About a year ago, Jack had a reaction to a product with these ingredients: rice, rice bran oil, nori, sea salt. I've suspected a nori (seaweed) allergy ever since. We didn't skin prick test it at his allergist appointment the following Spring, seaweed is an easy food to avoid for a three year old.
Last night I fixed easy food for the boys (applegate farms lunch meat rolls, carrot sticks, muffins) and Justin and I ordered sushi which came with a cucumber/seaweed salad. About an HOUR after we ate, a patch of hives caught my eye, on Jack's forehead. I was checking him out muttering "that's weird" when Justin told me he had kissed Jack above his right eyebrow. Ah! Mystery solved.
Now, Jack has been tested for shellfish so we know that wasn't the culprit. And he has previously reacted to nori so I'm pretty positive that's what it was. Thank goodness this was just a case of "wash him up" and nothing more taxing on his body. Contact hives used to happen a lot, especially when he was an adorable little baby that people couldn't not put their allergy laden mouths all over.
I felt a little unsettled. I think I was getting over-confident. I was so sure that eggs were the only thing that Jack was still contact reactive to. This just showed me that he's still sensitive and allergic, we're all just managing it really well and seeing less reactions due to that. I've been reading a lot about the inaccuracy of skin prick and RAST (blood) tests and trying to convince myself that Jack may be less allergic than previously thought. Those are nice thoughts but when you've seen your toddler covered in hives (after benadryl) from his eyelids to the bottoms of his feet and you've changed bloody diapers and helped him to master booking it to the potty again and again, there's just no peace of mind in test error statistics. He is allergic.
I find myself in a strange limbo of believing that he will outgrow his allergies, that his immune system will balance as he matures.....and then I feel the intensity of his reactions and shudder. It was recently concluded that allergists can no longer diagnose an allergy based on test results. I can't say for sure, but I doubt our allergist would consider giving Jack an oral food challenge based on his test results (and history). So unless the old one still stands, I guess this means we are without diagnosis. I hope we can still get our epi-pen (snarksnarksnark)!