As many of you know all my kids have allergies to all tree nuts, peanuts, as well as chocolate. A the last few years I have been asking doctors to perform a food challenge test to see if they really are allergic to chocolate.
Walter Reed Army Hospital did say they would do the test, but they would only do one child per day and the test would take four to six hours. At the time Drew as deployed to Iraq and I just couldn't see making three trips into DC. And since they wouldn't allow any other children around, I would have had to have babysitters for the two at home. And I was working...it just was too much to ask at the time. I decided that we would try again at our next base.
So, here we are at the next base. When we got here all the kids had to have sports physicals to participate in sports at the youth center. During those visits I asked about a food challenge, but the doctors we saw didn't want anything to do with a food challenge.
And I can understand why - it can be dangerous. You are purposely giving a child a food that could harm them. But one doctor did offer to do a blood test. No one else in the past had offered, so I was very excited to have this test - even if it was only for Melissa.
Of course, had I know how much screaming my daughter would do when the needle is presented, I might would have had second thoughts.
It took about six weeks, but the test result did come back that she is allergic to chocolate. So, life continued on as it has for all of Melissa's life: no chocolate.
Then Saturday came along.
Melissa was invited to go to a birthday party of a classmate. Drew and I allowed her to go even though we did not know the family. I did talk to the mother about the allergies and I also talked to Melissa on the way to the party. She understands that while the adults around her may know about her allergies, ultimately she is responsible for what goes in her mouth and she is to ask questions if she has any concerns.
After the party she was telling me all the details. Like the store was out of the cake her friend wanted so they had red velvet cake instead.
I just stopped and said, "Excused me??!! You had what kind of cake?!!?"
"And you felt fine?"
"Because red velvet is made with cocoa!!"
"Well, they did take some chocolate off the top of my piece of the cake."
"No, honey, like the cake batter has cocoa in it!!"
So, apparently Melissa had cocoa and had no reaction. I really don't know what to do this information. Was the blood test wrong? Did she out-grow it in the last six months? Was there not enough cocoa to cause a reaction? Was there even any cocoa in the cake? Was the cocoa altered some how when it was baked? Was there no reaction because it was her first taste of cocoa (many times if you are allergic to something the first few reactions are small and get bigger each time you come in contact with the allergen.)?
Lots of questions and not many answers. I did sent an email to the store asking if cocoa is in their red velvet cakes.
But until I get a reply and figure all of this out, life will go on as before: no chocolate for the young ones.