It was quite simple, he ate eggs and REACTED!
Ok, let’s start from the beginning. We were having brunch at my parents’ house when my eight month old son reached up to my plate and grabbed a handful of scrambled eggs. I figured it was about time to try this new food, as he had experimented with most of the basics at this point and been just fine. He loved them so much he shoveled the eggs into his mouth and just kept going. Since this was a new food I cut him off after about two tablespoons of scrambled eggs.
Ten to fifteen minutes later he started getting really fussy, which I took to mean he was hungry so I tried nursing him. He fought it like crazy, which was not like him. I tried to nurse on both sides and he just got more agitated. He was so mad that he was screaming, arching his back, and flailing around. Within 30 minutes of eating the eggs he started projectile vomiting (so much more than the normal spit up – he completely covered me in vomit). We still weren’t sure what was going on (at that time we thought he may have the flu or something else) so we sat with him in the bathtub while he threw up.
Ten minutes later while he was in the bath he started to swell. When I say swell I mean he blew up. His eyes started to swell shut. A mosquito bite on his forehead grew to the size of a quarter. He got hives all over his body, his ears got real red and hot, he couldn’t stop itching his face. He was clawing at himself and screaming. He was rubbing his face against us over and over again.
That was when we realized he was having an allergic reaction. My mom ran out and bought children’s Benadryl. Within ten minutes of giving him the Benadryl his swelling was going down and he was calming down too. He still wouldn’t nurse but he wasn’t upset like he had been. He fell asleep for three hours shortly after the first dose of Benadryl (sleeping on my husband to make sure he was ok). Once he woke up he was acting normal, just very very sleepy and snuggly. We gave him another dose of Benadryl five hours later and after that he was back to his old self. The next day he was completely normal, albeit it starving because he hadn’t nursed the entire day before
- Ate the eggs
- 15 minutes later he got extremely fussy
- 30 minutes later he started throwing up
- 10 minutes later he got hives
- 10 minutes later he got children’s Benadryl
- 10 minutes later the reaction was on its way back down
The whole allergic reaction happened in just under an hour of eating the allergen.
We brought him to his primary care physician and we got chewed out! Take a lesson from us, bring your child into the doctor or ER immediately if you ever see a reaction like the one our son had. The doctor said we were fortunate the Benadryl had worked because we may not have been so lucky. It seems so obvious now but when we were in the moment and he calmed down so quickly after getting Benadryl we thought it was fine. We were sent to an allergy specialist and our son was tested for allergies to eggs, peanuts, and soy. He tested positive for an egg allergy and negative to the peanuts and soy. We were given a prescription for EpiPen Jr. (holy cow I can’t imagine having to jab that huge needle into my son’s thigh-ugh) and told that if we ever have to use it that we need to get him into the ER immediately. We also learned that each reaction after the first tends to get worse. The specialist told us that his allergy is severe and that he may grow out of the allergy eventually but it will probably take him longer than others who are less sensitive. The light at the end of the tunnel is that dairy and egg allergies are possible to outgrow woo hoo!
Figuring out how to live with an egg allergy in the house has been extremely difficult. Once you start looking out for eggs you realize … there are eggs in just about everything AHHHH! Next time you make a favorite recipe or read a label, look for the bold words at the end of the ingredients: contains eggs or made in a facility that processes eggs. It has been hell trying to figure out where eggs may be hidden, and then keep those foods out of my son’s mouth when all he wants to do at this age is put everything he sees in it. Every time I cook I have to read the label of every single ingredient I cook with, or any time we go out to eat we have to ask the cook to figure out what kids meals they have that don’t contain eggs. That means about 75% of the time my son eats a different meal than the rest of the family because there is always something that may contain egg. I am working on coming up with more recipes that don’t have eggs but it is a learning curve.
There is a great list of surprising foods that have egg in it on WebMD.
I look at the future and wonder how parents of children with food allergies handle it when their child goes to school and is surrounded by hidden dangers. My son will not be able to partake when someone brings in cake or cupcakes to celebrate a birthday. This makes me sad for him. My son couldn’t even have a normal birthday cake for his first birthday. I went to the bakery and they said there was not one food item in the bakery that did not have egg in it. I ended up making one of the only options I could find that is egg free but not really a cake (here is the recipe for the Cookie Monster Dirt Cake I made him, which he loved).
As time goes on (we are now one year into the egg allergy) we learn more about food allergies and hacks that make life easier for kids with food allergies. Here is a site with some good information on replacing eggs in recipes. My favorites substitutes are flax-seed (which I do most of the time because it adds great fiber and omega 3s) and applesauce.
Kids keep us on our feet with new challenges and learning experiences all the time. Any advice on handling a food allergy would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
Find me on: