No restrictions. No needles. No exclusion. The chance to start school with no food allergies. Big girl passed her sesame food challenge today. We are VERY VERY excited for her to shed some of her anxiety and fear. Given how worked up she was about this challenge, I was incredibly impressed with how brave she was. She took her first bite of sesame crunch candy with no hesitation.
However, in the minutes that followed, her anxiety crept in and she complained of a belly ache and itchy ears. She had no visible symptoms. The allergist suggested that we give her a fake dose to check the placebo effect. Sure enough, on her second ‘dose’ (this one sesame-free) she again complained of a belly ache, so we decided to press on with the real food challenge. Eventually she relaxed and she no longer complained about her belly. Instead her grins got bigger and her confidence grew that she would pass the challenge. Sure enough, after what may be the longest food challenge ever (we were there for four hours), SHE PASSED. Big girl gets to start school in a few weeks with no 504 plan, no epi-pens, free to share snacks and eat birthday treats. Basically what I would wish for every child.
It will remain a mystery what caused Big Girl’s hives this spring. Most likely it was viral hives. In the off chance that it was the poppy seeds on the bagel, rather than the sesame, that caused the reaction we will be food challenging her to poppy. This time we will do it at home. We talked it through with the allergist who was very supportive given that she tested negative for poppy and has now passed her sesame challenge.
Note: Only after sharing this post did it become clear that Big Girl’s success may offer false hope to some sesame-allergy parents. Big Girl was probably never actually allergic to sesame. Her tests were all negative and she had previously safely eaten sesame. Her one-time ‘reaction’ was probably not a reaction at all. By comparison, her younger sister Bubba had an anaphylactic reaction upon first exposure. Bubba also tests positive via blooding testing and SPT. We have no plans to food challenge her.