Everyone Has Misconceptions About Egg Allergies… Even Me
When I was a kid I knew my brother, some cousins and a few friends had an egg allergy. I remember one of my cousins telling me that she can’t eat a scrambled egg because it will make her skin itch but it can be in baked foods and she is fine.
I thought she was crazy for that.
I had, until recently, mild food allergies my whole life. If I ate too much pork I would get a little itchy. Nothing major. I knew it could be harmful but I hadn’t experienced that first hand.
I always figured that if someone has an allergy to something like eggs then it’s as simple as just not eating them. But, it is much more than that.
How Severe Can An Egg Allergy Really Be?
When my daughter was a month old I nursed her after eating eggs and she broke out in hives and went into anaphylactic shock. I knew she was probably allergic to eggs and maybe other things I ate that day. That moment changed me. I didn’t experience the physical reaction myself but it was a feeling that can’t be erased. That is where our journey from her egg allergy began.
She was an infant and I was on an allergy friendly diet when she was nursing. I picked a few veggies and meats out of a chinese egg noodle dish. I didn’t think the small contact would be an issue. She spent the night in pain and covered in hives. I didn’t make that mistake again and I learned about cross contamination.
I made scrambled eggs when she was a toddler. She was on the other side of the room. They weren’t done cooking and I hadn’t gone near her when she started screaming. She was breaking out in hives and having difficulty breathing. It was her egg allergy. She was so sensitive that the tiny proteins flying through the air were enough to make her break out.
Eggs were no longer cooked in the house.
She ate off a plate and her hives, pain and crying were terrible after that meal. I discovered that the last food on that plate was a breakfast burrito and it just wasn’t washed well.
She snuggled on her grandpa’s bed and watched TV with him when she was five. Her head rested on him. Within an hour she started to scream. Her eye and eyeball had started to swell. I rushed her to the doctor and we were all in shock. We flushed her eye, her benadryl had kicked in and she was fine. Turns out he had eggs and toast for breakfast. We could only assume it was her egg allergy.
I didn’t even know most of these things that happened to her were possible.
When Egg Allergies Change and so Does the Research
My daughter’s egg allergies were off the charts along with milk. They have always been the scare-me-to-freaking-death allergies. The slightest exposure to eggs caused her to have serious reactions. I couldn’t keep them in the house and dining anywhere that cooked eggs was a risk… I always had to stress to them how important her egg allergies were.
The reactions were so extreme that people thought I was crazy and making it up. I would simply say screw them but understood that it was something you had to see to understand.
But, I should not ever have to justify the measures that I took to keep her safe. People are going to believe what they want. I can’t change it. Makes me less stressed being able to accept that. I’ve just always wanted to see those allergies drop so they weren’t so scary.
A couple years ago there was a slight drop in her egg allergies. It was very very very slight. But that drop was something I noticed. It didn’t even drop a category but it was the first glimmer of possible hope.
Slowly that egg allergy dropped on her tests. I didn’t even talk about it. I was sure it was going to go back up. We wanted to be sure. Her allergist and immunologist and I had talked about the advancements in Oral Immunotherapy and how they are proving that most people with egg allergies can tolerate eggs in baked goods.
When egg is cooked for at least 30 minutes at a high temperature it breaks down the protein that causes the body to have an allergic reaction. It’s as if the body doesn’t recognize it.
He felt she was now ready to start introducing egg in her diet following strict procedures. Usually, a food challenge would happen in a clinical setting but he was confident we could do this at home since he feels I am educated, capable and trusts I can follow the procedure.
At that moment I told him I wished I sucked at this and he should just make me do the challenge in office. He laughed. We could have but why drag out a 5 hour procedure in the hospital when we have options?
Please do not ever try anything on your own without consulting your doctor. Ever.
Egg Allergies and Food Challenge aka OMG I WANT TO FREAK OUT BUT CAN’T
I bought organic, free range eggs for the first time in ten years. I placed eggs in my own refrigerator for the first time in ten years. I baked with eggs instead of applesauce. I cracked an egg… which I lost my touch! I had to fish out shells. I was still in paranoid egg allergy mode so I immediately tossed out the egg shells and wiped everything down. I cleaned up every bowl and utensil as I was done with them.
The gluten free brownies went into the oven and I made myself busy.
I was freaking the frack out on the inside but on the outside I was trying to be cool.
I will save all the details of the boring procedure of the food challenge. Needless to say she passed.
SHE FREAKING PASSED.
My daughter ate eggs for the first time in her entire life.
And when it was in the clear and we knew that she was for sure okay. We started to cry. I cried harder. She was crying for joy of all those things she will be able to eat and I was crying for feeling a huge weight lifted off of us.
It will be some time until she can eat a scrambled egg. The egg allergy may go away entirely or it may come back in full force. We just don’t know. Which is why we focus on the here and the now. Right now… it’s freaking amazing to say that her egg allergy is easier to control.
I shared this on facebook and the 125+ likes and dozens of supportive comments meant the world to us. I always show her those supportive responses. To all of you that stop by, read our updates and are a part of this journey we are forever grateful. You all rock and are the reason I share these moments. Thank you for all the awesomeness.
About Leila DontSpeakWhinese
Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.