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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.)


  1. Katie
    Katie January 24, 2009

    Oh man what a bummer! But i think it will really help him a lot in the long run. if it makes you feel any better, we’re keeping violet away from peanuts until she’s 4 becuase the allergy runs in alden’s family.

  2. Sarah Goss
    Sarah Goss January 24, 2009

    Oh Mia, I’m so sorry! That sounds really scary. I am just imagining what you went through, initially, when he started having the reaction. Kudos to you for being able to stay relatively calm. Reminds me of when Daisy had her accident (broken tooth) and had to rush her to the ER, while she screamed the entire time–I was convinced I had stayed calm, but when I arrived, realized I hadn’t strapped her into her carseat. !

    It IS a bummer, but I hope at least that this knowledge will help you make the Z more comfortable, dietarily and… skinitarily?

  3. Ana Validzic
    Ana Validzic January 24, 2009

    How scary! Good thing you kept your cool. It’s amazing what we learn about ourselves because of our kids.

    I guess the small silver lining in all of this is that there is an answer to the rash problem and possibly other things. I do hope that restricting dairy may result in more sleep for you and Z.

  4. heather
    heather January 26, 2009


    Sorry to hear about your son’s reaction. My son had a similar reaction to soy when he was 10 months old. We found out that he is allergic to soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat and dairy. I started a website, to help others who suffer from food allergies. SPEWD Free has a lot of allergy friendly recipes and a food allergy blog. I hope this helps.

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