Friday, June 25, 2010

Still in disbelief!

I'm getting lots of e-mails, Facebook postings, blog comments and excited greetings.  I can't thank you guys enough for your support.  Truth be told though, I'm still very much in disbelief and not quite sure how to express my feelings about the success of the food challenge.

Realistically, nothing changes. Abigail still takes her 8 drops a day, holds them under her tongue for 2 minutes and can't eat 15 minutes prior or 30 minutes after. She'll continue to do this daily for at least another 18 months until the end of her treatment.  We're to make absolutely no changes to our eating habits which means I'm still reading every label and our family will continue to avoid unsafe restaurants.  Abigail will still bring her own cake to birthday parties, we'll still ask friends and family to not have peanut products sitting out when we visit and I'll still meet with her next year's teachers and classmates and put the same protection policies in place at school. We're to always have her Epi Pen and Benadryl handy.  In other words, we continue to live day to day under the assumption that there's always a chance for accidental exposure.

I know that at some point her passing the food challenge with flying colors will set in.  I think that at some future time, even if I can't relax regarding what she eats, maybe I'll relax when it comes to social settings. Those situations that I currently give my o'kay, but worry about.  For example, lunch time in the cafeteria at school.  I worried about her sitting in the same spot that someone eating a peanut butter sandwich just vacated.  I worried at family functions when there was a safe dessert tray and an unsafe dessert tray.  I worried about friend's birthday parties, sleep-overs, church events and camp.  And, that list goes on and on.  You can't do that much worrying for 7 years and have it go away over-night.

It's really an emotional roll-coaster.  I'm sure it's confusing to Abigail as well.  She ate the equivalent of almost 10 peanuts.  Her doctor is smiling from ear-to-ear, she's getting hugs and treats, told how brave she is and then, by the still can't eat anything with peanuts.

So, with some reserve, we're celebrating in the short term, but we're also still looking forward to the long-term.  There's quite a journey ahead with lots of unanswered questions.  Maybe a few more days of congratulations, and then I think we have to file this experience away until such time when we can truly celebrate.  I really think the best part of our food challenge experience is to know with confidence that we are getting the real stuff and not the placebo, that the SLIT methodolgy is working, that our time is not wasted and that we made the right decision to put Abigail through all of this.

Thanks again everyone for your support.  I attached a few pictures from our day at Duke.

It's 8:00 a.m. and Abigail is ready, although somewhat nervously, for her big day at Duke.

I've included these pictures so you can see the difference in her skin prick test between this week (1st picture) and her skin test in January.

I.V. is in and we're ready to start the food challenge.

Of course there were lots of treats.  Here we are enjoying a new DS game together.

This is it.  Last dose of the day.  She doesn't look any worse for wear does she?