Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sneezy, itchy, and blotchy

Well, it's been confirmed.  Dash is allergic to all sorts of stuff.  About a week ago he had an allergic reaction to his lunch--itchy skin, watery, puffy eyes, runny nose, and redness around his mouth. I quickly gave him some Zyrtec and called his pedi to see what I should do. He did not have any breathing problems, and the allergy symptoms went away about 10 minutes later, so we did not need to go to the ER. However, we did go into the pedi's office that afternoon for an allergy test. Dashiell had to lie down on the exam table, I laid with him to keep him still, one nurse held his arm straight and another drew 6 vials of blood. 6!! Dash's eyes welled up with tears and to distract him we had him sing the ABC song--the saddest version ever! But it worked, and he didn't squirm or scream, and I definitely cried more than he did (some strong mommy I am!).

A couple of days ago Dr. Dave called to let us know a few of the results--we found out he's allergic to chick peas (he had hummus for lunch the day of his allergic reaction), plus environmental allergies such as dust, dust mites, and a number of trees. At that time we were still waiting on the list of common food allergies.

Yesterday I got another call from Dr. Dave with the bad news--not only does he have the above-mentioned allergies, but he is also allergic to walnuts, shrimp, milk, soy, and PEANUTS. NO!! And the level of allergen antibodies in his blood was pretty high, meaning he's an all-around allergic kid.

Most of the allergen level were low--anything over .3 is considered an allergy, and mostly everything was in the .4 - 1.7 range, except for the peanuts, which were a whopping 12.1. Dr. Dave didn't use the words "severe", and we've definitely exposed Dash to peanuts before--he hasn't knowingly eaten any, but we eat peanut butter around him all the time--so my thought is that 12.1 must be a moderate allergy, otherwise we'd have taken a trip to the ER for this by now.  But we need to stop eating peanut butter around him, because we'd hate ourselves if he ever did have a reaction because of something we could easily avoid.

The milk allergy was one of the lowest at .71, and we were told he'd probably grow out of it in the next year and we could continue to give him milk if we choose (his mild eczema is most likely caused by this milk allergy). Which is good since that and water are the only things he'll drink! Plus he's allergic to soy too, so that limits our options on alternatives.  I'm considering switching him to rice milk to limit his exposure, but it's so much more expensive and I'm not sure if he'd get enough calcium.  I don't know if cheese is included in the milk allergy, but I sincerely hope not since our kiddo lives on cheese.

Dr. Dave also mentioned that there is a good chance that he could grow out of most of these allergies, though probably not the peanut and walnut allergies. 

We've made an appointment with an allergist, but of course can't get in until October. Until then, we just have to be careful, pay attention to ingredients lists, and carry an EpiPen with us wherever we go.  And start the master list of questions to ask, since we already have many. This isn't the end of the world, but it will be a big adjustment.  And as Rick pointed out, our guy is so perfect in every other way, he was bound to have a flaw sooner or later!

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