12 January 2012

Peanut Allergic Teen Desensitized to Peanuts: Progress Report 9 Months Later

My son Alexander was desensitized to peanuts on April 12,2011.
Today marks 9 months since this momentous occasion. What has happened during the last 9 months??

First let me provide a little background.
Alexander was diagnosed at 22 months old with an allergy to peanuts.

He is now 16 years old. When he tested positive for a peanut allergy I was aware that a this allergy could be dangerous.
I was very surprised to be told there was no cure or allergy shot or any protocol to eliminate or reduce his allergy to peanut.
We were told to strictly avoid peanuts.
The doctor said that was all we could do. This was hard to believe in this age of modern medicine.

So.... we avoided peanuts, peanut dust,peanut contaminate snacks,certain types of restaurants etc.  
I read every food label and ask every restaurant if they had peanuts in "x" dish.
I sent "special snacks" to school and provided non-peanut snacks to the class on our snack days or birthdays. In addition I not allow Alexander to eat any cookies or desserts served on a tray.
Not to mention the series of precautions and steps necessary to safely fly on airplanes especially SW Airlines. For these of you with this allergy you know the drill!

These efforts were successful. Although Alexander tested off the blood chart for his peanut allergy we never again had a reaction.
You may want to check out my post "Peanut and Food Allergy TESTING Results for Alexander Over the Years"
We never had to use an EpiPen!

By God's grace we learned of a program to desensitize my son to peanuts.

Thankfully this new and revolutionary treatment was offered in our hometown (and only 10 minutes from our house).

Click here to read my blog for all the details.
You will find posts describing every aspect of Alexander's treatment by Dr. Wasserman and his fantastic staff.
Be sure to check out the "Helpful Links" on the right side of my blog.  They really are helpful.

Now 9 months after completing the treatment program and becoming officially desensitized to peanuts,
I am happy to report Alexander has never had an allergic reaction to peanuts. In fact he never had a reaction during the treatment program.
He eats a "maintenance dose" of 8 peanuts every day.

Alexander loathes eating the peanuts but for the most part sticks to the rules.
The taste of peanuts makes him want to choke.
He recently asked me "Mom what food do you truly hate and can not choke down ever?"
My answer was asparagus. Then he said "Imagine having to eat asparagus every night. Now you know what I have to go through every night."

I still remind him to takes his peanuts and then I rely on him to eat his maintenance dose.
He has missed doses.
Sometimes Alexander just does not want to choke them down!