Big girl has her sesame food challenge tomorrow. She has a LOT of BIG feelings about her food allergy (if there is one). Ever since she got hives after eating an Everything bagel, she has asked a bazillion questions about whether foods are safe for her. Like if apple juice is safe. Or if the dinner I just made for her is safe. Foods that she eats every day and has eaten since her reaction – are they safe?? We should be more patient. We should be more understanding. And we’re trying. But it has been hard to cope with her irrational fears of a food that she would be hard-pressed to come across. And which doesn’t come into our house, btw, because Bubba is also allergic to sesame. Talking through her fears and explaining the kinds of foods that might contain sesame didn’t seem to help. In fact, the more we talked about her food allergy, the more she wanted to talk about it. You’re wondering if this was an attention thing? Well I did too, but there really seemed to be this current of anxiety running beneath all our conversations. So we got the book What to Do When You Worry Too Much to help Big Girl (and this Allergy Ninja) deal with anxiety. We loved it. Big Girl loved her special time with me doing the workbook activities. I got a hard Mama lesson; it makes Big Girl sad when Mama gets mad because she’s scared. Ouch. And we have both learned a lot of new strategies for coping with anxiety.
Tomorrow will be a big day for us. I don’t really know if Big Girl is allergic to sesame. She could react. And that would very very scary for my emotional little girl. We decided to go ahead with a food challenge because:
- She had no known food allergies prior to getting hives
- She had safely eaten sesame many many times before getting hives
- She tested negative for a sesame allergy via blood testing and skin-prick testing (SPT)
- She will start public school in a few short weeks and the potential to start school with “no food allergies” is a blessing and luxury I want to be granted to this sweet girl
- And if I could eliminate this fear from her life, I would
It seems like she should pass the challenge based on all this right? Well, the big question marks are because it’s possible she tested negative because she’d had antihistamines only two days before her testing (a testing no-no because it can give you a false negative on a SPT). Also, sesame is notorious for false negatives in allergy testing. For example, Oleosi, one of the major sesame allergens, cannot be tested for via SPT. And the the largest sesame food challenge study to date concluded that “…a positive sesame-specific [blood] test and positive sesame SPT are not good predictors of true sesame allergy as determined by the gold standard test of an oral sesame challenge.”
Soooo crossed fingers and prayers are welcome. I will keep you posted.