Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Living with food allergies

I was planning to write a few posts about living with food allergies for a while now, but was never sure how to start without it looking like I was (a) looking for sympathy or (b) looking for some sort of credit for surviving. 

Which I am not. 

I am (a) constantly thankful for my boys' general health and (b) would probably still do just as much baking and cooking from scratch even if we weren't faced with these allergies.

OK, I know none of you were really thinking either of these two things but just wanted to make it clear anyway :0)

So, what finally prompted me to write this first allergy post was something that happened on Sunday night. 

I was making up a batch of pancakes for supper and Alasdair was in his usual spot beside me. I let him whisk the flour and sugar since we were using his flour. I then added the milk and eggs and moved the jug away. Some of the mix must have spilled though, which he touched and then touched his face. By the time we sat down to eat the pancakes his right eye had swollen up as though he had been hit on it and he could hardly open his eye. He was tearing away, scratching at his hands too. 

As soon as I saw his eye I gave him a dose of anti-histamine. We have learned over our years of dealing with eczema that distraction is the key to stopping the scratching. First of all, as it was quite hot inside, I took him and stood at the back door where we looked at the moon for a few minutes. The cool air helped his skin but as soon as we sat down again he was scratching again so this time I took him up to the bathroom, filled the sink with cold, cold water and got a little bath toy in it. I wound up the toy and got Alasdair to lift it out of the water for me. In no time at all his hands had cooled down and the itch was gone. 

It took at least an hour for the swelling in his eye to go down.

This was him about an hour afterwards.

Unlike Calum (8) and James (11), Alasdair has never actually had a reaction as a result of contact with food before. He was tested for the allergies long before he was weaned because of the severity of his eczema and the fact that he had brothers with various allergies.

The way he reacted to the eggs is exactly the same as James and Calum. They can all take eggs fine in a cake or biscuit but not something that is mostly egg like scrambled egg, meringue etc. Nor can they touch the raw egg.

I'll just have to be extra specially careful next time he heps me with the pancake mix!

My only non-allergy boy asked me to take this photo for the blog tonight aswell. He made the dinner tonight, his speciality, Easy Peasy Pizza - a scone base pizza. He was right to be proud of it as it tasted delicious (Calum and Alasdair had non-cheesy versions, obviously!)

Gaelic word of the day:
ugh (oo) - egg


  1. The picture of Alasdair just melted my heart. Poor little guy.

    I understand what you are saying; you want to be able to blog and post about the difficulties but not post in way that sounds complaining or negative. I find it hard and I am trying to be more open :)

    Your openness encourages me. And I know it will encourage other mom's who have similar challenges with food allergies. I hope little Alasdair is feeling better!

    Much love,

  2. Thanks Elizabeth, you summed it up perfectly!

  3. What a sweet baby, and yes he melted my heart too. How sweet that he was helping you cook. Makes me want to have Zane help me stir in the kitchen. He loves watching me but he is getting to the age of more hands on.

    I agree with Elizabeth. reading your trials with food allergies and how you battle them is really encouraging and helpful. I am glad you are writing and sharing all that you have learned and observed.

    Many Blessing to you and your boys!
    ~ Marie

  4. Hi

    Must be hard for him (and you)! Sophie has eczema all over her torso at the moment and we are trying diprobase now as E45 wasn't helping at all.I had my eldest tested for food allergies but she came back extremely allergic to dust but has since been diagnosed with crohns and i still think food is an issue somewhere. I love reading your blog. thanks or sharing - shelley X(IVMCMAY09)


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