Bubba passed her baked egg food challenge!!!!!! Which is, er, was awesome. More on that in a minute. This was great news because it meant that we could start serving baked egg to Bubba daily as a therapy to increase her odds of outgrowing her entire egg allergy.
But “baked egg” is strictly defined as being cooked at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes. I’m no baker, but I can tell you that does not include a single cookie, brownie, or cake recipe. The cupcake recipe provided by our allergist resulted in hard scone-like cupcakes, albeit rather sweet ones. I vowed to get creative and start experimenting.
Bubba had her baked egg ‘therapy’ cupcakes each day for 3 days following her food challenge. Then we went to Disney World and didn’t bring any with us. Our first day back, we popped one out of the freezer and brought it along to a birthday party as her ‘treat’. Well, she took two small bites from the top and then started drooling, wiping her tongue, and asking for water. Spicy mouth strikes again. I asked her what was wrong and she said she didn’t like it. I figured she might be off from all the travel, and since she didn’t have any other reaction, decided we would try again the next day. When I served her another one shortly after breakfast, she again would only eat two bites. She said it wasn’t good for her and it was spicy.
So what does that mean?? I called our allergist who said it could be one of two things. First, it’s possible that the food ‘challenge’ really just desensitized her. Meaning, because she ate such small amounts, spread out over so much time, it wasn’t really a good gauge of whether she would react to it, i.e. she is actually allergic to baked egg. This happens in a small number of patients. Bubba is nothing if not the anomaly. Always. Second, maybe something was off with the batch I cooked. I could try baking another batch and making sure to test the oven temperature and rotate the cupcakes halfway through cooking. Lastly, and most likely, her immune system was still taxed from her accidental dairy exposure in Disney World.
For those interested to know how often something like this happens…not often. One article cites a 10% risk of a false negative on a food challenge, but provides no citation. This study found that 3% of participants had false negatives and suggested food challenge participants ingest the allergen in question in-office the day after the challenge.
Our allergist would like for us to try again with half the amount of egg. If Bubba can tolerate the cupcake we could eventually work up to the full ‘dose’ and increase her odds of outgrowing the egg allergy completely. I know she’s right. So that’s on the agenda if we can just get Bubba a few months reaction-free then we’ll try again.