Our lives changed on April 15th, 2014. My then 11 month old son, Beau, was eating scrambled eggs for breakfast as he started to rub his eyes. I thought he was tired, but we quickly began noticing that his eyes were turning red and swelling. Within minutes, his face was covered in a rash and hives, and we were headed down the street to the ER. After a few minutes of questioning, he was given Benadryl and a steroid. We were sent home with an RX for the steroid to repeat each morning for the next five days and plenty of questions and concerns.
We made an appointment with an allergy specialist that worked with young children his age and avoided eggs like the plague until we could get in to see him. From the very first appointment, I learned some very valuable information and was given a couple wonderful resources. Who knew that my child having eczema (basically since birth) would be a sign of a greater risk of having egg allergies and even the possibility of asthma?!
My son was then put through blood work and skin testing to see if we could pinpoint exactly what the allergy was (even though we all figured it was the eggs he had eaten). I had heard some horror stories about skin testing and was preparing for the worst before our appointment. Even my husband had been through it as a young child and said it was horrible. Luckily, once we got to his appointment I was ensured that practices had improved since those times and that it wouldn’t be as rough. The nurse placed 10 different allergens on a block and then pressed it against Beau’s bare back as I held on tight. I had to ask her if she was finished, because to our amazement, he didn’t even flinch! She was as surprised as I was. She then proceeded to do three more tiny sticks and he was done! Then hardest part was keeping him still and from laying down while we awaited the results. They tested for dairy, nuts, soy, egg, cats (because my husband is allergic), and several other common allergens. Unfortunately, it was fairly inconclusive. We finally found the answer through his labs with the blood work. I hated seeing them prick my son’s tiny vein and fill vial after vial, but I knew it was necessary. For some weird reason, I think my brave boy was so fascinated and curious about what was going on, that he just watched in awe and didn’t cry once!
Our doctor called and stated that Beau’s tests came back positive for being allergic to one of the proteins found in eggs. We were told to keep him away from all eggs, even baked into items. We hope that later this summer he will decide that we are ready to do an in office challenge to see if he can handle eating items with eggs baked in. We learned that sometimes children can outgrow these allergies by 5, or even 3, while others continue to battle it for many more years. So for now, we are quickly learning which grocery items do and don’t have eggs, ways to cook food alternatives, remembering to carry his epinephrine injector everywhere we go, and keep our son safe. We are just starting out on this journey, but we hope educate ourselves, and others too, along the way.