Fish Ban

It's official. William is allergic to fish.

W&G have been eating fish since they were about seven months old and it's actually one of both of their favorite foods. I usually make fish once a week and the boys have the leftovers the next night too, so for over a year they've been having fish twice a week without any problems. They also really like this salmon jerky.

A little over a month ago, I gave them both some salmon jerky while we were walking home and W quickly developed a red rash on his face. By the time we got home, he had a few hives on his hand. Within 30 minutes everything had returned to normal so while I took pictures of it, I didn't think too much of it. It was the first time he'd had the Trader Joe's salmon jerky so I figured it was just a reaction to that brand.

A few days later we had salmon, and W again had a reaction. I noted these things down, but the redness around the mouth always went down pretty quickly. It wasn't until I served paiche two weeks ago (W was scarfing it down and already asking for more), that I realized this was more than a little reaction. Around his mouth immediately got a patchy red rash, but this time his whole neck was bright red, including the back of his neck. He told me his neck hurt but was showing no signs of trouble breathing. He also developed a rash on his stomach. We took pictures, gave him a dose of benadryl and gave him a bath.

Even after the bath, it was still there, but within an hour or so, had completely gone away. The next day I called the pediatrician and she referred me to an allergist. We were lucky to score an appointment with the best one just two weeks out, today.

After having a conversation with the nurse, and then with the doctor, they decided to test for 'mixed fish' (cod, halibut and several others), salmon, shellfish and nuts. W has never really eaten much shellfish; though we've offered shrimp and crab, he never ends up eating it, though he has put it in his mouth. The doctor thought it would be good to test to be sure. He also wanted to test for several types of nuts. Since it's rare to develop an allergy to a food that has been tolerated for so long and thus an immunity is built up, he wanted to make sure there wasn't a nut allergy developing in addition to the fish.

William was so great, he had 2 testers with multiple sticks administered and he wasn't phased at all. No crying, nothing. Though we had to wait ten minutes, it was clear within minutes that William was allergic to the mixed fish as well as salmon. Luckily, there showed no allergy to nuts or shellfish.

So the next steps are that William can't have fish for at least a year, when he'll be retested to see if the allergy still exists. I asked the doctor what the chances are that he'd outgrow it and he said 20%. Ugh. And I guess if he does outgrow it, it would be very unlikely to do so in less than three years.

We're really lucky that it's a mild allergy -- a rash and maybe some hives. No trouble breathing or anything more serious. But I'm still bummed. Of course it has to be something healthy that he happens to love. Seriously, I give a decent portion and within minutes he's asking for 'more fish'.

So for now we've been given a plan by the doctor. Allergy medicine to administer in the case of a mild reaction like he's had thus far. But we also have to get an epi pen should anything more serious happen.

Because it's a mild allergy at this point, I feel comfortable continuing to serve fish once a week. When I gave it last weekend, I just added some to G's plate and didn't say anything, so W never saw it and asked for it. I think that's what we'll continue to do. Fish is so healthy and I want to make sure the rest of us are eating it. If W had a more serious allergy to it, then I would definitely make a call to never have it near us.

Obviously I hope William grows out of this allergy, but even if he does, I'm worried that he won't like fish anymore. What five year old starts eating fish and likes it after not having it for several years? I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Despite the expected news, we had a nice morning. My mom stayed over so she could play with G this morning and I could take W on my own. It was such a weird feeling to have just one with me. Seriously, I never do that. To go out the door with just a purse and just have one kid seemed so easy. I started prepping them yesterday, telling W that he was going to the doctor. G already had a fit, he wanted to go the doctor too and when I told him he didn't have to, he used a sad voice and held his ear and said 'ear hurts, ear hurts'. Such a drama king!

I was able to leave with W easily this morning as G was having fun playing with my mom. After the appointment, W and I went out to Mel's diner. It was so relaxed. He had a hard time getting in the car seat when he realized G wasn't coming, but after that, he didn't seem to notice he wasn't there. He didn't seem to be living it up having me all to himself, it was just very normal. He was calm at the doctor, liked playing with the toys, and had all the little old ladies swooning when he slowly walked by all the tables saying good bye to everyone after lunch.

 G had a blast with my mom, it wasn't until we got home and both boys figured out they hadn't been together that W started acting like King of the Castle and G fiercely jealous. He had to have the big sticker W had on his shirt from the doctor. Luckily W just gave it to him. We brought home a cardboard car from Mel's and they both fought over it. G was definitely acting out. It was similar to how they both acted when Dave and I got back from Vegas. They were both fine the whole time, but once we got home, they both gave us a hard time. G was totally wound up and ended up waking up W when I tried to put him down (that never happens). So at least W got about an hour nap, G didn't sleep at all and they both jumped around in their cribs for an hour or so before I got them up.

Dave and I definitely want to spend more time with them one-on-one but I think it will work best if we each take one out instead of leaving one with someone else. It might feel more balanced to them, even if Dad is still the preference.

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