T minus 72 hours till our big cross country journey, and I get a phone call from the allergy doctor. I had brought my son in for some allergy testing recently. His twin sister has a diagnosed peanut allergy. He had never been given peanuts, until recently, at Easter, where I let him have the peanut butter cup he got at the egg hunt. Of course he broke out into hives. I talked to our pediatrician who recommended going with him to the allergist. We finally got him seen a couple of weeks ago. They gave us a script for a blood draw. A few days later I got him to the lab. I happened to be there for another appointment for myself 2 days later, but the results had not come back at that point.
So they call me today. I had nearly forgotten about the tests. I'm in the midst of trying to pack, do laundry and make sure the house is not to much of a wreck for when house sitters come to check on things. My mind wasn't in the place for this. Given, we have dealt with food allergies before. My daughter had an egg allergy that she grew out of, and continues to react to peanuts. I myself am gluten free, so I am used to carefully reading labels and grilling waitstaff as to the contents of various entrees.
The nurse starts off by confirming that there is a peanut allergy. We more or less knew this already. She says all tree nuts are an issue as well. This hadn't been an issue for my daughter; hers is a peanut allergy only. So no nuts of any kind, and worse no pesto. But we can deal with that.
She then goes onto tell me he is allergic to shellfish. Now this kid can down several bowls of ceviche in a sitting and has not reacted at all, but okay, we can eliminate shellfish.
The other big allergy is dairy. I did have a feeling about this. He has never liked milk, and did seem to have at minimum some lactose intolerance. But an actual allergy means no cheese and no butter (butter and hard cheese do not contain lactose for those not in the know).
She says okay those are the bad ones, the 4's and above on a scale of 1-6. She then goes down the rest of the list: garlic, tomato, potato, wheat, barley, oats, rye, sesame, soy, and he had a mild reaction to pork and chicken. Okay so what is this kid actually supposed to eat? He can't have milk or the most obvious replacements almond milk or soy milk? I'm Italian and my husband is Mexican. Every last one of my recipes contain garlic and/or tomatoes. And try eating Asian food without soy sauce. Heaven help me. Even given that I am used to gluten free cooking, I may also have to eliminate oats and potatoes. That is just cruel. We are left with rice and corn as carbs go. Pretty paltry.
And again, this happens all just before we are set to drive cross country, where I will have little to no control over the food. At the very least the nurse said to focus on the allergies that registered 4 and above, so that is the peanut, tree nut, shellfish and dairy. Deep breaths.