Our Food Allergy Journey, Year 3

 It's allergy testing time again ... Sigh ... (photo by Thinkstock)

It's allergy testing time again ... Sigh ... (photo by Thinkstock)

In just over a month, my husband and I will take our son to the allergist. It will be his third time having a skin test. I’ve been dreading the appointment since I scheduled it. I know it’s uncomfortable for him to have his skin pricked and scratched with a needle (for starters) — never mind the itching on his back that results from the allergic reactions he experiences. (Though he's always been so brave during these appointments.)

But I’m also dreading the appointment because I’m not very optimistic. Last year, I had this expectation that we’d be cleared on eggs and dairy and soy, but would be coping with nut and peanut allergies for some time. Then — a complete surprise to me — the eggs and dairy were the allergies that stuck.

Part of my pessimism comes from what I believe was a recent reaction to dairy. My husband had brought home a smoothie for our son — a special treat and a way to get some vitamins into the boy as he coped with a cold. But I thought it looked weird—the color seemed off. “Are you sure this doesn’t have dairy?” I asked. As if my husband had made the darn thing. He emphasized that he ordered what I’d told him to order.

Our son, home sick with a fever, was eager to drink the smoothie but said it tasted “different.”

Then, moments later he vomited.

Could he have been destined to vomit anyway because he was sick? Sure. But that was the one and only time he did. And he was fine the rest of the night. He had cold symptoms, but that was it. And the smoothie could’ve tasted different to him because he was sick. And it could’ve looked different to me because of the light in the room.

But as our annual appointment looms, all I can think is that he probably had a reaction. So he’s probably still allergic to dairy.

I’m crossing my fingers on eggs — because that still would be progress and would give us a lot of new options.

My husband, meanwhile, remains optimistic that our son will be allergy-free. He’s picturing cheese snacks, and mac and cheese, and cheese on burgers this summer. I hope he’s right. Because it could also mean no more EpiPen and no more stressing out on school party days and far less worry all the way around. Yes, I hope my husband is right because these changes would be amazing.

But my rational brain knows better. So, I’m trying not to get my hopes up.