Thursday, December 01, 2005

The wife called this afternoon:

Hank: Have we ever fed Daisy shrimp?
Me: No, we always meant to try it, but we haven't so far.
Hank: I'm at the store right now and I'm thinking about buying some shrimp for dinner. What do you think?
Me: Well, as long as we're prepared to spend our evening in the emergency room, I think it's a good idea. We've got to try it sometime.
Hank: Ok, I'll do it.

Daisy, as I've mentioned before, has some serious food allergies. According to an allergy test she took earlier this year, she should not be allergic to shrimp, but some of her other allergies are so severe, that we've always been scared to try any kind of shell fish. We never cook shrimp at home, so we only ever consider it in a restaurant, and that's generally not where we want to conduct medical tests on our daughter.

But, conducting a potentially life-threatening test at home? Sure!

Hank cooked up a batch of shrimp for dinner in garlic and non-dairy butter. Meanwhile I mentally reviewed where we keep our epinephrine pen, fully prepared to stab her in the thigh should she start ballooning up worse than two weeks ago when I accidentally fed her nuts (cleverly hidden in pesto sauce). Hank brought out a plate of shrimp and gingerly placed it in front of Daisy.

Now we were faced with the goals of monitoring Daisy's reaction to the shrimp, while simultaneously not frightening her, and also encouraging her to enjoy a new food.

"Ok, sweet pea, I'm going to ask you to do something a little odd. Take one of these pieces of shrimp, and just rub it on your lip a little bit. That's all," my wife gently suggested.

Daisy seemed a bit concerned, but she rubbed a bit of shrimp on her lip. Hank and I stared at her, inwardly tense, yet outwardly serene.

"How's that feel?" I asked, "Does it make your lip itchy?"

"Nope. Not at all." Daisy replied.

"Good. Good. I didn't think it would. Just checking. How about you eat something else on your plate, like pasta, and we'll get back to the shrimp in a minute."

Daisy happily complied since pasta is her favorite food. After a few minutes, we asked her how she was feeling and she told us that all was well, so we encouraged her to actually eat a small bite of the shrimp. She wasn't crazy about the texture, but nothing bad happened. We kept an eye on her, but eventually concluded that this is a safe food for our little girl.

Hazzah! Peril avoided!

We succeeded in two of the three goals. We kept her safe and didn't overly frighten her. If only she had actually enjoyed this food that she's not allergic to, it would have been a perfect meal. Oh well.

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