What a glorious day this has been! Our OIT journey has been nothing short of amazing and today all of our hard work and persistent prayers paid off because today our son completed the OIT program for peanut. (And yes, I'm in a state of blissful happiness!!)
This journey took us just under a year to complete, but it was worth it, worth it, worth it! As anything in life, it had its ups and downs but it is such a glorious feeling to be done.
Tomorrow morning, when we wake up, we'll continue our dosing routine, but instead of dosing with 2 3/4 tsp of peanut butter (or 12 peanuts) we can go back to 1 3/4 tsp of peanut butter (or 8 peanuts). We will continue to do this twice a day for 3 months. At that point, we'll touch base with our doctor. If things are going well, we can try decreasing him to once a day dosing. After that, he will most likely dose once a day for the next 3-5 years but optimistically, after that, he should be able to dose a few times a week rather than daily.
What does this mean for our son's daily life?
Like I said, we'll keep dosing twice a day with 1 3/4 tsp of peanut butter. If our son wants to have extra peanut butter or peanut butter candy he can, BUT he will have to be calm for a half hour beforehand and two hours afterwards. That being said, I'm sure we'll try some peanut butter something or other since we can, but it will only be at the same time as his regular dose. As it is, he has to be calm for almost 4 hours a day so we are not going to expect our 5 year old to be calm for an additional two hours.
Our son adjusted completely fine to our "stay calm" schedule so if you are afraid OIT will take over your life, it might a smidge, but here's a more specific look at our schedule:
Optimally, we dose 12 hours apart with no more than 14 hours in between doses. Since we homeschool, I don't wake him up at a specific time in the morning but whenever he does wake up, I give him some food, two packages of applesauce and then his dose. As long as his dose is done by 9:30 am I'm good with that. Eating 2 3/4 tsp of peanut butter twice a day got to be a little much for him over this past month so I started giving him coconut ice cream with his dose and it worked like a charm. :)
After dose, he must remain calm for 2 hours. Since he then needs to get ready for the day anyways, do chores and start on school it has not been difficult to stick to the "keep calm" rule. (Although I will say, if you are an OIT mom I think it becomes a part of your nature that as soon as you hear your kid running or getting active you immediately stop to check the time and then either breathe a sigh of relief or you quickly remind them to "be calm!" And sometimes you may or may not freak if you hear a child running but then you realize it's not your OIT kid. ;)
But back to our dosing schedule...
When evening comes, he has to be calm starting at 7 pm and then at 7:30 pm we give him a snack, two packets of applesauce (we have been through massive amounts of applesauce over the past year, but the strawberry flavored Go Go Squeeze packets are his favorite) and his peanut butter. ("Choosy moms choose JIF" if your child has other tree nut allergies...this kind is not cross contaminated with other tree nuts.) After his evening dose, we read books, watch a movie or I put him in a jogging stroller and we go for a walk. After an hour, he's allowed to go to bed.
It's very much doable and besides that, it's worth it even if it causes minor inconveniences along the way if it can keep your kid from having a life threatening allergic reaction.
And since today was Graduation Day, I'm so excited to share pictures with you! Thank you for following us on this journey. Your prayers and support have been such a blessing!.God faithfully carried us through this and my gratefulness to Him is overflowing.
The usual run down before dosing.
Eating applesauce before dose.
He finished in record time. Literally. It took him approximately 3-4 minutes to do his dose. It's a wonder what a little coconut ice cream can do!
So proud of this boy. All is well. Thank you, Jesus!
Some special things we got him for his OIT Graduation Day.
This boy. I'm so thankful for the many, many hours we have had one on one because of this journey. God is so good to us.
Coolest Doctor Ever! He gave our son a gift to celebrate him completing the program.
Getting a little help opening his present
Our lives would not be the same without this doctor. God has gifted this man in such a way that makes him the best doctor we could have ever had for this journey. What he brings to his patients isn't anything he could have learned in medical school. God perfectly equipped him with knowledge, wisdom, compassion and genuine care for his patients and that is what has made OIT possible for our son. Words really can't express how thankful we are to him for how he has changed our son's life.
What Does the Future Look Like?
As anxious as I am to empty our OIT bag (where I keep a travel sized DVD player, headphones, movie, crayons, pencil, and school work) and pack every thing away, I need to keep it out a little bit longer. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, we can get an appointment scheduled for skin testing for other tree nuts and we will also do an almond challenge that day since our son tested positive to almonds right before we began peanut OIT. We are praying that the almond allergy is gone and that no other tree nut allergies have surfaced. Our doctor is optimistic that the almond allergy is gone because, for whatever reason, when someone completes OIT for peanut allergy, it often takes care of the almond allergy as well. It would be SUCH a relief if that is the case for us!
If you have any questions about OIT, please send me an email. I'd be happy to help!
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