I haven't written about Bryce's food allergies in a while mostly because, well, they're pretty static. No real changes. No new allergies, thank goodness. But also no reduction in allergies. If you're a new reader, Bryce is allergic to: Dairy, Egg, Wheat, Rye, Peanut, Tree Nut, Sesame, Cinnamon, and maybe mustard. He cannot tolerate soy as it flares his eczema. He's proven to be anaphylactic to ALL of those listed allergens, so this is some serious stuff.
I had Bryce in for his 5 year well child visit last week. He's missed most of these "well child" appointments because he's at the doctor so much! The pediatrician he sees is great and she herself has a child with food allergies. Additionally, she knows Bryce's allergist personally and that is very helpful as they have the same mindset regarding Bryce & vaccines, Bryce & school, Bryce & eating, etc.
Here's the bad news--and the reason why I do not understand why people take their children off whole categories of food without solid evidence it's necessary: Bryce is sliding off the growth charts. I've managed to keep his weight in the 90% via as much healthy food (bacon, anyone?) as I can get in him, but his growth is starting to stall out. He was in the low 90% at age 3, the low 80% at age 4, and now at age 5, he's slipped to the 73%.
For many families, this would be normal. In our family, this is not normal. The ped agrees--Bryce is smaller of stature than he likely would be were he consuming a full range of foods. My husband is tall. I am tall. My cousins are tall. Heck, Brad is Dutch--100% Dutch, and we all know that the Dutch are the tallest "race" of people on Earth. My older 2 boys have consistently been off the chart for height since birth (Bryce, too, actually). My 9th grader is 6 feet tall and my 4th grader is almost 5 ft tall. Bryce is supposed to be tall!
But now, he stalls. He hasn't changed shoe size in almost 1 year. Is he healthy otherwise? Yes. No real illnesses this winter (knock on wood as winter is NOT over!) He's enjoying school. He's learning to read. He's learning to add.
He's not growing. A friend commented something to the effect of "he's shorter than you expected, what's the big deal?" Maybe she wasn't so crass as that, but that was the basic premise. She's right-it's not a big deal. He's healthy and we're keeping him safe from his allergens.
But so much of who I am as a person is wrapped around BEING TALL. I am TALL. My kids are TALL. My family tree is full of TALL. Bryce is supposed to be TALL. I don't want him to be short. I don't want him to look at his older brothers who will both likely top 6 feet and have him be sad because he isn't tall, too.
It sucks enough that he has to eat differently from everyone else.
It sucks enough that he has to carry around drugs to save his life everywhere he goes.
He shouldn't have to be short.
Food allergies suck.