Today I’m very emotional. I am baking two cakes. One with an egg in it. One with a cup of milk in it. It is so bizarre that this meaningless act to most people is so heavily fraught with emotion for me! Imagine being asked to bake a cake in your kitchen with a cup of poison? That is what it feels like. I am scrubbing my hands and so cognizant of the measuring spoons and everything being “contaminated” by these ingredients.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
Today my daughter is having her annual allergy skin testing and our Paediatric Allergist has asked me to bring in these two cakes to perform skin testing with baked goods that contain two of her allergens -egg and milk. So many emotions come up as I bake these cakes and prepare for her appointment:
FEAR: It is frightening to bring these ingredients into the kitchen -coming in contact with my bakeware and utensils. My daughter is fearful of the test but I assured her it was less risky than the usual testing where they use straight milk or egg.
EXCITEMENT & HOPE: Every year I get my hopes up that maybe (PLEASE GOD) this year will be the year she outgrows at least ONE of her severe allergies.
Sooooo, I just put a chocolate cake in the oven with a cup of milk in it -I may have licked the spoon 😉 and just pulled out the Carrot cake I made with an egg in it -MAN does an egg make a difference! That cake is so light and fluffy -sigh…I’ve missed eggs. But I do have to say I can REALLY taste the egg and I only used one instead of the three the recipe called for so I think it would taste really EGGY to me with the regular recipe….
The Lucky Bone
“Hey Mom, Don’t you Remember about the Lucky Bone?”
First of all, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who took the time to send me a message today and to tell me you had Kate in your prayers, and fingers crossed and all of the positive vibes as we went to her testing appointment today. I just wanted to quickly update everyone on how it went this afternoon.
As you know I was very emotional all day as I baked the two cakes for her testing. I picked her up from school and in the car ride to the doc office, Kate asked me if she could eat the cakes after her appointment. I didn’t want to be negative but I replied “Probably not”. I tried to explain to her that there was a good chance the test would come back positive again and that she still wouldn’t be allowed to have eggs or milk. That’s when she replied, “Hey Mom, Don’t you remember about the lucky bone?!!”. I had forgotten.
Last Thanksgiving, we saved the wishbone from the turkey and explained to the kids how they could both pull on an end while making a wish and whoever got the larger “half” would have their wish come true. Kate had “won” and told us that her wish was for her allergies to go away. She has been waiting patiently all year for this day and for her “lucky bone” wish to come true. Man, that just killed me when she said that! I said to her, “Oh yeah! The lucky bone!” but then I continued…
“You know honey, sometimes lucky bones don’t work RIGHT away….sometimes they take a few years before your wish can come true” …I also explained that it might work that her allergy would be better but not totally gone…. to which she responded, “No, mommy. The wish was for the allergy to be GONE.”
We kept on driving and I am just thinking in my mind, PLEASE GOD, give us this gift of her having outgrown her allergies! And then she says, “Oh mom, I forgot to tell you -my teacher wrote a note in my agenda because I broke out in large hives today at school”. Oh no. Just knowing that her allergies are enough to cause her to break out in hives from skin contact dashed my hopes of any good news today… 🙁
The doctor informed me that we would not actually test with both cakes today and that I had to pick one. We decided to go with the egg cake as her egg allergy has always been milder compared to her severe milk allergy. We figured that of the two, the egg is the most likely to have improved. Kate was VERY apprehensive about the skin pricks -she cried and refused to submit her arm for the test. We had to talk her into it but she did allow for the testing -but not without tears and upset. We did the skin test using the cake baked with one egg at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and also for egg white and a positive and negative control.
We were so happy to see that the egg was not reacting! Kate kept asking when she could eat the cake. Then the doctor brought her the cake and said she could eat a small crumb of it. Kate’s eyes welled up with tears and she told us she was afraid to eat the cake. Of course she was! She has been in the hospital with life-threatening anaphylaxis, with her throat closing and her blood pressure dropping and vomiting and all of it… but the doctor comforted her and said that her skin test was showing no reaction and that she would be fine. That if it bothered her she would get an itchy throat and feel nauseous but she would be o.k. What a terrifying thing to ask someone to try some food that they have been told was poison for their whole life. You can imagine as her mom how I felt during this… on the one hand I was also afraid for her to eat the cake but on the other hand I wanted her to be fine. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I was freaking out inside. I decided to trust the doctor and to let her take this food challenge on.
Kate tried the cake and she was fine. Then she tried some more. Then she ate the whole piece. Wow. I can’t begin to describe the joy -the look on her face, the magic of having eaten a piece of cake with one egg. We were overjoyed.
What happens Now:
The doctor has advised us to next try a cake with 2 eggs and then 3. If she is fine with that, then we can try cookies that are baked for 10-12 minutes (shorter cooking time then cake at 30 min). Then we would progress to pancakes that are cooked for 2 min approx. If she tolerates all of that, we are allowed to try a scrambled egg! Wow!
Kate and I were singing and dancing and so happy -we celebrated with our family all night. When she told her brother the news he hugged her so tight and it brought tears to my eyes. This means so much to our family. Yes she still has life-threatening allergies to milk and peanuts and tree nuts but this opens up the door to new foods and a wider repertoire of choices. We are celebrating this!!!
When Kate went to bed tonight, she was scared. She said, “Mommy, what if I am still allergic to eggs?” I comforted her and said I would check on her all night and not to worry. If a reaction was going to happen it would have already. It breaks my heart that a little one should have such fears. I am afraid myself! This seems too good to be true. I will check on her all night and I will be scared to feed her eggs as we continue this food challenge but I have to have faith … in the lucky bone.
May 31st: Milk Testing
Kate will be going back next month for her next round of allergy testing for her dairy allergy. I wish I could be hopeful after today’s great news but I am not -her milk allergy has always shown up the worst of all her allergies in skin testing… dear God is it possible for another miracle??
What a day! Thank you to all of you for your support and words of encouragement and caring for our daughter. I am thankful for this community.
Original Post Date: April 21, 2013. Last Updated: May 5, 2017.