Monday, September 27, 2010

The Allergic Boy

I took the boy for allergy tests a few weeks after his honeydew incident, and the allergist suggested only testing for the honeydew, cantaloupe and strawberries. He had no reaction to any of the fruit, but I wanted a second opinion. I made an appointment with another pediatric allergist, and she re-did those tests, but also tested for peanuts, tree nuts and other allergens. He was all clear for the fruit and peanuts, but it appears as though he is allergic to tree nuts, as he had a slight reaction from the skin test. So what does this mean? Since he’s never been exposed to an actual tree-nut (cashew, pistachio, almond etc…), we have to go back in a year, re-test, and also stay away from them until then.

Everyone handles “bad news” differently, but for some reason I was not surprised by this. I was told that given the family history, he has a significantly higher chance of developing an allergy. I have been carrying an Epipen Jr. and a bottle of Benadryl since the fruit incident. The only thing that is hard to handle is the fact that I now have this additional responsibility towards the boy that most parents don’t have. I recognize the impact an allergy can have on day-to-day life, and until I have the all-clear, I plan to live life as though he is allergic. For me, this is not a transition because this is how I live my own life. For parents with no history of allergies I can imagine the difficulty assosciated in managing this. The responsibility of becoming a parent is overwhelming enough, but to be told that your child has an allergy can make life scary. For us, in the meantime, while waiting to determine if he is in fact allergic, I will bring his own cupcake to birthday parties, brown bag his lunch at play dates, and like his mom he won’t be able to eat at Ben and Jerry’s or Baskin & Robbins. I’ll have to teach him that sharing food is a no, and that he can’t go around kissing the girls in his class! My mother and mother in law both keep peanut/nut free homes as it is, so the educational piece for family members is simple.

I always try to keep things in perspective, and in the grand scheme of things this is not so terrible. On another note, since the all-clear on strawberries, honeydew and cantaloupe the boy is loooving his new fruit choices!



Monday, September 20, 2010


I have always said that having a peanut allergy keeps me slim because I was never able to just stop somewhere and grab a muffin, cupcake, ice-cream etc. In the past few years this has changed and I find myself falling victim to my sweet tooth all over town!

Cho’cola Bake Shop on Monkland is perfect for a morning muffin, or afternoon cupcake. One of the reason’s I love Cho’cola is because the shop itself is so pretty. The pink/white d├ęcor, marble counters, and beautiful cupcakes with that delicious buttercream make the whole experience worthwhile even with the high price-tag of each cupcake.

Since my work requires me to be in my car a lot, I have found myself making stops at Snowdon bakery for their delicious chocolate danish. This has been my lunch at least twice in the past few weeks and every calorie was worth it!

I work in Westmount, so on my way to the office, I often stop by Cavallaro for their bread. Their multi-grain baguette is a true find, but get there early because they sell out fast.

Last week while taking the boy on a drive, we stopped at Swurl, the new Frozen Yogurt place downtown on Cresent. I had high expectations and psyched myself up for this experience, but was ultimately underwhelmed. It was a rainy evening, so not the best for Frozen yogurt. That alone dampened the experience, but I found the Vanilla to be grainy and icier than fro-yo should be. I was however very impressed by the topping selection, especially considering everything is peanut free. To name a few, pop tarts, junior mints and graham crackers are toppings I never thought to put on ice cream or yogurt but have so much potential. Maybe next-time, I decided to play it simple for my first try. The OCD in me kicked in and I asked the cashier to get some ‘untouched’ Oreo from the back. It is a great concept to pour your own yogurt, scoop your own topping, weigh it, and pay for it. Maybe the vanilla was having a bad day, so I do promise to give it another try.

Yesterday, I found a new reason to go to TMR, as I discovered Mimi-Melon. It is in the industrial part of TMR, but a hop, skip and jump from Wal-Mart which is definitely a stop I make regularly. Overall, the cupcakes were moist and tasty. I was pleasantly surprised to bite into what I thought was a chocolate one only to discover it was marble, making it the perfect combination of chocolate/vanilla deliciousness!

I don’t own a scale, which is probably a good thing, but I did rejoin the gym to burn off these delicious calories. Montreal is certainly allergy aware, and it is nice to see these places popping up around town which allow me and all the allergic people around here to indulge every so often.