Sunday, 6 October 2013

Growing out of an egg allergy

egg allergy in children
A table laden with anaphylaxis? Or dinner?
If you're old enough to remember Edwina Currie, then you know all about the propensity of eggs to bring about someone's downfall. But salmonella and Edwina aside, (although what about Edwina and John Major? Still can't get my head around that one) for the last eight years I've had other reasons to fear eggs; my daughter's egg allergy.

Growing out of an egg allergy
So pretty, is it really OK to eat them?
It was diagnosed when she was about six months old - she's now eight - so avoiding eggs became a way of life.

And then came the doctors with their subversive talk of desensitising. "Bake her a cake" they said, "and see what happens."

So one day, alone in rural Normandy with four kids, I did. Let's see, lip swelling, fine rash over the face, stomach cramps and a sudden urge to fall asleep.

Yeah, I'm not really loving this feed-the-egg-allergic-child-egg idea.

But then came Croissantgate and Freshpastagate. Hmm, weird.

And it all came to a head this September as the annual allergy appointment loomed. Due to a mix up in appointments, the senior dietician called me prior to the appointment and as we chatted, he told me to feed my daughter a bit of boiled egg. I didn't quite say WTF? down the phone to him, but nearly.

children and egg allergy
Are all eggs born equal? Or are quail eggs different...
But I'm a law-abiding gal, so the day before the appointment, we cracked open a warm, hard-boiled egg. "Mmm, yummy!" said my daughter and asked for more.

24 hours and one teaspoon of hard-boiled egg with no reaction later, we bounced into the skin prick testing room at Leicester Royal Infirmary, hoping the test would prove negative.

It did! My daughter and I gazed at each other in delight.

I could barely contain my joy. No, not because she's cured, but because FINALLY I could make a proper Vic Sponge! Hell, I might even be able to get my brownies to do that special waxy thing that I secretly think only Americans can do properly!

It was Very Good News. And also? Totally surreal.

anaphylaxis and eggs
I've spent years making sure the egg spatula doesn't go near my daughter's plate, kept omelette well away from her personal space and should any raw egg splatter on the work surface? I was all over it with Mr Muscle (and regular readers will know that is totally not my style).

And yet suddenly, the egg world is open to us.

Lemon meringue pie? Why not?
French toast? Mais oui!
Soufflé? Forget it. Do you know how hard it is to make a soufflé?

And if you're reading this and your child still has their egg allergy, well I imagine a teeny part of you is sort of hating me. I know you feel like that because I've felt the same when other people have shared their thrilling news on Twitter or Facebook.

But fear not, I will not abandon you my egg allergic friends. I have spent too many years tutting in disgust at free from products that contain eggs. And I also understand the importance of consuming cake on a regular basis. For a life without cake, is a life less lived.

Or something like that.

Back soon!

Pig x
egg allergy

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


WizzyTheStick said...

Wonderful news indeed! I know exactly how you feel as my son got the all clear to include gluten in his diet.

Kristina Robb said...

Delighted for you! And jealous too - although we may have a tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel as the blood tests this year show a reduction on Ige for egg (but not milk). Maybe, just maybe, one day I'll get to make that Victoria Sponge too! x

freefrommum said...

Fab news! My 6 yr old son passed his baked egg challenge earlier this year and I know what a wonderful feeling it is. Have to admit that both he and I were very skeptical about the whole thing (and quite scared after previous experience of challenges) especially as his blood test results hadn't shown any reduction but it was definitely worth it! It meant he was able to have his first ever proper birthday cake plus as he's allergic to milk and wheat, it makes it much easier to find wheat-free breads that he can eat as most of them contain egg white so we really struggled to find any until now. He still can't have cooked egg yet but we live in hope :) Hope your daughter is enjoying lots of wonderful new taste experiences.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

WizzyTheStick, yay! Great news all round!

Kristina, thank you! Interesting about blood test results, the hospital I go to doesn't appear to do them (??) they are very much suck it and see. Hmm, irresponsible, daring, or...something else??

freefrommum, yay for baking with eggs! Great news about your son. My daughter has gone from zero to poached eggs? Completely weird and she loves anythign egg related, which I didn't think would happen. Such a relief to get some protein into her (vegetarian)!

Expat mum said...

It is funny how allergies can come and go. Ten year old was dairy intolerant for a while there, but it seems to have gone (or maybe we've just cut back). The twenty year old has had a few alarming events really where she had minor anaphylaxis symptoms and we have no idea why. I really need her to go to an allergist but because she's over 18, I have to have her do it on her own. Not allowed to make an appointment for her and well, she's at college and really busy you know.....

dairyfreeswitzerland said...

So glad you got some good news. I'm surprised your allergist let you try eggs at home, without doing a supervised food challenge first? We've had a successful baked egg challenge, and I'm hoping the same happens with raw eggs next summer. I've actually been wondering about quail eggs myself. Guessing they aren't OK, but I've been meaning to email our allergist. From what little I've read, it seems like they're also on the avoid list. Enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work. -Heddi

Alexa Baracaia said...

It is so wonderful - congratulations! Know exactly how you feel - was very surreal and odd when tot grew out of his wheat allergy this summer!! Fingers crossed we follow you with egg one day... Hope you're all enjoying your newfound treats :) x

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Expat mum, yes, allergies are completely weird and random. your daughter's symptoms do sound worrying...umm can you bribe her to go to the allergist??! :-)

dairyfreeswitzerland, call me very cynical, but I'm fairly convinced that the 'try this at home' approach encouraged by allergists in the UK is down to budget limitations. Far cheaper to have me experiment at home, than book my daughter in for the day. It's an approach that wouldn't wash in France where we used to live, but alas, the NHS reigns supreme here...

Alexa, thank you! It's very exciting! Such a relief and mainly because it's a great way to get protein into my girlie and build her up. Like many allergic children, she's lucky enough to have a sixpack, but I'd rather she had a bit more padding! Thanks for the comment :-)

MyItchyBoy said...

I have yet to tackle the scary-sounding Victoria Sponge! Am supposed to be increasing the amount of baked egg but so far at a stumbling block with my baking ability! :)
Tempted to try him with a bit of pancake or something as it is his eczema that reacts to egg, rather than an IgE allergy. Not fair to give him a flare-up because I'm lazy though.