The much anticipated airing of CBC’s The Nature of Things episode titled the Allergy Fix was significant for my family for a couple of reasons. Firstly, due to Andy’s allergies we follow news about allergies pretty closely. Secondly, this documentary was Andy and Daniel’s television debut.
I played hooky from the Cubs meeting last night; selfishly, I wanted to watch the documentary during its first airing on TV. After dropping Daniel off at Cubs, I scurried home to plunk myself down on the couch. While my appearances in the documentary were startling and somewhat embarrassing, I was thoroughly delighted to see my two boys romping around our back yard and Andy happily eating his applesauce. What a treat.
Aside from the joy of seeing my boys on TV, I was amazed at the different subjects discussed in the documentary. So many aspects of my family’s life were there: allergies (of course), eczema and even MS. Gives me pause for thought. Could all these things be related? My family appears to be poster-children of the allergy and immune system issues plaguing today’s society. Looking back at my own history, there are many signs that my immune system was headed for disaster. Childhood food sensitivities, asthma, eczema were all present and more recently the diagnosis of MS. Interesting.
Interesting, yet alarming. With my childhood food sensitivities and eczema as a young adult being far less severe than Andy’s, I am somewhat fearful that he may be on course for… Sorry, I can’t bear to write the words.
However, after viewing this film I feel cautiously optimistic. Never in my wildest dreams had I hoped of there being a remedy, or cure, for Andy’s allergies. I’m also happy that we are able to be a part of the CHILD allergy study and to have played a very small role in the documentary.
Truthfully, it is a surprise that so much of our footage was included in the film, as I was train-wreck at the time. Let me clarify, it is to Bruce Mohun and his team at Dreamfilm’s credit that they proceeded with the shoot, as I’m sure I was a walking disaster when they knocked on my front door on the day of filming. Just two weeks prior I’d been diagnosed with MS and I still wasn’t thinking straight. I was about as far from cheerful as a person could possibly be – at least the tears weren’t still streaming down my cheeks. Through Dreamfilm’s amazing editing wizardry, a year and a half later, here I am watching Andy in a thought-provoking documentary on TV. Lovely.
Here’s a quick update on Andy’s allergy profile, which has changed since the filming of the documentary. On recommendation from his allergy specialist we slowly introduced egg and dairy into his diet through baked goods. Apparently, the high heat of baking changes milk and egg proteins so that Andy’s immune system doesn’t see them as a threat. Success! He no longer tested positive for the egg white and milk protein allergies. Yay! Unfortunately, a new and more alarming allergy had developed – other nuts. Dun dun dunnnn.
The level of severity of his allergies to nuts/peanuts is far greater than his allergies to milk and egg whites. For example: the bloodwork result for his peanut allergy was 64 units of something-or-other while the result for his milk allergy was 12. The allergy specialist continues to recommended complete avoidance of peanuts and to avoid all other nuts now as well. I trust her professional judgement, but I wish there were some more options to help mitigate Andy’s allergies to all things nutty. Perhaps that day will arrive soon.