Tomorrow marks almost three years since we received the diagnosis that our youngest daughter Harlow was allergic to chicken, beef, eggs and nuts. I always think that we were so lucky to find out about her allergies the way we did. It was a simple kiss on the cheek from her big sister after eating bacon and eggs, that resulted in immediate redness and welting around her mouth, face, neck and torso. Our local urgent care facility suspected measles and sent us to The Children’s Hospital immediately where her diagnosis was of an egg allergy was made. Subsequent tests also revealed allergies to beef, peanuts and chicken FPIES. (Scroll to the bottom of this to find some info of FPIES.)
As many of you may know that’s where our journey of eating organic began. I started questioning the food system and was very perplexed with the beef allergies and even though I have a background as a Registered nurse had never ever heard of Chicken FPIES (Many people often think I say she’s allergic to Chicken pies!)
The fist time we gave Harlow chicken at about 6 months of age she appeard to be fine. No rash, no obvious signs that something could be wrong. A few hours later she started to vomit, she was pale, her body was limp and her breathing was shallow. I knew something was wrong so I took her straight to The Children’s Hospital where to be honest, I can’t really remember much of what happened. Harlow was treated by Professor Katie Allen and as soon as I was able to explain her symptoms a diagnosis was given. Soon after, we got to go home and began our journey of avoiding chicken, a food we eat 2-3 nights per week. We have done a pretty good job apart from that one occasion when I cooked our roast potatoes in duck fat. I didn’t even think twice about it and then a few hours later Harlow was laying on the couch with Ben and just passed out. I had seen these symptoms before and new right away it had to be FPIES so off we ventured back to the Children’s Hospital for monitoring and rehydration.
Tomorrow will be the first “chicken challenge” Harlow has had to do. The challenge will involve giving Harlow a small amount of chicken to see how she reacts, in the hopes that maybe she has grown out of her allergies. We’re having chicken for dinner tonight and I have to save a little piece to take with us to the hospital in the morning. I’ll take it with an avocado because she loves them and we all know chicken and avocado taste so good together.
I’m not scared because I know we’re in safe hands and that she will be fine. I just hate watching her tiny little body go through that, feeling so helpless as her Mum.
I have found some info from the Hospital here that might help you all understand what FPIES is and I will keep you updated tomorrow to create awareness and let you all know how our little superstar goes.