Friday, October 19, 2012

Bad, bad blogger!

I have been such a bad, bad, lazy blogger.  Well, the good news is that NOTHING exciting has happened in regards to OIT and desensitization.  Calista still eats her 8 whole peanuts every evening for maintenance.

She has also enjoyed a Snickers bar, Butterfinger bar and best of all -- BIRTHDAY CUPCAKES (not made by me).  She has been able to celebrate with friends like I never imagined.

We are very excited about her first real Trick-or-Treating experience EVER!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Graduation Day!

Tomorrow morning at 9:30 am (central time) -- y'all need to be praying for us and thinking about Calista and waiting to celebrate. Tomorrow morning, Cal will have a 24 peanut challenge in the doctor's office. She has been eating 12 peanuts twice a day (without problem) since August 24th.

Only 199 days ago, we met Dr. Wasserman. 175 days ago, we began desensitization. Tomorrow, she graduates.

The joy cannot be conveyed in words, so I'm including her first Baskin Robbins trip picture to give you an idea of how she feels.

She will be on "maintenance" and will eat 8 peanuts a day. I understand that she will be encouraged to add other peanut products to her diet (she has already requested a Snickers bar).

Her blood test showed a small cashew allergy, so we will have a cashew challenge in a month from now. That will open up the tree nut world...

I am so very thankful for all who we have supported, encouraged and cheered us on during this journey. I'm thrilled to have the chance to share the information. I hope all children have access to this treatment someday.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

We interrupt regularly scheduled desensitization for a little life...

Well, we weren't able to make our "graduation" appointment on Friday.  Life happened to us.  Crazy enough, desensitization is the easiest, most "normal" part of our lives right now.  The delay has absolutely nothing to do with reactions or treatment -- no issues whatsoever.  She is happily eating her 12 peanuts each morning and 12 more each evening.  We are LOVING the freedoms this has given her.  We are hoping to get back to our "normal" appointment next week.

Continue to share our little blog and the happy news of desensitization!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Frozen Yogurt

Needless to say...we are really enjoying the changes Calista has been able to make.  Some changes are yummier than others!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A little baseball, a little rain and mint chocolate chip.

My husband, my father-in-law and my girls enjoyed a major league baseball game yesterday.  Yes, there was a rain delay.  No, the Rangers did not come out on top.

But...Calista had mint chocolate chip ice cream!!  And that (as all you faithful readers know) is AMAZING! Even more amazing for me was the ability to let her go, to relax and know she would be safe.

Without Dr. Wasserman and Dallas Allergy Immunology, none of this would have happened.  Without a mom sharing her family's story and giving me the name of doctor, none of this would have happened.  Call this office.  Call another doctor.  Call someone.  Desensitization works.  It isn't easy.  Others have had many more setbacks than we experienced.  It is worth it.  It is worth the effort to make your child safer.  It is worth the time, the travel, the money to see your little girl enjoy an ice cream at a baseball game in a cute little baseball cap.

Again, I'm not a doctor.  I am a mom.  I am the self-appointed peanut police.  I knew nothing about peanut allergy until Calista's diagnosis.  After that point, I learned everything I could and shared the information with every person that would listen (and some who wouldn't).  My daughter is safer today than she was in March before she began desensitization.  Her life is forever changed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Increase Day!

162 days after her Day One, we are waiting in the office for an increase to 12 peanuts twice a day. From the tiniest fraction of a peanut, to 24 each day in less than six months. Wow!

"Wow" seems like such a silly word and I know I've used it a thousand times in this blog and in conversations about desensitization. But I cannot convey the life changes we have experienced - I just can't find another word.

When Calista was diagnosed (before her first birthday), I wanted to buy a bubble and stick her inside. The allergist told us that her next exposure to peanuts could be life-threatening and complete avoidance of the allergen would be the only way to keep her safe. I really was afraid of everything. The more I read, the more worried I became. You learn about cross-contamination, the dangers of peanut residue on surfaces, the products that have peanut or are processed in a facility, and on and on. We have learned that nuts can be found in the most random things - seed packets, tomato paste, etc.

You learn to read labels, wipe surfaces, educate everyone around about EpiPens. You see the fear in a teacher's eyes when you try to explain this -- when you ask them to teach your child, care about your child, show them the right way to treat others and oh, keep a lookout on any food, treats, etc. and be ready to save her life (if another student's lunchbox contains a bomb).

Next week, we will visit Dallas Allergy for a 24 peanut challenge. After that, she will be on Maintenance. Maintenance will require her to eat eight peanuts a day. But, she will be free to eat as many additional peanut products as she wants.

That means playdates will be okay, ice cream shops will be okay, cupcakes at school will be okay.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Putting it all in perspective.

70 months since Calista was diagnosed.

22 appointments at Dallas Allergy.

22 days of school & day camp missed.

22 days of work missed.

4,840 miles driven.

1 little girl's life changed forever.

Friday, August 17, 2012

155 days in

155 days ago, Calista and I arrived at Dr. Wasserman's office to begin her Day One of desensitization. Today, we will increase to 10 peanuts every 12 hours.

She started 1st grade yesterday. We didn't need a peanut free classroom. We don't need a peanut free table. We don't have to spend every second waiting for the phone call about her having a reaction. Now, the school secretary may get a nice response when she calls me :) I always worried and almost hit panic mode every time the school phone number showed on my phone.

I'm so thankful we found Dr. Wasserman. This treatment has changed our lives in so many ways!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back on track and an exciting first!

Tomorrow, we visit Dr. Wasserman to get back on our regular increase schedule. We enjoyed our vacation, but it's time to get back to business. Calista should increase to eight whole peanuts tomorrow.

While we were on vacation, Calista had her first taste of gelato (and she enjoyed it so much that we make a second trip the next night). Calista was diagnosed as an infant, so she has never been to an ice cream shop. A joyous occasion for our entire family!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Taking a little break...

We increased on July 20th to 7 peanuts (12 peanut M&Ms).  We are taking the next two weeks "off" so the kiddos can visit grandparents.  Calista will be spending a week at the beach with her grandmother.  This trip would not have happened without desensitization.  There is no way I would have been able to relax enough to send her anywhere without me for that length of time.  I would have worried that they wouldn't read every label, that they would forget the Epipens, etc.  So many little details to remember and a life-threatening allergy that requires full attention and complete vigilance around the clock.  I spent 6 years thinking that no one else could do it like I could...I was always on alert, always worried about Calista's safety.  In reality, the people around us are very aware, very careful.

I cannot explain the many ways desensitization has changed her life and the lives of each member of our family.  We are so thankful for Dr. Wasserman and his entire staff!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

7 peanuts

Calista increased to seven peanuts today. She will now eat seven peanuts or 12 peanut M&Ms every 12 hours. Wow. Simple as that. Wow.

Friday, July 13, 2012

6 whole peanuts :)

Today, Calista increased to 6 whole peanuts (or 10 peanut M&Ms). This has become such a normal part of our lives...each morning and each evening - I hand her the required number of M&Ms - she eats them and we move along. But when I stop to think about it....this is amazing & miraculous.

We are preparing for another school year and I will teach the teacher how to use an Epi, but I won't have to stress about every tiny peanut residue. Cal is safer - safer than she has ever been. Safe enough to be allowed out of my watch a little more. Safe enough to go away for a week with family. Safe enough to go on playdates. Not that anyone would have messed up or neglected to pay attention, but I couldn't relax. I was the self-appointed Peanut Police and I didn't trust anyone to be as vigilant with Cal. My mind was constantly filled with concerns about peanuts, labels, ingredients, special cupcakes, life-saving medication, etc. And nobody "got it" --- but that isn't quite true. It was just the result of receiving a diagnosis for our infant that warns of a life-threatening allergy to food, a diagnosis that you are told will never go away, never be cured and can only be managed with complete avoidance of the allergen.

It's an awful reality (one that I would not wish on anyone) BUT once we adjusted to it, I realized that it isn't that awful & I'd still choose this versus so many other "things" out there. I also realized that the "bubble" that I wanted to purchase for her was just too expensive :) and wouldn't be fair to either of us. So, we learned to plan ahead, pack safe snacks, always have EpiPens, etc. But now, she won't be crazy...she won't have to be the Peanut Police like I was. She can have an amazing life without the fear and that is worth more than I can say.

I met a girl today who traveled six hours to be treated by our allergists. She was diagnosed nearly 18 years ago. I felt blessed that we have only lived this life for 6 years, that we are only two hours away from treatment, etc. I wish her the absolute best in her treatment and hope she experiences the same life-changing positives that we have!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Up to 5 peanuts today!

113 days in to desensitization and Calista is eating 5 whole peanuts every 12 hours.  Wow...just let that sink in for a sec....

The girl who has reacted to the tiniest unseen residue on playground equipment and toys  --  is now eating 5 peanuts (or 8 peanut M&Ms).  Such a miracle.  She's safer than ever and our lives have improved dramatically!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

After skipping a week...

Last week, Calista should have increased to 4 peanuts every 12 hours BUT we chose to skip because sometimes you gotta go on a FIELD TRIP!  This treatment is definitely worth all of our effort, expense, etc. but sometimes you need to be a regular old six year old girl.  NOT the 6 year old girl who has a life-threatening allergy to peanuts or the 6 year old girl who travels to Dallas every Friday for desensitization.  You've got to be the 6 year old girl that was allowed to attend a field trip at the water park!

On Sunday, we attended a Texas Rangers baseball game.  We went to one last season too.  This game was MUCH more fun.  I still wiped down her seat and armrests, but I was able to relax (more than before) knowing that she can eat 3 peanuts every 12 hours without reaction.

So, tomorrow we increase to 4 whole peanuts every 12 hours.  She is still enjoying her 5 peanut M&Ms with breakfast and her 5 peanut M&Ms with dinner.  Life is Good!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

92 days

92 days ago, Calista sat in Dr. Wasserman's office with the tiniest fraction of a peanut in a liquid solution. After a few doses, her tongue was itchy. That was quickly remedied by swishing around some water and washing the peanut down completely.

Today, she ate 3 WHOLE peanuts. This evening, I was able to give her the dose as 5 peanut M&Ms. M&Ms might be contaminated with almonds, so kids who are allergic to almonds aren't given this choice.

Desensitization works and it is well worth all of our effort. My girl is safer today than she was 3 short months ago and our family is blessed to have access to a doctor who is willing and able to treat her. To the many doctors who simply told us to avoid nuts, that her next exposure would be life-threatening and to always be prepared with life-saving medication...1-peanuts are foods (obviously), makeup, lotion, fertilizer, seed packets, etc. 2. Living life in a constant state of fear, high alert and concern about the unseen threats that peanut residue would pose...well, that isn't really the sort of life I'd wish on anyone. And now I'm thankful that my daughter won't know that life. She will be safer. She won't have to worry about the residue on the water fountain. She won't have to worry about the door handles or playground equipment or so many other objects. My hope is that more doctors begin offering this amazing life-changing treatment!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Real peanut butter?

This Friday, Calista is scheduled to increase to 3 whole peanuts every 12 hours. AND we have options! She can choose peanuts, peanut M&Ms, or certain peanut butters (on a spoon, cracker, apples). I ordered this from Amazon and it was just delivered.

I NEVER thought I would have peanut butter in my home again. How many times can I say it....Wow!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Peanut M&M chart

Next week Calista will be able to substitute peanut M&Ms for her dose. Here's the chart (because the peanuts in M&Ms are smaller than "standard" peanuts).

I was told that her blood tests do not show an allergy to almonds and that is the only contamination concern with M&Ms.

2 whole peanuts.

Part of me thinks this really isn't even worth a blog post. The visit was so normal and routine. 85 days ago, Calista started with a peanut solution with the tiniest fragments of a peanut and I was so very scared. I volunteered for this, drove 90 miles and sat watching a nurse give her poison. I strongly contemplated packing a flask of liquid courage that day just to steady my nerves.

Fast forward 85 days... she ate two whole peanuts. We sat in the doctor's office for the required one hour. We went to our regular lunch place and then drove home. The doctor's office and dose increase was the most "normal" part of our day (by far). And I still have that voice that says "Holy Moly! That nurse just gave her a peanut" -- but it isn't scary for me anymore. And with this treatment her world is able to be a little larger & she is safer & maybe one day...she won't worry about the peanut shells on the ground at the ballpark. Maybe she will be able to worry about the game :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

So much progress in such a short time...

Approximately, 5 years and 8 months ago, Calista was diagnosed with peanut allergy.  Her first "official" reaction (not counting the countless unexplained rashes, red marks & splotches) occurred on a Sunday morning after I gave her a small bite of toast with peanut butter.  She loved it.  It didn't love her.

235 days ago, I met a mom - her son was a patient of Dr. Wasserman's.  I emailed my husband and decided that we had to see this doctor.  We had to see if he could help Cal.

108 days ago, Calista had her first consultation with Dr. Wasserman.

108 days ago, Calista had her first and only blood test.  This test showed that she has a Class 5 (out of 6) allergy to peanuts and a Class 2 allergy to cashews.  The doctor noted in her chart that a number >14 predicts a >95% risk of anaphylaxis on exposure.  Her number was 55.

84 days ago, Calista and I sat in a room with 2 other moms and 2 little boys who were starting their desensitization adventures.

Tomorrow, we are expecting her dose to increase to 2 whole peanuts every 12 hours.

Wow.  I can't even explain the joy.  This is a child who has had reactions from touching toys and playground equipment.  And now, she can actually eat an entire peanut.  And tomorrow, I'm hoping her forward progress continues with 2 peanuts.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blood Test Results

Just for reference: Calista's one and only blood test (date: 2/2012) - 

F013-IgE Peanut - 55.08 (kU/L) Class V
F202-IgE Cashew - 0.30 (kU/L) Class II

Hazlenut, almond, pecan, pistachio and walnut all Class 0.

Day One of Peanut Desensitization - March 15, 2012.
First reaction (to peanut butter on toast that I fed her) - October 2006

Sunday, June 3, 2012

6 peanuts since Friday.

Calista has now eaten 6 peanuts (1 every 12 hours since Friday morning). No reactions, no upset tummy, no symptoms whatsoever. Three months ago that would not have been the case. We would have been in the ER for sure. I'm amazed, excited and still in a little shock that this has become "normal" :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

One Whole Peanut!!

Just got these pictures from my husband. Amazed that my girl is actually holding & eating a peanut!

What a blessing this life-changing treatment has been!

78 days

78 days ago, Calista and I sat together in Dr. Wasserman's office for Day One of peanut desensitization treatment. I heard about him through a mother at school. I was so very excited about the possibilities this treatment could offer Cal. The night before Day One, I sat in a hotel room finally focusing on the fact that we were really starting this journey and that I'd be allowing a doctor to give her the substance I had so desperately avoided since her first reaction (prior to her first birthday). Holy moly that was scary!! But we started Day One and she had one dose and it was okay. And 15 minutes later, she had another dose and it was okay.

And now, we have been on this adventure for 78 days. Today, Cal will increase to one whole peanut. Two weeks ago, she increased to the equivalent of 1 peanut (in the form of peanut flour). Today. Actual. Peanut!!


Monday, May 28, 2012

500 mg!

500 mg is the equivalent to one whole peanut!!

We've been at this dose for a little over a week now and she's doing great. We got off our normal Friday increase schedule so she could attend Field Day (sometimes those things are more important). The 500 mg dose is still in the form of peanut flour. Our next increase will be an actual peanut!! I understand that some kids prefer to dose with peanut M&Ms (who wouldn't) so Calista is looking forward to that!

One small reaction (a few weeks ago) - she had a cut on her lip and got peanut flour on it. It caused her lip to swell. We ended up giving her Benadryl and everything was just fine.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Week 9

Week 9 and she is already at 250 mg of peanut flour. In 2 weeks, we are hoping to be at 1 whole peanut. Just saying that, thinking that....I'm amazed, thrilled, excited for the change in my girl's life!

Friday, May 11, 2012


My husband made the trip today, so I don't have many details BUT I know that Calista has increased to approx. 1/2 of a peanut!!

If all goes according to plan, she will be at 1 whole peanut on May 25th. Wow!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Week 7 update

Calista moved up to 100 mg of peanut flour today.  That is double her previous dose!

I found a site online that said that half a peanut is 178 mg.  I will ask Dr. Wasserman at our next visit so I can relate the amount of peanut flour to a whole peanut.

Week 7!

Calista and Daddy made the trip this week, so I'm anxiously waiting to hear about the visit.  Today, her class was scheduled to attend a field trip (with other schools) that involved a peanut butter cracker snack.  Hate that!  She was so sad to miss, but it reinforces the reason we are visiting Dr. Wasserman each week.  This journey will be well worth any sacrifice.

I wanted to share a little information from the newsletter I get from Dallas Allergy.

As of March 21st
Peanut: 70 complete, 22 active
Milk: 37 complete, 9 active
Egg: 25 complete, 4 active
Wheat: 3 complete
Cashew: 1 complete

Pecan and Soy Treatments are now being offered.

WOW!  I'm happy that Cal is one of the 22 actively involved in peanut desensitization.

After she completes the desensitization, she will be on "maintenance".  She will have 8 peanuts twice a day for the first 3 months and then 8 peanuts once a day (for an undetermined amount of time).  8 peanuts is 14 Peanut M&Ms. have peanut M&Ms again   :)

During maintenance (and beyond), she will be able to eat anything over and above her 8 peanuts, she just has to continue the regular exposure to the allergen.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Desensitization Journey - Week 6

If you are sick, you cannot increase.  Yeah, yeah...I read that part, but I really didn't think about it being a big deal.  Well, it is a big deal when your kiddo gets sick.

It really isn't a big deal, but my brain is focused on this being an 18 week journey and not a 20+ week journey. BUT, the point is that we are here and we are doing this.  And THIS is something I never imagined (in my wildest dreams) that we would actually be doing.

First setback with a semi-diagnosis of asthma, so we were sent home with several medications.  Then Calista got strep last week.  Everything seems to be improving, so I've got my fingers crossed that she can get back on track this Friday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Another setback (or setback #1 continues)

Calista was wheezing last Friday at her increase appointment.  She has never been diagnosed with asthma, but has had wheezing before.  As a precaution, Dr. Wasserman prescribed allergy medications, puffers, a nebulizer...all sorts of stuff.  After six days in the "yellow zone" with only a little improvement, we added another prescription today.  We have to get this stuff under control before we can increase her dose.  Increasing while she has allergy/asthma issues is more likely to cause a reaction.  I am disappointed that we aren't increasing, but I know that Dr. Wasserman is trying to help Calista and rushing through this will not help anyone.  Keeping my fingers crossed that we can return next Friday.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Peanut tastes good"

When I gave Calista her dose this evening (50 mgs peanut flour in a spoonful of applesauce) - she said "peanut tastes good." Maybe one day, she will get to enjoy a whole peanut!

Friday, April 13, 2012

No increase...

Calista's seasonal allergies have been acting up (along with everyone else in Waco), so we weren't able to increase today.  Instead, the doctor heard wheezing and decided to send her home with an army of meds and a nebulizer.  I think this is more of a precaution than anything else.  We will take Allegra, Albuterol, Advair, Flonase and 50 mgs. peanut flour every day.  Hopefully she is feeling better by next Thursday so she can increase her dose on Friday.  Really this is just a setback (hopefully not a major one) and I've got my fingers crossed that she can get back on track next week.  I do appreciate how cautious the doctor and his staff are.  I know that all of this is out of concern that allergies/asthma symptoms plus a dose increase could result in a reaction and no one wants that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peanut Desensitization : Dr. Richard Wasserman : Moms Everyday

Peanut Desensitization : Dr. Richard Wasserman : Moms Everyday

Interview with Dr. Wasserman today.

Week 4

We are now using capsules! No more peanut solution requiring refrigeration.

We mix the 50 mg of peanut flour into applesauce (usually). The pictures are this evening's dose mixed in strawberry applesauce.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Graduated to Capsules!

We have graduated to capsules of peanut flour. Calista is now taking 50mg of peanut flour twice a day. She was on a peanut solution that required refrigeration, but the capsules do not require it.

We must open the capsules and mix the peanut flour in juice, Kool Aid, pudding or applesauce. So far, so good. This morning's dose was in Kool Aid. This evening in pudding. I think we are going to stick with the pudding.

It sure looks like a lot of peanut! Thankfully, it doesn't slow her down. I worried that she would be hesitant to take the dose, but no problems yet.

We ran into a boy who had progressed to 1 whole peanut - today was his first day at that level and his mom said it took fifteen minutes to convince him to eat it. We reminded Cal tonight that this is peanut flour (just peanut all ground up), so we are hoping she doesn't hesitate in a few weeks when she reaches the whole peanut stage.

I am still amazed by this treatment and the life-changing results that these patients are having!

Week 4

Sitting in Dr. Wasserman's office at the start of Week 4! We are off the solution and onto capsules now. I'm very excited about this new phase.

The pictures are from last week.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

MomsEveryday on KWTX

I'm so excited about this and a little nervous too.  I'm going to be on MomsEveryday on KWTX next week to talk about Calista's desensitization treatment.   Dr. Wasserman is going to Skype in during the interview!  I am happy that Emily Iazzetti is helping us get the word out about this life-changing treatment.

I will post more info when I get it (when show will air, etc.).  Here's a link to the MomsEveryday website:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dose Increase 3/23

Today, we drove to Dallas for Calista's first dose increase.  It was really an easy visit.  She was given 1ml of 25mg/ml peanut solution.  We then stayed in the doctor's office for one hour for observation.  After it was all said and done, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch from Freebirds!

She will stay at this level for at least 7 days and will return to the allergist next Friday for another increase.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Contact Reactions and thinking everything around is a bomb...

I really feel bad for our school secretary.  Every time she calls...I'm immediately thrown into emergency/panic mode.  Usually she isn't calling about a reaction, but every single time I see the school's number on caller id...that's my immediate thought.

Calista's eye is itchy and one side of her face is red.  Really???  She hasn't eaten anything unsafe, but that is just a tiny piece.  She has had multiple contact reactions, so someone could have eaten nuts with breakfast and had just enough residue to cause a reaction.  It could just be something in the air- I know the pollen counts are crazy right now.  BUT we have no idea. And now, I'm on the verge of freaking out...and I know her teachers are cautiously watching for the reaction to end or get worse.  Just a great reminder as to the importance of this desensitization treatment and how much better her life will be once she completes the treatment.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The tools

Several have asked how we administer the peanut solution. The peanut flour is mixed with water (and a little grape Kool Aid). The solution must be refrigerated. Calista doesn't have any problems with the taste. I am so worried about running out or having our solution spill (because we are 2 hours away from the allergist).

Day 7 of Desensitization

Just got an email to fill out forms for Calista's next appointment. Friday we will travel to Dallas for a dose increase.  Things are going so smoothly...I almost hate to think that or say it out loud :)

She has now had 36 doses of peanut solution with no reactions (other than the mild tongue itching on Day One when she wasn't washing it all down).  If the treatment takes 18 weeks, that will total approx. 252 doses.  Woohoo - only 216 left.  Okay, I know that is silly, but I'm just super excited about this treatment and the life changes this will bring about for all of us.  No more "special" cupcakes at birthday/school parties.  No more giving away candy that doesn't have a label.  And possibly an end to Mommy standing/hovering like a crazy person with EpiPen in day I may be able to focus my crazy elsewhere.

I hope this treatment becomes available everywhere very soon.  There are too many children with this life-threatening allergy.  Too many families who have this stress that a food could kill. I cannot wait for Cal's name to be added to Dr. Wasserman's list of those who have successfully completed treatment (yes, I know that we are months away, but that is closer than I ever thought we would be).

This link has a list of doctors who are working with desensitization treatments.  I did not create this list.  I found it on a Facebook Group, but I think it is great resource.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview with Dr. Wasserman

Click here to view an interview with Dr. Wasserman, patients and mothers of patients.  He explains a little about the desensitization program and why it is successful.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 5

I feel like this blog is so boring...but that's really a good thing at this point. No reactions, no problems with her doses. I was really stressed about allowing a doctor to give peanuts to my child. I have avoided peanuts for 5 very long years. I have worried about the unseen peanut residue everywhere around her. I wasn't expecting her to have a reaction. I have complete confidence in Doctor Wasserman and the staff at his office (we've visited both locations). BUT, the idea of giving her peanuts (even the tiniest fraction - was still pretty stressful). Now, I'm just really excited about this journey and praying that she continues to do well. I'm sure we will have a setback or two, but I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it isn't all that far away.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 3

We have now had 3 doses at home. So far, so good. No reactions whatsoever.

For those who have asked for dosing info:

On Day One, we started with:
1 ml of 2.5 mcg/ml
2 ml of 2.5 mcg/ml
4 ml of 2.5 mcg/ml
1 ml of 25 mcg/ml
2 ml of 25 mcg/ml
4 ml of 25 mcg/ml
1 ml of 250 mcg/ml
2 ml of 250 mcg/ml
4 ml of 250 mcg/ml
1 ml of 2.5 mg/ml
2 ml of 2.5 mg/ml
4 ml of 2.5 mg/ml
6 ml of 2.5 mg/ml

Every fifteen minutes, she was given a dose. She had each level twice except for the final 6 ml. So 1 ml of 2.5 mcg/ml and then 15 minutes later, she had another 1 ml of 2.5 mcg/ml.

She is currently taking 6ml of a 2.5 mg/ml peanut solution. I have no idea what that really means in terms of real, actual peanuts. I think Dr. Wasserman said the first dose is the equivalent of 1/400th of a peanut. I think someone said the 25th dose on Day One is the equivalent of 1/10th...but I'm not 100% sure.

She chose to have grape Kool-Aid added to her solution, so it is a light purple color. I think that helps because she was not thrilled when she could see little brown flecks of peanut flour in the plain doses.

We will spend 7 days at this concentration and will return to Dr. Wasserman's office for the next increase. The next level (according to our chart) is 1ml of 25 mg/ml solution. After 7 days at that level, we will have 2 ml of 25 mg/ml solution.

The next step will involve peanut flour. The level increases are 50 mg, 100 mg, 175 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg. She will be at each step for at least 7 days. At least 7, because - she won't go for a dose increase if she is sick (cold, virus, etc) or if something else causes us to miss the visit. The chart shows the treatment lasting a minimum of 18 weeks.

After the weeks on peanut flour, she will be dosed with actual peanut!! Starting with 1 and moving up to 12 peanuts twice a day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Morning of Day 2

The last dose was 3:30 yesterday afternoon, so that meant setting an alarm for this morning's dose. She needs to have a little food in her tummy and doses need to be less than 15 hours apart. She asked that they add grape Kool-Aid to the peanut solution (during Day 1-she just had peanut flour & water) and didn't have any complaints when she tasted it.

Now, she has to be observed for an hour and can't exercise (or get her heart rate up) for at least 2 hours. If she does, it's more likely to trigger a reaction. She is extremely comfy on the couch, so I don't see that being an issue today - school mornings will be a different deal...

Please note--I am not a doctor. I am a mom...a mom with 3 kids & a to-do list that never quits & a brain that is running out of room, so I don't have all the answers and I may get some of the medical specifics wrong. This blog will be written as accurately as possible because I am excited about sharing this journey with others. Many children have had great success with this treatment and I hope my daughter will have her name added to that list.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Details & Rules (Lots of Rules)

Calista is participating in a Peanut Oral Immunotherapy treatment. We started Day One today with an all day doctor visit. She received 1 dose of peanut solution every 15 minutes. The volume of solution and concentration of peanut were increased throughout the day. She was able to receive all 25 doses (first goal achieved!). Her tongue got a little itchy at one point, but after a few drinks of water and she was a-okay.

We have been sent home with a peanut solution (now safely stored in our fridge). She will receive two doses of this solution every day for the next 7 days. The doses should be given 12 hours apart (with a 3 hour window on either side), she has to be observed for at least an hour after the dose and she can't exercise for 2 hours after (4 hours is even better). I'm a little concerned about the timing because of softball season starting, but I'm sure we will get it figured out.

Our next appointment is Friday, March 23rd. At that appointment, she will get a higher dose and be observed for an hour. If all goes well, we will spend 7 days at the new level.

Some children are able to eat some of the actual food by the second month and a whole serving of peanuts by the fourth month. What a change from reactions on playground equipment & toys!
Thank goodness for iPads, LeapPads, laptops, comfy chairs and tons of snacks! It was a long day in the doctor's office.

Day One of Peanut Desensitization

We arrived at Dr. Wasserman's office in Dallas at 8am. We were there with 2 other kids - one is receiving treatment for peanut and the other is being treated for eggs. The child being treated for egg allergy has already successfully completed a desensitization for milk allergy.

Every 15 minutes she will receive a higher dose. She's gotten three and so far, so good!