2.16.2012

Emily Allergy Update

Last time we checked in, Emily had tested positive for allergies to dogs and egg whites. She was still displaying possible symptoms of dairy, soy, and gluten allergies also. Her adenoids were constantly inflamed and she was on antibiotics monthly, sometimes twice a month because every time they would get upset, she would get a raging infection. She had also stopped thriving. She had gained ZERO pounds in a year's time.

At the doctor's insistence, in September, we re-homed our two dogs. Davis, who we raised from a puppy, went to live with my Grandpa in Concord. Enzo, who we had just adopted in June, went back to his previous owner/dog trainer. Thankfully, our dogs had safe, loving places to go. Our family was very, very sad about this change, though. There was crying and weeping. And I couldn't sleep. I've had a dog in my bed since I was a kid and it was plain weird not to have one.

Since the eviction of the doggies, Emily has been almost perfectly healthy. She has only had one bout of antibiotics and that was for a sinus infection after a nasty head cold. She used to have a perpetually runny nose. Now, she is dry and clean. And, for the first time in a year, she gained weight. In fact, she gained 3 pounds in 3 months.

And, we started feeding her glutenized foods. We gave her ice cream. We let her eat cake. She had no reaction.

To help confirm her allergy status, we had food patch testing done in December for soy, dairy and gluten. She had no reaction.

So, Ms. Emmy is food allergy free!

Unfortunately for our family, we will likely have to a pet free family for a long time. Her doctor confirmed another fear of mine: she would be even more allergic to horses. That means, if I go ride, I have to change clothes and shower before I can get too close to her. It means that owning a horse would never have worked for our family since Emily wouldn't be able to spend time in the barn and we would never want to divide our family that way. It means, in all likelihood, we would have sold our property in New Mexico and moved to a traditional suburban neighborhood. There's no point in maintaining and sinking money into land and space you don't have any use for. It's meant a big change for me in my personal ideas of recreation and fulfillment since having pets, rescuing animals, and riding and training horses are a big no-no for the next few years at least.

There is a slim chance she'll grow out of her pet allergies, but that is not certain. Plus, I figure, if her allergies were bad enough to weaken her system to the point that she actually ceased thriving, pets are probably not a good idea anyhow.

Emily can and does eat all kinds of foods. We no longer buy two types of pasta, granola bars, cookies, cereal, or bread. We don't live in fear of her stealing a morsel from someone else and getting sick. It's heavenly after the start we had with her and then the extended threat of food allergies we've been living with for the last year.

Yay for Emmy!

1 comment:

Rafahi Family said...

That is such great news! I am so happy for Emily to be able to enjoy more foods. And it must be a relief for you to be able to give her the same things that everyone else is eating! She is really growing and changing fast! I love the picture you posted of her. So beautiful!

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.