I’ve decided to post about our allergist appointment today. The Cub had his annual allergist appointment. Once your child is diagnosed with a severe allergy, you follow up with your allergist to monitor progress and we do this annually.
Since the Cub sees a regular pediatric practice of all female MDs for his general care, he always gets a kick out of seeing his allergist for two reasons…the first is because he is a “daddy doctor” (a man) and the second is his name is “Dr. Cat” (Dr. Katz).
Today was the Cub’s first follow up annual from when he was first diagnosed (officially) last year with a severe peanut allergy and a mild almond allergy (tree nut). I am sure that I am not the only mother of a child with a peanut allergy who has monitored every bite that went into her child’s mouth for the past year. And I am sure I am not the only mother of a child with a peanut allergy that has prayed each day and night for the last year for the allergy to go away.
My husband, the rock solid Chew Chew Daddy, hugged me last night and said, “if he hasn’t out grown it…it’s going to be ok.” I love my husband for many reasons, but especially because he knows me so well. He reads me easily and he has this amazing ability to bring an immediate feeling of peacefulness into my heart. He’s done this since the first time I laid eyes on him and he can still do it now. Clearly he noticed that some hope was peering out from inside my heart wishing – just maybe – that our son was going to be the 1 in 5 children that outgrow his peanut allergy.
Today arrived and we had a great morning. I knew that the appointment was going to be unpleasant for the Cub since we were doing a repeat RAST test (which I wrote about here) and skin test, so I brought some distractions to the appointment. The iPad loaded with Toy Story 2 (least violent and scary Toy Story in our opinion), the Cub’s favorite Panda Bear for cuddling, some organic peanut-free, tree-nut free chocolate milk and some yummy earth organic lollipops. I was hoping that any of these things would distract the Cub from noticing that his back was going to be pricked 29 times today. Seriously, who wants to watch their two and half year old experience that? Not me.
Initially, the distractions worked as we waited in the examination room. I mean who isn’t glued to the screen when Buzz “Yightyear” is talking, right? Our allergist came in and reviewed the last year with us and then left to have the medical assistant come in to complete the testing. I’ve come to realize that this is just genius of him…because it is why all the kids still love him. He never does any sticking.
In walks the medical assistant and the Cub looks up with suspicious eyes. What on earth is that big tray and why is she tickling (writing) on my back. “Just tickles today” lied the medical assistant. Hmmpf.
I hold the Cub’s hand and remind him of his awesome lollipop (a big treat in our house) and gasp that Woody is about to be stolen from the garage sale.
But there is no distracting or fooling the Cub who immediately starts crying as the first prick occurs and verbalizes:
“Mommy, hold me tight”
“Mommy, ouchy…hurts…want Daddy”
This continues for what feels like eternity as I hold the Cub tight and try to calm him, but in reality these medical assistants really are so FAST and I am thankful when I can finally tell the Cub: “Cubby, it’s all done”.
When the medical assistants leave the room they tell me that the doctor will be right in to wipe off the peanut oil and treat the site. The Cub, like last time, is reacting to peanuts immediately and will not withstand the 15 minutes with it on his skin. We are not the 1 in 5. He has not outgrown his peanut allergy.
The Cub calms and begins watching Toy Story. He tells me that “its itchy, mommy”. And I tell him that in just a few minutes the doctor will take the itchies away. As I wait for the doctor, I look at my baby’s back swelling at record speed and I stand behind him so that I can let out some tears without him seeing me. There is no other words for this allergy other than: It sucks.
Now don’t get me wrong. I work in pediatric healthcare. I have seen and helped families facing life long disorders, terminal illnesses and horrible, irreversible damage from unthinkable accidents. So I do know that a peanut allergy is manageable and not the worst thing that I could be facing with our sweet Cub. BUT…he’s still my baby. And I still want him to live a life without this extra challenge.
The doctor comes in and treats the peanut area and then leaves again for the final few minutes of the test. When he returns, he reviews the Cub’s back and says, “well, I am happy to tell you that your son has outgrown his almond allergy, but unfortunately he is still highly reactive to peanuts”. It’s great news that the almond allergy has been outgrown, but its also a little hard to believe. We are going to set up an “Almond Challenge appointment” with the doctor in the next few weeks to safely test out these new waters, but it is good news. I’ll be sure to post about our Challenge appointment.
And maybe, just maybe…he’ll outgrow more ;).
We finished the appointment and scheduled next years annual appointment. By now my cell phone was practically on fire, buzzing from so many text messages from Chew Chew Daddy asking: “How’s he doing?”
I call my husband on the way home with the update. We both feel sad that the Cub’s peanut allergy is still present. My husband reveals that he too had hoped the peanut allergy would have been outgrown or that maybe the first diagnosis was a false positive…and then continues to say, “well, it doesn’t really matter, we can control this for him and it doesn’t change the fact that he is the most perfect son.” Ahh…that husband of mine. I love him.
Love the Hub and the Cub. Love them more than anything in the world and am happy to report that the Cub was giggling before bedtime and feeling just fine.
So here’s to hoping for next year…and remember….keep your nuts to yourself!
Chew Chew Mama
Next Up: More peanut free treats and peanut free adventures 😉