Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cliffhanger Revealed

At some point either just before, or just after, our encounter with Jeremy the heroin addict who used to live in our house (see post from July 3rd), this is the second half of the Welcome to Australia drama.

After eating a quarter of a sandwich with the ABC Butter on it, one of my kids started getting bumps (which we learned were hives) all over his face, neck, and hands. MK, our preschool teacher from Florida who was with us, immediately knew this was an allergic reaction. We ran to the closet, grabbed a Benedryl (melt-on-your-tongue variety), and shoved it in his mouth. We didn't even know what number to call for an ambulance-- but guess what, it wasn't 911.

I think my mom or MK ran outside asking how to make an emergency call-- by the way, you dial 000... and soon we were in an ambulance on the way to the hospital with our new best friend, Ben the paramedic. Incredibly enough, there was a second encounter about two months later with the paramedics and again it was Ben who came to our rescue. I'm kind of regretting that I didn't whip out a camera in the ambulance, because Ben is very hot-- and I've got a couple girlfriends to hook him up with should they come to visit... for some reason the photo opp didn't occur to me... duh, I wonder why.

Okay, back to the drama..

Thankfully, within the hour the hives were almost gone, and we were on our way home.

It took over a month to get an appointment with the pediatric immunologist, who's tests ultimately determined he had an allergy to a particular tree nut. Which figures, being that I probably ate about 30 containers of those nuts when I was pregnant with him... omigod, I'm such a dumbass.

Seriously, rushing your kid to the hospital in an ambulance is beyond scary and only rivals the day our other child had trigger thumb surgery as worst, most anxiety provoking days ever.

But guess what, there's good freaking news--which is what prompted this two-part posting saga to begin with...

We went for our annual allergist/immunologist appointment this week-- and it looks like possibly the allergy has greatly diminished. The only problem is, the way you get a more definitive answer is to do what they call an Food Challenge (click here to see what the hell I'm talking about).

So what's a parent to do? It's wonderful to think possibly he has outgrown the allergy... but seriously, are you supposed to subject your child to this????

Opinions are appreciated.

The allergy test results and his star sticker for being so awesome.



Dina said...

Yikes. I hate parenting decisions like that. I'm sorry you have to decide.

I think I'd probably do it. It sounds pretty safe. And if there's already indication that he's not allergic could set your mind at ease.

It IS a long time to be at the doctor's office. That will probably be hard.

I don't know.

Why do you/they already suspect the allergy has diminished?? What more would the food test tell you?

I totally agree with you about it being terrifying when your kid is in an ambulance, sick, injured, etc. So sad and scary. It's so horrible seeing your child in pain and in danger.

I feel for all of us parents who have to go through it--and even more so for the families who have to endure it on a day-to-day basis.

Cecily R said...

That's hard! I know its important to know about the allergy but that sounds really grueling!! Good luck.

I hope your buddy Jeremy doesn't come back. He sounds like a gem!

hot garlic said...

Hey Girl! I feel so bad, I've been so busy! I've been meaning to call you all week, ever since Monday when I couldn't talk. I was going to call you the next day, but I decided to paint every room in my house instead. Sorry! Typical me, projects I thought would be done last week haven't even been started because things take a LOT longer than my optimistic brain realizes!

Are we still on for Tuesday? Let's catch up soon.


kileigh7 said...

Ya know, I'd do it. Bring movies and a few other things, and you should be good.

It's safer imo, to get a definititive answer to the "are we allergic.." question.

and here's to hoping that Jeremy won't be back..

MsJamie said...

Poor thing!! I had to go through that allergy testing an hated it. I would hate to be a kid and have it. But if it's necessary certainly he should do it. I think you are the only person who can make that decision. Good luck!!

Marvin the Martian said...

Hey there! Thanks for visiting my little corner - I like yours! I was allergic to all 200+ test allergens when I was young, including the control solution. I was allergic to plants, animals, minerals...everything. As I got older, I figured out that I'm mainly allergic to wheat and potatoes. If I avoid those, my other allergic reactions are diminished. But the main thing is, you just have to suffer through the allergies, not avoid them, to overcome them. By the time I was 16, most of them had disappeared. I hope the same happens for your child.

I think the food testing is a good idea... unless the same can be accomplished with the 200+ pinpricks on his back.

Ty Gunner said...

Does the Food Challenge involve remembering what the grid represents?

Heidi Sue said...

Hi! I'm catching up on all things you, and I'm so sorry to hear about the nut allergy. I am also allergic - to all tree nuts. Did you know that?!

I have severe reactions (anaphylaxis in the U.S.), but have learned ways to avoid having any.

I would not put myself through testing, and can't imagine recommending it. me, we'll talk nuts.


Karen said...

Hi There -

I was checking out your blog because I'm an expat too and just starting to blog, but I had to respond to this one. I have a daughter who had a peanut allergy. We had the bloodwork done at regular intervals and once her levels went way down, we did do the oral food challenge in the doctor's office, across the street from the hospital.

She was 4 at the time and for 3 years, we had ingrained in her that she had to be careful about what she ate and that she could not have peanuts because it would hurt her. Now, here we were telling her she HAD to eat peanut butter. She was fine on the first few tiny bits, but once she had to increase the amount and really taste it, she needed some convincing! We just told her she HAD to do it and that there was no choice to quit the challenge. It was 4 hours total, with a few tears. I think if she had been a couple of years older, she would have been fine, we just would have needed some stuff to keep her busy.

Do I regret it? No, because now we know FOR SURE that she is not allergic. She actually has to eat peanuts once a week, to keep from re-sensitizing. And even though she doesn't like them, she does it because she knows it's important. And I'm glad we did it in a controlled environment, just in case anything did go wrong.

So that is the crux of the issue - would you like to endure a few hours of boredom and possibly some tears to be sure your child is ok, or are you willing to take the chance that there could be another ambulance ride in your future?

I've been on one of those ambulance rides and I found that far worse than enduring the food challenge.

Good luck!

floridagirlinsydney said...

Hi Karen- Thank you so much for your story!!! I am so glad to hear from someone who has been down this road. I also just left you a note on your blog at blogher.

The boredom or tears of going to the challenge don't bother me at all, I am just petrified about him having a reaction!

If you read this comment please, please email me at so I can know how to contact you!
Thanks again, it's so comforting to hear from you and to hear your little girl actually had outgrown the allergy!

Veronica said...

My daughter has a milk protein allergy and we regularly do milk challanges to see how she is doing. As she nears 2 it is getting better, but having to do the tests knowing it was going to make my life and hers harder for a few days was very hard.

Corrina said...

That does NOT sound like a fun day. Poor little guy. Perhaps this is a better way to find out what he's allergic to, rather than having him eat something when you're out and having to rush him to the ER again?

Please note that I don't have kids and therefore don't know what the hell I'm talking about. lol