I have to share something.
SG has always eaten beef safely. Mostly cooked ground beef in stuff like spaghetti and meatloaf, but also steak.
This summer, we let her eat her steak cooked medium, the same way we eat it. Normally, we cooked her steak well done. We prepared and grilled it at home. Several times this summer she had 2-3 hives around her mouth, which quickly went away.
After she had steak the last time and broke out in a few hives, the light bulb went off in my head. I sat and thought about it and finally pinpointed it to beef- or rather steak. I thought it was because we tried a new brand of steak and maybe there were cross contamination issues.
The last night she had steak and we realized it must be the beef, I kept SG up late, letting her watch movies and holding her by my side. I was armed and ready with her EpiPen and Benadryl, which thankfully, she didn’t need. She didn’t have a reaction further than the first 2-3 hives, but as a food allergy mom, I know reactions can be delayed. And can get worse.
Knowing that, I slept fitfully. I checked on her several times through the night, listening to her steady breathing. The Huzz held me in his arms and told me it was gonna be alright. “Beef isn’t that good for you, anyway,” he said. But as he held me close, a few tears slipped from my eyes. “Here we go again with food allergies,” I thought.
After the Huzz drifted to sleep, I laid in bed, took deep breaths, and prayed. I prayed for answers, for safety for SG, for wisdom in learning to live with yet another food allergy, if that is the diagnosis. And I didn’t know this exact verse, but I knew most of this verse. I prayed this several times. I looked it up the next morning. Matthew 11:28.
SG tested negative to fish and shellfish in the past but I’ve yet to give her any. When they tested her last week for beef, she was retested for several fish and shellfish. All of the tests were negative. So that’s positive! I will learn to like and cook fish and shellfish. We’ve decided to slowly introduce these foods into SG’s diet.
But back to the beef…
After a week with three different tests, the results are in- kind of. According to the RAST test and the skin test using the beef serum from the allergist, SG is allergic to beef. However, she has been eating well cooked beef since she was small. We skin tested her again with a raw and cooked piece of beef. She had no skin reaction to either!
We have two other blood test results that aren’t in yet. One is checking for the tick thing (I’m not getting into that explanation. Just writing this all out is enough for today.) The other test is to see if she is a high histamine releasing person. There are medical names for these but I just can’t remember them.
Anyway, the allergist recommended we continue to feed her well cooked ground beef, as she is TOLERATING it. That’s the important word.
It’s scary to knowingly feed your child a food you know she is allergic to. But I’ve unknowingly fed it to her for several years. And the downside to complete elimination is she MIGHT possibly lose her tolerance.
The Huzz and I had a convo about giving her a small amount of ground beef with hashbrowns on Saturday mornings. That way she has it first thing in the morning and we are both with her all day.
Let me just tell y’all something. Today, I felt peace that surpasses all understanding. I was prayed up. I prayed no matter what we learned today, I would joyfully say, “Lord, Your will and Your way.”
When SG had her RAST test for beef, we decided to go ahead and check her milk and egg levels.
I prayed her milk level would have gone down, or at least stayed the same. Instead, it rocketed off of the charts. And her egg whites went WAY up. Egg yolk went up, too, but was the least dramatic.
The last time I received her RAST numbers, I BURST into tears. I felt as if my world had come crashing down, for the second time. The initial diagnosis was a HARD day. Reading the hard facts about her RAST test a few weeks later devastated me yet again.
But not this time. I am disappointed. I would be lying if I said it’s all hunky dory. It’s not. But I serve a God who is bigger than food allergies. A friend reminded me that this is a “momentary affliction” in light of eternity. Those words played in my head driving home from the test.
God filled me with His grace and I was able to stand up straight and talk about what needed to be done and get through the appointment without falling apart.
And ya know what? As I’m typing this, a little tear is in my eye. I don’t know if it’s because I’m retelling this beef story, if it’s because I’m overwhelmed by God’s grace or both.
I’m a little 5’1 ball of emotion today.
I know that through it all, God is good. And as much as food allergies STINK and have changed our lives, it’s a part of us. We will continue to be vigilant parents and provide her with a normal childhood.
The Lord has gone before us and is the Alpha and Omega and that comforts me greatly.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
(Emphasis added by me.)