Monday, October 18, 2010

Food Allergy Floundering

Seriously, this is such an's WAY more than that.  It's an all-consuming, anxiety ridden adventure, with surprises everywhere!

We had our first 'anaphylactic drill' this morning.  Our little guy drank some of his smoothie, had a bite of orange, we were getting hubby ready for work, and he came with me to wake up sissie.  That's when I yelled down to Gary to get the Benadryl.  Little Foot's chin was bright red with hives around his lip, and it appeared that his lip was starting to swell.  That's how his anaphylactic reaction last month, hubby gave him Benadryl and we went into full surveillance mode.  Every 30 seconds:  "Does it look worse?  Does he have any more hives?  Is the swelling going down?  Is that cough because of a reaction, or the cold the kids are getting over?  Does his lip look bigger to you?  While we were watching him, we all were getting into the car.  This is how this 'adventure' affects a parent.  We were going to begin the drive to the hospital...just to be closer, if it ended up progressing.  Sissie was in the car, ready for record time, I might add, and one of us was going to leave the hospital to drop her at school, which is between the hospital and our house.  Insanity.  I'm telling you that we are quickly losing our minds.  We have NO idea what caused him to react this morning.

For a year we have managed to reduce his exposure to food allergens, feed him a very healthy diet, and now it seems within the last month we are losing ground quickly.  We seem to be in a tough spot of losing more foods we can feed him safely.  SO, this morning I call National Jewish to get in with the world-renowned allergists, just to find out what his high level reactions could be, and move forward with some other (holistic, not necessarily western protocol) care.  The soonest they can get us in is 6 weeks from now.  Since we can't wait until then to figure out what we can feed him safely, we have to look into other testing options.  Besides the fact that they want to push us through their protocol and do the skin prick testing that first appointment.  From everything we've read, that is the least reliable and uncomfortable of all the tests.  AND we've read several accounts of children with anaphylactic allergies having a serious reaction and needing epinephrine during the test, so the families and doctors decided not to go that route again, but just test on blood vials.  Our western options are just not at all appealing.  I want to talk to other parents who have done both.  Used allopathic medicine for testing, and system support and care in a more holistic way.  I would really love to chat with others who have done something, anything that was helpful besides just avoiding the foods that were allergens.  We have a number of moms in our community now who, although their children haven't shown anaphylactic reactions, they have been reduced to a handful of foods their children can eat safely.  There is an answer for how to help their systems, and we are going to find it.

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