Friday, December 29, 2017
Surrounded by Nuts
He was incredibly lucky. Given the severity of his initial reaction, and the subsequent positive scratch tests, we never imagined he wouldn't be allergic to nuts. His former allergist didn't want to do a challenge, but when we switched doctors last year, it was brought up immediately. We didn't expect much, but here we are. That's not to say all scratch tests are false positives-I know for certain cashews and pistachios are deadly for me, but I have had reactions where I knew exactly what I had ingested-with Danny it was always uncertain. We'll never know what it was, but we now know what it wasn't.
We haven't eaten in a restaurant in ten years. I grew up seeing enough kitchens to know that the only nut-safe environment is a nut-free one. Same for bakeries, food produced in facilities with nuts, etc. Basically, we've made everything ourselves, and relied on cheese and fruit when travelling. It can be done, and I suspect once Danny finds out how awful most commercially processed food is, he'll want to cook for himself again-but for now an exciting array of options is open to him.
I might not have gone the homeschooling route had I known he wasn't nut allergic (we lived in a very small town that would have had a hard time adjusting to one nut-allergic kid at school) but I don't regret it. We've spent more time together than most parents and children, and a good deal of that has been in the kitchen learning to take care of himself. I know Danny can shop, budget, and cook decently which as an older mother gives me one less thing to worry about. When my mum died, I didn't know how to do anything from boiling an egg to a load of laundry. If nothing else, he'll be ready to live on his own when I kick him out on his 18th birthday.
You really don't want to know how much money I dropped at World Market buying him exotic foodstuffs today. At least the Christmas items were 50% off! He might have to fight me for the penguin bars and stroopwafels😊.
I am going to continue posting nut-free alternatives to recipes as I get so many comments and emails telling me it is helpful. I've lived with a tree nut allergy since the 60's, but it was only when Danny was diagnosed that I took it as seriously as I should. I now know most of my reactions, when I swore I hadn't eaten nuts was likely cross-contamination. We have better labeling these days, and better treatments than chewing an antihistamine which was always worse than throwing up from the nuts. As a result of Danny's misdiagnosis, I've taken much better care of myself. The whole thing still feels slightly unreal, but after 10 years of living in fear, it is a great relief.
Anyway, I'm sure he'll be acquainting himself with the local curry house any day now.