Home          Green Living          Crafts          Parenting

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Allery Update #3 - The Allergist

Note: If you are behind in this story, feel free to read the back posts (in this order) here, here, and here.


I'm a bit late writing this post, but life has been hectic this week.  Understandably, I hope.

Thursday was our appointment with the allergist.  We had had several phone talks with our pediatrician and the receptionist at the allergists office between getting the results on Monday and arriving at our appointment on Thursday morning.  Wednesday night I filled out five pages worth of forms to bring in to the doctor, and read all of their new patient directions-which included not using a strong smelling soap, keeping Addie in short sleeves, giving her a good beakfast, and preparing to spend 2.5-3 hours in the office between skin testing and consultation.

I barely slept Wednesday night stressing out about the testing and the results we may find.  To be honest, everything was still very mind-boggling.  Peanut allergies, egg white allergies, getting rid of our cats, epi pens...all of it was pretty jumbled in my mind.

At the appointment, we talked for a good 10-15 minutes about symptoms I've noticed, foods that she reacts to (which is hard to say since it seems so totally random), and what we've done so far.  Unfortunately (well, fortunately, but not in this instance),  Addie was clearer than we had seen her in weeks!  I say unfortunately, because the doctor couldn't see any rashes other than the small rough spot on her chin that was still healing.
Luckily, he eliminated three foods right off the bat.  According to our initial chat, we do not need to be concerned with peas, potatoes, or rice unless we start noticing symptoms. As far as I can tell, she's always eaten those with no problems (although like I've said, it's hard to tell sometimes when she's breaking out and why because she was always broken out).

He did tell us to cut out all peanut products until she is 3, and then we will re-visit that one and see if anything has changed.  Note to all parents, according to him you are supposed to wait until age 3 to introduce it at all.  I knew it was an allergen, but I thought they were all okay to introduce at 1 if you had no history of allergies.

After that, he told me he really did not see the need currently to do a skin test.  All of her symptoms appear to be skin related, so we can try diagnosing the other allergies using food challenges.  He thinks the most important food to test first is egg whites.  That means no eggs or products made with eggs.  It will be hard, but I hope it gives us a better idea at what we're looking at.  To be totally honest though, I'm a bit jaded against the idea of a food challenge now since our last food challenge left me so sure that it was onion, or garlic, or both.

That does, in some ways, make sense though.  After closer examination, most of the products we noticed a reaction with also had soy as an ingredient.  In fact, most processed foods do. Unfortunately, the allergist doesn't feel that soy is causing the rashes-at least not all of them.  Apparently, the levels for soy were so low it's unlikely they are causing any symptoms.  That and the fact that we've given Addie edamame (soy beans), and served foods with soy sauce with seemingly no reaction.

I still really feel in my gut that there is something to this soy allergy.  Maybe it's not all of it, but it has to be some of it.  After the appointment, I gave Addie some fig newtons. Now, keep in mind her skin is clearer than I have almost ever seen it, so even the slightest reaction is visible, and she did have a slight reaction to the fig newtons.  I've spoken with a few people now that cannot eat soy as an ingredient in processed foods, but do fine with soy in it's natural state-such as soy beans or soy sauce.  It just means anything is possible.

Bottom line, the allergist appointment was someone disappointing, but also a relief. I felt like I was running as fast as I could toward the edge of a cliff all week, but was pulled back at the very last second.  I left feeling somewhat deflated.  All that preparation-mentally and physically-for a 15 minute chat with a doctor that didn't feel there was an immediate need for action.

I was so looking forward to leaving there with solid answers. I wanted to be able to just stop giving Addie the foods that are making her miserable.  I wanted to be done.

Something good did come from the appointment, though.  I'm calmer.  The doctor sees no need for immediate action.  Her allergies are not severe.  Due to this sudden calmness, I've been able to channel my subconscious and really figure out how I feel about all of this.  I've got an action plan.  For now, we're limiting both foods-soy and egg white-and keeping an eye to see what causes reactions.  I'm reading all labels and familiarizing myself with the foods we eat a little more so that when we are ready to do the food challenges in a couple of weeks, there will be fewer slip ups than last time.  Once we get back from visiting family, I'll deal with the rest.  I'll start food challenges.  I'll deal with rashes and a wakeful toddler. I'll cry with her if she gets rashy enough to scratch herself bloody again, or gets hives again.  For now, though, I'm okay with all of this.

No comments:

Post a Comment