One Big Happy Allergy Family

Like all good stories, multiple plot lines form the structure of the Ortiz Allergy Saga.

Let’s start with Ben, our first protagonist.

Today was Ben’s doctor’s appointment.  The good news:  We (and by “we,” I mean, “I”) can turn down the PANIC!!!!! knob a bit.

The bad news:  He has allergies.

We know he reacts to peanut and egg, and, adding tree nuts to the list for safety’s sake, these three are definitely OUT.  Cross-contamination IS a concern; we’re about to join the ranks of People Who Read Labels For Information Regarding Manufacturing Processes.  We are now proud owners of Mr. Epi-Pen, Jr., who’s due to arrive home to Casa Ortiz as soon as the snow stops and I can get to the pharmacy.

Tomato sauce is a maybe. He had a strong reaction to it before, but he ate it with wheat, so it could have been one or both.

The fruit is just kid sensitivity to acidity—not an allergy, as far as we know.  Whew, says I.

Dairy is a mixed bag—he handles cultured dairy better than plain milk, which makes him break out a day or two later.  We’re going to try goat milk yogurt and see how he manages it.  Maybe even cheese, which Ben would be super-duper happy to see making a reappearance in his diet.  We’ll see.  No promises.

We also plan to try soy and wheat in his diet again, per doctor instructions.  If we have another reaction, then we know.

So that’s the first plot line.  Let’s move on to plot #2: Rhonda.

In all my SOUND THE ALARMS!!!!! panic yesterday about my son, I sort of forgot about myself.  Last night at dinner I had a moderate anaphylactic reaction to Some Food Unknown—not immediately life-threatening, but strong enough in my mind to warrant a trip to Urgent Care.

Weird thing is, I don’t eat food that has nuts in it.  I’m a grown-up and I know better.  After writing down the list of what I ate and what the possible allergens were, I assumed it must had been cross-contamination from sunflower seeds.  Confession: I’ve never been careful about cross-contamination.  I just assumed that, since my allergies were “mild,” I didn’t need to worry about manufacturing equipment and the like.

WRONG.  Come to think of it, I vaguely remember my allergist saying something about seeds and allergens…

Fast forward to today.  We came home from Ben’s appointment in time for lunch.  True to our resolution, we decided to test soy on him for lunch.  I made soynut butter rice cake sandwiches (sounds gross, doesn’t it?) for both of us.

Guess who’s allergic to soy?


I had a less-severe repeat performance of last night, four or five bites into my Rice Cake Extravaganza.  And I’m NOT allergic to rice.



And now, Plot #3: Jared.

Someone was feeling left out of the Ortiz par-tay—so left out, in fact, that Monsieur Mustard took pity on him and let him join in on all the fun Ben and I were having.  I.e., mustard makes Jared’s throat itch.

That’s the update.  We’re still forming a game plan for home, but at least we can move forward.  Thanks, y’all, for the kindness, prayers, and helpful advice.  Much appreciated!


  1. colleenmurphyduggan says

    Sometimes i wish we could eat like early American farmers. They didn’t have allergies, I don’t think. I’m sorry for your allergy scare. Sounds miserable!

  2. says

    Sheesh…that sounds suckitudinous. Also, be glad that my mother in law is not your mother in law, because she gave us 2 gallon sized bladders of mustard as a wedding present. Not joking. And no, we don’t have an inordinate love of mustard. Special times. I’m sorry to hear about all the allergy drama. The soy one really must be a pain because just about everything processed nowadays seems to have soy in it. Probably the only thing worse is corn, which truly is in EVERYTHING both food and nonfood. I actually kind of like soy nut butter the few times I had it. Is sunflower butter out? I guess sunflowers are seeds, huh. Hope it all gets better and more clear as time goes on. And I hope you never have occasion to use the EpiPen, but I’m glad you’re getting one.

    • says

      Aha. Yes, sunflower seeds. The sunflower seed butter we get is processed in a special plant, but I need to check it for soy. I was eating sunflower seeds that weren’t processed separately and I knew it, so, yeah, who’s fault is that? Mine. No pity or sympathy necessary, because it’s my own dang fault. The soy, however, wasn’t my fault. :)


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