Next Friday New Girl and I go in for the BIG test. She will finally have skin testing for her food allergies. While the results won’t be definitive, and there are a notorious number of false negatives for this testing on children so young, I’m both very excited and very nervous all at once.
I am nervous, of course, about how she’ll handle the testing. Thus far in her short life, she’s been an exemplary patient, and I’m somewhat concerned that everything that’s required for this testing will change all that for good. At the same time, I’m excited to find out if she has possibly outgrown her allergies to milk, eggs, and soy. For the past year we’ve been ordered by doctors to avoid all of the eight most common food allergens with the exception of wheat (she had already testing clean for celiac disease). That has meant no dairy of any kind, no eggs, no soy, no tree nuts, no peanuts, no shellfish, and no fish. Now, after this testing, it’s possible that at her next birthday she could eat regular cake and ice cream. She might be able to participate in Pizza Day at the center. I may actually be able to take her out for a trip to the mall, visit a friend’s house, or swing through downtown without having to pack her own special food. I may finally be able to give her special milk-substitute formula the heave ho. Or, as the doctor indicated, we might find out that she’s allergic to something we never guessed — we could find out the culprit is actually cantaloupe or strawberries, or something else altogether.
While even negative test results will only be one step in a gradual process of determining her allergy status, I can’t help but feel like it’s also the first step in a certain kind of freedom for both New Girl and me — just so long as we don’t find out she’s allergic to tomatoes, which would be a cruel and unusual sentence to life without ketchup for my challenged little eater.