Do you have any allergies? It is a question that is thrown around by everyone and asked by every medical profession. If you sneeze for a couple of days and get watery eyes the common diagnosis is hay fever or an allergic reaction to pollens in the air.
As a child growing up when I was asked the question, do you have any allergies? I could answer ‘yes’ because any part of my body that was stung by a bee would blow up like a balloon. So it was commonly thought that I was only allergic to bees.
I was shocked when in my early twenties; I was diagnosed with lactose and wheat intolerance.
Then I married a man who had anaphylaxis to egg products and we had a child.
When our first child was born he failed to thrive and after a long a difficult start to life was finally diagnosed with lactose and wheat intolerance and severe allergy to dust, cut grass & grass seeds, dog & cat hair, seafood & shell fish and anaphylaxis to nuts. Under medical advice I weaned my son off breast milk (he was 7 weeks old) and put him onto formula, so his digestive system could recovered and I was able to re-establish breastfeeding after 4 weeks.
In order to breastfeed my son I had to go on a diet that did not have any dairy, wheat, soy, carbs, sugar, preservatives, additives, seafood, nuts, caffeine and (the obvious) alcohol and any medication (panadole etc). I successfully breastfed my son until he was 4 & 1/2 years. Each year he is tested to measure his body’s reactions to his allergies and each year they get less and less. That was my single motivator to keep with my strict diet and breastfeeding until he self weaned at 4 & /2 years.
My story has been documented and written about in a medical journal by our Paediatrician, written about by our States Midwifery Assocation, as a case study for university students and I have told our story to the Australian Breast Feeding Association.
My reason for telling my story here is allergies for my son is a serious matter and not a mild inconvenience and we have had to make many sacrifices for him to lead a ‘normal’ life. The internet is a great tool in gathering information for mothers trying to understand anaphylaxis and if you stumbled upon my humble site please know that my heart goes out to you and consider yourself hugged.