Last Wednesday, I told you about how our allergy journey began. If you missed it, you can read that post here. Today, I will take up where we left off when I finally took matters into my own hands and found an allergist for my 8 month old son.
I looked on the internet to find a pediatric allergist in our health insurance network and made the first call. A nurse returned my call, I told her the situation and asked if she advised that I have him tested for food allergist. She responded with an emphatic, “Yes!”
On the day of the appointment, we met with numerous nurses, interns, fellows and doctors (it is a teaching hospital, afterall). Most were very helpful and administered their questions with respect and concern. The allergist, however, was very much like the pediatrician. She was dismissive. She asked for which food allergies I wanted him tested. (Isn’t that something that she should have been telling me?) I agreed to go with what ever she recommended, but I thought dairy and egg should definitely be on the list. So she placed the order for dairy, egg, peanut and maybe a couple more.
I had to put my poor little baby boy into a hugging hold so that they could do the skin test on his back. He wasn’t too happy with that pain discomfort. The nurse left them room and we were left to ourselves for about 15 minutes while the histamine did it’s job. I was glad to see bumps raising up on his back because it solidified my hunch for the past 6 months, but I was apprehensive and sad at the future that it would hold.
The Doctor and Fellow entered back into the exam room after the 15 minute wait. The doctor exclaimed, “Wow! He really does have allergies.” I could have spit right then because of all the doctors who doubted me. (If you’re a doctor and reading this, always trust a mother’s instincts!) He came back positive for dairy, egg and peanut.
A few days later, I called the doctor back because I wondered why she hadn’t tested him for more things (like the most common allergens), wheat, in particular. She acted annoyed and said she would call in an order for a blood test. The result for wheat came back slightly positive. At some point in our testing early on, he also came back slightly allergic to almonds, but that was the only tree nut.
The doctor sent us on our way without much to say about it all except to come back in 6 months and they would forward the report on to the pediatrician. The pediatrician’s response the next time we went in to the office, “You were right, he really does have food allergies!” Again, always trust a mother’s instincts.
I don’t recall throwing my hands up in the air out of desperation, but rather, we were glad that we finally had some answers. Since I was nursing, I had been tossing up my diet anyway, so now I just had some firm direction for it. I was resolved to continue nursing him because I did not want some strange formula ingredients to bother him and I felt it was the best thing for him (and I’m cheap). I immediately eliminated all dairy, egg, wheat and peanuts from my diet…period!! I did not cheat and I don’t recall complaining too much either. I was losing tons of baby weight from this diet (I mean tons!!), so it was a win-win situation.
After eliminating all of these allergens from my son, I was amazed at how quickly the oozing eczema patches cleared up and long-standing baby acne was gone. He was happy and so were we!
I will finish up the history of our food allergy home next week as I tell you about our journey living with food allergies for the last 6 years. (Don’t mean to drag I’m intentionally dragging this out, so that I don’t overwhelm you readers 🙂 Come back next Wednesday!