It has now been just a little over a week since the little guy finished his big peanut challenge day. Now he has had to get used to the taste of real peanut butter. He really is not a big fan, which is not surprising. The first day, he tried peanut butter M&M's. He ate 3 of them, but didn't really seem to enjoy doing so. He did o.k. with that dose. That is a pretty big daily dose increase, so I didn't know how he would do eating a higher daily amount. The allergist said we could go slower and build up if he seemed uncomfortable, but we are trying to shoot for around 4 peanuts a day. The only symptom I notice in him is that he starts to sound like he has some mucous in his throat he needs to clear, that isn't there before he eats his dose, but even that has improved over the course of the week.
Since he wasn't a big fan of the candy, I searched the peanut butter isle for anything that might taste a little better. We don't have too many options since the dose has to be able to be quantified. You can't be sure just how much peanut is in certain candy bars or even a Reece cup. Our options include Reece's pieces, dry roasted peanuts, Peanut or peanut butter M&M's, or peanut butter. Now they even make flavored peanut butter. I was able to find a choice from Peanut Butter and Co. called "Dark Chocolate Dreams". It is regular peanut butter mixed with dark chocolate. I picked up a jar hoping that might appeal to him. Since it is flavored, it counts for 4 peanuts per teaspoon, whereas regular peanut butter contains 5 peanuts per teaspoon. Perfect. A nice "middle of the road" dose, tasting like chocolate peanut butter candy. It has been a hit so far, or at least something he is willing to tolerate daily. I spread the teaspoon onto a half a slice of bread and make a mini sandwich.
This past Thursday was also the big day for the blood work. The allergist had given me some numbing cream I applied to his arm before we left home. I really hyped it up that "he wouldn't feel a thing". I knew that wasn't entirely true, but when you have a 15-20 minute car ride ahead of you with a innocent 6 year old who knows what is ahead for him, you just say what you need to say. He was actually very brave this time and the whole procedure was over in no time. He even watched the blood come into the tube! These lab results will tell us his IgE level to peanut and if it below the magic number of 15. His number started out at 29 last spring, so I bet as well as he is doing that it will be below that mark. If it is, he will go on to the peanut avoidance stage of the study. The allergist said we should have results as early as 1/28 or 1/29.
Even though we have reached this point, the same rules apply for his dosing that we have had all along. The peanut must still be eaten on a full stomach, no dosing while ill with a fever or other serious infection and must avoid physical activity for 2 hours after dosing. Even though his risk of reacting to the peanut is much lower now, it can still happen if we break the "rules".
The little guy is very good about it all at this point. He loves to draw houses and build houses with his legos so we can always find something quiet to do. He is such a brave child to go through all he has in the last 9 months. We are all so very proud of him.
to be continued...