Thursday, January 5, 2012

Peanut allergy: confirmed

We had Lorelai's appointment with the allergist today, and after a skin test, her peanut allergy was unfortunately confirmed, and bonus! We're also probably looking at a fish allergy. I had them test her for that because she started throwing up after she ate fish sticks at daycare.

It was a really rough appointment, to be honest. From the moment the nurse tried to take Lorelai's blood pressure, she went into full freakout mode. I had to hold her on the big scale to get her weight and we had to literally pin her down to get her length and have the doctor look in her ears and nose. When it came time for the skin test where they put a dab of the allergen on her back and make a small scratch, she was a complete mess. We finally got her to calm down during the 15-minute wait for a reaction, but as soon as the doctor opened the door, she started crying again. Even just barely touching her back with a ruler to measure the reaction was a huge fight.

In addition to the allergens, they scratch the skin with a histamine control (which she should react to no matter what) and a saline control (which she shouldn't react to). She reacted immediately to the peanuts, and her hive got bigger than the histamine. The fish didn't react as quickly or as strongly and initially the doctor said it didn't look like she had a fish allergy. However, as time passed the fish reaction became stronger.

skin test for allergies
Lorelai's back. They did the fish twice because while Lorelai was squirming,
we thought my hand might have wiped the first test off.

They also did a blood test, which was absolutely horrible. The phlebotomist missed her vein two times and ended up digging around in there till she got one. Lorelai's all bruised and I'm traumatized :( I hate needles and have had bad experiences with blood draws and IVs myself.

We won't know for sure about the fish allergy or how allergic she is to either until the blood tests come back in about a week. And unfortunately, no test can tell us how severe her reaction will be. We got a prescription for an epi pen though, just in case. We go back in a year to test again and see if anything has changed. Apparently, if the level is low in the blood test, she has a better chance of outgrowing it.

Now it's just a matter of doing tons of research and educating ourselves and the boys on the ins and outs of food allergies. Fortunately, Duke is one of the top research hospitals for food allergies, and they're conducting several studies right now on peanut allergies. I have no idea yet if we'd consider participating in one of the trials, but the doctor did mention it as a possibility (they've got one going now for children 18 months to 3 years called the DEVIL study). Regardless, we're in good hands and the doctor seems optimistic that with all the research being done, they'll probably find a cure within Lorelai's lifetime. Here's hoping...

But bottom line? This sucks.


  1.!!! I am SOOOOO sorry you had to go through this! And your poor baby! I would have died. That being said, I'm glad that you found out about the allergies now and can get things under control before something bad happened. Sending happy thoughts your way!

  2. fun at all and the appointment sounds awful! At least that part is over for a while. Hopefully she'll outgrow it quickly! Oh, one thing...a friend of mine has a child with pretty severe food allergies and kept his epipen in his diaper bag. Well, he got it...and stuck himself with it! Which meant a trip to the ER of course. Not that I think you guys would ever leave it around, but just thought I would share!

  3. Thanks ladies :) Shannon, thanks for the heads up! The doctor mentioned they were really easy to use, I guess that's true for kids, too :|


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