Amy Billington

Fueled by coffee and a passion for helping families living with food allergies.

Tag: dr douglas jones

Normal, Everyday Messes: Life Post OIT and Food Allergies

One of the things that used to keep me up at night besides the question, “Will I be able to keep him safe when he’s out of my sight?”

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When Food Is Dangerous

Last month I was asked by our OIT doctor to give an interview with a staff writer at Healthy Utah Magazine. I’m pleased with how the journalist really seemed to understand the stress and anxiety food allergies can cause a family. Quality of life was one of the largest reasons we chose OIT vs strict avoidance of peanuts…oh yeah, that and avoidance doesn’t always work. I love sharing our experience so that others can determine if oral immunotherapy for food allergies is right for their family.

 

Oral Immunotherapy Changed My Son Forever

Having a life-threatening food allergy can sometimes make the world seem very scary and dangerous…especially when you are a child and things like playing with a toy or eating a grilled cheese at a restaurant have proven to be unsafe. My son suffered reaction after reaction outside our home from peanut residue and cross-contamination in the strangest and unlikeliest of places. In turn, he withdrew and exhibited many behaviors that could have easily been misconstrued as spectrum traits.

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OIT Side Effects I Was Never Warned About

Before we began this journey I read Facebook groups and blogs, emailed and called mothers who had children in oral immunotherapy and I asked lots of questions. I knew there would be rules to follow as far as being calm after dosing and eating beforehand in order to reduce the chance of a reaction. I saw what can happen when people didn’t always follow the doctor’s advice and I vowed that any side effects would be caused by my son’s deep intolerance of peanuts and not my own mistakes.

What no warned me of was that my son’s shy, reserved demeanor would fade away; that I would get to see a big, bright smile in pictures that had disappeared years ago when he started ducking as the flash went off.

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F**k You, Mr. Peanut (Part II)

It has never been my nature to play defense. I find solutions and get things done. Therefore, this notion that my son will have to constantly work around a peanut allergy and restrict his life due to a food allergy, did not sit well with me.  Especially since the anaphylactic reaction in late July of 2013, I have been seeking out ways to make his life better and his allergy less of an influence on our life…which really led to the exact opposite. It’s been on the forefront of our minds in an attempt to keep him safe while looking for answers.
Unfortunately for my son, the stress of feeling of his body going into anaphylaxis and the shot of epinephrine has caused him a great deal of anxiety. When your little boy continues to ask you, “Am I going to die, Mommy?” with his little lip quivering any time he gets an itchy eye or a little hive, well, you develop anxiety, as well.

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© 2018 Amy Billington