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By: Amy Martin | AFAA Editorial Contributor
I saw exactly how minute an amount of peanut could cause a reaction and because of OIT, I saw his body now accept it.
“I’m FINE!” my son said as I asked him for the 100th time if he felt ok. We were nearing the end of OIT Day 1. It was our long appointment, nearly 8 hours of increasing his dose of peanut protein every 15 minutes until he reached our goal of 2.5 mg or he reacted…whichever came first.  We would then be sent home with half of our final dose to give him ourselves, twice a day for the next six days. On the seventh day, we return to the allergist’s office to double his dose. In the absence of a reaction, we will continue to increase his dose weekly until he is eating 12 peanuts, twice a day and “graduate” after he eats 24 peanuts in a single sitting with no reaction.   

Our Day 1 visit was perfect. He reached his goal. Not only was it the first day of his journey to a safe life, but he was able to sit and play Minecraft all day, uninterrupted, with the except of the nurse squirting peanut-protein-laced Kool-Aid down his throat. His weekly, hour-long appointments never measure up to that first day in his six-year-old eyes.  

One evening, the week he was consuming around 1/200th of a peanut, he sprung a single hive and began clearing his throat a lot and had extra saliva in his mouth. I let his doctor know right away. We kept in close communication as the symptoms subsided within twenty minutes without treatment. The next day, he had no reaction at all. I had just witnessed his body adjust and overcome the poison being slowly introduced into his body! I shudder to think what would have happened if he were accidentally exposed to an entire peanut.  

Strangely, I am thankful for this very minor reaction. It wasn’t especially scary, but that is because he is given controlled doses that would be immediately reduced if he did begin having reactions. This was a small reminder that my son is crazy allergic to peanuts and that we are absolutely doing the best thing to protect him. Accidents happen. Cross contamination is real. I saw exactly how minute an amount of peanut could cause a reaction and because of OIT, I saw his body now accept it.  

Every day, every week, he is safer. My son, who has been afraid to touch playground equipment out of fear that there is peanut butter residue on it, willingly consumes micro doses of peanut protein every single day. He is dreaming of his OIT graduation and of all the peanut-containing foods he will no longer have to avoid. His body and his mind grow stronger with each dose. I’m constantly in awe of these brave kids. They are small warriors, who know far too much about life and death for their age, on a crusade for their freedom. 
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.