages – something that he had only dreamt of 🙂 Today, he can eat most of the things they learn to make in the cookery class at school, eat a slice of cake at a birthday party if it is nut-free, eat cupcakes at school parties and much more.
But most of all, Arjun has faith in mommy’s words that things will improve as he grows older! He has seen how from just rice at age 1, he is now able to have so much more. It is this faith that keeps us happy in the moment and also keeps us going on, in the hope of a better tomorrow.
And , the journey continues…