We’ve entered uncharted territory in our household. Bug (my daughter) has been officially diagnosed with several environmental allergies. Ugh!! I sat down to write this blog last week, but I couldn’t. Bug’s allergy testing was incredibly traumatic! Plus, I was a little overwhelmed with our new diagnosis.
Bug has been on allergy medication since she was 2-years-old. Up until this year, over-the-counter medication controlled all of Bug’s problems. Unfortunately, this changed in early May. In May, Bug developed a horrible cough. The cough progressed from just occurring in the mornings to impacting her sleep and playing outside. Over an 8 week period, my pediatrician tried a number of medications (in hopes of clearing this cough up). The changes in medications didn’t work. It was decided that Bug needed to see an allergy/asthma specialist.
So fast-forward to our appointment last week. Bug was a little nervous about going to the doctor (especially after the broken elbow incident). I prepared her the best I could, but I knew this appointment was going to be tough. I just wasn’t prepared for how tough!!! The doctor came in and took Bug’s history and examined her. He was super nice and very knowledgeable. I really felt like his goal was to educate me. After he left, the allergy testing began!!
Bug was placed on my lap, facing me. The nurse told me my whole
goal was to hold Bug’s legs down and not let her move. While I held her legs down, another nurse held her arms and shoulders. Bug was screaming even before the test started! The test was very quick and is the equivalent to a skin scratch. Even though the testing is done in huge block segments, it isn’t easy!!!!! It took everything I had to hold Bug down. This broke my heart! Huge tears spilled down her face and she begged me to let her up! Honestly, I have never heard her scream like this!
The test was done in about 25 seconds, but it took forever for me to calm her down. Bug reacted to so many of the skin scratches; she looked like she had the chicken pox! When they went to put medicine on the bumps, Bug screamed again! Oh…I felt so helpless!!! I would have loved to have traded places with her! I felt so guilty when we left the appointment; I let Bug pick out a new toy! I was desperate to make her day brighter!
So fast-forward to this week, Bug has to have a blood test to test for food allergies (cinnamon, latex, and tomatoes). The blood draw was worst than the allergy test! It took 2 hours, 2 attempts, and 3 people to pull Bug’s blood. We didn’t even get all they wanted, but we had to quit (her vein was bruising). Ugh…her fear and pain brought tears to my eyes. I hated that I had to put her through more test! So what did I do again; I let Bug pick out a new toy! I know it is awful, but I had to do something for the guilt!!
So what is the verdict on allergies: tree pollen, grass pollen, weed pollen, mold, household dust, dust mites, pet dander, and cockroach antigen. Ugh…can we say impossible to keep her away from these things (except the cockroach antigen….eww gross!). We are waiting to hear about the food allergies. So far her medicines are working. In addition to the medication, I have to make some changes at home. We have to seal her mattress and pillows to cut down on dust mites. We also have to buy a special pet dander shampoo for our dog.
Initially, I was overwhelmed by Bug’s allergy diagnosis, but it could have been a lot worse. We are just glad we have answers and that her cough has finally disappeared. I think we are ready for this new uncharted territory at our house! I know we will probably have to make some medication changes, but we are hopefully about Bug’s allergy outlook.
Anyone else had an experience with allergy testing? Did you have a similar experience? Also, does anyone have advice on having a child with severe allergies?
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