Yesterday I got a call from the pediatric allergist that they had a cancellation for 1pm today and if I wanted to, I could have it. Of course I said yes. We were to arrive 15-30 minutes early, but got my time all wrong and we got there right at 1pm. But funny how it all works, apparently my appointment was really 1:30. I guess they heard about me and my mommy brain. And we didn't leave the place until 5:30. Yup, we were there for 4 1/2 hours. Poor little Things.
The crying began at the very start when the nurse weighed them. Then we were ushered into the room where I was asked a heck of a lot of questions. An hour or so later, more people came (doctors and students) and there were more preliminary examinations. Then the pricking began. While Thing 2 was on the table with one doctor listening to her lungs and looking at her ears, I was sitting down with Thing 1. The nurse had drawn a line of letters on her whole back, then the pricks. Of course Thing 1 cried and cried and cried. To the nurse's credit, she did it super fast. When Thing 1 was done, someone put Thing 2 on my other leg. She cried and cried and cried, and Thing 1 cried. They both cried so hard, their noses started bleeding. After all the crying, I was left alone in the room "hugging" a baby on each leg. I couldn't really touch their backs.
Instantly, there were obvious reactions. When the nurse returned and measured the welts (if any), Thing 1's welt for the milk allergy was 9mm and Thing 2's was 8mm. This is actually very big! The only other reactions that were noted were for peanut (4mm).
The doctor said that around 4mm is really not considered 'true' at this age. But the milk welt being so big, it is a true milk allergy. The peanut allergy is noted and would be watched, but it's not enough to be worried about right now. So the girls were prescribed an epi pen, Singulair and antibiotic (apparently they have a sinus infection). Then she went on to the subject of asthma. She said with the risks factors of eczema, food allergy and family history of asthma, this is an asthma that must be treated, especially that the girls often wheeze. For the asthma, they were given Singulair which they are to take everyday for a loooooong time. If it doesn't control the wheezing, we'll have to consider a steriod by nebulizer.
After being shown how to use the epi pen, we were sent for blood work. The blood work is to put quanitity to the allergy and for the purpose of comparison a year from now when they get tested again.
The blood work. Well. The phelobotomist worked on Thing 1 first. I normally don't look at the needle when I get blood work done, but this time I did. I thought I should see the whole thing in case something goes wrong. The woman had to fish for a vein. She stuck Thing 1 and fished this way and that way. It was horrible. Finally the blood flowed, but then it stopped. Absolutely horrible. The poor girl is exhausted, sleepy and she has been through too much by this time. But finally it was over. Than it was Thing 2's turn. The woman exclaimed, "wow, they have the same vein", but yet she also had to fish for it. It was especially horrible. Thing 2 trashed and kicked and I had to really really hold her down. She was hysterical at this point but yet no blood. The woman took out the needle and said she wanted to try the other arm. Thing 2 kicked and trashed some more. The woman said, she doesn't like this arm, she'll do the first one instead. Finally, she got the vein. By this time Thing 2 was absolutely hysterical. By this time, I am so frustrated and felt so bad for the girls I was on the verge of crying.
I really needed another pair of arms today. Not because it was tiring for me, but because it was a horrible experience for the girls. They needed a familiar face to comfort them but there was no one. I did my best, but someone had to be put in the stroller to cry by herself so that I could hold the other one.
The day has been horrible and the girls faced it like little troopers. I'm glad it's over with, though the diagnosis has left me a little depressed. There's nothing like being made to carry an epi pen to shock you to your motherly core. I know it's not the end of the world. I just need time to process and to adjust.
We are to avoid any milk products for a year and then the girls will get another blood test to see where they are then. Having no clue about food allergies, it was another shocker to think that all we had to avoid was the word "milk" on the ingredients. I need to read up on a lot of information.
We were given this as a trusted source: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
2 years ago