Hi, I’m Jamie. For the past 10 years, it’s been my family’s passion to make life easier for those with food allergies.
What’s My Background?
Since graduating from college 20 years ago with a degree in teaching, I’ve been blessed with many amazing experiences that have helped me support allergy families well here at Milk Allergy Mom.
Of course, my first love is teaching. And it’s an honor sharing my food allergy experience to encourage others living with food allergies.
My six years of liaison work in the U.S. Senate comes in handy when partnering with food allergy companies, leaders, and organizations for the benefit of our families.
When I worked on my masters degree in counseling, I learned how to better walk alongside others in their unique struggles and the importance of self-care.
And three years of directing a national home school program taught me so much about facilitating positive, caring community.
In a nutshell, it’s my calling to teach, help, and encourage others.
I’ve done this in schools, in government, in churches, in home schooling…
And now I solely focus all my working hours here at Milk Allergy Mom.
It’s an absolute pleasure to walk alongside food allergy families every single day, cheering you on and reminding our community that “together, we can do this.”.
We want to make life easier for those with food allergies.
The History of Milk Allergy Mom
Milk Allergy Mom was created in 2008 as a convenient way to journal our unique life journey and safe foods for our boy. Blogging was just becoming popular, and my hubby suggested it as a way to keep his mom in the loop.
Soon, we realized others were reading this little blog, and supporting fellow allergy families over the past nine years has been an honor and a privilege for us. It’s the kind comments and sweet online relationships that have kept me at this blogging thing for so long.
Truth be told, our readers help me more than I help them. I love hearing tips, knowledge, and inspiration from our community. Food allergy moms are my heroes!
Our Food Allergy Symptoms & Diagnosis
Our anaphylactic son’s infancy was marked with excessive crying, chronic ear infections, and many mystery hives.
At age 8 months, in 2006, the mystery was solved. While eating a creamy baby food, he immediately broke out in ripe hives around his mouth and on his hands.
Quickly, I gave him benedryl and stopped feeding him. But breathing and swallowing problems soon followed so we rushed to the ER. During the drive, his face was so red and swollen that he looked like a burn victim.
Doctors said if I had not given our son benedryl as soon as I had, he could have swelled badly enough to cut off his breathing.
I thank God for giving me the wisdom to treat our son during that first reaction even when I had no idea what was happening.
Now we make sure to always have epinephrine with us as that’s the best treatment for anaphylaxis.
After a month of testing, we were told our adorable boy was allergic to soy (moderately), eggs (highly), peanuts (highly), and milk (very highly).
Our Current Allergies
Our oldest is now 12-years-old and has outgrown all his initial allergies except milk. But he is now highly allergic to cashew as well. His first and only exposure to cashew in 2012 caused swollen throat and stomach cramps which ended up needing steroids. In hindsight, I should have administered epinephrine.
Our second son also tested high for food allergies to egg and peanut at 6 months of age. In addition, oats caused him problems like diarrhea and a raw bottom, but he outgrew all his allergies by age 4. However, he has eczema and exercise-induced asthma.
Our first son still tests highly allergic to milk, and his numbers have even risen at times. At one point he consumed a small amount of baked-in milk each day under doctor’s orders, but his numbers went up so we fell away from that. This was during a time when oral immunotherapy was not as strategic as it today, and we now know the numbers going up before they come down is normal during desensitizing.
Our Desensitizing Journey
At age 11, our amazing son willingly began desensitizing his environmental allergies, especially pollen, by doing months of allergy shots. He stuck with the intense protocol, starting with three shots a day twice a week! He is now on maintenance with three shots every month. We are so proud of his bravery, and think we are seeing a difference in his environmental allergies as a result.
Currently, we are trying oralimmunotherapy again for milk. This means proactively attempting to desensitize his life-threatening milk allergy by giving it to him orally in a very strategic and methodical system under the supervision of our doctor. Do not do this at home without professional consultation and help.
You can follow along our desensitizing adventure inside our private support group as we pray it works and inspires you all!
Our Allergy Lifestyle
Here are a few tidbits about what we are doing in our food allergy family.
- We live in the city, within 10 minutes of the hospital.
- We home school even though we live just 4 blocks from the neighborhood school.
- My son didn’t eat food prepared by anyone except four family members until OIT at age 12.
- We were particular about childcare, trusting only a few people with our son’s care until OIT.
Some of our life choices are unconventional, and we are always tweaking how we do things. But each allergy family must make their own choices based on their own comfort levels and circumstances. We do not judge anyone’s decisions about how to lovingly keep their allergic children safe.
Let’s Do This Together!
If you have food allergies and are looking for ways to make your life easier, we’d love to connect with you!
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Together, we can do this. We hope you’ll join us!