Thursday, May 12, 2011

Allergy Testing

I am sure that my faithful three readers are thrilled to see a new post-- and about the very exciting world of allergy testing to boot :)  God Love you.  We did have an experience this week that I thought was worth writing about.

First, you should know that I have terrible allergies.  My neighbor in McCook used to call me "the kid with all the allergies."  As a young child, I would repeatedly get sick-- just over and over again.  In fact, at this time in my life I once heard my (very calm but at the time frustrated) mom use the term "dumb doctor"-- probably on the phone explaining to a girlfriend that they couldn't stop the infections from re-occurring.  So they did several types of tests and my mom explains that it was somewhat scary not knowing the problem.  I can only imagine myself in her shoes-- heaven help my anxiety and please Lord stop my fingers from typing childhood cancer into Google one more time.  Anyway, she took me to another doctor at some point, where I repeated the phrase "that dumb doctor better not say its just an infection" on the table, in front of the doctor.

Blah Blah, finally they did some allergy testing and low and behold, I was allergic to everything non-food.  Almost every environmental allergy, all indoor allergies, cats, other farm animals, dust, dirt-- seriously I'd have to live in a bubble to avoid them.  So, in the 2nd grade, I had my first allergy surgery where they went in through my gums (like my mouth) and put a "window" in my sinus to help drain things.  Years later we discovered this surgery was highly unsuccessful.  I did allergy shots into adulthood, nose sprays, another procedure, and eventually learned to be as proactive as possible-- and to live with it.  That's why last summer's bout with mono was so weird-- my doctor and I kept thinking it was allergies.  Though I am not the expert, nor do I order the testing-- thank you very much.  #youmissedthediagnoises

So Dekker has a history of MSPI, dry skin patches, and re-occurring ear infections-- all signs of allergies.  We're not sure if he had mono last summer too, or not-- but he has been sick a lot.  This April at his 2 year appointment our family doctor was concerned that he was "only mouth breathing" and stated that he does have almost constant upper respiratory distress.  He sounds like a cat when he breaths.  So she started him on Zyrtec and suggested allergy testing.  I put it off, and several weeks of Zyrtec later he wasn't any better.  I called and asked if there was anything else they could do for him.  The doctor added a nose spray and a curt reminder that I had not followed her order yet to get testing.  So I made an appointment with the allergist.

I was skeptical.  To say the least.  My sweet friend Suzanne, a PA, explained to me the benefits with a general "Why not?" attitude, coupled with "You're going to meet your massive deductible anyway..." and I decided to be compliant with my doctor.  This also started my rants involving statements like, "I already know he has allergies.  To know grass vs dust does not help me?"  And, "Seriously, who does NOT have allergies?" 

Monday Dave and I took him in.  Do I have the best husband or what?  They did a thorough history.  This is the best Dekker has been in a long while, and since we started the nose spray he had been miraculously better.  They wrote numbers up his back, pricked over the number with environmental allergies, indoor allergies, and some food allergies.  We were instructed to walk the halls for 15 minutes and distract him.  This was no problem and in 15 minutes that kid was as happy as a shirtless toddler at the water-fountain.

He had no allergies.

Nope, not one.  What the Heck?  Why all the illness?  The sweet doctor explained that he has reflux.  "REFLUX?"  No spit up here, lady doctor.  I mean he spit up a lot as a baby, but not now.  She went on to educate me about toddler reflux and how the main concern is inflammation.  This creates an environment for common colds to get out of hand and become infections.  Apparently, ear infections are also very common with reflux, and it is almost always worse at night.  And guess what the best treatment for the reflux is?  The nose spray.  It is an anti-inflammatory.  No wonder he has been doing so well.  This is not a rare diagnosis, but it's not overly common, either.  In the end, his bump-less back was "good news."

All in all, I want a happy healthy kid.  So I am SO glad we did the testing.  No more Zyrtec.  No need to keep giving him medicine he won't need.  And hopefully the nose spray will help keep his colds manageable, which means less antibiotics, which I am thrilled about.  To see his totally clear back was somewhat humbling, but I have decided there is nothing embarrassing about trying to be a good mom, even if I did misdiagnose him in the form of my rants all month.  After all, I am not a doctor.  And my doctor missed the boat on this one, too.  #youmissedthediagnosisagain.  Though to her credit, she sent me for the testing because this isn't her specialty, either.

So there you have it.  We had stopped the nose spray 36 hrs before the appt and I was giving it to him in the parking lot!!  We had a great experience at Midwest Asthma and Allergy, and we hope to never go back there :)  And even though I personally can not even fathom a life without allergies, I'm so glad my son will get to!

On the journey,

1 comment:

  1. YEAH for the new post and what is going on with Dekker, praying the nose spray works!!