Monday, April 23, 2012

Diaries of an Allergy Mamma: The new food allergist adventure

In November 2011, Toddler Veg at the age of 18 months old was diagnosed with a life threatening allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, soy and dairy. I plan to use this as a diary of events...the highs and the lows. I hope that as you read this you will chime in with any opinions, ideas, concerns or encouragement! Our journey begins now....

We recently went to a new Allergist at Children's Hospital.  The Pulminologist that we see at Children's Hospital recommended that we switch to an allergist within the hospital.  I  had to wait 4 months to get it, but it was worth it.  This doctor was top notch!  He listened to our history, asked lots of questions, reviewed previous blood allergy test results, previous skin test results and retested a few skin allergens.  The doctor was very compassionate, as was the entire staff.  All of Toddler Veg's allergies were confirmed except for soy and wheat.  Soy has never tested positive on the skin test, but has tested slightly positive on the blood test.  He often has bodily reactions to soy, however the doctor wants to try to introduce soy in small amounts.  Wheat has never tested positive as an allergen; he does carry a celiac gene.  His body certainly reacts to gluten in many ways, which is why he's gluten free.  Often times, gluten exposure results in a rash as well as other symptoms.  So we are watching carefully and he remains gluten free. He also felt that with fingers crossed, he would outgrow his Dairy allergy by age 5.  At one point while we were waiting for the doctor to write up his final notes, Toddler Veg was getting quite antsy in our little room, which we had been in for 2 hours.  He was getting very loud.  The nurse that did the skin test popped back in with a brand new book and matchbox car.  How awesome, she even stayed and played with him until the next nurse came in.  The next nurse was our education nurse.  Really, education?  Great!  She said, "I know you know how to use the Epi-Pen, but let's review it."  She reviewed it as well as the doctors notes for follow up.  She gave me several paper handouts which had great information on them.  She reviewed the information with me; not just handing me the papers and sending me on my way.  She gave me a DVD of EpiPen instructions to give to any caretakers or teachers.  It was amazing and very unlike our first allergist visit.  Our original DX visit with another allergist went something like this:
1. He has a peanut and tree nut allergy.  Here is a RX for EPI Pen.  Schedule appointment with educator at my office. Follow up in 8 weeks.  Avoid peanuts and tree nuts.
2. Met with educator almost THREE weeks LATER.
3. Follow up with allergist in 8 weeks, he said "Do you need a RX for the EPI?  Did I give you one last time?"  WHAT!?!

So regardless it was nice to have somebody new and start fresh.  I wasn't sure what I was wanting when I went into the appointment, but after it was over I was disappointed that he still had peanut/tree nut.  In fact the new allergist believes that his hospitalization in November might be peanut related as well as an incident last summer in which our old pedi thought it was reflux laryngitis.  So I guess I was hoping those two were really errors the first time.  The likeliness of him outgrowing those are slim.   

Despite the  disappointment and fear, I am very happy to be connected with a strong team of doctors at Childrens.

Are you dealing with food or environmental allergies in your life?  How was your last doctor visit?

To read other entries of Diaries of an Allergy Mamma, click here.