Food Allergies. Again.

I really wanted to start this blog post with a loud sigh.

Emma had her very first allergy test this week - I had made the appointment because as soon as things starting blooming (VERY early) around here she was a sniffling, sneezing mess. It seemed like a good time to figure out what kind of seasonal stuff we were dealing with.

As part of the test they tested 23 outdoor allergens (weeds, trees, dust, grasses, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, etc). The test also included 20 food items.

This is what her arms looked like:

The "seasonal" arm immediately reacted with redness, itching, and small weals (or welts). Emma said "I've never been this itchy in my whole life!" And she cried. A lot.

The food arm took slower to react and I honestly wasn't expecting it to react at all. Or maybe I was HOPING it wouldn't react. I mean, what are the odds that BOTH girls would have food allergies?

Um, pretty damn good apparently.

After about 5 minutes Emma's "food" arm started reacting.
This is what it looked like after the serum and pen were wiped off:

Those red weals are all reactions to certain foods. Specifically: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, soy, and sesame seeds. Now, Emma eats edamame (soy beans) all the time with no issues so we were instructed to keep eating that.

However, everything else on the list of allergens is OFF LIMITS. So...Emma and Olivia have the same food allergies. [insert loud sigh here].

Emma hasn't ever liked peanut butter - she never eats it. And we don't eat nuts because I don't keep them in the house. But she now has to avoid anything that might have a cross contact issue (M&Ms, other candy bars, etc).

[As an aside: Please don't lecture me about this. Maybe you feed your peanut and tree nut allergy kid M&Ms all the time. I don't. I'm very vigilant about avoiding any foods that have been processed in a plant/on a line that also processes foods containing the allergens. You do you. I'll do things my way].

And so, Emma now has EpiPens and we have to be careful about her foods too.

To say I'm sad about this might be an understatement. I'm really pissed off. And, I'm sad for Emma (who is also sad). I wouldn't wish food allergies (of any kind) on anyone and now both my kids have them.

I mean really.
Seriously universe?
Are you done yet?

Oddly enough, I can say that this was not a bombshell diagnosis like it was with Olivia. When she was diagnosed in 2011 I was floored. Like FLOORED. With Emma it was more a feeling of sadness and resignation. Like, "well, here we go again."

And I know a lot more about food allergies than I did six years ago. So...I keep on keeping on. I continue to be the strongest advocate I can be for my kids.

But really universe. If you could just give me a break ... for just a little bit, that would be awesome.

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