Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Milk Challenge

To begin with challenge days are hard because we have to get Max up at 5:30am to eat breakfast because he can't eat for three hours before the challenge. So by the time we got to the doctor's office at 9:00 am he was hungry and cranky already.

After the first dose (approx. a teaspoon) he immediately started complaining that his tongue itched, his throat hurt, he felt sick. But...there were no hives, his tongue and throat were not red and irritated. There were no visible signs of a reaction. So the question became whether this was anxiety. It is partly my fault. I did not prepare him well for this. I asked a couple times if he would be disappointed if he didn't pass the challenge and I can imagine, for a six year old, telling him to avoid something his whole life and then asking him to eat it can be anxiety inducing.

In any case, he didn't want to continue with the challenge. We let him make that call. The doctor gave him Benedryl and about an hour and a half after arriving we left. However, because his numbers are so low we are going to approach the challenge a different way. A couple times a week I am to give him baked goods that contain milk product. Milk baked into things breaks down the proteins. We will do this for three months and re-do the blood test. If the RAST number spikes he will need to go back to strict avoidance.

Bad news? Good news? I don't know. I do know that no matter how much I prepare MYSELF for the disappointment I always still am. I feel like hanging my head and sobbing. Even though I went in soooooo pessimistic I still wished deep deep down that it would work. That I would have one less allergy to worry about.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Birthday Planning

Max is always planning his birthday party. He switches themes on a weekly basis. After a viewing of Toy Story he suggested a space theme and said we could serve the special cheeseless pizza I make for Max and Owen. I laughed and wondered out loud if other children would like cheeseless pizza. Max said "Why wouldn't they?" I replied that most kids were used to only eating their pizza with cheese and I wondered what they would think of pizza without cheese. Max simply said "Well, if they don't like it they can just bring their own." There was no malice or sarcasm in what he said, just a statement. Because this is what he knows; when you go to a party you bring your own food! Makes me ponder what he has learned about hospitality.

Puts a whole new face on BYOB or should I say BYOP!

PS. Speaking of cheese, wish us luck. Milk challenge tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Numbers

We got the numbers late last week and then I misplaced them so I had to call the allergist back yesterday to get them again. So here's my little chart from when we first started blood tests to now.

2004 Egg 1.45 Milk 2.71 Peanut 1.61
2005 Egg 1.10 Milk 2.36 Peanut 1.80
2006 Egg 1.34 Milk 0.90 Peanut 1.09 Cashew 2.67 Pistachio 3.40
2008 Egg 1.59 Milk >.35 Peanut 0.51 Cashew 1.40 Pistachio 2.08
2009 Egg 2.86 Milk 0.17 Peanut 0.49 Cashew 1.63 Pistachio 1.55

Dr. B. started off saying that the results were a little disappointing but after getting the news I didn't think it was all that disappointing. Maybe she was hoping for more negatives than I was. She did say it was unfortunate that we had to switch labs as different labs run different types of RAST tests. One runs the ImmunoCap and the other the CAP FEIA (I don't remember which runs which). But as we have moved over the years, switched allergists, etc, I couldn't tell you which year or what lab used which type of test. All I have is the numbers. Dr. B. said the numbers could vary though from one test to another.

Looking at the numbers there is a definite downward trend with all Max's allergens except one. Egg. I asked if that was an indication he wouldn't outgrow egg and Dr. B. responded that his body just seemed to be a little stubborn (possibly like his whole little being.)

I think Dr. B. was most disappointed with the milk as though it is less than .35 it is still there. She rescinded the at home challenge but did say if we wanted we could do an office oral challenge if I didn't think it would be psychologically hard on Max if he didn't pass as we wouldn't challenge than again for another year. I got the feeling with a positive (no matter how small) blood test and a still fairly large skin test positive, the doctor is thinking he won't pass a challenge.

So I told Max I had his blood test results back. He very adult like turned to me and said "So, what do they say." I said milk was low but still positive and he could challenge again but would he be disappointed if he didn't pass? He said "No, I'd be okay. " "So do you want to do it?" I questioned. "Yes" was his reply.

I made the appointment yesterday for March 31st. Though I sometimes question whether I like this doctor, I have to say it is great not having to wait too long for appointments.