My Boys Annual Trek To The Allergist, 2012

It was with a mix of excitement and trepidation that my boys and I made our way to the allergist on Monday…the boys’ annual skin testing of their food allergens.

It’s a good 45 minute drive…stick in a police road closure, an alternate route road closure and a miss step in directions…all led to us arriving 15 minutes late. Thank goodness for cell phones…we were able to call and leave a message that we were on our way. I hate being late!

I don’t know about you…but I go to these allergy testing appointments with a ‘glimmer of hope’.

During the drive to our appointment, I can’t help but think what it would be like if one of my boys’ allergies showed any signs of lessening. Which one would ‘open more doors’ for food choices, nutrition, convenience? Dairy, egg, beef, sesame, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, mustard or raspberries?

Frankly, at this point, I would take anything!

Our appointment started out as usual with my boys demonstrating the administration of the epi pen trainer. The allergist made a good point…Michael stood up to administer his epi pen…our allergist suggested that if he were feeling dizzy, it would be better to stay seated to administer the epi pen.

Matthew lifted his sleeve for his testing of peanut/tree nuts while Michael removed his shirt to have all his allergens tested on his back. (This is Michael’s preference…the allergist had suggested to do the testing on his arm)

Unfortunately, both boys tested positively for their food allergens. It was a somber moment.

The drive home was silent…thank goodness for the darkness…I could not help but shed a few tears.

Do your children have yearly food allergy testing with their allergist? Is your allergist local or do you need to drive a distance for the appointment? How do your children feel about the allergy testing? Do either yourself or your children get their hopes up before the testing? Have you experienced signs of one of your children’s food allergens as being negative?

I would love to hear about your experiences…please leave a comment.

13 thoughts on “My Boys Annual Trek To The Allergist, 2012

  1. Oh dear, Susan, I know the driving home in tears feeling too well. My sympathy to you and the boys. We do an annual blood test so that we have actual numbers to see if they change; my son hates the blood draw but it is better than the 7 days without antihistamines ahead of time for the skin pricks. Last year, still high numbers to dairy, eggs, nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, sesame and pea. Although the numbers for milk have gone down, they are still 100X over what is considered high. There I hang my glimmer of hope, I try not to hope but I always do.

    We even tried an oral challenge to egg since the numbers one year were lowering; immediate hives on his face before he even swallowed the meringue-he spit it out. It was one of the worst moments ever.

    As a parent, it hurts so much, I can’t help but wonder how awful it feels to my son who is now 14 and about to face the teenage ‘going out for pizza’ years.

    Maybe next year! Puberty is supposed to be a time when allergies get outgrown…we moms have to hope and pray that it truly is for our children.

    • Hi Candace! Michael asked if it was worth it to try a blood test for any of his allergens…unfortunately, the allergist did not feel a blood test was necessary 😦

      My heart does go out to both my boys…in fact, all children facing the struggles of the teenage years. Peer pressure can be tough…as a mother, I do worry.

      I can only imagine how scary the reaction to the egg challenge must have been…I have seen my own son’s face explode in hives with his eye swelling and closing shut. Very un-nerving!

      Hope is all that I have to cling to…thankfully, living with food allergies is getting more positive exposure, people are becoming more aware and empathetic, and there are more food options out there free from some of the top food allergens.

      Thank you for sharing your story! 🙂

  2. My son’s first follow up test is in February (he’s not yet 2) and I do hope that the list will be smaller than before (food allergies are peanut and egg) . At the same time, I’ll be seeking confirmation of a few allergens that weren’t on the list (lentils and tartrazine, a yellow dye) so who knows what we’ll end up with.

  3. I just found your blog! Sorry that nothing really changed! Hopefully they will outgrow some of them. Some of the food allergies I had as a child, I outgrew. (Are you able to get the RAST blood tests instead of the skin prick tests? They have not done that on me in an extremely long time due to how bad my reactions are, and the fact that you have to be off antihistamines for 7-10 days).

    • Luckily, Michael no longer relies on antihistamines for his eczema. Our allergist does not recommend the blood test for my boys…their skin reactions to their allergens deem that there would not be a significant difference to warrant a food challenge. I also believe we would have to pay as OHIP does not cover the cost. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. Susan,
    I am so sorry about the news too. We have avoided that situation, just because over the last 3 years since we have known of the allergy, we’ve not had any retesting! There seems to be a wide variety of beliefs between medical practices. You are re-confirming for me that I want to find a different doctor for him, more like our first younger doc who seemed more on top of things. Even if the chance of outgrowing a tree nut allergy is slim, from what I have read. The younger doctor had recommended a repeat blood test after 2 years, current doc has recommended after 5 years…assuming no accidental exposures.

    • Our allergist did not think that both the boys needed to be retested for their peanut/tree nut allergy but both the boys wanted the test. Michael wanted to prove the allergist wrong…he was disappointed with the results but I do believe it eliminated the doubt. I am not sure what is common place for retesting but I believe part of our annual appointment is for our allergist to touch base with the boys to review their year.

  5. That is so interesting that your boys had to show how they would use the Epipen. What a great idea. Our first son is only 3, so it’s probably a bit early for that. However, I certainly worry about what lies ahead at school, especially in the teen years. I am sure you heard about the boy’s death in Sydney just recently? In Australia, I think most schools insist you leave the Epipen at the nurse’s office so that they know where it is. However, I really think that in a large school, it’s just too far away if anything serious does happen. Hopefully when my boys reach that age, society and school rules will continue to change so that their experience of school will be safe and enjoyable. We had our baby tested at 3 months, and I am regretting it in some ways since there are so many allergens that I can’t even name them all in one breath. We won’t get retested till 12 months, I’m certainly praying that he outgrows most of them by then. We can’t get annual appointments with our specialist since the wait list is too long! I think he is just too good, and has too many clients. Keep pressing on Susan… I’m sure your boys gain a lot of strength from all that you do for them.

    • Thank you! 🙂 I do hope that your son outgrows his food allergies. The future does look promising. I have encountered many great experiences on my boys’ journey in the school system thus far…may it continue. It is a learning process for us all. 🙂

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