Henry’s Allergies

On Thursday I took Henry for his annual allergy testing. He is still allergic to cow’s milk, egg yolks and whites, and peanuts.

They tested for bananas again, since I told them what happened the same day he got tested last year, even though my presumption was that reaction was the other kind of allergy, as opposed to “oral allergy syndrome,” which is what they test for. In the case of bananas, you can have an adverse reaction that includes them racing through your system, and that is related to latex allergy. Of which he has never shown any other sign, unless that’s what his sensitivity to screen printing on shirts also was. I believe he’s outgrown that.

He reacted modestly but definitely to the test. He is allergic to bananas.

After the incident that appeared to be a reaction to macedamia nuts – just sucking the salt of one and not chewing it – I had the option of testing for tree nuts. To make it easier, they have sets they can test in one swell foop. Tree nuts are on one along with certain shellfish. Another has the eggs and milk, and some things we know to be inert, like rice, soy, wheat and oats.

Henry can eat crab, lobster, shrimp, and of course those things we knew were fine.

He tested allergic to almost every tree nut, and given the circumstances it’s safe to call it a blanket allergy.

Every nut he has ever eaten came up positive, even making the reaction to eggs on his back look mild: Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews, Hazelnuts. It started to look like walnuts and pecans were negative, but by the time we were done, he had shown a reaction to those. The only one to which there was no reaction was Brazil nuts. And those are the ones he’s least likely even to have had a trace of, for which an allergy exists in the family, and which seem to hit especially hard if an allergy is there or does develop. I’m happy enough to avoid them. Macedamias are not part of the prick test, and would have to be done by blood test, but hello…

Then there are all the things we know he can have because he eats them with no apparent problems. For instance, strawberries. Except… he never showed any reaction to tree nuts. He’s eaten a lot of cashews in his day. Because he could. Makes me wonder if it’s one of those crazy “tests positive but seems fine” instances. Better to be safe, and figure if he got away with it, that just means it’s not so bad he can’t handle a trace.

The other things that came out of the appointment were the doctor thought it was kind of funny I asked about trying pure goat or sheep cheese (just try the soy stuff, he said) without actually saying it was likely to be a crossover problem (it can be from what I read, but not likely – depends on exact protein, which is why it’s a hard question to answer) and, very significantly, he can probably eat stuff that contains milk or egg that has been cooked. It modifies the protein. For instance, a cake might actually be fine. This is why he didn’t seem bothered by bread or spaghetti sauce that contained milk. I forgot to mention that his eating maybe a dozen M&M’s caused a big reaction. That must not be cooked to the right extent to make the milk behave. I’m mildly skeptical, but willing to try it. At least to the extent of going back to buying Hannaford bread if that is where I am when I need bread, which we have been going through at a rate of almost a loaf a day because the kids have turned into locusts. We’ll see. I’m still going to make Valerie’s birthday cake using the allergy-free recipe.

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