When I was a baby I was cute. I don’t mean “oh your child is adorable” kind of cute. I was the “she looks like a porcelain doll” kind of blue-eyed baby cute. I was cute until those few hours of my 11th month that I wasn’t. I was then given a life-changing diagnosis.
I was 11 months old when my parents were given the diagnosis that their baby was fatally allergic to peanuts, nuts, and eggs.
I was being fussy (screaming and crying), as babies do, and my mom needed to do laundry. So she sat me down in my highchair and put some crackers with peanut butter on them in front of me. She then turned back around to fold the laundry.
A few seconds later I stopped crying. Relief for a mother, right?
Unfortunately, you know how this story ends… so you know that relief was shortly followed by uncontrollable panic.
By the time she turned back around, only a few minutes had passed. But her baby looked less like a doll, and more like a cyclops, as she so often likes to put it.
My face swelled up like a balloon. Where one eye swelled open, the other swelled shut. My lips turned to cotton candy shades of purple and blue, and my ears turned devil-red.
I didn’t eat the peanut butter, I just put my hand in it. And with that, my contact sensitivity to peanuts was discovered.
She instantly picked me up and rushed me to the pediatrician, who had never seen a real-life anaphylactic reaction. He drugged me with epinephrine and together they took me to the hospital. After a round of tests, my allergies to peanuts, nuts, and eggs were diagnosed.
I have since grown out of part of my egg allergy, but the other two are still very real. Which is why I feel the need to share my stories; because I’m sure some of you can relate to it, and others can appreciate it.