Two weeks ago, at our last OIT appointment, Jaya was congested and had a fever so she did not receive updose #6 as per the usual dosing schedule. Her cough and cold symptoms persisted so she has been on a few illness day doses (8 drops) during the last two weeks. When she felt better late last week, she resumed the daily dose of 32 drops of the diluted milk solution.
Today, Jaya received updose #6 which is 64 drops of the diluted milk solution. She will be on this dose daily for the next two weeks. She did not have any symptoms after she received the dose.
Sahil received updose #7 which is 10 mL of the 5 mg/mL peanut solution and equivalent to 1/4th of a peanut. He is still struggling with the taste of the solution and has to fend off feelings of gagging when he takes the daily dose. Recently he started having a stomach ache which starts about one to two hours after the dose. For this, Dr Hanna recommends increasing the amount of carbohydrates he eats before the dose.
After two weeks on 10 mL of the solution Sahil will move on to 1/4th of a real peanut. It is still 1/4th because the dose amount remains the same whenever the form changes, in this case, from the solution to a real peanut. Dr Hanna asked us to purchase a food scale so we can weigh the correct peanut dose each day. She will show us how to do this at the next appointment.
The oral immunotherapy (OIT) dosing schedule is adjusted according to how the individual patient is tolerating their doses. Jaya and Sahil swallow the doses yet the OIT journey, just like their food allergies, impacts our entire family.
Our middle daughter Anika has no known food allergies however she is greatly affected by her siblings’ life threatening food allergies.
Anika is vigilant about keeping Sahil and Jaya safe. She mostly avoids their allergens but if she eats anything they are allergic to she ensures her hands are thoroughly washed and teeth brushed. Anika has asked me to train her on the epipen in case she has to administer it for them. She recently told me she often listens to her sister’s breathing after Jaya falls asleep. They share a room and she worries about Jaya having an allergic reaction at night.
All parents worry about their children, a worry that never goes away. And when our children feel pain, are not well or are excluded, it deeply affects parents.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” -Elizabeth Stone
In listening to Anika’s concerns I understand how she is deeply affected as well.
I am proud of Anika as I am proud of Sahil and Jaya for their daily commitment to OIT. Together, they are working towards the freedom from constant vigilance and allergen avoidance for which perhaps I yearn the most.