We had our long-awaited appointment with the allergist at Children’s Hospital last week. I spent a long time preparing Mikey for what to expect–needles. Of course, he felt anxious about the appointment. He even told me he actually didn’t really want to eat peanuts. Just kidding! He swore up and down he would never, ever touch a peanut, even if Phinneus put another one in his lunch box.
So, with sad faces, we went to the appointment. Right away I loved Dr. G, who immediately began referring to Mikey as “Obed” just as instructed. It turns out Dr. G’s college roommate went to Botswana for the Peace Corps or something and had sent Dr. G a nice basket from that country. Obed and Dr. G had a very nice conversation about meerkats and sub-equatorial climates.
At the end of all this, we got a scratch test, which turned out NEGATIVE! So, Dr. G ordered some bloodwork.
Now, bloodwork. Oy! The phlebotomist got the needle in his cooperative arm, and then he immediately jerked it away from her and that was the end of that peaceful endeavor. He probably screamed for 30 solid minutes, his eyes wide with fright. He was cold, clammy sweating, like a rabid beast.
For the first while, I tried a gentle approach. We let him “poke” me with a capped needle. We let him poke himself with a capped needle. The phlebotomist gave him all the toys and marketing crap in the room, plus a pack of fruit snacks from her own lunch box. Then, we had to get a little mean and I climbed on top of him to hold him down while she stuck the needle in.
The anticipation of the thing was so awful for Mikey, but he really didn’t seem to even notice when the needle was in his arm. He kept thrashing until he observed that his blood was very red, which made him stop to comment on red as his favorite color. Then came all the questions about why blood is red.
All the while, he was spurting blood all over the place. Evidently because he was so worked up, he became a gusher.
So all of that was very stressful, and Dr. G told us it would take about a week to get the results–which would be Christmas Day.
Cody was beside himself to get a call two days ago from Dr. G personally. Mikey’s bloodwork was clear! We were approved for a home peanut challenge. Not even in the office with nurses and epi pens at the ready!
With excited hearts, we rushed to Trader Joe’s to buy all the peanuts. Peanut butter cups. Peanut butter pretzels, peanut butter cookies, and peanut trail mix. I opened the box of peanut butter crackers–the very same type of crackers Mikey got exposed to last summer with no reaction, spurring the long-awaited appointment with Dr. G–right in the parking lot and we all stood around watching as Mikey slowly ate the cracker.
Nothing! He observed that he became very thirsty and that peanut butter is hard to swallow. But no reaction. No hives, no redness, no swelling, no itching!
And we haven’t looked back. My boy is allergy free, and we bought peanut butter and have been eating it like people do. What a gift this was for our family. Mikey is among the 20% of children who outgrow peanut allergies. As Cody predicted years ago, Mikey “beat this thing.”
So if you’ll excuse us, our family will be spending the holiday gorging on peanut butter everything. Thai food! We’re going to eat Thai food!