Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peanut allergy update

Lorelai had her annual appointment with the allergist last week and there's good news and not so good news.

First, the good news. Unlike last year, she was AMAZING for the entire appointment--skin scratch test, blood draw and all! No major freakouts and only one minor freakout when she didn't want to have her mouth or ears checked (no big deal to the doctor). I'm SO freakin' proud of her, considering her previously intense fear of the doctor.

all smiles, even ready for another bp check :)

I'm kind of patting myself on the back for turning her onto the wonders of Doc McStuffins (a Disney Jr. show) last fall and getting Santa to bring her a doctor's kit for Christmas. She was so excited to go see Doc McStuffins, even when I explained that our doctor's name wasn't Doc McStuffins, but she does checkups and helps people feel better like Doc McStuffins does. We sang the theme song over and over again, and Lorelai was hardly apprehensive as we went back to the exam room.

It also really helped that the nurse who weighed/measured/took her blood pressure had Doc McStuffins stickers and bubbles to help distract her. At the end of the appointment, the stickers are what we looked at during her blood draw, and she barely even flinched! (Thank goodness for another wonderful nurse who actually got her vein on the first time and didn't have to dig around like last time.)

Whew! Such a relief on all of our parts after a couple of other fairly traumatizing doctor visits.

 photo 21144B39-FA80-4927-9042-353F1A1723B4-3440-000007EC56EC75A1_zps91684d9d.jpg

And...for the not so good news. Not only is she still allergic (what? I was totally hoping her allergy would magically disappear, don't tell me I'm crazy!) but her skin reaction was worse this time compared to last time. To be fair, the doctor said that doesn't necessarily mean her blood IgE will be worse. But it does mean that she doesn't qualify for a food challenge yet, and we have to wait a year before we go back to see if her levels have gone down at all.

The peanut in on the left, the histamine is on the right, and the saline is the tiny speck sort of in the middle. We told her they were drawing a face on her, so I took pictures to show her the "eyes" and convinced her not to touch and mess up the "red marker" on her back.

See, my ultimate hope was obviously that her levels would be low enough to qualify her for a food challenge (the doctor talked it up like it was an actual possibility since we met at least one criteria, they would actually feed her increasing amounts of peanut butter under close supervision at the hospital) and if she passed, we wouldn't have to worry so much about her when she goes to kindergarten. I know we have a few years before we get to that point, but if her allergy really is getting worse...well, cue mommy freakout.

Of course, part of me was relieved that we don't have to go through the anxiety of potentially watching her have another reaction, however supervised it would be. But my anxiety over her going to public school with a peanut allergy is so much worse.

For reference (and my memory), here are her levels from last year, and her skin reaction measured 8x8, I believe. Her skin test this year measured 14x8, but we won't know her new levels for at least another week probably, so I'll reserve my freakout until then.

Class IgE kU/L Interpretation
0     <0.35 Negative
1     0.35-0.70 Equivocal
2     0.71-3.50 Positive
3     3.51-17.50 Positive
4     17.60-50.00 Strongly Positive
5     50.10-100.00 Strongly Positive
6     >100.00 Strongly Positive

I don't even know how likely it is that in a year they'd drop within range of a food challenge (I think she said it should be below 2 kU/L), but the way the doctor was talking it up, it seemed like it wasn't unlikely. So all we can do at this point is keep doing what we're doing with avoidance and keep our fingers crossed for a trend down next year!

And if anyone has any positive stories about growing out of a peanut allergy, I'd love to hear them!

PS: I don't think I ever posted a follow up, but thankfully, her skin reaction to the fish last year was a false positive.


  1. I can't attest to peanut allergies, although I've had experience with Cow's Milk Allergies... My close real-life friend has a son (2 1/2 y.o.) who suffers mad-bad eczema from egg and peanut allergies. Hang in there girl! So glad that she overall had a less traumatic experience at the doctors!

  2. So it looks like we will be headed down this road. When we first got T tested, it was just a blood test and we were told she had a level 3 peanut allergy. They gave us epi pens and and sent us on our way. Then we moved and the new doctor didn't seem overly concerned and the truth is we have had peanut butter in our house and she has eaten things that shared facilities, etc. This year the doctor said she should have been being checked every year (why they didn't last year is beyond me) and that they don't do the test at their clinic. So now I am looking to see where our insurance is accepted and start the process. I truly hope she has outgrown it and I hope you girl does too!


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