Z is allergic to dairy. I know this because yesterday morning, when I gave him his first taste of yogurt, he turned bright red, his face swelled up like a balloon, and I had to rush him to the pediatrician where he was dosed with epinephrine and we had to hang out for a couple hours to make sure he was breathing okay. It was scary.
All things considered, I think I handled it pretty well. I remembered to give him Benadryl right away. And the doctor’s office was open and Jeff was able to give us a ride. (Dave had the car at school.) I didn’t completely freak out at any point and Zeke stayed relatively calm considering everything that was happening to him. But today, I’m feeling nervous. And rather mourning the loss of Z’s ability to enjoy so many good foods until much, much later. Since he’s allergic to dairy, he more likely to have allergies to other foods as well, so we have to avoid the following until he’s well over a year (if not longer):
all things dairy (except goat’s milk… hmmm)
peanuts and tree nuts
fish and shellfish
berries and citrus
He can still eat all kinds of other fruits and vegetables, meats, beans (probably), and rice/potato starches. But it certainly limits his diet. And it means that we have to be really careful about what goes into his mouth. This takes a lot of energy. And I don’t have a whole lot of energy left in reserve.
The biggest bummer of this whole thing is that things were going really well with eating. It didn’t start out well. We started him on solids at six months, and for weeks he screamed and writhed in his high chair, gagged on and threw up his food, and generally had a complete fit every time we tried to feed him. But around seven months (while we were back east), something clicked and he started to really love eating. It was such an enormous relief and meals became really fun. He loved everything we gave him – sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, zucchini, bananas, pears, cereal, apple sauce, chick peas, hummus(!)… everything but avocado (strange). And I was pretty excited to keep introducing new foods and seeing his reaction.
Now I’m tentative, and a little afraid. I’m sure my fear will wear off with a bit of distance from yesterday’s mild trauma. And again, this could have been a LOT worse. But it would be nice… really, really nice… if we could just catch a little bit of a break.
PS: This food allergy is almost definitely related to his skin issues and the pediatrician has done a bit of a reversal and said that I should cut dairy from my diet. (She was pretty convincing earlier that it wouldn’t make a difference. Ah well.) Let’s hope this unfortunate incident is what needed to happen to finally make Zekey a completely healthy, rash-free little boy. (Dare I say less fussy? A better sleeper? Ha.)