When William was just shy of a one year and half, he had his first reaction to nuts. Within several months of that he had his first reaction to chocolate. I was typical fist mother and did not give my precious child sugar, so he was nearly two before he had chocolate. Much to my surprise, he immediately spitted it out. I just looked at him like he was crazy, but it was CHOCOLATE!!! Then I saw his lips and tongue and knew: this was a sign that life was not going to be normal.
In the years since we have asked lots of questions to any one giving food to the children (they all have food allergies) and have read tons of food labels. Many times the kids have been not been able to have birthday cake in celebration of a friend's birthday. Thankfully, all my kids just take it in stride and don't get upset. They all have a healthy fear of being sick.
But even reading labels and asking questions has not prevented reactions. Two years ago we asked all the right questions and still ended up spending the evening in the hospital. (You can read about that night here.)
Through all these years, one thing has remained constant: uncertainty. You see, while I have no doubt that William is allergic to chocolate, I'm not sure about the other two. All three have had reactions to nuts and peanuts, but we have also never given Melissa and Ben chocolate. I just didn't want to take the chance without a doctor near by. Having a doctor near by is doing what is called a food challenge.
Not an easy thing to get a doctor to do. None want to be responsible for a reaction. Can't say I blame them. (One doctor was willing but at the time Drew was deployed to Iraq for a year and I was at the point of doing only what was absolutely required in life....like feeding, cleaning, and clothing my children. All else was pushed to the side...being happily married but a single mother is the pits! And all the military wives said AMEN!)
Since we have been back in the States, we have been able to see an allergist. He is willing to do a food challenge on the chocolate based on the uncertainty of the test we have done so far. But the kids are at an age where I feel they need to have a say in their health and health-care. I won't force them. After all, it could be an intense exhausting day if they do have a reaction.
They have one more week to decide. Not sure what it'll be....all are still on the fence. I would like to know....and I have started to think about where I should I hide my chocolate..just in case....