Last Monday was an amazing day for Lacie Jane!
She went to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) for a peanut challenge and PASSED!!!!
Let me back up and give you some history if you don't know Lacie's story!
On October 21, 2012 Lacie ate peanut butter. This was probably her fourth exposure to it and after eating she developed facial hives and a swollen upper lip. This is what Lacie looked like when we took her to the hospital...
By the time we got to the hospital, the reaction had basically resolved on it's own. No epipen was needed, but we were told to follow up with her pediatrician that week.
So the next day, I drove Lacie to the doctor for bloodwork. Nana and Pop-Pop came with me (thank goodness because it was an awful ordeal of holding Lacie down to get several vials of blood). I snapped this picture before leaving the house and you can see that the hives were completely cleared up.
Her blood work came back VERY allergic (despite the fact that her reaction - scary for us - was not considered severe). She was declared Class IV which is high. We were told to avoid peanuts, peanut butter, and even tree nuts at this point. Don't eat anything from a bakery, don't eat any food that other people may have prepared, don't eat pre-cut fruit from the food store, etc. etc. The risk for cross contamination for a peanut allergy is HIGH so we needed to be really careful. Carry TWO epipens EVERYWHERE you go...because the first one might not work.
We were referred to an allergist who did give us the green light to try different tree nuts, but it's almost impossible to find tree nuts without the peanut cross contamination so we basically had to stick to 1 brand of safe almond butter and 1 brand of safe hazelnut spread.
And then 4 years went by and Lacie always had a very positive skin test for peanuts.
But her blood work went down! All the way down to ALMOST NEGATIVE! She had component testing done and out of the 6 peanut components, She was only allergic to one of them and it was barely positive (less than 0.5).
At her allergy appointment in August before school started, her allergist believed that her almost negative bloodwork combined with a much smaller skin test made her a good candidate to do a food challenge. John and I trust her doctor, but we were nervous! You can see in this picture that her most recent test (on the right) was indeed smaller than her previous two tests (left and middle)...but it was still positive!
Despite my fear, I called to schedule her appointment. They were booked until February but thankfully we were able to get in on a cancellation. It was for Columbus Day which worked out very well since school was closed!
John and I didn't mention a word of this to Lacie ahead of time. I didn't want her to have anxiety about it (because she would have). We honestly didn't tell anyone because I was almost afraid to mention it out loud.
On October 10, 2016 we woke Lacie up very early at 6:30am (well early for her) and drove to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We had to be there at 7:30am and the test would begin at 8am.
They started by mixing 1/4 tsp of peanut powder with chocolate pudding (did I mention that she couldn't eat anything before this test?!?) and then we waited 20 minutes. Then they mixed 1/2 tsp of peanut powder with more chocolate pudding and we waited 20 minutes. This continued with increasing doses of the powder every 20 minutes. In between they monitored her skin and her breathing.
Our nurse, Mary was wonderful! And Lacie loved the taste of this chocolate pudding peanut powder mixture! It doesn't sound like a lot of peanut powder but it was - it smelled like a peanut butter cup. I could smell it across the room.
Once Lacie was able to get up to 2 teaspoons of the peanut powder, it was time for her to eat 2 teaspoons of peanut butter. The total amount she consumed was the equivalent of 22 peanuts. I was able to put the peanut butter on bread, so at least she had something substantial to eat at this point!
Then we waited an hour to watch for a reaction. At this point Lacie could eat some other food. She was happy about that!
Then we had to wait an additional hour and a half before we could leave! They wanted to be 100% certain that she would not have a reaction!
So we waited....
And here at 2.5 hours after her last dose of peanuts, the doctor officially declared Lacie NOT allergic to peanuts anymore!
We took this picture to remember this moment!
Then we went to Starbucks and got this brave girl a CAKEPOP!
And now our home contains tons of peanut butter and peanut products (which is so weird). The doctor encouraged us to make sure she eats a lot of it - but at least 2 full servings per week!
And we can eat all the fun treats - like munchkins - that were off limits before!
No More Peanut Free!!!
I could not be more grateful for this miracle! It's such a wonderful feeling to send her to school without the worry of her accidentally ingesting her allergen. My Mama Heart is so so so happy! This day was the answer to a lot of prayers!