Wednesday, February 3

Allergy Update

Today was draining. At 4:00 it was all I could do not to nod off on the couch. My oldest and I spent 2 hours at the allergist today. 1 hour and 15 minutes of it waiting and the remainder of it with a nurse and her 24 needles. Today was the skin test. We were testing all nuts and legumes. They also tested milk and gluten. All told it amounted to 24 little needle pricks on my darling daughter's back. She was as brave as she could be but it was very hard for her. She started crying the minute we made it into the exam room and didn't really stop until we left. It was the kind of crying that couldn't be controlled, not that it was loud and hysteric, it just didn't stop. Even though she was sitting on my lap, holding my hand, hearing my soothing words she wasn't able to completely calm down.

I sat there wondering what I was doing. Why was I putting her through this? How much more information could we gain from this test? Was all this drama worth it? We already know she's allergic to peanuts. I felt horrible. Absolutely horrible. I wanted to take it all away. Erase this appointment. Erase this skin test. Erase all the fear and anxiety she was feeling.

To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure what this skin test would entail. Would it be a patch test or a prick test? Would it be on her arm or back? I vaguely remember the Dr. mentioning all of these things. In hindsight (which is always 20-20) I would have asked for specifics about the test. But I'm not sure it would have made any difference. Ugh. Afterwords I was amazed how quickly she calmed down. How fine she seemed. I was still shaky from the experience. Wanting to talk it through with someone. She seemed fine. Hopefully her stress came and went during the procedure. It sure seems to be the case. Me on the other hand, I'm definitely experiencing some Post Traumatic Stress.
Have you seen one of these skin tests before? Pretty freaking amazing. (yes, I took a picture. Is that wrong? I did it when the nurse left the room. I really wanted Bryce to see what this looked like). The black lines are from a marker. 24 of them. One line for each allergen that was going to be tested. Next to each line the nurse made a tiny needle prick and then rubbed the potential allergen over the prick. Two of the columns are nuts - she even used Nutella on one. The other 2 columns are legumes - garbanzos, etc. Milk and gluten are thrown in there too. I was surprised to see gluten. I thought the only way to identify a gluten allergy was to eliminate it from your diet and see if you felt better.

When all 24 were finished we had to leave them on for 10 minutes. After that the nurse washed the residue from her back and measured the hives, both length and width, with a ruler. All the redness that you see is irrelevant. It is the hives (bumps) that indicate an allergy. She has no legume allergy. Good. Not surprisingly she has an allergy to all kinds of nuts, with peanuts being the most severe.

We go back in a few days to receive an allergy protocol. I think that is a set of instructions to be followed in the event of severe reaction. Seriously scary stuff. I know we can't undo undergoing this skin test, but I do really hope we glean some additional information from it. Something more than, "she has a nut allergy." That, we already know.

18 comments:

~Bobbi~ said...

I have never seen that before. Wow! I would have cried seeing my child go through that. Both of you are so strong! I hope this test finds out exactly what she is allergic to.

christie said...

Oh Katy...you did the right thing although my
heart bleeds for darling Eva too. It will be
important information to know and helpful
in your life and hers. mom

Lisa said...

I still remember doing this with Madison when she was 18 months. She was terrified to step foot in a dr. office for over a year after that experience (didn't help that they also took blood and we had a horrible tech....). I am glad that it seems to be contained to "just" nuts and was nothing more. It is definitely good to get some answers and eliminate any questions/concerns...
Take care.

suddenly sahm said...

Yes, this is very hard. We did this on Henry's back with all the pollens in September. I read to him and Emmett while we waited the fifteen minutes. He was sitting on the exam table squirming because it was itchy so I took a look and had to pretend I wasn't horrified at the huge welts on his back. Not fun, but necessary. You did the right thing. Give her a hug from me.

liza said...

Oh my. I am so sorry. The stress would do me in, I think. It is so good to know, though. My heart goes out to your girl. She's a brave one. And to you for taking such good care of her!

Potters said...

I remember having this done to me as a child, a couple times. Maybe about Eva's age..maybe older. But it was to trees, plants, animal type allergies. And they did it to my forearm with strict instructions not to scratch. When I think back..that is a lot to ask. I was too scared of the nurse to scratch..but I still remeber how damn itchy it was. Its interesting to read from your perspective versus my memory of it as a child.

se7en said...

Oh poor baby, you must feel awful for yourself and for her... You guys need to get a tub of ice-cream to share!!! Sometimes we need all the help we can get from wherever it comes!!! I really hope you get over the horror soon! Take care.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Ouch! I am so sorry she AND you had to experience that today. Hoping you get some detailed info soon. Sending you both healing thoughts.

Emily said...

Poor evie. And her mom. Wish I could've Bern there Ruth you to debrief over a lait russe

Jillian said...

My husband had to do this for molds, and grasses and animals, all that stuff. He had 50 some pin pricks on his back and was so allergic to a couple of things that he popped a false positive for peanuts and tomatoes. It really looked awful and then he itched so bad after. I hope they can tell you more!!

likeschocolate said...

I have had this test, but mine were more of the animal persuation along with plants. I ended up doing allergy shots for years which has relieved most of the symptoms. Sorry your little girl had to go through this. I know it is no fun.

Angela said...

Oh this looks terrible! How awful for both you and Eva to have to sit through this. Hoping for better days for both of you and that you don't need to experience anything like this again anytime soon.

Annabel, Mikko, Marcelle and Eric said...

I have nothing to contribute in terms of allergy tests, but I can say I sympathize with the way you felt as you held your wee daughter through the whole thing...Then she bounced back and you needed to talk about it...Isn`t that the truth, kids bounce back ever so quickly and I find myself being the one in need of support, at times, just to empty out the stress and help soothe the colossal headaches I get afterwards! It will certainly be all worth it! Hope you get the results quickly!

Anonymous said...

I had the same sort of test, but in regards to pollen and pets when I was about 5 (I'm in my 30s now). It was something painful; I remember it well to this day. But at the time, we (well my mother) did learn alot about what to avoid, what not to avoid, etc. I feel as though it's a necessary evil. Difficult to watch a child go through, though.

Monkey's Mama said...

oh Katy, I'm so sorry you guys had to go through that. Thank goodness kids are way more resilient than we are!

ksjjpalmer said...

You are a great Mom and she is a great daughter!

Sewing-Chick said...

On her back?! I've never heard of that before. I thought they always did it on the arm. I remember having the allergy test thing when I was six. I didn't get the pricks though, I got shots of the allergens. About 100 shots I think. Or maybe 500.

I'm glad it's over, and hopefully the doctors will be able to tell you something concrete!

Road Trippers said...

Okay, poor you, and you're probably long past this. I've been through this with my first two. Remember -- prick tests can be very inaccurate, giving false positives. Blood tests are 60% accurate -- but can give false negatives. 4 week elimination and reintroduction are the ONLY true ways to test a food allergy. We just did the 5 week dairy elimination. Good luck and a smooch to you for going through it.

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