Elmer’s Allergy Story

When Elmer was born, the hospital staff picked up on a milk allergy right away. She came out in an awful rash after her first feed, she screamed a lot! She was put on to a different formula on a trial. After five weeks she started reacting again, we were sent to hospital and the formula was changed to Neocate. Again, after five weeks she started reacting again. They changed her formula to SMA Alfomino. Those ten weeks were so hard, we already had a seventeen month old with medical conditions and suddenly we had Elmer who screamed pretty much 90% of the time. She threw up on me and countless times and had bleeding sores from rashes. I remember the time she vomited all over me, her sister, the dog and the sofa. I broke and phoned my parents for help. There’s no shame in asking for help. It sunk in how hard it was having a baby with an allergy even though she was only on formula. I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve said “I never thought an allergy baby would be this hard”.

So fast forward and the Alfomino worked a treat. We were doing very well until her sisters birthday. We didn’t know anything about touch allergies at this point until Elmer started reacting after someone kissed her after they had just eaten cake. She came out covered in hives! We had many further incidents of touch allergies so going out became a horrible thought. I suffered with anxiety attacks when asked to go out for a family meal or a birthday party. My absolute worst fear! One day I went out with my Mother in Law and both my daughters. We went to a cafe and got the highchairs. I asked the staff to wipe down the highchairs again due to allergies. This was done albeit reluctantly as they argued they had just cleaned them. It looked clean. We put Elmer in it and within thirty seconds she had an allergic reaction. We had Piriton to calm it down. We wondered what did she react to ? The person who had cleaned the highchairs used a dirty cloth that had milk on it even though we had stressed heavily about her allergies. Once again, we never knew how hard taking an allergy baby out was!

The pictures above show her reactions after some one kissed her and after eating blueberries.

When the time came to start weaning, it was my biggest nightmare. We had Piriton ready in case of any issues. We had a food diary to keep track of all foods plus it made it so much easier at dietitian appointments as I could hand them the book and they could see everything. I would highly recommend keeping a food diary. We started with parsnips three days of the same food , no reaction and after 72 hours she passed the item. Then we moved on to spinach but as soon as the food touched her mouth she was covered in hives then hours later swelling of her eyes, screaming, back arching and the lovely allergy poop that looks like snot! We stopped the food to trial it again in 6 months time. We then went back to a safe food. We got to the point where she had more unsafe than safe foods. At the time we wanted to give up and just give her safe food but this was getting boring for her. Only sixteen safe foods, the same foods every day! No thank you! As horrible as it was seeing her have a reaction it was made easier when we tried a new food she didnt react to , her face was pure happiness! That made it worth it. By October we had eighteen safe foods whereas in July we had only ten.

We just kept going and going with her, it was persistent.Sometimes we took a break from new foods and allowed her to enjoy what she had, bring in free from foods. That was a big help in mixing foods up a bit! She is now nearly 2! She still can’t have dairy, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, orange, white potato, peanuts, pork and blueberries. It now seems weird having a smaller list of can’t haves compared to can have!

All of the above foods we have to wait 4-6 months to retry some of these due to recently trying them and having reactions. But we started the milk ladder on Monday and she had half a malted milk biscuit with no reaction! We are in utter shock and relief to think that this nightmare could be slowly coming to an end for us and Elmer.

We still have a long way to go but it’s positive! She is due to start Preschool in September. Currently, I am still saying she isn’t going due to her allergies. But that may change if she continues with the progress she is showing.

This blog is to show that even at your darkest times with an allergy child, things can get better. You will get through it. Even when people don’t understand or just call your child fussy. You know best. You are strong and so are your babaies.

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