Today was the big day. The “CHALLENGE” at the Allergist’s office.
What is a challenge, why is it done, what can we learn from it and what will it do to change our life or not?
Shayla’s Wheat Challenge Test and Results….
A challenge is usually done if the parents decide it is necessary to know for sure what a reaction or non-reaction will occur if a person ingests a known allergen. Normally challenges are done when someone’s numbers are really low or have made significant downward movement in their testing results. Today we decided to have Shayla tested for Wheat. Her wheat number per her blood test this year, had dropped to a nominal percentage down from a medium-mild percentage 2 years ago. Knowing also that wheat is usually a discomforting and/or irritating reaction at her levels gave us the confidence to test with minimal risk. The waiver we sign is pretty disheartening, but knowing there are crash carts, epi pens, doctors all around us during this controlled test… I guess it helps at least a little bit.
Why test her? Well it would open up a few new doors to her menu even though as a family we have pretty much written off wheat almost completely. One of the doors it would open up is some packaging items like cereals that don’t have wheat in them, but are often processed in a facility that handles wheat or processed on the same machines as wheat products. At least if she tested negative to wheat challenge we know that those items would be safe.
So first is the skin test… this essentially verifies one more time that it might be safe to challenge. The wheat is on the left of the line. So she looked clear!!!!
15 minutes of waiting for the skin test to “develop” fully.
And more waiting.
Then since she was negative on her skin test, she could have 1 wheat cracker. Then wait for 15 minutes and see if any hives or reactions occur.
While we wait… no better time than the present to do some homework.
Then it was 3 crackers… wait for 30 minutes………. then 6 CRACKERS and wait for 1 hour……. ALL TESTS CAME BACK NEGATIVE AND NO REACTIONS ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
So what did we learn? Well she is cleared of her Wheat and no longer needs to avoid it! Wow that opens up a lot more doors.
As a treat we headed to Glastonbury to Dee’s One Smart Cookie and treated the girls to an Allergen Free Donut ! ! !
So how does all this info affect us… Well, actually it does quite a bit and none at all in the same sentence. One positive right off the bat is she can now play with Play-Doh!
We most likely will not be introducing wheat into our diets any more than we already have, we just now can have Shayla eat exactly what we eat. Like sandwiches for example. The bread that Jen makes for Shayla normally, is a little too crumbly for regular sandwiches in a backpack etc. And the bread she makes for the rest of us is dairy free, egg free and that is perfect now for her.
I know we won’t be changing our rice pasta dinners back to wheat pasta, just because I know I just can’t handle that horrible overstuffed feeling I get after eating wheat pasta. The other evening we went to a fantastic dinner and I “splurged” and got a meat sauce pasta that was amazing. I paid for it however with at least 2 1/2 hours of incredible discomfort in my stomach. I know I used to feel that way all the time anyway; but the past few years avoiding it has made me realize that it is NOT worth it.
So ultimately today was an AMAZING day of great news about Shayla’s Allergies, and although road ahead is long; we are a step closer to freeing her (and us) from the anxiety of living with allergies on a day to day basis.
Recipes for Jen’s Bread and her Allergen Free bread will be on the blog in the coming weeks.