This email was sent to me by a friend of mine, in regards to a doctor's appointment she and her boyfriend just had. I have changed/removed their names.
"As you know, Steve has the whey allergy and he's currently working with an allergist and a GI doctor, trying to rule out exactly what is going on. Currently, they think it might be a contact allergy within his actual intestines. Like - consuming the food itself isn't a problem, it's as he's digested and it moves into his intestines that the allergy is triggered and then he has the symptoms.
I have a really bad allergy to penicillin that started in my teens and part of my reaction during that was really, really bad hives. Ever since then, I seem to get hives really easily. I had a TERRIBLE outbreak in Nov. or Dec. on my face (I have pictures and it's like something from a horror movie). They ended up putting me on 2 different types of steroids and Rx benedryl. Since then I've gotten smaller outbreaks 2 or 3 times and now this week another bigger one. Also, the past two summers I've been having bad seasonal allergies with swollen eyes and can't wear my contacts.
Today we went to the doctor[ed: general practitioner, not allergist] (me for the hives, Steve for the flu) and after hearing both of our stories of allergies, he said some stuff that's really been eating at me.
He got into this big speech about allergies and that Steve and I should go to a gene doctor and allergic and seriously consider having kids if we decide to become more serious and start a family. It just came across like any kids Steve and I would have would be like a selfish decision of ours, and not in the best interest of a child.
He said that the worst of both parents can manifest in the child, and we might have a child with all kinds of asthma and allergy problems, and not being able to eat a lot of foods, etc. That a neighbor of his has a child with 6 different types of severe food allergies and is on a really restricted diet. [Ed: The doctor also admitted to them that he isn't sure if allergies are hereditary.]
I don't know .. maybe I'm just being silly and he's just overly cautious, but it really just seemed like grim news to me. It's allergies - which yes, are serious, but they can also be dealt with. It's not like you would ever decide to NOT have Katherine b/c she can't have dairy! You just educate yourself, educate her, and make changes to let her life be as healthy and danger-free as possible!
Haha, well I guess that really isn't a question after all. More like venting and asking your opinion or advice. You're really the only person I know (more than just reading another's blog) that has a child with severe allergies, so I thought I'd get your take on it b/c I really like your approach to allergies and K's safety."
Well! I have already responded, and you can probably guess the content of my reply, what with Scott and me having had TWO MORE children after giving birth to an allergic child. But the writer of this email graciously agreed to letting me share this with you. I want her to hear from other parents--whether you have an allergic child or not. What are your thoughts?