Waiting is the hardest part

My oldest has been allergic to milk her entire life. We’ve known this ever since her first bottle of formula at eight weeks of age, when what came out of her bottom should have been classified it as a hazmat site.

Then, at about a year, she tried yogurt. A few minutes later, as we were strapping her into her car seat in our brand-new vehicle, she spewed it all over the seat in front of her.

Good times.

We had her tested every few years and once when she was about four, we were told that she had outgrown her allergy to casein, a protein in milk (cow and goat). So we started to feed her foods with milk in them, but interestingly, she would not drink milk, eat cheese, or even ice cream.

That lasted a year and then she had a full-blown allergic reaction—hives from head to toe, getting worse over three days before they slowly started to subside.

Another test showed her allergy was “back” though it never really went away. I think that she avoided so much dairy during the year because she it made her feel “funny” (her mouth starts to itch), not due to taste.

We last tested three years ago and the test was immediately positive. But now that she is over ten, we’ve read statistics that say only about a fraction of kids who start with a food allergy, keep it past double digits. The most common allergies to keep are peanut, while milk is frequently outgrown as the immune system ages.

Her scratch test on Wednesday was negative. Now we wait for the results of a blood test.

I’m trying not to get too excited, to already envision a summer of cheesy pizza and cold ice cream and butter on corn. I know we have plenty of great substitutes that we’ve all come to enjoy over the years and that a milk allergy today is not a terrible affliction.

But, it’s still a little bit exciting to think that a trip to a restaurant may no longer require a lengthy chat with the wait staff. That we can stop at the ice cream stand near the beach without worrying they won’t have sorbet. That I will no longer have to send her to every birthday party with her own homemade cupcake.

But mostly, I’m hoping to send my increasingly-independent Belly off into the world without her worrying that she will choose something incorrectly and become sick.

I’m not refilling the prescription for that Epi-Pen just yet.


  1. Fingers crossed for you all!

  2. Ohhh, my son is only 4 but I really hope he grows out of his someday.

    Good luck.

  3. Julie B. says

    Fingers crossed for you guys!!!!

  4. Suburban Correspondent says

    Don't despair if it comes back positive – it's actually puberty that is the crucial time for change. My son is still quite allergic, but he is able to mistakenly taste a little without a full-blown reaction and he can now be around pizza and lasagna and stuff without reacting to whatever cheese molecules are floating through the air. Both those improvements happened in his later teens. Without them happening, he might not have been able to go live in a college dorm; so we are really grateful.

  5. Obi-Mom Kenobi says

    Isn't the body amazing? Padawan Learn actually DEVELOPED his a milk allergy when he hit puberty. I've probably had a minor one my entire life and just didn't know it. I've had severe eczema my entire life, especially as a child, but it went away when we stopped having dairy in the house for PL (and shows back up if I unintentionally eat some when we're away from home).

    Best wishes to Belly for the hoped-for result.

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