Colleen’s First Strawberry

I know, many of you could care less, but this is a monumnetal event in our family!  When Colleen was just three she and I shared a strawberry Nutri-Grain bar for breakfast.  Not 30 minutes later she was turning all sorts of red with bumps and hives flaring all over.  AND she was swelling to boot.  Of course I woke Greg up, who has just come home from a long early morning of delivering newspapers (not a time in our lives that we like to reflect on, but it paid the bills) and asked him what to do.  Well, take her to the ER!  Greg stayed home with a very new born Cameron while I took Colleen in.  I was told that Colleen was allergic to nuts and berries that day and have avoided both ever since.  Well, with her anyway.  Her allergy wasn’t so bad that we had to avoid the foods completely, she just couldn’t ingest them.  Every year we would deal with all sorts of paperwork for the schools to make sure they knew of her allergy and made sure that Epi Pens were everywhere that she would visit.  School, home, both grandparents’ homes, and an extra for travel.  Yeah, insurance doesn’t like to cover all those, trust me.

So Colleen is a junior in high school and I’m tired of the school breathing down my neck about getting the paperwork turned in, the doctor visits, the whole rig-a-ma-rol.  So, I make an appointment to get Colleen tested again to see exactly what she is allergic to.  An appointment with an allergy specialist no less.  I’m not messing around.  Colleen is terrified of needles so I had to put mommy blinders on and not listen to her and focus on the greater good.  I had Greg take her to the appointment.  Did you think I was going to go watch my baby be poked?  Crazy.  Test comes back that she is allergy free!  She is told to take the things she thought she was allergic to and rub it on her arm first.  If there is no rash or reaction then to rub it against her lips.  If, again, there is no reaction then to go ahead and eat it.  With an adult and an Epi Pen nearby.  Colleen decided to go for strawberries first.  Who could blame her?  We have 74 strawberry plants in our garden that are still overloaded with fruit.  We’re eating them in front of her, and making freezer jam out of them.  We’re in strawberry heaven, while she has been an onlooker.  Sad. 

Here is the process:

Unfortunately the first one she ate was a sour one.  Thus the strange look on her face.  I can report, proudly, that Colleen really likes strawberries!  She has been out to the garden and picked a lot herself, took them as a snack this past weekend to an overnight choir retreat, and she has figured out how to tell the sour ones from the sweet.  I am giving a big heavy sigh of relief.  Ahhhhh.

Next test, nuts . . .

5 comments on “Colleen’s First Strawberry

  1. Springer October 4, 2010 7:49 PM

    This is great. Strawberries are one of my very favorite foods. I love the smile on her face just before she tries it – of course, the smile of anticipation of trying something new is something I would love. Congrats, Miss Colleen (and mom and dad)!

  2. Soni October 5, 2010 12:17 AM

    Yeah! Hope nuts goes as well!

  3. Colleen October 6, 2010 3:41 AM

    Hooray! Not only are strawberries a delicious treat that should not be missed, but that is a HUGE worry to let go of. Enjoy your new freedom, Colleen!

  4. Christine October 11, 2010 3:57 AM

    I know just how she feels. At one point in my very short life thus far, I was allergic to banana’s. I had just gone to the Orthodontist for my monthly tightening appointment and decided on my way back to work to eat a banana. By the time I got to work – I had started to swell, was covered in hives and my throat was starting to close. Needless to say – a coworker took me to the hospital and they proceeded to insert an IV with a big bag of benadryl and they shot me full of steroids. I didn’t eat another banana until I was 28. I was tired of watching everyone else enjoy banana bread, cake, smoothies, banana splits, etc… I don’t know if it was just a flook thing that I reacted that way or if it was a true allergy, but I was terrified with Epi-Pen in hand when I ate my first banana again. So I hope she enjoys strawberries as much as I enjoy a good banana.

  5. mandi October 11, 2010 2:57 PM

    Sometimes my tongue feels strange after eating some foods. Like tomatos and bananas. But it doesn’t stop me from eating them. 🙂 I can’t imagine *not* having banana bread etc. I love bananas. I’m glad you can enjoy them now too Christine!

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