Is my baby allergic to eggs? The verdict.

The emergency number on speed dial, I attempted to give the baby eggs. Or something with egg in it to see his reaction to it. We needed this terrifying initiation to qualify for MMR vaccine. I did not have the guts to give him whole eggs (yet) but instead reached out for a piece of brownie baked by Pristine.

It has eggs in it and IF the he reacts to it, at least it will not be that bad because it’s not really egg-egg. It’s gooey chocolatey stuff with eggs in it. He crushed the piece of brownie with his little hands, slathered it around his mouth, tilted his head and…

Nothing happened!! For the first heart-stopping moments, I just looked at him, stunned. No rashes! I’m almost teary. No hives, no screaming, no nothing. Just a baby enjoying his morsel of brownie!

Do you know what this means? It means MORE variety of food for him! It means he can have my favorite Japanese egg dish of sweet rolled eggs (tamagoyaki), endless combination of omelettes, cookies, pastries. Eggnog! It means not freaking out to check each and every ingredient and being suspecting even after doing so. Eggs just happen to be in so many sorts of food from muffins to meatloaf!

Now that I know he can tolerate eggs? It means peace of mind and a little sanity.

* My other child Pristine cannot even touch raw eggs without having allergic reactions until now (she’s 9 next month). It’s getting better though as she is able to tolerate small amounts of food with egg in it. She has not eaten whole eggs in her entire life (yet) and we’re still dealing with the stigma of food allergies from people (even from blood relatives!) who don’t understand that allergies are real.

Dealing with the stigma of food allergies

benja rashes

Our baby has started to eat solid food and boy does he love his food! He would say, ‘Mmmm’ with a look of delight on his face during feeding time. Since he is just starting, I am sticking to rice/oat cereals and vegetables and fruits; no condiments, spices or even salt. Nothing commercial, all made at home, by me.

Mashed apples, papaya, bananas, grapes (juiced), orange, squash, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, potato…everything went well. Then pears came and bam! He went from happy to fussy to itchy and had red rashes appearing on his face. We never touched pears again. I introduced yoghurt and again the rashes came and his face swollen. Thankfully, a quick anti-histamine medication (Zyrtec) provided relief.

Like his big sister, I can already assume baby Ben is allergic to milk, (most definitely) eggs and recently discovered, pears. Who knows what more?

It’s so sad because he loves his food and now we have to avoid some and be cautious all the time.

And as if allergy sufferers and parents are having it hard enough dealing with it, the social stigma is daunting. People would ask at my scratching child: Why? I wish I know the answer.

Some moms I know personally to moms I meet in clinics/hospitals are bluntly rude enough to say, “maybe it’s just your imagination!”. Or implying how lucky they are their babies do not have allergies, referring to allergies as “a disease of  weak kids”.

Then it’s shocking how some suggest an ‘allergy cure‘: “Just let your kid eat and eat the food he/she is allergic to and he/she will get used to it!”

Ignorance kills.

The truth is, food allergy problem is real. Parents with children who are allergic to certain foods do not make this up and children did not choose to be born with this.

It is hurtful to hear someone say that food allergies are “psychosomatic” – something dieters make up to avoid certain foods with less fuss. These people are of the opinion that no true allergy to foods exist.

Food allergies, although considered a joke by some people, are a medically documented disease that should be taken very seriously. Some food allergies can cause an anaphylactic reaction which can quickly become fatal if proper medication is not administered immediately.

My brother had an episode of anaphylactic reaction – his airway closed up when he accidentally ingested shrimps chopped small enough to notice. My daughter Pristine cries in pain when she has something with eggs. Her body was covered in rashes the first time she had cheese when she was small. She’s allergic to milk and eggs, and all its by-products. Now at 8, she can tolerate milk but still allergic to eggs. You would be surprised the girl is not thrilled at the sight of cakes and cookies – she knows her ‘enemy’ too well.

Allergies are life altering, life threatening for some. If you see a child/person with food allergies, don’t judge and if you’re not a doctor, don’t suggest anything.

Dubai bye?

We had an emergency situation yesterday in the early hours of the morning. We rushed our girl to the hospital due to a sudden, out of the blue, where did that come from sort of asthma attack that troubles me to no end.

The doctor told me many Dubai residents, as soon as they landed here, are suffering from asthma and other lung problems due to the pollution brought about by construction (the city is basically under construction) and allergens such as molds and mildew that thrive in unseen places because of the abnormally high humidity (up to more than 90% on some days in the peak of summer!) in this country during summer.

The doctor’s diagnosis: the whole place is making my daughter sick. (Last year she was ok, though)

Bluntly I asked, “Should we leave?”

…and without batting an eyelash, the good doctor replied curtly, “That’s actually not a bad advice I can give you (in case the asthma worsens).”