Per the advice of Dr. Natural, we removed oatmeal from Ella's diet. After about 4-5 days, we saw a drastic improvement in the rash around Ella's mouth. Then, I stupidly gave in to her request for oatios and the rash seemed to reappear right before my eyes. The rash stuck around for a few days then started to clear up then got worse again.
Saturday, we were visiting some friends and I brought some GF pasta for her and I to eat while the others were enjoying the most delicious looking baked ziti I'd seen in a very long time. As I was stirring her pasta with a wooden spoon handed to me by our hostess, it occurred to me that I had probably just introduced a nice healthy dose of cross-contamination into the pot. And sure enough, as she was scarfing down the pasta, Hubby leaned over and asked "is it just me or is her rash getting worse?" *sigh* It was.
I remembered reading an article about contamination way back in the super overwhelming first few days after diagnosis and I spent a lot of time removing allergens from our pantry but never could get myself to toss the cutting boards or pots & pans that we received for our wedding less than 3 years ago. I did my best to scrub everything down but now after making the connection between her rash and cross-contamination, I realize the importance of making and keeping our kitchen gluten free. Glutenfreegoddess has a great blog entry about how to start living gluten-free. I read it again today and promptly tossed all of our wooden spoons and banished our wooden salad bowl and cutting board to the basement, in hopes that some day we'll outgrow our allergies/sensitivities and we can use them again.
I'm trying not to beat myself up for being so layed back about the cross-contamination threat. I've been so careful about label reading and preparing meals that contain no allergens. I guess I was just hoping that that was enough. Now that I've acknowledged that cross-contamination certainly could be playing into that darn rash, I'm hoping that with some diligence, it'll clear up for good ASAP.
On a positive note, over the past 2-3 weeks, we've had contact with dogs during play dates and visiting friends with dogs and Ella's had not one.single hive!!!! We are cautiously optimistic that may be turning a corner and starting to outgrow some of her allergies. Even if it's just dogs right now, that's still a huge relief and one less thing I need to stress about! Keep your fingers crossed!