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By: Amy Martin | AFAA Editorial Contributor
My son's confidence soared during the process as the reality hit that something he touched or ate could no longer kill him.
"Mommy, I can eat ANYTHING here. ANYTHING!"  My six year old's eyes were wide with the realization that the grocery store, which had previously seemed so small because of restrictions due to a peanut allergy, was now huge with possibility. 24 hours earlier he had eaten the equivalent of 24 peanuts in his allergist's office after nearly 6 months of increasing doses of peanut protein and eventually peanuts themselves. Now he was free to eat anything at all in addition to his daily peanut maintenance dose of 8 peanuts. After much taste testing, chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls and Reese's cups became his favorite.

He struggled a bit at the beginning. Those first four months seemed to drag and I wanted to keep him in a bubble because each illness would force us to slow down and wait a day or two to increase his dose. Once he hit his first peanut though, I fell like we were suddenly on a freight train to our destination: freedom. One peanut was revolutionary, 3 peanuts meant we could try peanut M&M's, 4 peanuts we dosed with chocolate flavored peanut butter and at 5 peanuts he switched to regular peanut butter. 

My son's confidence soared during the process as the reality hit that something he touched or ate could no longer kill him. The change was huge and noticed by all. Our doctor even told me that we were going home with a different child than we came to Utah with and it is so true, in all the best of ways. I reflect back and realize my initial statements that this 6 months in another state would be but a blip in time by comparison to a lifetime of freedom, was true. We are one month post graduation and I can hardly realize how quickly it all passed. We are already back in Arizona and my son back in school. He continues to dose twice a day with a two hour rest period and if he were to eat an abundance of extra peanut during the day, he would also observe a rest period, but he still doesn't love the taste enough to taste more than an extra bite or two. In two more months, we will reduce to dosing once a day.

Every bit of stress in the beginning of our OIT journey was completely worth it for us. I would not hesitate again to choose the same path, the same doctor and the same timing. For our family, we did the absolute best thing. My son is seven years old and in a few years, or even months, will completely forget how sad and scared he had been when he suffered reaction after reaction before we chose to try OIT. All we ever aspired to was safety and normalcy for him and we have more than succeeded. 

Amy Martin is a guest blogger and volunteer for AFAA. She maintains her own blog detailing her family's journey navigating the waters of food allergies and OIT. You can read more at www.barefootinpearls.blogspot.com.