We were at the airport and I bought my kids some organic protein bars and orange juice to help tide them over until I could find them something more substantial. It’s always harder finding allergy friendly foods when you’re both in a hurry and in a new place with tons of people. Because of that, I was thrilled when I found these bars. One of them said, “Dairy-free” on the front and the other one said, “Wheat free.” I grabbed both and quickly read over the back to make sure that they both were safe (meaning “dairy-free”). My oldest son took the “Wheat free” one by accident, though I thought both were safe. After eating half of it, he said, “Mom, this is too good to be dairy-free. Are you sure it doesn’t have any milk?” This is not what I wanted to hear just minutes prior to boarding the airplane. I grabbed the wrapper, just in case, and re-read the ingredients. What I thought said, “almond butter” actually said, “almond, butter…” I wasn’t entirely sure what to do. I knew that the doctor had given us clearance to test baked milk, but the last time we had tried the smallest amount, my son broke out all over in a rash that itched for weeks. I decided to keep the Benadryl handy (why did I forget my epi-pen???) and watch him closely on the plane, as he had only had a few bites.
Amazingly, he had NO REACTION!!!! This is my son who has been anaphylactic to milk his entire life (he’s almost 13). This is the boy who breaks out in hives and is sent to the hospital by simply eating a roll that had real butter accidentally brushed on top or a handful of the wrong popcorn. This is the mom who yells out loud at a potluck dinner, “Don’t use that spoon in my chili!” for fear of cross-contamination (quieting the entire room, much to my embarrassment…but that’s another story:)) This is also the mom that cried when he went to scout camp for fear of a leader not getting there in time if he had a reaction (I “grilled” the EMT the night before he left.) I’m not sure how much “butter” he actually had, however, I feel excited at the thought that just maybe he can once again qualify for the baked milk challenge. Even more exciting is the possibility that perhaps when he goes off to college, he won’t have to struggle quite so hard in regards to his food allergy. Of course we’ll roll with the punches, but the possibility of him outgrowing his allergy is a beautiful thought:)