A Bittersweet Day at the Allergist’s Office

Last week brought a whirl wind of emotions to this food allergy mom. I tried to start writing about that day right away but it took me a while to finish this post. It’s not because I’m uncomfortable sharing that experience with you.  I think I was completely overwhelmed.

So, here it goes…

Let me start with the good news. After over a year of convincing, (both from the allergist and me) Child#2 finally decided that she’s ready to do a food challenge for dairy. For the past few years, her numbers continued to go down and our allergist thought that it’s about time to do some challenges so that we can slowly add to her diet.

At first she was hesitant. It has been over 6 years since she had regular milk. She’s so used to her non dairy alternatives that she doesn’t want to switch anymore. However, when she heard “ice cream”, she got excited. I guess she’s not really a big fan of coconut and avocado flavored ice cream after all.

lactose free items

Anyway, for the challenge, I was asked to bring some lactose free milk and plain vanilla lactose free ice cream. Why lactose free? Well, this is to make sure that in case my daughter reacts, it’s primarily due to dairy and not because of lactose intolerance. That actually made sense right?

While Child#2 isn’t happy with the taste of the milk, she really enjoyed eating the ice cream.

Yup! She passed her dairy food challenge and we’re slowly adding some dairy products to her diet. Happy dance! Plus… her lung test results are way better than last year. A hope that she might slowly be outgrowing her asthma.

Now for the bad news…

Over 2 years ago, Child#4 outgrew all his food allergies — wheat, dairy, egg, peanuts and all tree nuts. Since then, he had eaten wheat, dairy and egg products without issues. As for the tree nuts and peanuts, the allergist advised us to avoid them until he had a food challenge. Even if both his blood work and skin test came out negative, he wanted him to do his first tasting (he never had nuts and peanuts) at the doctor’s office.

At that time, we didn’t pursue a challenge because one, Child#4 didn’t want to eat anything with a nut or peanut.  He just turned 5 and was really picky (stubborn) eater. Since he’ll be tested for at least 5 different types of tree nuts and peanuts, I wanted to make sure that the first experience will not be forced or traumatic for him. Otherwise, he might be hesitant to do the other tests. Two, our house is still peanut and tree nut free  because of Child#2 and #3. That means he still can’t eat those allergens at home.

This summer, since his sister is scheduled for a challenge, I tried to get him to do at least one as well.

Because it has been 2 years after his skin and blood work, our allergist decided to run a quick skin test. He said if it’s negative, we’ll schedule a series of food challenges in the following weeks.

A few minutes after the specimens were placed on his skin, I was surprised to hear my youngest complaining. Unlike the last time when he kept asking “Are we done yet?”, this time I was caught off guard. He was really upset. Why? Because his arms are getting really itchy.


As I try to entertain him to be able to finish the test, I saw red big bumps almost the size of a dime. I’m sure you all know what that meant. At the back of my mind, I’m still hoping I’ll get a different result.

When the allergist came in after few minutes, he said I think we don’t need to prolong his agony. He is definitely allergic to walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts and sesame. With this reaction, a challenge is totally out.

Are you kidding me?

It was a bittersweet day. I’ve experienced the joy of seeing a child outgrow an allergy. I also faced the ugly truth that allergies can come back anytime. While I try to deny, this is the reality I have to accept.



  1. Ugh. I feel for you. Living with food allergies is definitely difficult. As a teacher, I see first hand the challenges that kids face when they have these allergy issues. I wish there was a lot more education out there about these issues so that people become more aware of them. I think your blog will be a fabulous platform for that.

    1. Thank you Robin. I’m trying my best. Teachers like you are my number one source of help in educating other kids and families in schools. I hope you’ll continue to help spread the awareness around.

  2. So sorry to hear your son is in discomfort. We suffer allergies here as well. Many years ago I had an ELISA test which showed intolerance to gluten and dairy. We found out my son had an issue with dairy when we switched him to cow milk at 1 yrs old. We too use all the alternative dairy products (icecream, milk, yogurt, kefirs) I have been slowly adding dairy back into my son’s diet, he is 11 now. So far so good. Maybe he has out grown it? I hope. I wish your children all the best with this, I know it is hard.

  3. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it would be to live with multiple allergies, not to mention multiple kids with multiple allergies. Plus it would be so hard to control outside of the home what your kids come in contact with. Hope they grow out of it.

    1. Thank you Chloe. It’s a totally different “lifestyle” indeed. Often times, it’s misunderstood as well.

  4. Sorry all your children have some kind of allergy. I did not have any food allergies until I hit 50 years old. Unbelievable huh! I truly believe (not a conspiracy theorist) our government does not prevent things in our food that they should. So many people are allergic to so much now, it is unreal. I have other friends that their babies were born with horrendous food allergies. BORN with them. uggg Thanks for sharing.

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