The test

He sat on my lap, facing me. Shirt off, hands around my neck, waiting.

“I’m brave mommy, I’m so brave!”

That he was.

The first pricks on his smooth back made him flinch a little.
The second – the actual scratch – stung.

Both of us.

He cried, but I told him how brave he was, and that he could hold on tight.

He did.

We grabbed his blankie, his favorite book, and waited.

Twenty minutes for the test results. I checked his back every few minutes to see if I could decipher a reaction or not. Closed my eyes and prayed over his shoulder.

As we were driving to Fynn’s retest for his peanut allergy I composed two different blog posts in my head. You know you’re a blogger when you write posts in your head to handle and work through situations. One post was for a negative test (what we hoped and prayed for) and the other was for a positive test. Honestly, I knew what I would write if the test came back negative. I would write about how thankful we were, how lucky we are, and yet how thankful we are to have gone through the last two years with a food allergy so we could better understand others and be more sensitive to the issue.

It was the positive one I was struggling with. I didn’t want my mind to go there, to think about dealing with Fynn’s allergy for the rest of his life. So many do though, and so many face the daily struggles of food allergies with courage and braveness because it’s what you have to do. Your life depends on it.

In the grand scheme of things, food allergies might not seem like a huge issue. But in some cases it is a huge issue, a life or death situation. The past two years I’ve become a food allergy vigilante of sorts, possibly driving a few people nuts {pun totally intended right there!}. But until you know what it’s like to have a child with a food allergy, you don’t know. Until you carry around that epi pen day after day, with hopes to never have to use it, you don’t know. And until you have to turn food away from your doorstep because it might possibly have trace amounts of nuts, you don’t know. I’ve gotten looked at like I had ten heads for asking someone to not give their child a peanut butter sandwich in my son’s presence. But you do what you have to do to keep your child safe. Food allergy or otherwise.

I will never question a families motives if they ask me to keep a certain food at bay from their child. Ever.

So in the small office this morning, holding onto Fynn, silently praying, I asked for the strength to handle whatever the results turned out to be. If they ended up being negative, to be thankful and sensitive to others. If it ended up being positive, to give us the strength to always keep Fynn safe.

The test….. came back negative! They had to do an extra test for the control, but Fynn braved that one as well, and the skin test came in negative. We are beyond thankful, but not completely out of the woods yet. Next month Fynn will go in for a food challenge, where they test his skin and mouth with a bit of peanut butter, then he’ll finally ingest some, all in a safe environment in case he has a reaction. The allergist is optimistic that he’ll be one of the 20% that outgrow peanut allergies. So we are cautiously optimistic!

And finally, I’d like to thank all of you who were thinking of Fynn this morning. I know that all the good vibes and prayers had at least a little to do with his test results. We are very thankful. Brimming with tears kind of thankful. Hopeful for next month, next year.


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18 responses to “The test

  1. I’ve heard some horror stories about peanut allergies. Praying that the final results give you some peace and direction.

  2. I’m so thankful I’ve never had to deal with any sort of allergy (so far). I’m glad things are looking optimistic, he might be eating a peanut butter sandwich in no time.

  3. Yes, Lord Yes!

    Thank you for sharing, and give Flynn a little extra love from all of us in cyberland

  4. Andrea

    I am beyond excited for Fynn and your family. I will continue to pray that Fynn does well in his food challenge.

    Also, when I read this: “You know you’re a blogger when you write posts in your head to handle and work through situations”, I was smiling because I do this too 🙂

  5. That’s so great! I’ve never heard of outgrowing peanut allergy, but that’d be great if he could. (I know what it’s like to carry an epi pen.) =)

  6. Don’t we just feel everything they do!
    Brave boy…brave Mama!

  7. Good news!
    I actually have a son with a tree nut allergy – and I don’t think it is a huge thing in the grand scheme, but when I blogged about it at the diagnosis, I got a lot of flack from people who were all pissy: “He could be really sick… what are you whining about” etc etc … that sucked!
    So I am grateful to hear your words – that it is not insane to be really worried/upset about it!

  8. Your opening lines put a lump in my throat. There is nothing… nothing… like watching your child go through pain that you know is for his benefit. It breaks my heart every time. And I’m happy for him. And for you. And I hope the next step goes well.

  9. Oh Corinne, I absolutely feel all of your emotions right now. Food allergies have turned our world upside down, and I now have so much more emphathy for others who have to go through it. I am so incredibly happy for Fynn and hope the next round of tests comes back negative.

  10. Woohoo! Huge congrats on the negative scratch test! My son recently passed an oral egg yolk challenge in order to receive his flu & H1N1 vaccines. (He’s still wildly allergic to the whites, so no dietary changes.) That’s a blog post I’m still composing in my head, tho, lol.

  11. Oh, I am so happy for you and Fynn! I was reading your post with bated breath until I got to the bottom with the results. Having a child with a food allergy really changes your perspective on food. It is such an eye opener. And yes, I’ve had people (including family members) think I was just completely over the top paranoid about food. I need to schedule my Finn’s next allergy test….we’re REALLY hoping he’s outgrown his egg allergy. Hooray again for a negative test!

  12. Oh, I’m so relieved to hear this! I was thinking of you & Fynn yesterday, hoping & praying for that negative result. This must be such a weight off of your sholders! I hope all goes well with the upcoming food challenge. I’ve heard that some children can & do outgrow nut allergies…my fingers are crossed that Fynn will be one of those children!

  13. that’s great! a little boy in harry’s class has a peanut allergy, and it is scary stuff. an excellent post!

  14. Oh dear! Relief but that had to be scary! Thinking you all until you get results.


  15. Praise God!! I’ll be praying he has definitely outgrown it.

  16. Pingback: Bits of Fynn « Trains, Tutus and Twizzlers

  17. Pingback: Anonymous

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