Olivia finally had her almond challenge today. (It had been put off after her bouts with pneumonia.) I will admit I did not sleep well last night – tossing and turning and having crazy allergy-mom dreams. We had some almonds that D’Arcy’s father had given us that contained the allergy warning: contains almonds. I can’t stress enough how difficult it is to find tree-nuts that aren’t contaminated with other tree-nuts and peanuts.
At her last tests, Olivia tested negative for an almond allergy on her skin-prick tests, but had a 4.6 on her blood test. Her allergist was confident that she was no longer allergic. After being thoroughly checked over, Olivia was offered a quarter of an almond. It was interesting for me to watch her. She was nervous about eating it, and afraid to put it in her mouth. In fact, she didn’t want to hold it, so her understanding nurse gave Olivia a plastic spoon to use.
After her first two quarter almonds, she ate the next half almond she was offered with gusto. After three hours, when she had eaten eight whole almonds without reaction, she was declared no longer allergic to them! She ate another four for good measure!
The important take aways from our day at the allergist: She has been cleared to eat almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pine nuts at home because she tested negative on skin tests and very low on blood tests and had this successful challenge. She is only allowed to eat these particular nuts if her father or I have given them to her. She is still allergic to cashews, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazlenuts, and Brazil nuts, and the risk of cross-contamination is huge. She is scheduled to challenge cashews in October and our hope is that eventually she will be left with only peanut, egg & soy allergies to contend with during her lifetime.
Our home will continue to be peanut and tree-nut free to keep both Olivia and our food allergic guests safe.
In the meantime, we celebrated with a box of Honey Nut Cheerios on the way home! 😉
One step at a time…