Last week at Bears updose he started on 4 peanuts. This means he is “bite proof,” which means if he accidentally ate a bite something with peanut in it, he should be ok. It also means he could eat foods made in the same facility or manufactured on shared lines with peanut. The problem is though, Bear really can’t take advantage of that freedom because of his tree nut allergy. Unfortunately, so many things that may contain peanut also may contain or are manufactured with tree nuts, so we still have to avoid most of those foods. However, being bite proof is a HUGE step and takes away a lot less stress and fear on my part!!!
That being said, any stress that’s taken away by Bears new steps towards freedom are almost outweighed by the fact that Jake is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts and I can’t keep my house safe for Jake. When Bear was diagnosed, we got rid of all nuts from our home to create a safe oasis for Bear. Now, not only is Bear eating peanuts, but Baby X is supposed to be eating it too. This is very scary for me, as Jake sometimes steals/sneaks food, he will “borrow” his brothers tooth brush, or puts toys or his own hands into his mouth. These are all ways he could be exposed to peanut in my house- as when Bear brushes his teeth, he is contaminating his tooth brush with peanut. When the baby puts a toy into his mouth he could be leaving peanut residue on the toy and of course there is peanut and peanut butter in the house- obviously put up high, but it is there. And then there was the day a week ago when Jake snuck an ice cream bar out of the freezer and ate 1/2 before it was discovered. Thankfully he was ok, but it’s pretty nerve wracking. That is why I asked our OIT doctor when Jake could start OIT. I was scared we would have to wait until he’s five, because that seems like FOREVER to have to keep him safe. With Bear, we purposely waited until he was 5 to know he could communicate well and to understand his allergy and be able to know he has to decline foods and ask first if a food is safe before taking food—which is good and important. We also waited out of my personal fear of purposely feeding my child something I know he is allergic to.a But we were also able to keep Bears environment nut free and lets face it- I didn’t have 4 kids when Bear was little, only 2. But 4 kids, that is a huge distraction! Therefore, for Jake I feel it is more beneficial to start sooner to ensure his safety. Luckily the doctor said Jake can start once he turns three! So, I’m happy to report that Jakes OIT Day 1 is scheduled just days after his 3rd birthday, which is in a few months. Stay tuned on the blog, as I’ll be blogging through his OIT journey here as well-I can’t wait!
Back to Bear- his current updose is 6 peanuts, which is pretty amazing. Today he tried peanut butter for the very first time in his life for his updose. Bear liked it and said he liked it more than the actual peanuts. This is pretty exciting as he will be able to try his very 1st PB&J if he wants! I can’t believe that Bear only has 3 more updoses and a final challenge to graduate peanut OIT. OIT is truly amazing, I can’t stop saying it, because it is truly changing our entire families life. After Bears final challenge, he will be tested for tree nuts to see if he is still allergic to them and if he is, he will start on tree nut OIT. If he tests negative, I assume he will have to do an oral challenge on all the nuts he was allergic to. I’m so excited for all the food freedom that OIT will provide our family! #OITWORKS!