- A handful of doctors across the country have started performing peanut desensitization outside of a clinical trial setting.
- We’ve recently learned of a doctor nearest our Minnesota home who performs this treatment, called oral immunotherapy (OIT). Her name is Whitney Molis M.D. in Des Moines, Iowa.
- Our peanut-allergic kids, Soren and Tessa, will be starting peanut desensitization treatment with Dr. Molis on July 9, 2013!
Their six-month treatment will begin with Dr. Molis giving them 1/250,000th of a peanut and daily maintenance doses of peanut to take at home. During once-weekly visits, Dr. Molis will give Soren and Tessa lab-measured and gradually increasing peanut updoses under her close medical observation in a hospital setting.
By the end of January 2014 (when they also turn 13 and 11), Soren and Tessa will be able to tolerate 14 peanuts in one sitting if their treatment follows regular protocol. They’ll then have to consume peanut daily, indefinitely, to maintain desensitization.
We’re grateful that Dr. Molis recognized the urgency to get our kids desensitized to peanut, given Tessa’s history of numerous anaphylactic reactions at school.
The weekly eight-hour-round-trip commutes to and from Des Moines will be a challenge, but well worth it. We’ll be partnering with the kids’ teachers to make it possible for Soren and Tessa to complete classroom assignments in the car on missed school days.
We look forward to putting this very trying chapter of our kids’ extreme vulnerability to peanut behind us — a welcome change as our kids approach their “invincible” teenage years.
Once treatment is complete, Soren and Tessa will still need to carry their epinephrine in the event of relapse, but our hope is that the likelihood they’ll need them after treatment will be dramatically reduced.
This peanut OIT treatment is a wish come true for our family, and one we’ve been waiting for since our first-born, Soren, was first diagnosed with peanut allergy at 14 months of age after spitting out and reacting to a Ritz PB cracker. (Read One Mom’s Inspiring Story — a dated article about Soren’s peanut-allergy diagnosis and first anaphylactic reaction to peanut. Note that many of the links in that article are no longer current. Here’s another article about our family’s peanut-allergy journey: Minnetonka Family Advocates for Food Allergy Awareness.)
Once peanut-desensitization treatment is complete and we get the go-ahead from Dr. Molis, Soren and Tessa are most excited to go to an ice cream parlor and pick out any flavor they want, without having to worry about cross contamination on the ice cream or the scoop. They also want to try Butterfingers, PB cups, Reese’s Pieces and DQ Blizzards.
I’ll keep you posted on their progress.
- Read the first post in this series: Peanut Desensitization from Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) — To Do, or Not To Do?
- A link to the next post in this series will be posted here after July 9, 2013.
Melanie Lundheim is a corporate freelance writer and founder of Good Copy Fast. Her kids, Soren and Tessa, have life-threatening peanut allergies … but not for long!