February 5, 2015:
It was a normal day in our home. I was sitting, pumping while Josie was sitting on the couch next to me, playing with her toys. She seemed so interested in what I was eating. “This child has yet to be interested in any food”, I thought. Every single time I’d attempt to feed her she would refuse it. She couldn’t even tolerate a simple glass jar of baby food. She’d vomit it back up an hour later.
So when I finished pumping, I decided to shove a tiny piece of my egg bake into her mouth and, well, the rest was history…
What I managed to push into her mouth was itty bitty teeny tiny bit. I honestly didn’t even think I got any in her mouth or that she swallowed any…
But she did…
Here was my post on Facebook that day:
“I’m at the Pediatrics. Josie had a severe allergic reaction. It was either eggs or feta cheese. It was a super tiny teeny little bit that made it inside her mouth. (My egg whites, spinach and feta bake). She immediately got red and itchy around the mouth and looked like little bites. And then she threw up and went poop. Within 45 minutes she was red all over and screaming. I almost took her to the ER. Now I’m here. I’m a mess. What did I do? Has anyone experienced this!? I never want to feed her foods ever again.”
While at the pedi, she started to desat. They had a lot of trouble getting a reading on her and when they finally did it was really low. Super low. 80%. She was pale in the lips and tips of her fingers/toes. I had no idea what was going on. But looking back now, she should have, without hesitation, been given Epi from that doctor! She had all the symptoms (not just TWO). But had I known then what I know now, things would have went a lot different that day. We spent 4 hours in that office while they monitored her oxygen.
That was the day I became Josie’s advocate. When I stopped trusting any and all doctors and what they had to say or prescribe. That was the day I turned into her hyper-vigilant, anxiety stricken mother. Her protector. Forever. This day changed both of our lives. It changed our family. It changed everything. Because little did I know then, that she’d be allergic to so much more…
Here is a photo of her before they sent us home. She was still very lethargic and red. But not nearly as red as she was when we got there 4 hours prior. She was full of vomit and completely exhausted. Josie was never one to cuddle up into my neck like that. But she was scared…this was the first for her.
(Side note: she totally looks like Juliette here, right?)
After that was all said and done, I scheduled allergy testing to be done. A swallow evaluation. A barium swallow, a GI consult. An EGD was recommended on my 10 month old (what????-absolutely not happening on my watch!), a nutritionist, a speech therapist and an allergy and immunology physician.
I was going into this blind. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into. Most of these consults were a big waste of time. Until we discovered that her lack of eating/interest in food was basically because she knew it was poison to her. Smart girl. Terrible mommy. I should have known better. Especially to give 2 of the top 8 allergens together at once (for real, Stacy?!).
Just like today, when she was skin tested back then, her skin only took seconds to react. They didn’t even have to wait the full time to see if “maybe” there was a reaction. It was, without a doubt, positive. And this is what I posted on Facebook that day:
March 25, 2015:
“Sad momma here. My poor baby is allergic to dairy, eggs and casein (so far).”
And this journey and struggle continues. This was only the beginning. SO much more has happened since that day.
Screw you, food allergies!!!