I can’t believe it has been 6 months since we were told that Littler had grown out of the worst aspects of her milk protein allergy (by worst aspects I mean the not being able to breathe, screaming agony and red raw skin aspects) and that we could start on a home challenge programme.
At the time it felt like a huge weight had been lifted – we wouldn’t have to worry any more about her being exposed because the worst thing that would happen was vomiting, discomfort and a skin reaction but also there was the worry about actually having to give her something that could still make her feel terribly poorly.
And naturally Littler lived up to her reputation by managing to pick up a tummy bug that exactly mirrored the symptoms of her allergy when we tried dairy for the first time. Thanks Littler.
Since then we have slowly started down the route of giving her dairy.
Our instructions were to start as far away from the cow as possible and work closer to the teat. Which despite sounding like gobbledegook in reality means start with cooked dairy and move closer to unprocessed.
Where we are now is somewhere I could never imagine being even 6 months ago. Littler loves cheese (and will pick it off her pizza to eat on its own), likes yoghurts and is terribly partial to Nutella (as in would quite happily sell her sister for a large pot of it). She will tolerate all of this so long as we don’t give her too much – if we do she has a bit of an upset tummy and some eczema patches. Really not a big deal in the scheme of things.
We still use dairy free spread although she can and does have butter but again it comes down to not overloading her. We haven’t yet given her milk – we will in time but at the moment she still has her oat milk which she seems perfectly happy with (I still reckon it tastes like ground up gravel).
What is absolutely BRILLIANT is that I am no longer the mother who has to watch like a hawk for any dairy – we know she is ok and that if she’s had a bit much to keep her dairy free for a few days and then she’s fine.
What has been less brilliant is that with her starting nursery this week is that I have still had to write on her medical summary that she has a cow’s milk protein allergy and can’t have liquid milk but is otherwise fine with it. I really didn’t want her to go into nursery labelled as The Child With Allergies, we have worked really hard that minimal fuss is made about it and we are so close to her being given the all clear BUT I couldn’t yet have her having a glass of milk at snack time. Hopefully in time we’ll get there and by the time she goes to school she will be as normal and as allergy free as any other child.
So if you are on the dairy free journey, please take heart from this. 76% of children grow out of a cow’s milk protein allergy by age 4, and this is helped by a no exposure policy. When we were first diagnosed a friend told me his son had had the same and he had grown out of it – I found that hard to believe, now I know that it really is the case.
And it is wonderful to be in this new place, where we don’t have to worry, where I don’t have to obsessively read ingredients and where I am not worried about a tiny piece of dairy leaping out at us and causing trouble.