After months of our son dealing with a pretty aggressive stage of eczema, going to a dermatologist and it being officially diagnosed as Atopic Dermatitis, and getting medication that was effective during outbreaks, we spoke with his new pediatrician here in San Antonio and decided it would be beneficial for Duce to go see an allergist. Boy, were we not prepared for those results. But let me backup a little. Duce had been experiencing eczema since he was born. This consisted of red patches all over his face and body, and we would treat it like normal with Aquaphor and Vanicream, keeping him moisturized, avoiding soaps and lotions with fragrances, and careful not to oversaturate him in water during baths. It wasn’t until we moved to San Antonio when he was 6 months old that we saw it continue to get worse, and we noticed that he didn’t seem to be growing out of it, like it was suggested. I also wasn’t excited about the steroids that he was on prescribed by his dermatologist, at such a young age. So at 10 months, Duce’s pediatrician gave us a referral to see if his eczema could be allergy-related since it was so aggressive. Typically, doctors don’t give referrals for this matter until children are past one years of age, sometimes two. Luckily, we had a very knowledgeable and concerned doctor who cared enough about Duce and our concerns to pursue the root cause of his allergies.
The allergy appointment consisted of them doing a skin prick test on Duce’s back with 3 different panels that tested all the main food allergies that one can be allergic to. Of course there were tears and it made us so sad to see him cry. It was like getting 12 shots at one time on his little 10 month old body. And if that didn’t make the matters worse, we had to go get blood drawn the same day, because his tests came back and they wanted to check the severity of allergies that he did in fact have. The prick test was nice in the sense that we received the results within 20 minutes of them pricking him. They came back 15 minutes after doing it, and you could look at his back and see the raised skin in the some areas were he was pricked, showing that there were allergies. He was given topical Benadryl on his back, and less than 10 minutes later the doctor came in and told us what he was allergic to and requested we get blood work done to confirm severity. Hindsight, I wish we had did the blood work another day. It was a rough day for my baby, but he was strong and did a great job. That would definitely be my advice to parents with young kids-split the appointments up.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!! When the doctor prefaces a conversation with “You’re going to hate me…” You know it’s about to be bad. “He is allergic dairy, eggs and peanuts.” When I tell y’all that our mouths dropped and the light bulb went off. I was still nursing him at the time, and consumed a great deal of dairy and eggs regularly. Eating 3 or 4 eggs and cheese for breakfast, yogurt, ice cream, pizza and of course some Tex-Mex! You name it! I was a dairy and egg house! And my son’s poor skin was going into full reaction mode when he nursed and received those same foods through my milk supply. So some things had to change in our household with our diet.
Afterall, I wasn’t going to stop nursing. My goal had always been to nurse him until he was 2 years old. However, I would now be restricted in what I could and could not eat. For me personally, my son’s nutritional needs were more important than my own. So my husband and I decided that we as a family would adjust our diet and food intake to promote healthier and safer eating for my son. It wasn’t a burden for us, but a lifestyle change for the betterment of our health. We stopped eating dairy, eggs and peanuts. We decreased our eating out meals because many restaurants could not accommodate our dietary restrictions. Grocery shops would take more time to complete because we spent a little more time reading labels, and I began to experiment with new recipes for foods that I had once loved with substitutions.
There are less than a hand-full of places we can eat when we want a break from cooking or are out and about on our weekends enjoying family time and want to grab a bite to eat.
- Chick-fil-a [Grilled options, fruit, salad and fries]
- Wendy’s [Chicken nuggets and fries]
- Red Robin [Prepares meals on separate grill-very attentive and takes allergies seriously].
- Many vegan restaurants that we are fortunate to have in Texas.
There are brands of food that we regularly purchase that we know are safe substitutes for our dairy and egg restrictions:
- So Delicious Brand-yogurt and ice cream
- Silk- Almond and Cashew Milk
- GO VEGGIE Vegan-cheeses
- Daiya- cheese, yogurt, dressings, mac and cheese-cheddar/alfredo, cheezecake
- Justin’s-Almond Butter
- Enjoy Life- Soft baked cookies and chewy bars
- Vans- waffles, cranberry almond chewy baked snack bars and granola
- Nabisco Belvita- breakfast biscuits
- Welch’s-Fruit snacks
There has been a lot of trial and error over the last 15 months, but we as a family have enjoyed trying new things and adjusting to a new way of living and eating. Though I have stopped nursing my dear son, we are still committed to these brands and have found that we enjoy them more than the dairy and egg brands we had grown so accustomed to for many years.
My wish for you as a concerned and informed parent and/or care giver is to seek out answers for your dear child. Don’t accept generic diagnosis or remedies that are not working. Be persistent and informed with your child’s health and never be afraid to ask questions. Remember that God is a healer-Jehovah Rapha. If it is in His will, you child is healed. He chooses us as parents to His children to love, protect and provide for them on this side of heaven. The work and sacrifice can be exhausting and challenging, but the reward of love, joy, bountiful health and a fruitful life wins every time.
~Soli deo Gloria💜
Copyright © 2019 by Da’Quisha Whitaker
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