I am sitting here thinking morbid thoughts and having wistful daydreams all at once. I hadn't been a mother very long when someone looked me in the eye, understanding that my husband and I weren't GETTING it and said "she very well may DIE." There was more to the sentence, certainly, but the punch line was what grabbed out attention. And changed our world. We view people differently, P-daddy and I. We trust very few people with our children and we trust no one initially. Food allergy is such a STUPID thing. Everyone understands allergies to pollen or dust or even medications. But something as mundane and pervasive as food-- the very substance which sustains us? A great many people, even in this modern day and age, just don't comprehend that even after careful explanation. Couple the ingestion allergy with skin and airborne sensitivity and you become accustomed to the exasperated, doubtful looks on people's faces when you say, "No she can't even be around it."
It's an exquisite torture, wondering at the potential for a very different life for my daughter and her family. Like worrying at a loose tooth with your tongue as a child, the fascination of the sharp new sensation outweighs the pain you're inflicting on yourself. I don't want to think about it. But it's been there, every hour, for two weeks.
We had a great day today-- visiting with two other families, watching kids enjoy each other with nary a conflict, even though the kids ranged in age from 13 years to 18 months. I wish I could just wallow in the afterglow of that, but this afternoon I got the "your appointment is Monday remember your paperwork" call with which so many of us are so familiar. You don't forget this dance, no matter how many months or years pass. We've had to wait so long because the allergy medicine we use for G-girl needs ten days to fully exit her system.
We went to Olympia last week and G-girl reacted to a cat, of all things. She got that bright spot of hives on her cheeks, the watery eyes and the sniffles. I was actually encouraged by it-- much to the confused chagrin of our hostess who had tried so hard to keep the cat dander down. She is still reacting to stuff. She was reacting-- I wasn't crazy! She does that! And it encouraged me, in retrospect, that I hadn't seen so much as a speck when she ate the peanut butter cup.
I have had people ask me whether it was even a peanut butter cup at all, including my husband. I don't perceive the question as a slant on my judgment, but a remark on the incredulity of the situation. I did dig the wrapper out of the trash and read it, even saving it for my friend to read, and later, my husband when he asked. After all, I'd gone trash diving to find the wrapper myself. I understood.
So on Monday, we go in. I have asked for blood draws for both G and N. He's actually had the more recent, violent reactions. I hope that this new allergist will respect what we have to say, and won't go for the skin testing route first. I hope for a nice clean RAST panel for both of them and a nice set of printouts to provide some insight on the situation.
And maybe a little support from my cyberfriends. It's easier sometimes, just sometimes, to read words and not faces. I want my head to stop throbbing.