When it comes to the world of food allergies, you always have to trust your gut. Whether it’s having a bad feeling about introducing a new food, whether to administer an epi pen, or even switching your allergist. Always, always trust your gut. The last one on that list was our most recent decision, and one that I could not be more pleased with. After our last visit to the allergist for a skin prick of wheat and soy, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. I felt like Noah wasn’t getting the attention that he deserved. I said to David as we walked out “we have to be Noah’s advocate, and no one is going to do it for us.”
Now, I have nothing bad to say about our original allergist. He was the first allergist I came across after our peanut butter incident, and the first one to sit and discuss our situation. He gave us our first epi pen prescription, and a wide range of literature to help familiarize us with this new world we had been thrown into. So for that we are incredibly grateful. However, after our initial blood work came back, he more or less said everything on the list had the potential to be an “epi pen” moment. Talk about terrifying. So, we removed everything out of his diet. Wheat and soy are two of the hardest for me, and Noah’s IgE level’s weren’t astronomical, so we opted to do a skin test to confirm. When they were both positive, it confirmed we needed to keep them out of Noah’s diet. And then we said “see ya next year” and left. And then cried.
But, after talking with other allergy moms, and joining a support group, I realized I had so many more questions, I didn’t feel like we received the whole story, and I wanted a second opinion. What if Noah wasn’t actuallyy allergic to soy? What if he could have plain ole cheerios like the rest of kids? What if.
Skin tests and blood tests can be soo inaccurate when testing for food allergies. Which makes this whole world so much more stressful. Why can’t you just look at the number and say “yep, that will result in anaphylaxsis” or “yep, that will make him have eczema” it would be soo much easier. But, you have no idea until you have a “story” to go along with it. For us, obviously peanuts has a story. An unfortunate story, but a story nonetheless. And milk also has a story from seeing the difference in his eczema, a day after removing it from his diet. But, nothing else has a story for us. So we are left wondering how accurate the blood work is, and what exactly the skin prick test tells us.
So, a few months back I scheduled an appointment with a different allergist, one that came highly recommended from other allergy moms. After two months of waiting, our first appointment finallyyy happened last week. It was fantastic. And I cannot tell you how differently I felt leaving the appointment this time. It was the first time I had a feeling of hope, and not despair. His approach was different than our original doctor. But, to each their own. Every doctor is going to have a different approach. During our appointment, we obviously went through our whole history, he looked at our original blood work and asked us questions. From there he decided to go ahead and do a variety of skin pricks to see what we were working with, and then he ordered his own blood work.
|Big Boy ready for his appointment!|
The skin test was somewhat shocking for me. Almond was zero, but shrimp and sesame were both super high (we had never tested for these before). And a few others that were pretty much what I expected. Again, the skin test alone tells us really nothing. Someone could show zero reaction to a skin test, but could be truly allergic (it’s maddening, trust me). But, by combining the skin test, and the blood test, there is the potential for food challenges , depending on the results! In fact, we have already scheduled an egg challenge for January!!! How freaking exciting!! (and nerve-wracking!) We are still waiting on the rest of the blood work for everything else- probably another 3-5 weeks. Womp womp. Side note – seeing an 18 month old get blood taken is ROUGH. Seriously, so so sad and hard to watch. BUT, this is progress. We will see if there are other things we can challenge early next year! I dream of the day where we can add things back into Noah’s diet, and this is totally the start of the process. So, stay tuned for updates on blood work results and hopefully future food challenges!!
|Immediately after the prick, and five minutes later. Poor baby.|
And remember mamas…always trust your gut. Mama knows best (usually!).
|love you sweet baby|