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!!