In June Austin had his semi-annual appointment with Dr. Bloomberg at St. Louis Childrens Hospital. We just LOVE this doctor, he really has the best bedside manner and is great with kids. As an added bonus, he sports very stylish bow ties.
Austin's latest blood rast test results were:
Eggs: Highly allergic
Peanuts: Mildly allergic to Undetectable
Wheat: Mildly allergic
These tests were taken after his December appointment. Since December Austin has had an allergic reaction to apples, yes seriously apples. On more than one occasion he has broke out in hives from eating this harmless (or harmful) fruit.
At the June appointment Dr. Bloomberg wanted to do some skin prick tests to see if we can safely remove some items for Austin's allergy list. Since we know that Austin is still having hive reactions from bananas and watermelon, we didn't test those fruits. We also didn't test wheat since it doesn't cause an anaphylaxis response. Dr. Bloomberg decided that since Austin hasn't had a physical reaction to peanuts (meaning he has never ate peanuts and had an allergic reaction), we should skin test for peanuts. It is possible that his blood thinks he is allergic but his body does not. Which would mean he could safely eat peanuts!! He also discussed with us the possibility of allowing Austin to begin eating baked eggs (cakes, brownies, etc). Some children who have egg allergies are only reactive when the egg is in raw, uncooked form. Other children are allergic to eggs in all forms. So Dr. Bloomberg wanted to skin test eggs to see what his reaction was like, so we can make a decision on how to proceed.
So, Austin was "pricked" with peanuts, eggs, and apples (since it was the new one and we need a basis of measurement). I use the term pricked loosely because contrary to popular belief, his skin is not broken during the test. His back is touched with a probe that has been dipped in the allergic items. And, we wait for 10-15 minutes for the test to settle.
Results are in...positive, very positive, and very very positive. UGH!!!
This appointment was an emotional roller coaster. Before the skin test, after speaking to Dr. Bloomberg, we thought Austin might be able to start eating baked eggs and peanuts. Removing these two items from his list of unsafe foods would be huge, his diet would explode with new flavors. I was giddy with excitement. After his skin test, he clearly showed apples were added to the list and peanuts and eggs (baked and raw) are not coming off the list anytime in the near future. I was devastated and defeated. Food allergies have won again.
It is getting increasingly difficult for us to keep Austin away from his unsafe foods. He is beginning to understand that he doesn't get to eat what others are eating. This is soooo hard. This is so unfair. He can't even eat normal fruits for a well balanced diet.
On a positive note, Dr. Bloomberg did put Austin on the list for a peanut challenge. The waiting list is over a year long, so he placed him in hopes his skin reaction and blood numbers go down before he is called for the challenge. The challenge will be a totally new adventure for us. They will feed Austin peanuts in small amounts, increasing over time, in a safe controlled environment of a sterile hospital room. I haven't heard many experiences of children as young as Austin passing the challenge, but we won't know until we try it.
Another positive note, it is possible that all of Austin's fruit allergies are actually a pollen allergy. We won't know for sure until he is a bit older. Outdoor allergies are difficult to detect in young kids because they don't have enough exposure to the outdoors to truly reflect an allergy on testing. Next summer, he will have had 2 total years of playing outside in the elements. We might be able to gain some insight into possible outdoor allergies next summer.
So for those of you who are still reading and following along with Austin's allergic journey here is his list:
Eggs - strictly avoid
Peanuts - strictly avoid
Wheat - can have but expect an upset tummy after eating large quantities
Watermelon - strictly avoid
Bananas - avoid, can give small amounts to try to build a resistance (for every non reaction, we have had a reaction, there is hope here)
Apples - avoid in raw form (applesauce - okay, apple slices - not)