Yesterday I took my son John to Children’s Memorial Hospital for his food allergy testing. I’ve written about this clinical study in past posts. Every year our family of six participates in this groundbreaking study about food allergies and its connections among family members. It is a wonderful feeling to know that one day a year we are making a true difference as a family in furthering the education and awareness about food allergies. When I discussed with John as we were in the waiting room he had a huge smile. The thought of maybe someday finding a cure for this life threatening disease is something worth smiling about.
During the course of the testing all my kids went through the routine skin and blood testing. However, when John had his skin test, the peanut and milk “hives” on his skin were off the charts. Those two red hives were so big and so itchy that the nurse had to cleanse the area several times and apply ice packs. Just that one little prick of allergy onto John’s skin made his skin react severely. I couldn’t help but wonder…what if that amount was mulitplied and ingested? As a mother my heart sank, my stomach dropped and my hope that maybe his food allergies were decreasing were crushed.
The size of that hive was a painful reminder that until we find a cure John’s life is always at risk. One slip up, one time there is a cross contamination issue or one time I forget to bring his medicine kit with us could cost him his life. It is a sobering thought. And it is something that keeps me up at night.