Friday, March 17, 2006

Hanging up the Horns

Tuesday’s doctor’s appointment, while not unexpected, was disturbing. The allergist thinks that L. quite possibly had a mild anaphylactic reaction to the milk she drank on the 4th. We will be getting our RAST results next week. Those numbers will (hopefully) give us an indication of the likelihood that L. will have a severe reaction if exposed to dairy again. The doctor is very positive that L. will outgrow this, which is comforting. In the meantime, she and I are going completely dairy-free and we are to travel everywhere with an EpiPen Jr. just in case.

This has left me with a very hard choice. I can either:
· take serious calcium supplements to ensure adequate calcium intake, or
· cut back on the amount of breastmilk I provide for L.

I cannot run the risk of inadequate calcium intake after my experience a year ago (today!) breaking 3 bones in my foot. Calcium supplements are a bad idea for me since I tend to develop kidney stones. Therefore, I am hanging up my breastpump and going with option B. L. will now receive breastmilk mornings and evenings only. The rest of the day, she will get soy formula instead of milk to drink. Fortunately, she seems to like the stuff. Unfortunately, I feel that with her allergy, breastmilk would be her best bet for remaining healthy.

Today is my third day not to pump at work. I want to cry.

It was not supposed to be this way. She was supposed to be drinking cow’s milk and eating pretty much anything she wanted by now. We were supposed to be able to enjoy that first horribly messy ice cream cone this summer. Figuring out a birthday cake recipe for S.’s birthday (next month!) was supposed to be, well, a piece of cake. Eating out should not involve a careful review of the allergen information off the restaurant’s menu (if it even exists). We should be able to go to our friends’ 40th anniversary dinner and dance celebration without fretting about the menu. We should be able to go to Mr. W.’s dear friend’s 95th birthday party without fear that someone will slip L. a piece of cake.

I’m fortunate, I know. Legislation has recently gone into effect requiring labeling of any of the top allergens in food products. The EpiPen is available just in case she does go into anaphylactic shock. Many, many other children have much more severe allergies to a much wider range of foods. I am having a hard time seeing through my fears right now, though. My fears that at daycare L. will snatch another child’s bottle and take a drink, that a company will screw up their product labeling and that L. will develop another food allergy have taken over.

For the first time ever, I am truly afraid for my child. I am trying to pray and find the peace that God always brings me, but at present my fear is wrapped around me in deep, dark, light-swallowing layers hiding me from that peace.


1 comment:

Mayberry said...

I am so sorry that you and your family have to deal with this! Allergies are scary. It sounds like you are taking every precaution. Good luck.