Baby Bee

Life was relatively normal around our house until the addition of Baby Bee.  We had two toddlers and one crazy, loud house.  Then we added another little bundle on the day before Easter.  Our little Easter present was perfect, until we began to suspect problems when she was only a few weeks old.

In the past few years, we have been on a long journey to discover the source of Baby Bee's problem, receive a diagnosis, and work toward healing.  We have learned so much along the way and are still uncovering new information.  This is our journey into the world of food allergies.

Here are some FAQ's about our Hive:  Here are some frequently asked questions.  The more detailed answers are contained in blog posts that I have written over the years.  The short answers and the links to the blog posts are included. 

What were Bee's first symptoms?
Bee's symptoms began with cradle cap, then eczema, then excessive crying, then refusal to eat, then weight loss, then multiple skin infections.
Suspicions Confirmed 

What are some of the symptoms of food allergies?
The symptoms can range from stomach issues and GI issues to skin problems to behavior problems to anaphylactic shock.  The number of various reactions to foods is amazing.  
Allergies or Autism 

How did we know she had food allergies?
I suspected the food allergies and began an elimination diet to prove my theory.  She did make improvements and I felt our theory was confirmed.

How were our suspicions confirmed?
We finally received a positive allergy RAST test from a pediatric allergist.
Bee's Diagnosis
Multiple Doctors and the Journey to Diagnosis

What testing have we done?
We have done both RAST blood tests as well as skin prick tests.
RAST Test in 2011

Is the testing always accurate?
The short answer is no, not in our experience.
RAST Test in 2010

What type of doctor do we see currently?
We see an Allergist/Immunologist and a Dietician.  We also meet with a Respiratory Therapist on some visits.
Our Visit with the Immunologist
Immunologist and Dietician

Why did this happen and do we have food allergies in our family?
We do not have a family history of food allergies but do have a family history of asthma and eczema.
Questioning Why

Do all the kids have food allergies?
So far, only Bee and Curly have been diagnosed with allergies.
Ladybug and Her RAST Test 
Curly and Fire Ant Allergy
Tiger and Asthma

How long does it take to see results after beginning a new diet?
It can take quite some time to see positive results.  Even with persistence, set backs can still happen.
Healing Food Allergies
Regressions Happen

How far have we come?
Bee has made great progress with her allergies and especially with her eczema in the past few years.
A Review of 2010
A 2011 Birthday Update 
Then and Now 
Bee is 4!

What is life like with a food allergic child?
Hard.  Food allergies are a daily battle.  The diagnosis was debilitating and overwhelming.
The 7 Stages of Grief
Down Days
Allergy Isolation
How Donuts Ruined My Day

How do we work together to keep Bee safe?
It takes the joint efforts of everyone in our family to keep Bee safe.  We have a routine that we've established to protect Bee.
Hand Washing

What do we use for Bee's eczema?
Bee's eczema is managed without daily medication and we use a variety of methods to help calm her rashes, especially in the summer heat.
Cool Tub Soaks
Wet Wraps

Is it difficult to cook and bake allergen free?
The baking and cooking was difficult at first, but once we started experimenting with allergy free baking, we've had quite a bit of success.
Baking Disasters 
Recipes That Didn't Make the Cut

Can a food allergic person have a small amount of their allergens?
No, strict avoidance is necessary for safety.
No Means No

How do you handle holidays with the multiple food allergies?
Holiday get togethers and functions require advance planning and some traditions have to be changed.
Valentine's Day

Can you vacation with food allergies?
Yes, with calling ahead, bringing safe foods and meds, and planning ahead.

Has Bee outgrown any allergies yet?
Yes!  We are so thankful for any progress she makes!
Bean Allergy
Oat Allergy

Will Bee outgrow all of her allergies?
The immunologist believes that some allergies will be life-long for Bee due to their severity.

Do we know the cause of every allergic reaction?
No, and some we might not ever discover.
Some Are Unexplained
Church and Allergies

Does Bee take daily meds for her allergies and eczema?
Bee does not take daily maintenance medications; we only use medication during an allergic reaction or when she is unusually itchy.
No Meds For Us

Is Bee anaphylactic?
Yes, some of Bee's allergens cause anaphylactic reaction, but not all of them do.
ER Visit 

Does Bee also have asthma?
She has not been formally diagnosed but we know she is at a high risk for asthma.  We watch her closely and will have her tested as she gets older.
Weather Changes and Asthma

What is in our Allergy Kit?
As allergy parents, we must always be prepared with medications for emergencies.
Allergy Kit Contents
Our Allergy Kit

Is it possible to eliminate all the allergens from your diet and eat that way daily?
Yes, despite what some might tell you, it is possible to eat completely allergy free.
Our Food Allergy Diet

How do we explain the food allergy to others?
One of our most difficult jobs is educating others about the allergies and helping them understand the severity of Bee's condition.  
Please Don't Bring Food
Food Allergies as a Disability

How do we handle the fear of living with food allergies?
This is tough.  I battle fear and worry daily.  It's a balance to find ways to be as normal as possible while keeping Bee safe.
Food Allergies and Fear 

And what about little Punkin?  She has severe eczema so we are working to heal her skin. 
What's our first stop?
Our first thought is food allergies so we see our immunologist first.
A Referral to our Immunologist

What is our current allergy list?
Dogs and More Dogs
Flax Seeds
Sesame Seeds
Sunflower Seeds 
Tree Nuts

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