It's been more than a month since my last allergy update. We've had some progress, some new found allergies, and still some unknowns.
Progress: We have been able to introduce cocoa into my diet, which allows me to bake this cake. I use water instead of rice milk (I planned to trial rice but haven't gotten there yet) and it's turned out great. Even Matt taste tested it and said that it is pretty good. It is awesome to have something chocolate and sweet to eat!!! Ethan didn't show any new reactions after I ate the entire cake over the course of a week so I baked another and introduced it into his diet. I hope to use this recipe to bake his first birthday cake. I think he liked the taste but the texture took some getting used to. He gagged a couple of times.
New found allergies: I decided to get a second opinion from another allergist. Our allergist wasn't going to test Ethan again until next summer. Our pediatrician and I felt that was too far from now since I'm navigating through foods blindly. I am so glad that I went with my instinct on this one. The new allergist patiently listened to everything I had to say, answered my questions, and gave me some reassurance. So, we had more skin testing done. Ethan still showed a reaction to eggs (his most severe reaction), cats, dogs, and peanuts. His new reactions were to milk (he is dairy and soy intolerant but his previous skin & RAST test did not show an allergy to them). I've heard of other children suddenly developing an allergy to milk around 10 months old and growing out of it within a year. I'm not as concerned about the milk allergy since we will likely avoid milk until he is 2 years old due to his MSPI. The upsetting positive reaction was to wheat. I had been eating the sprouted grain bread that I posted about on here, drinking beer, and had just started eating Oreos the week prior to testing (can you belive Oreos are dairy free?!). I noticed that the eczema on his face had worsened after I started the Oreos but thought it was because one of the other ingredients. I didn't suspect the wheat! The part of the allergist appt that left me confused was when the allergist said I could continue consuming wheat but not to feed it to Ethan. He knew that I was nursing. I've decided not to continuing consuming it. I felt the skin reaction was enough for me to believe that it is being passed through my breastmilk and I'm not going to risk it. Ethan and I continue to be dairy, soy, egg, peanut, and wheat free.
Unknown: Ethan has a patch of eczema on his chin that will NOT clear up. It's very frustrating. It nearly clears, peels, and starts oozing again despite my efforts to keep it moisturized and protected. I'm sure that his drool and hands touching it often are not helping matters. I can't help but wonder what is causing it. His skin is definitely better than it has been but I wish I could get the last few patches cleared up. It's a constant work in progress. We continue nightly luke warm baths, leaving skin damp instead of drying him off, applying Aquaphor/Vanicream, and hydrocortizone (we've gotten down to 1-2 times a week instead of nightly application of this. Although the doctors keep assuring me that it won't harm him to use it nightly, I'm still not comfortable with it). If only I could eliminate the cause of the eczema!
Ethan continues to react to our wall to wall carpeting. If it touches his face then he itches and develops little hives. It's not just from residual cat dander either. He reacts to my mother-in-laws carpets too. Her home is about a year old and there weren't ever any pets in it when Ethan showed his first reaction in her home. We've contemplated replacing our carpets with laminate or hardwood floors but we're not sure if we should invest that money into this house when we are considering moving within the next year or two. It's a difficult decision.
I mentioned cat dander and have to say that I've been thinking about our girls a lot lately. We still miss them and talk about them often. Christmas was tough w/o them. I kept thinking about how they loved to sit under the Christmas tree and about how cute they were playing with the wrapping paper and bows on Christmas morning. They're both doing very well. It sounds like their new owners appreciate them as much as we did! That makes me happy for them.