I will tell you, it is nothing short of a miracle when you watch your child eat a whole piece of a food that months earlier could have killed him…and he is FINE. Nothing happens. At all. The months of slow and steady increases during OIT, pushing his little body to adapt and overcome this thing it hates so much have paid off and you are seeing the results, twice a day, every day. A week goes by and you start giving him TWO peanuts twice and day and then….nothing happens! He is fine. He is healthy. His body is strong and getting stronger.
It’s been nearly 4 months of oral immunotherapy getting to this point, but it has paid off, obviously. We have many more updoses to go and a winter full of germs, viruses and bad air quality to battle, but we will get through this. He will go home and live a life of freedom. Sleepovers, potlucks, airplane travel, baseball games, a cookie at a friend’s house, sitting at a regular lunch table…these things will no longer induce fear. They will be normal, average, everyday things he can actually do. He will be able to live the life of a child, without fear, for the first time because we did something hard. Something hard that in the grand scheme of life, was but a blip in time.
Some days of OIT are long and stressful, but there are moments I have had with my children here that I may never have gotten at home under the every day stressors and routine we had. I’ve had a chance to really SEE my kids and their personalities blossom. We have watched old movies together and cuddled on the couch with no distraction. We have had “adventures.” We have made new friends together. We have learned how to live with less.
Provided this awful tummy bug my youngest has does not spread to her brother, on Christmas Eve, my son will dose with something new…his very first Peanut M&M’s. If you know me, you know my kids have never had McDonald’s and we tend to stay on a very clean, whole foods diet. Let me tell you, when you are parenting singularly and life is upside down, you buy some chicken nuggets once in awhile. They’re organic and you serve them with sweet potato fries, but you do what you have to do to be sure your kids eat and you can retain your sanity. In this case, you’re damn right I’m going to let him eat Peanut M&M’s. Never in my life did I ever think it would be possible. Heck, if it had been possible, I probably wouldn’t have let him because it’s candy! At this point, he has come so far and been so brave…yeah, he can eat them. We won’t dose with them every day but I think this is a treat he has more than earned.
So, on that note, it’s going to be a very Merry Christmas for us and we wish a very Merry Christmas to you all who have followed our journey (and at times, my ranting). We are so thankful for all the support we have had in the form of surprise packages, gift cards, phone calls, text, Facebook messages…it means the world to us.