After having been here for a month, my husband came for a weekend visit and that visit was followed up within days by my parents. We explored Park City together and they gave me a little reprieve from being the sole care provider for a few hours. When it came time to go, my parents decided my mom would stay on another two weeks. It was great having another adult around! We pushed updosing back by one day when my son wasn’t feeling quite well, but other than that, we have plodded along (thankfully!) without major event. Our time has been filled with pumpkin painting, pumpkin patch visiting, homeschool, and trips to the library.
My mom left last week and at the start of this week, I started to feel sick…again. I am not one to get sick more than once a year, so feeling run down twice in two months was really disheartening. In a desperate plea for help, I texted my husband that we couldn’t wait two more weeks until his next scheduled visit. The next day (I was feeling better, but shhhh, don’t tell him), he got in his truck and drove 12 hours to be with us. It was a total surprise for the kids. Best of all, we are together and he got to watch our son hit a milestone in OIT.
Today, we watched our son graduate from liquid solution on to peanut flour. We are at 50mg, which is 20% of a peanut. It looked like an awful lot of peanut flowing out of that capsule into a cup of applesauce…I felt a little panic, to be honest. Other than not liking the flavor (we have since switched to mixing into yogurt with better results), the dosing went perfectly. Peanut flour will take us about 5 weeks, barring reactions or illness, and then…..he eats a PEANUT! Even though we have been geared toward the finish line since the beginning, it’s still surreal.
The fact that you can built someone up to be immune to poison is not a new idea, but it’s certainly not commonplace. Yet. I write about OIT and tell everyone I meet exactly why we are living in Utah because I hope the fear will eventually dispel and people will realize that doctor-supervised OIT does not kill, but “avoidance” certainly has. Many, many times little lives have been lost while trying to avoid their allergen. It is not a risk I am willing to take. I would rather watch my son after carefully measured doses, increasing at slow intervals, under the care of a doctor so that he can live the rest of his life without fear.
It’s my choice to increase my anxiety for the next six months so that when we return home, I don’t clench my phone with white knuckles the entire time he is at school. So that when he asks to go to a friend’s house, I can let him go without hovering around him. I make this choice now so that I can finally say “Yes!” when he asks for a hot chocolate or a cake pop from Starbucks or eat that cookie the nice person at the bakery tries to hand him. I want to be able to say no to those things because of the sugar…not because it could be the last bite he ever takes. I’m looking forward to that day just as much as he is.
I truly believe you have to get to the mindset where it is scarier to live without trying than it is to dive in (under the careful advice and care of a board-certified allergist, of course). There are parents who will never get there and I get it. I really do. That is the beauty of parenting your own children…you get to decide what is best for your family. I don’t judge people who choose not to try a treatment plan just as they shouldn’t judge me for doing what I feel is best for us.