Maintenance!!!

I am amazed, thrilled, relieved and thankful! I'm feeling all the emotions. We began this journey with Chloe on January 25th.  She has taken a total of 309 doses each and every day to get here.  We talked on the way to her appointment that it's been a lot of peanuts, applesauce and ice water, but it's also been a lot of fun on our little family trips to the doctor office about an hour away.  It's been ridden with anxiety at times, especially in the beginning.



This treatment is controversial among food allergy parents and I can understand that this isn't the path for everyone for a variety of reasons.  I remember back when we were deciding to do this or not that I was thinking how could we possibly feed Chloe peanuts?  And at the very same time, I was thinking how can we not try this?  Try is the key word.  For all of these months, I've taken it one day at a time.  I never fully let myself believe that we would get to maintenance.  I didn't know if she might develop EOE, which an esophageal condition that sometimes comes to light during OIT.  I didn't know if the hives would get worse or that she might have a reaction and want to stop.  All of these suspicions lived in the back of my mind.  So after today's appointment and HUGE milestone of actually reaching maintenance, I got emotional on the elevator as we were leaving.  For the first time in 309 days, I could exhale!  We discussed this on the way home and Chloe asked, "what if you had said no and not let me do this"? I said her questioning that was one of the reasons why I had to let her do this. I didn't want her growing up and hearing of this down the road and wondering why we didn't give her the opportunity. Right after I discovered OIT, I saw a quote that said "may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears" and that is what we put into practice. That, and a lot of prayers!  Thanks to anyone reading this blog who said a prayer for Chloe and wished her well during this journey.


We did it, well, Chloe did it and we supported her.  I'm so proud of this little picky eater who takes her dose every day without much complaint.  She also eats applesauce with it every single day.  And she has to take her probiotic powder every day.  It's a daily chore, not terrible, but for a kid it gets mundane. It can take awhile to eat 8 peanuts when you aren't crazy about them.  She's been a rock star!  She is so much safer than she's ever been!  The weight on our shoulders of constant worry from someone's mistake, accidental ingestion or cross contamination is lifted.  I'm so thankful for our doctor and his dedication to his OIT patients!  OIT doctors are blazing this trail for their food allergy patients and changing their lives.

Chloe's dose right now is 7 peanuts, but we will updose a little at home over the next month for an end goal of 8 peanuts.  We will have the option of changing the dose to different forms of peanut proteins soon.  Right now, I don't want to fix something that isn't broken.  But, eventually, Chloe will need some change.

Today she reached maintenance, not a finish line.  She still has to dose every day. We still have to maintain a rest period, carry an epi pen and avoid foods with peanuts in the ingredient list (outside of her daily dose).  We will have the option of free eating anything she wants if we do the 24 peanut challenge in a year or so.  The next step is to address pecan and walnut with a food challenge.  Chloe had skin testing done again today for those.  Dr. Agrawal has assured me that we will go slow with the challenge and it will give us the answers definitively. So until then, we will be blissfully enjoying peanut maintenance and all the freedom that entails!

One last photo of how much Chloe has grown since she started.

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