Keegan doesn’t get a lot of air time around here.
We tend to focus a lot on Eli and his sensory and anxiety because it is something that we work through daily.
Keegan has a silent need. Something that not just anyone would know about. He would tell them, however. He knows how much this need affects his life.
Keegan is allergic to tomatoes.
We’re not really sure when it started. He had reflux as a baby but nothing serious enough to be medicated for. We noticed that he got rashes and had other stomach issues whenever he drank breast milk that incorporated the chili that I had eaten. We just assumed that was from the spice and the beans.
A year ago we started to notice that he would get a rash around his mouth whenever eating a tomato based product. We experimented to find just the right sloppy joe mix and picked the tomatoes out of any meal we were having.
Several months ago we realized that wasn’t enough anymore. Anytime he has any contact with tomatoes he vomits. Usually only once but will have reflux issues for several hours after that.
He knows how much he aches when he eats tomatoes and will now stop anyone from giving him ANYTHING that has even a hint of tomatoes in it.
Do you KNOW how many recipes have tomatoes???
Keegan is my pasta junkie. He could eat pasta every meal of every day if we let him. I’ve had to get really creative with making lasagna, spaghetti and the like. We do some alfredo (only some though because I hate alfredo). We found a butternut squash spaghetti sauce that tastes like it’s tomato based but isn’t. He gets a lot of macaroni and cheese or buttered noodles with parmesan.
This weekend’s trip to Indianapolis was a reminder of how much this will affect his daily life in the future. Pizza was served at the birthday party.
At home we always order a small pizza for Keegan with no sauce. We do a lot of make your own pizzas too so he can keep the sauce off. You cannot control the sauce on a pizza at a birthday party.
My nephew’s mom served Keegan his pizza. He was very polite and just sat there looking at it. She asked him if he just wasn’t hungry and he just looked at her. He didn’t want to say anything. As soon as I realized what was happening I felt so very bad for him.
Fortunately the skating rink had a concessions stand and we were able to get him a hotdog – minus the ketchup of course. He ate like he was starved. I felt even worse then.
It reminded me that from now on I’m going to have to be more diligent when he is invited anywhere to make sure that the other parents know that he should not, cannot have tomatoes – including pizza sauce. It broke my heart to see him sitting there not saying anything. He never wants to rock the boat when he’s with someone other than us so he will likely always remain quiet unless I say something.
We’re currently planning for his birthday party in late March. I need to make sure to have tomato free pizza for him or go a completely different route altogether!