When Collin was a baby we struggled to manage constant skin rashes, eczema, and diaper rashes, we couldn't figure out the cause. At 9 months old he had an alarming allergic reaction after waking up from a nap in only a diaper and being lifted out of his crib. Jon had been eating peanuts and the dust on Jon's hand coming into contact with Collin's skin was enough to trigger a reaction. Soon after we saw an allergist and, determined Collin was allergic to a list of 5 foods (4 of which he has outgrown, banana, oats milk, egg) and were handed our first set of epinephrine auto-injectors and told to practice strict avoidance of these foods. Quickly the world closed in around us. I learned that food manufacturers in the US are not required to label for cross-contamination, so ingredients deadly to my child could linger in anything. I learned that restaurants can be life-threatening for my child, and so can Birthday parties. His allergies are so severe he has gotten hives from touching shopping carts, and library books. I channeled all of my free time and energy into searching for some sort of cure, something to hope for.
I found the hope that I needed in a treatment called OIT. As much energy as we have put into keeping peanuts away from Collin, we are now channeling excitedly into preparing to begin deliberatly feeding Collin peanuts in an effort to desensitize his body, which will allow him to live a much safer and more normal life. The treatment, OIT, or Oral Immunotherapy, and much like allergy shots, it desensitizes your body to an allergen. In this case a food. The treatment is administered orally because the brilliant allergists researching and conducting this treatment have found benefits to desensitizing the mouth and esophagus. The treatment requires a weekly increase in the dose of peanuts Collin ingests, oh and for us it's happening in Utah, so it will also require 22 hours of driving per week (insert all of the horrified emojis). At the end Collin will graduate after completing a food challenge and ingesting somewhere around 20 peanuts.
Collin has had reactions to skin contact. He will soon be SAFELY eating peanuts!!!! See why I've agreed to this much road-tripping?!?!?
We will keep track of Collin's treatment journey here, all updates for friends and family will be on this page. Life is about to get really crazy for us in such an exciting way. We appreciate your support and your words of encouragement.