If you are a regular reader (or if you know me in real life) you probably already know that Lacie was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 14 months old. It was definitely one of my scariest days as a Mama and it has been my number one source of stress since she started school in September.
Up until she started school, Lacie was with me or other family 100% of the time. Even when she went to dance once a week, I waited outside of the classroom with the other parents. So sending her to preschool is the first time I've left her anywhere. So naturally I'm worried every single day she will eat something that could make her really sick - again because if you are regular reader of my blog you know that Lacie loves to eat! She loves food and has no anxiety about her allergy so she will eat anything that anyone gives her despite all of the conversations we've had about her allergy.
Right before Christmas, I took Lacie to her pediatrician's office for IGE and peanut component testing (this is done through a blood draw rather than skin testing). Her numbers came back really good - her IGE level went down from over a 6 to a .98 which made us really hopeful that she could perhaps pass a food challenge.
So last week, we made the three hour trip up to a new allergist office in West Hartford, Connecticut to see if Lacie would be able to do a food challenge. Unfortunately, we didn't make it past the skin testing.
This is what her arm looked like 15 minutes after testing. Top to bottom is peanut protein, control (which shouldn't even have a bump but did), histamine, and actual peanut butter.
This was her testing back is June. Top left is the control (which didn't react at all - it's not supposed to), top right is the histamine, and bottom is the peanut protein.
Here is a side by side of her test from June and her test from January. You can definitely see that the spot with the same peanut protein (which in the picture on the left is the bottom and the picture on the right is the top) came down.
She was so so so brave!
So now we have to decide the next step. We could continue on like we have been. Avoid peanuts and peanut butter as well as things with cross contamination. Carry EpiPens and continue to educate Lacie and the people that she comes into contact with about her allergy. Hope that Lacie doesn't eat anything she is not supposed to. This has worked so far. Lacie has never had a reaction after that first one at 14 months old.
Or we could start a peanut desensitization program at this new allergist's office up in Connecticut. This program, called OIT, is something that is offered at very few places across the country. It would involve Lacie eating peanut flour in microscopic doses and very slowly increasing the amount until she was able to eat 3 entire peanuts without having a reaction (this process could take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on how Lacie does). While this sounds great in theory, there are some reasons I'm hesitant to start OIT...
Right now we are weighing the pros and cons! I'll be sure to keep you updated once we decide!