At just a few hours old, he was so content. I remember looking down at my newborn son and being so completely in love with him. Little did I know that after less than 48 hours, our contented little boy would become quite the opposite.
We took him home from the hospital when he was just under one day old. Still on cloud nine, that first night went past in a blur of bottles and cuddles. The next day it all began, the screaming, the projectile vomit, the grey skin. The second night at home both me and my husband didn’t get a wink of sleep, Theo would only sleep for 15 minutes at a time, I remember thinking it was just a one off. But it wasn’t, we spent weeks if not months coping with a child who was so very poorly. I took him to our GP literally hundreds of times, each time being told something different. Colic, reflux, lactose intolerance… nobody really knew why our son was the way he was.
It wasn’t until I saw a new GP that we finally began to get somewhere, she took one look at Theo, and one look at me, and knew she had to do what she could to help. She referred him to a dietician as a matter of urgency, and the week after I found myself hearing the words ‘I believe your son is allergic to dairy’. It was as if the penny had dropped, the projectile vomit literally minutes after he drank formula, the explosive nappies, looking back all his symptoms screamed dairy allergy. But as a young mum with no experience of allergies, the thought didn’t even cross my mind.
Theo was put on a formula called Neocate LCP and for a while, he thrived. He was a completely different baby! But it wasn’t long until his symptoms came flooding back, before long we were avoiding soya as well as dairy. During the months of weaning, he reacted to nearly everything he ate. As well as dairy and soya he reacted to gluten, eggs, sweet potatoes and white potatoes, rice, bananas, and many other random things. For a while, he lived off plain meat and couscous.
Theo is now nearly 3 years old, and wow have we been on a journey. At the last count he has 11 allergies. These are dairy, soya, gluten, almonds, kiwi’s, all fish, oranges, grass pollen, house dust mites, penicillin and clarithomycin (both antibiotics). He suffers with severe eczema, asthma, oral allergy syndrome, eosinophillic gastroenteritis and a blood clotting disorder called thrombocytosis. He’s been admitted to hospital more times than I can count with anaphylaxis, some of his allergies came completely out of the blue, I think that’s the hardest part if I’m honest, expecting the unexpected.
‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ or so they say… I like to think that the silver lining of Theo’s multiple allergies is that I now have a wealth of knowledge and personal experience that enables me to help and support others in a similar situation. That’s exactly why I set up The Adventures Of An Allergy Mummy and as long as I am able I will continue to help other parents/carers in any way I possibly can. Allergy UK is the leading national charity dedicated to supporting allergy sufferers and their families, this year the charity celebrates 25 years of supporting those with allergies. Allergy UK runs a series of allergy awareness weeks to highlight the plight of allergy sufferers.The Allergy UK website and helpline were my lifeline during the first few months of our allergy journey and I will be forever grateful for the support and advice given.
If you wish to find out more about Allergy UK or donate to such a fantastic charity, head over to their website.