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  • Ashley Porter

Hudson's Food Allergy & Life Update

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Hi! It's been a bit since we last checked in!

Life has been a little crazy over here, as I’m sure it’s been for everyone in this very strange time in life. I took some time to get through the holiday craziness and some doctor appointments over the last couple months, but I’m hoping to get back into the kitchen for some fun recipe testing and back onto the blog to share them with you, too!

My husband took both of the boys to physical therapy this morning, and I’m taking advantage of an empty house on a rainy morning, with a fire going and a cup of coffee in-hand to catch you up on a few things that have changed for us!

Hudson started doing food challenges with his new immunologist back in September. When we first started with his new doctor, she ran some blood work to get updated test results, and for the first time in so long we got some good news. His numbers on a few of his foods were finally starting to come down! I've always been so apprehensive when we run new blood work because without fail, every time we get the results back, we find out he has a new food to add to his allergy list or his numbers have gone up for his known allergies. It's always been a very discouraging experience. I was shocked to find out that his numbers for milk and egg were at almost zero and his wheat had come down also.

Because of these new findings, we decided to proceed with the doctor's recommendation to start a few food challenges. We began in September with wheat at an in-office food challenge, which he passed. We continued at home with just a couple oyster crackers a few times a week and now we have increased to the equivalent of one piece of bread a day. He's doing great with wheat so I am hoping that we will be able to increase his dosing even more soon!

The next food challenge we did was at the end of November with milk. He tested negative to the in-office scratch test so we proceeded with the oral challenge with yogurt, and he passed that too. He started with two tablespoons of yogurt a few times a week and has increased to an entire 4 oz cup! It's still so bizarre to buy cow milk products at the store and give them to Hudson after avoiding them for four years.

Food challenge food allergies

The most recent food challenge we started was just this last week with baked egg. This was the one I was most nervous for because when we tried to challenge egg in the past he vomited, so I was a little apprehensive, but like I mentioned, his numbers had come down to zero and the scratch test in-office was also negative, so that gave me more confidence going into it. Plus, the doctor and the nurse that we see have been fantastic and care so much for Hudson, so that has made me more confident in their recommendations and the food challenges in general. They have been really sensitive to the anxiety that Hudson and I both have surrounding his allergies and move the process along at a conservative pace because of that.

I made chocolate muffins for him to use in the baked egg food challenge that had the equivalent of two eggs in six muffins. He had no reactions at all with the oral challenge in office, so over the last couple days I have started to give him half of a muffin each day. He has to have it a minimum of three times a week but can have it up to every day if he would like to. Hudson rarely turns down a chocolate muffin so I anticipate we will probably be having these every day. I just made a triple batch of the muffins last night so I have a freezer stash ready for the next few weeks.

If he does well with baked egg in the next month, we plan to try boiled egg next.

It’s still pretty surreal to be giving him wheat, milk and eggs. The other morning he had a cup of yogurt, half a bagel, and half of a muffin with egg in it for breakfast. We both had a little chuckle about how weird it was that he had all of those foods on his plate. It's so amazing to think that by the time he gets into kindergarten in the Fall, he might have some safe foods added to his list. Even if he's not eating these foods in unlimited amounts, it's such a relief to know that if he accidentally eats a small amount or he eats something that was cross-contaminated with one of these foods, it won't be a life or death situation anymore. Of course, we still have these fears with other foods on his list, mostly tree-nuts and peanuts, but I'm so thankful to take even one food off of these lists for him.

I'm also excited about the freedom that it might offer him when he gets invited to a birthday party or has a class party. I never thought he would be able to eat a piece of cake or a cookie that is at a birthday party. And in the last few months, these types of things have become possibilities. We will obviously still have to exercise an abundance of caution with cross-contamination of tree-nuts and peanuts, but even still, these are little steps I never thought would be possible for Hudson, and they are such an answer to prayer!

Food allergies aside, I thought I would update you all on Hudson's toe walking. A couple months ago I had posted a photo of Hudson with casts on both of his feet. It was the next step in our journey to end his toe walking.

He has been toe walking since I can remember. He has some sensory needs that most likely lend themselves to his toe walking - as a child that seeks sensory input, toe walking provides a ton of input when he can feel his full body weight on his tiptoes. We had tried lots of reminders to walk with flat feet and he would go down on his flat feet but the second he was distracted by something else he would end up on his tiptoes again. He was in occupational therapy for a couple years and we were not able to stop the toe walking during that time, so we saw an orthopedic surgeon who recommended we put him in AFOs (ankle-foot orthosis), which is essentially a foot brace that he wears to keep his heels down to the ground and prevent him from tiptoeing. He wore those for about 7 months, and had physical therapy too, but unfortunately it didn't stop him from toe walking. As soon as he was out of his braces he would get right back up on his tiptoes. He would even try to toe walk with the braces on. He's a strong-willed kiddo!

The last attempt was serial casting. Hudson's situation actually didn't require casting for very long because he wasn't very tight. He actually had fairly good mobility - it was more of a habit that needed to be broken. The doctor put him in casts for two weeks, brought him back to stretch his foot just a little bit, and put him back in casts again for two more weeks. When he got out of the cast right before Christmas, his leg and ankle muscles were pretty weak, which prevented him from toe walking. Since getting out of his casts, he has been in physical therapy and wearing his AFOs again to support his feet and legs as he learns to walk properly and regain muscle strength. He has been doing great and we have not seen him tiptoe once since the casts came off! We see the doctor again in a couple weeks, and I'm very hopeful that she will tell us that he might not need to wear his AFOs anymore, which would be amazing for everyone.

Hudson has been such a trooper through all of this-his resilience truly amazes me. He's such a positive kid and rarely complains. He never once mentioned his casts or his AFO's, which he affectionally calls his transformers. Just in the last couple weeks, he's been fighting the transformers a little, which is understandable. I know it can't be comfortable for him and it also takes away some independence because he wants to be able to put his own shoes on, and he can't do that with these. We will all be so thrilled if he can go back to wearing his regular shoes, and more importantly, if his toe walking has been taken care of.

I know that was a long update, but I think that catches you up with where we are at in life with Hudson! Oh, and he turned FIVE this month - complete with a Storm Trooper/Star Wars party! I can’t believe that my first baby will already be headed to kindergarten this year, but he sure is excited!

Thanks for following along on our journey. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email and I'd be happy to answer it!

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