We are now in the home stretch of Bo's peanut allergy desensitization treatment through Arkansas Childrens Hospital. During this phase, we only have to make the 7 hour trip to Little Rock once a quarter instead of the every other week pace we had to do for the past two years. That means he had a lot more free time this summer for swimming, baseball camps, spending the night with friends and visits with the grand parents.
Bo has been eating 34 peanut butter M&Ms every day since May as his daily dose to maintain his peanut allergy desensitization. We have received a few e-mails asking how our life has changed as Bo's desensitization to peanuts has increased throughout his peanut allergy treatment. Below is a quick list of some ways our life is slowly returning to normal as Bo's peanut allergy desensitization treatment continues and we no longer have to worry so much about an allergic reaction due to cross contamination or "may contain" levels of peanut exposure.
- We are now more comfortable with Bo eating foods that don't list peanuts in the ingredients, including restaurants where chefs assure us they can accommodate his peanut allergy
- Bo will be in second grade this year at school and we are going to allow him to eat at the regular table in the school cafeteria instead of the peanut safe table whenever he wants to
- We are also going to allow him to start riding the bus
- We have allowed Bo to stay overnight with friends and family as long he has his Epipens with him
Finally, we are hoping that we can get Bo's final food challenge scheduled with Arkansas Children's Hospital. For some reason, the protocal for those study participants who received placebo in year one (In June of 2008 we learned Bo had received placebo in year one) differs from the defined protocal for those that did not get placebo by omitting the food challenge at the end of one year of treatment. We have been patiently working with the nurses and Doctors to get the hospital board to approve Bo's food challenge so we can understand the extent of protection Bo now has due to his peanut allergy desensitization. It's a little frustrating to have invested so much time and money to this peanut allergy desensitization treatment at Arkansas Childrens Hospital to now have a documentation technicality slow down this important food challenge to validate Bo's success for us and others who will benefit from this great research.