Birthday Wish for My Son

Yesterday was my son’s second birthday. Instead of buying a cake, I put a homemade dairy/egg/nut-free bundt in the oven for his party. My cake experiment was a major failure, so I needed to make a second cake. Everything eventually turned out just fine. No big deal, right?


Forefront, Cake #2; background: Cake #1 (fail)

When it comes to my son’s food allergies (milk, eggs and almonds), I try to have a positive attitude. Sometimes though, like yesterday, it can be hard. I start losing my sense of humor and creativity and just wish I could go to a bakery and buy a pre-made birthday cake. Or that I could bake a cake without having to worry about giving him hives (or worse) because I put in too many eggs… Or I didn’t bake it for long enough… Or I didn’t bake it at a high enough temperature.

After learning of his milk allergy 15 months ago, and then finding out about other foods he would have to avoid (first peanuts, tree nuts and sesame, and now just milk, raw eggs and almond), our family has adjusted to a new routine. I always need to remind myself that other people have many more allergies and go through so much worse. All we have to do is just avoid certain foods, which can be an inconvenience and a bit stressful at times, but we manage it.

Food Challenge for Milk

This Friday, all of that could change—if we could be so lucky. My son has a food challenge at a nearby hospital for milk. If he “passes,” we could slowly start introducing milk and milk products like butter, cheese and ice cream into his diet. While his allergist is confident with his test results to schedule this food challenge, it’s still possible he could have an allergic reaction during the test, ranging from hives to full-blown anaphylaxis (not likely, but still a possibility). The hospital will be fully equipped for whatever happens, but I’m still extremely nervous about the whole thing.

When my son blew out his birthday candles last night, I wished he would pass his food challenge. I wished he could have ice cream this summer. After his successful food challenge for baked egg in April, I hope this trend continues so he’s no longer living with any food allergies (although, he may hold onto that almond allergy, and there may be allergies we haven’t discovered yet…).

And selfishly, I hope that someday we no longer have to live with the constant worry that my son could eat something by mistake at the dinner table, a restaurant, or a birthday party, etc. The perils of his allergens seem to lurk almost everywhere.

My fingers are crossed for my son and for others facing food challenges, either now or in the future. I’ll have more news this Friday.


8 thoughts on “Birthday Wish for My Son

  1. hsw says:

    I am crossing my fingers for you as well, we just had some successful food challenges and I wish the same relief for your family though it is also surreal to re-introduce foods that have been carefully avoided. You are doing a GREAT job, though I 100% empathize with that feeling of just wanting to buy a birthday cake. I have realized that maybe this worry we carry as people who love someone with food allergies means that we’ve taken some of the burden off of them? Not the burden of monitoring themselves or being careful but the burden of the substantial worry that comes with it all? I don’t know but I will be thinking of you on Friday half a world away. I know I’m a random internet stranger but if you need to talk, feel free to reach out.

    • dairyfreeswitzerland says:

      Hi Homa, Thanks for your kind words. Very much appreciated. I’m so glad you’ve had some successful food challenges recently! Yes, the burden of worrying is so very real. Such a thoughtful description you have for our role as caregivers. It’s so nice reaching out to others like yourself who can relate to all this madness. Hope you continue to get good news, and thanks again. I needed a pep talk today. 🙂 -Heddi

  2. Holly says:

    Good luck Friday. When my son had his trial for peanuts he had a reaction but only had to take oral antihistamines so it wasn’t too awful for him or me. I agree with the above reader, seeing the cakes in the shops makes you feel down sometimes and I love food and it pains me that my son cant enjoy it as much as I do. But I try and focus on what he can do and little steps for both of us (he’s on school camp at the moment – so my finger nails are bitten to pieces). Good luck and take something for your son to eat immediately after the trial stops as he’ll be starving.

    • dairyfreeswitzerland says:

      Hi Holly, Thanks so much for your thoughtful advice! I’ll be up baking the night before so he has goodies right away when it’s over. That seemed to work last time, and then he slept on the drive home. Hope your son has a great time away at camp. I’m sure you have all the necessary preparations in place, but it still must be stressful! Hang in there, and good luck! Many thanks, Heddi

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