OK, hive mind, help me figure this one out. One of my kids has had spectacularly fierce allergies this spring. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. His eyes have been swelling horribly, and burn so bad on occasion that he screams. Constant coughing, sneezing, but worse than I’ve ever seen with seasonal allergies. Today he saw an allergist, and went through the awful scratch test: 66 punctures on his back, each one smeared with a different substance, to see what he’s allergic to.

He and his mother are not back yet, but the short answer is: Louisiana. The longer answer is: Louisiana + soy. Apparently he has a major soy allergy. I thought at first: that’s no big deal. He doesn’t eat tofu. Silly me: I didn’t realize that soy is in everything. “The doctor says we’re going to have to go through everything, and watch like hawks, because soy is ubiquitous, especially in fast food,” said my wife. I just did a cursory glance at stuff in our pantry. She’s right. Soybean oil, or soy derivatives, are in a lot of ordinary things (though apparently not all soy oil is allergenic). Got to avoid legumes. Basically, if you want to steer clear of soy, you have to watch out for processed food. 

Good thing this isn’t me; I live on tofu and beans during Lent. But let me ask: are any of you allergic to soy, or living with a family member who is? How do you deal with it? What should I be doing now for my kid?

Allergy shots for the kid prescribed for twice a week to counter all this. It would have to be that the one child of mine who loves being outside more than any of us would be allergic to the outdoors here. I hope these shots work, because he can’t live like this. We were having to put steroid eye drops in his eyes, just so he could sleep. I’m telling you, this stuff is excruciating.

UPDATE: OK, I have the kid’s chart from the allergist in front of me. All the allergens are tested on a scale of from 0 to 4, with 4 being the worst; 2 or higher indicates a significant allergy. Like I said, the boy is allergic to Louisiana. He got 4+ on Johnson grass and rye grass. He got 4+ on live oak trees, pecan trees, and sweet gum trees, all of which are ubiquitous here (he also scored 3 and 4 on varieties of trees we don’t have here, like ash). He got a 3+ on Bahia grass, which is also common here. And a 4+ on soy.

On the up side, he is not allergic to cedar or pine, which I’d figured were surely in the mix. Nor is he allergic to mold, egg, milk, corn, wheat, peanut, or shellfish. So, yay for that.