Well, we did it. We packed up (I use “we” loosely) 2500 square feet; sold a lot of furniture, filled two 10×10 storage units to the brim and stuffed this little trailer with mostly clothes and shoes to go to Utah for OIT with us. We drove and drove and stopped and stopped and drove some more. FINALLY….
Nothing will ever look as beautiful as that Utah welcome sign until we see the Arizona welcome sign at the end of this journey, hopefully stuffing our faces full of Peanut M&M’s (ok, I’m desperately searching for those Unreal brand candy coated peanuts, you got me).
Today was the start of the process: our first appointment with our OIT doctor. I feel like I should have asked a million questions, but I did enough homework before we packed up our lives, I mostly just wanted to meet this man in person who promised to help my son. He said he would fix my son and take care of him. No one has been able to say anything besides, “Continue to avoid peanuts” since he was two years old and here is a person sitting in front of me telling me in 6 months time, we will have earned a lifetime of freedom!
So, Thursday morning we will enter the allergist’s office and feed my son peanut protein in liquid form every 15 minutes throughout the entire day. By the end of Day 1, we hope he will have consumed 5mg of peanut protein…or 2% of a peanut. I will give him this dose at home twice a day for 6 days and on the 7th day, we return to the office to up dose. This will be our cycle for the next six months, barring any reactions or illness. At the end, he will eat 24 peanuts at once in order to “graduate.”
We now have a bag full of prescriptions on our counter that our son has never had before as backup in case of reaction. After all, let’s not forget, we are feeding him his poison! I pray that this lack of sleep and peace for six months gives us a lifetime of freedom from food allergies. People have suggested this is me making a huge sacrifice for my child, but I can honestly tell you that he has sacrificed more (socially and physically) and selfishly, this has a lot to do with my peace, as well. A lot of my day is consumed with what to feed him, where to feed him, and how to keep him safe when he isn’t directly in front of me. My mental and physical health has taken a hit, too. I can’t imagine what he must go through.
We are really in this now.
I mean, REALLY.
I am excited. I am sick to my stomach. Mostly, I am thankful. I’m thankful that back in April a fellow food allergy mom told me about her amazing doctor in Utah doing something I didn’t even know existed outside of trials. I’m thankful that when I contacted the doctor’s office, they bent over backward helping me check into insurance and even had the doctor call me direct. I’m thankful for an OIT Facebook group and a special mom who commented on one of my posts. Her why-put-off-til-tomorrow-what-you-can-do-today-attitude set the wheels in motion for this move. I’m thankful for this group of OIT moms here in Utah who have welcomed me and offered encouragement and inspiration when I was lacking. I’m thankful for all my friends and family who supported me and never doubted I was doing the right thing, even though it meant leaving them for awhile.
I’m so thankful I have the opportunity that could give my son the ability to eat samples at Costco, grab food off a shelf in a grocery store without calling a 1-800 number, fly on a plane, go to a baseball game and just be a kid, all because a doctor in Utah decided he could do better than just tell people they needed to avoid their allergens. He went out there and sought the knowledge to make life better for food allergy kids and their parents. He gave up his weekends and nights to answer frantic phone calls from patients. I’m thankful his wife supports him, because I’m certain it’s not easy on her to have her husband so important and available to his patients. I’m thankful he exists.
How can I possibly have time to be inconvenienced by living in a tiny apartment without my husband when I have so very much to be thankful for?
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