Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Allergy Update...

*** I was pretty late putting up the Weekend Update yesterday. It's below this one so make sure you don't miss it. FULL of pictures. ***

We spent the afternoon yesterday doing this:

Not a horrible way of teaching him the alphabet, just your routine skin test for allergies!

Poor little baby. Second time around with these!

Back in December and January we saw an allergist close to our home. It was the one that our pediatrician recommended. I've told this story before, but just in case you don't remember, our first appointment was GREAT. The second appointment we got a tree nut diagnosis, an EpiPen, an appointment for a year later, and a goodbye. :/ In their defense, we have no idea what else was going on that day...but I, in my stubbornness, was NOT going to just accept that we should gather all the information needed to live with this from Dr. Google. Just wasn't happenin' for me.

Since then I've obviously been a little busy having a baby and learning to live with two kiddos in my home. I finally made the decision to call another allergist who has recently opened a practice in Macon and he could fit us in yesterday.

We arrived at his office at 1:00 and we left around 3:45. He was that thorough. We weren't sitting and waiting on them to call us back. The whole time we were either filling out paperwork, speaking with a nurse, speaking with him, or waiting on skin tests to process. The office was fantastic. If you need a recommendation in the Macon area, let me know! :)

Basically, we went through our history - James' first reaction, how it looked, etc., etc. Blood work, skin tests, etc., etc. Then we discussed the questions that we had and went over a few other things. He did another skin test - the one you can see in the picture above - and did a few more skin pricks later on James' arm just to check what wasn't clear. He made sure I knew HOW to use the EpiPen - and made me show him how on my own leg - and then made sure we knew how to dispose of used EpiPens (with an ER nurse, in case you wondered...because you go STRAIGHT there!).

The just of our long appointment is this:

* James is allergic to everything. Okay, not really. But he has MAJOR allergies to the regular old seasonal things. He just has a very allergic nose. This answers lots of questions we've had about why he's sick so often and for so long. He doesn't just have a day or two of cough and runny nose, he has two weeks or more at a time. When he gets sick, he gets sick.

* Along with that, we're looking at asthma...most likely. Until he rules asthma out, he has asthma. :) Fortunately, it's pretty easy to keep under control now. I knew we'd probably be facing this because food allergies + RSV in infancy (usually) = asthma. (In addition, coughing until you throw up is also a strong indication of asthma. Who knew? James falls into that category, unfortunately. Also unfortunately, I'm pretty sure my brother and I fall into that as well!) We're definitely looking at allergy shots when he's four. Zyrtec daily until then.

* As far as food allergies go, we've ruled out (almost) everything aside from hazelnuts and cashews. This is a HUGE relief for us. That being said, the BIG test will be actually ingesting the other nuts. We've been given the go-ahead to start experimenting at home WITH an EpiPen nearby and a hospital within 30 minutes. After we've had Zyrtec in his system for a week we'll try peanut butter first and then move on from there.

* We still have to avoid anything that is just labeled "Contains/May Contain" tree nuts because of the possibility of hazelnuts and cashews being in those things. They'll retest his skin for those things at later visits and then if it ever clears up they'll do a food test IN the office...just in case.

He really, really calmed my nerves about a lot of things. He mentioned over and over that he can't see into the future so he doesn't know what will happen if James has another reaction BUT he's confident in the answers that he gave us today anyway. We feel like we made a great decision in seeking further help for this. I'm feeling MUCH more confident in letting my baby out of my sight for more than a minute. I don't want to slack off on being diligent with this, but I DO want to be able to rest easy. Dr. L. was also very adamant that we deal with all of this before James is old enough to begin to be scared of food. That's a psychological thing that we shouldn't deal with if we don't have to.

All in all, GREAT trip to the doctor yesterday! Hopefully we won't see him again for a year!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

such a great report! let us know how it goes with the PB next week!