Aftermath of Coconut Milk Challenge (July 11-21)

Following TJ’s coconut milk challenge that ended with a dose of Benadryl and monitoring him, I tried my hardest to remain confident that God is protecting him and leading our steps in caring for him.  However, it was extremely difficult.  Anxiety started to creep in more than it had been in awhile.   The intensity of this worry and fear did not show up until Monday since my husband had been around all weekend.  However, once Monday hit, against my will, I started to dread everything that we had planned this upcoming week.  The fact that TJ was cutting his fourth molar and his eczema had flared up, irritating him, was not helping the situation. I feel guilty even using the word dread to describe my emotion.   But, it was only the truth.   I myself wasn’t feeling well so that too intensified it all.

On Tuesday, one of my close friends had invited all of our friends over for the day and night.   If we had kids, they were invited too.   While I had always loved going there, being at the beach, and hanging out with friends, I had a sick feeling in my stomach.   Before Friday’s coconut milk challenge, I had seriously been considering staying over even though of course I worried, mostly about food and eczema issues.  (It’s funny how different the things are that I worry about now than what I worried about five years ago or even a year ago.) Anyways, after the challenge, I was feeling 50/50 on whether or not to stay the night with TJ or not.

Then, I found out that my friend would be making a pesto dish for dinner for us.  I knew then I could not go.   Now, this is where I battle myself often.   Do I realize that this may be irrational to most people? Yes! Do I realize that this may even be over the top for TJ? Yes! I even asked my husband over and over again (as I tend to do) what he would do and what he would have done? While he helps most of the time, his answer did nothing but frustrate me even more because I really had just wanted someone to decide for me.   It was easier than making the “wrong decision.” My husband continually told me that “I don’t know what I would do because I am not in that situation. There is no wrong decision.   You have to do what you are comfortable with.” Then, after more questioning, he admitted, “I probably would not have taken the 1+ hour drive down at all because I am lazy.” Oh, how I love him. =) Grrr… I was so frustrated mainly with myself.

Final decision: I drove down for the afternoon which only turned out to be two hours about since TJ’s skin was not good.   The car ride both ways where not so pleasant because cars are where TJ scratches with his eczema the most.  Car rides involve me singing, talking, praying, dancing, tickling, playing, trying not to crash…. Car rides with a screaming baby/toddler are the worst especially when he is making his skin red and more irritated.  Part of me did not want to go at all anymore due to his skin but then I thought about what was best for TJ and I thought getting out and socializing with a bunch of other kids would be great.   Not once, did I think about what was best for me. I wasn’t sure that is what you do anymore as a parent…

I did not stay over though because being in a room where pine nuts were being used to make a pesto that would be eaten by everyone and then being in a room full of people eating it, were both not what i was comfortable with for two main reasons. 1) We don’t know TJ’s reaction to nuts at all.   Both his classroom and our house are nut and peanut free for now.   We only know he is allergic based on his blood work results and levels.   After seeing that a low 0.6 level of coconut could make TJ mildly vomit, I did not want to find out whether or not he would have a reaction, nor what it would be.  2 ) We were over an hour away from home.

The hardest part was once we were there, I wanted to stay and he was having so much fun.   I know I am not suppose to think this but on the way home, I could not help but to reflect on the fact that if our story did not involve multiple food allergies and eczema, we probably could have managed staying over even without all of our packed belongings.   However, this is our story for a reason.   TJ is mine for a reason and despite how frustrating Tuesday was, I am forever thankful and blessed.

However, Tuesday night I cried my eyes out to my husband.   I wanted to stay.  I felt like I was losing a lot of friends with all of this.   I felt like I was very alone with it all.   It is a difficult feeling to describe when you have so many family and friends around you to be grateful for and then you have these thoughts of being standing solo.Then of course, I started to feel worse for getting frustrated because I know that so many people are living with much worse battles than ours.

The next day when a friend nicely questioned my decision to leave, asking questions about it.  At first, I started to get upset because I felt like this confirmed people everywhere in my life were judging me and how overprotective and careful I am with all of this.   Then, I realized that this is exactly what I needed and wanted.   I wanted people to question my actions and driving forces and reasoning.   I felt more connected that way.

On Friday, we had plans to see some amazing family and to go swimming in their salt water pool which I had read and heard so much about it being good for eczema.   However, TJ’s skin was much worse and as we were getting into the already packed car, he scratched at his legs so much that they both started to bleed. We couldn’t go…

However, TJ napped and woke up, like usual, smiling on and on…

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