Forgive me if this ends up a bit of a rambling post. I try & be concise here on EYBs but sometimes… I stray. Not to mention we’ve just left the allergist & my head is literally spinning.
Arthur has tested positive for an allergy to eggplant.
For those of you who’ve been following Arthur’s GAPS story, first of all, thanks. I love hearing from other mamas in the same (but different?) boat as us. You encourage me. You lift me up. You give me suggestions & you help other mamas who are searching for answers by leaving comments. Thanks again, to all of you.
For those of you who haven’t followed Arthur’s GAPS story, I won’t rehash it here, but I will repeat it was his immediate reaction to eggplant that sent me into overdrive & eventually led me to the GAPS diet (all in God’s perfect timing).
Awhile back, he was given the standard, top 10 allergen test (food & environment) & all the tests came back negative – no allergies. This was before GAPS & I was pretty much at rock bottom when I met with the allergist. He told me Arthur’s runny nose was due to dust & to give him some Zyrtec (which I never did). The dermatologist had told me his eczema was due to his skin’s inability to hold moisture & gave me steroid cream. The pediatric GI told me his digestive issues were due to his genetic anatomy alone & gave me Miralax. I choose to research & heal Arthur through diet & food.
As we worked our way through GAPS, we noticed certain foods he absolutely cannot tolerate. But his reactions are more along the lines of an intolerance not an allergic reaction. From my understanding, intolerances show themselves through digestive distress & skin issues, etc. As opposed to allergies, which present themselves as an immediate IgE response from the body. When Arthur has coconut, almond or peanuts he seems to have an intolerance to them: he gets eczema, he’s restless, his stomach gets bloated & he usually has diarrhea for up to two weeks. The ONE time we gave him eggplant he had a small amount (about a Tablespoon but probably ingested way less). His reaction was within seconds: swollen, hot, red flushed face, swollen mouth, constricted cough, runny nose & I’m assuming he had a tingling face because he just sat staring at us for quite awhile.
Arthur’s immediate reaction to eggplant.
We wanted Arthur tested for an eggplant allergy – just in case.
Eggplant is pretty easy to avoid, I’m sure most people would agree. Even the allergist quipped, Yeah, I’ve been able to avoid it for almost 40 years. Ba dum chhhh. But in the back of my mind is a story one of my best friend’s, Kathleen, told me. She’s a gal who’s suffered with digestive & skin issues as long as she can remember. From what I understand, she has a host of slight allergies & intolerances but did not know she was allergic to horses until she went horseback riding as a kid. And ended up in the emergency room.
I wanted Arthur tested for eggplant just in case there might be something out there he is even more allergic to. We would be prepared with an epi pen. We would know what to do. We won’t feel scared.
I also wanted him tested because now I have a leg to stand on. When I take him to a nursery or day care or children’s program I can say – Here, he does have an allergy so please only give him the food I’ve provided. I won’t have to worry that they question me. I won’t have to be treated like I’m silly or paranoid or simply making things up.
I also wanted to prove the allergist wrong.
I know. That probably sounds bad. But it’s true.
And now is when I get to be childish. I wanted to show him he was wrong & that I was right. I wanted to show him he didn’t know everything. I wanted him to see that Arthur’s reaction to eggplant wasn’t ‘coincidental’, it wasn’t because the baba ganoush had paprika in it, it wasn’t because he was already currently suffering from eczema or whatever other reason he gave me when I explained what had happened.
I am a mother who is intuitive. Who is as well researched as a busy mother of 4 can be. I don’t know everything but I do know my child. I understand there are things that don’t make sense. I understand a doctor can’t always fix or diagnose everything. But I also know you should never stop pushing for your child.
I may get a lot of negative comments for this but I’m just going from my experience. I believe most doctors say they want you to be your own advocate – until you are. I’m not saying this is true for every doctor. I wouldn’t begin to put every physician into one category. This is just my experience with dealing with traditional doctors who simply wanted to treat Arthur for his symptoms instead of fixing his root problem or even worse, thinking they could simply send me away with a cream or prescription & wash their hands of us.
I am not the mother who walks away. Not anymore.
Am I scared to know he has an allergy? Nope. Am I worried he could react to something else? Not at all. Because I have knowledge & power. I know that Arthur is a special, sensitive little guy. I know what he can have & what causes him problems. Not for a million dollars would I be back where we were 5 months ago. Confused, scared, afraid of everything he ate. Not knowing where to turn for answers. Holding a baby who never wanted to be held, who constantly seemed ‘sick’. I am full of power in the knowledge I have & I can only hope every single one of you feels the same way for your child.
Your reality may not be as bleak or severe as your friend’s reality but who plays King of Pain when it comes to your child? No one wants their child to suffer, regardless of the degree.
Never stop pushing for your babies, mamas. Never stop asking questions. You are held up by every one of us who has left a doctors appointment is tears. Who has held her restless baby as they cried through out the night. Who has looked to God to provide answers that seem a million miles away. Trust yourself & keep your head up.
And just in case you’re wondering how Arthur is looking these days, here’s a picture from a hot, summer day when he got to see a huge steam engine.
Have you ever felt vindicated after advocating for your child? I’d love for you to share your story in the comments.