Dairy-Free Funk

Today Lily went for her third or fourth round of allergy tests. We were REALLY hoping that maybe she wasn’t allergic to milk anymore. She broke out into hives when eating yogurt when she was 8 months old and hasn’t intentionally had anything with even a trace of milk in it in years.

Unfortunately, she tested positive on the skin test today to the extent that she is not ready for a food challenge to see if she can ingest milk. While her reaction was smaller than it was two years ago, the milk allergy is here to stay for at least another year.

This milk allergy is such a pain in the ass. Sure, we’ve found all the substitute foods. I can recite a long list of brand name junk foods that are dairy-free (Oreos! Crisco! French fries!). We know what dishes at most chain restaurants are ok and were outraged when McDonald’s discontinued the popular-with-us dairy-free Chicken Selects (though the chicken nuggets are dairy-free now! They didn’t used to be! FYI!).

The trouble with the milk allergy is that we can’t just go out and eat a cookie from a bakery. I have to make ALL of her desserts for her. We can’t go out for donuts. If Lily gets invited to someone’s birthday party, that means that I have to bake cupcakes and pack a lunch. That’s right: Other kid’s birthday party have turned into a chore rather than a festivity for me. You’re invited to a birthday party? Great! Now I have to bake!

I hate it. And I’m not even really the one suffering here. I’m sure Lily would love to get a big cookie from Panera or wake up in the morning to find donuts in the house or order mashed potatoes from a restaurant. I’m sure she’d kill to try a milk chocolate candy bar from her Halloween bucket or eat the treats other kids bring in our their birthdays, but she can’t. I can send or make substitutes for all these things, but she knows it’s not the same. She knows she’s missing something. And it’s really not fair.

I don’t even care if she is ever able to drink cow’s milk or cheese. I just want to be able to send my kid to a birthday party without having to make a dairy-free cupcake materialize or worrying that someone might accidentally hand her a ranch potato chip.

But it’s not going to happen. And in a lot of ways we are lucky. We’ve been able to control her food enough that she never reacts and when she DID react to accidental exposures it was always with hives and never with anaphylaxis.

She has a great attitude about everything, but seriously, I’m ready for this milk thing to be OVER.

At least it’s not gluten or peanuts.


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