A few months ago I took Aaron in for his yearly allergy appointment. An allergic event a year before had caused us to need an allergist as he had an anaphylactic type reaction.
I remember the event like it was yesterday. My dear friend had joined Aaron and me for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. He had a cheese quesadilla. He tried refried beans during this meal which was different than any other time. It was experimental. It was broadening his horizons. Within a few minutes Aaron was coughing. It was a croupy kind of cough. Any parent who has a child who has had croup can relate to the “bark” you hear when your child coughs. Aaron had had croup before, so without any anxiousness I took him outside in the colder weather to help with this croupy cough. Only this time, it wasn’t working. I walked back into the restaurant with Aaron and told my friend, that didn’t work…this isn’t croup…we gotta get him to the doctor. This friend has experience with food allergies as her son had a peanut allergy. We went in super mom mode. I was scared. I cried on the way to the urgent care. On the way there we debated ER or Urgent Care…which one would be best. Which one would get him in fast and help him even faster. We opted for Urgent Care because it was closest. We quickly walked into the office. They receptionist could tell I was scared and with not many if any people in the waiting room we got right back to see the doctor. It was at that time the doctor gave me Aaron’s first EPI Pen prescription and told me Aaron needed to go to an allergist and get tested. Something had caused this reaction and we needed to know what. They gave him a steroid and maybe some other stuff and he was good to go.
We got home and all I could think about was ….
“I cannot lose this little boy.”
“Jay would NEVER forgive me if I let anything happen to him.”
“If he had been worse…had I not acted quickly and had my dear friend with me…what would have happened?”
During the initial visit after this event I had to explain to the allergist what Aaron had done that day. I had to detail out what he had eaten. From this the allergist sent us for blood work and then we had decided to test for peanut, soy, chicken, red meat and dairy. When I called for the results, I remember specifically how he started the conversation. “Well Alyssa…a really good thing we found was he is not allergic to peanuts.” I remember being relieved and scared even more. What could have caused him to react so badly? He was a 2 (on a scale from 0-5) with soy, red meat and dairy. The thought was the refried beans along with the quesadilla was too much and that caused the reaction.
For the next year I worked with daycare and anyone I trusted to be with Aaron to know exactly what he could not eat. I also never left the house without Benadryl or his EPI Pen.
A few months ago we went in for a follow up. We redid blood work. This again is a conversation I remember like it was yesterday. “Alyssa…not much has changed with his results except….now…it shows he has a peanut allergy.” My heart dropped. My stomach turned. What did this mean? When I asked the allergist this question his answer was…”I’d stay away from Peanuts.” He had renewed Aaron’s EPI Pen prescription and in the moment he answered that question, to me, that was the only good thing he had done for me that day.
In that moment, I knew I needed a second opinion. I called my dear friend who was with me during the first event. I got her doctors information and within 2 weeks we had an appointment to get tested by her. Keep in mind, this doctor I called usually had atleast a 2 month wait to get in. The stars aligned for me that day.
We went to the appointment and she didn’t do blood work. She did the back test. The itchy, why would you do that to someone’s back test. When the doctor read this test, my heart sunk again. Peanuts showed up again. What was great about this test was she was able to give me even more information including seasonal problem allergies. What happened next gave me hope. Instead of just telling us to stay away from peanuts this doctor looked at me and said, “Alyssa…I think this is a false positive. Please let us do a peanut challenge to confirm.”
So the other day we did the peanut challenge. Here are a few pictures from the challenge.
Before the testing started. I love this picture because it shows what was in the room for him to play with. I brought his iPad as well.
And then the “feeding” began. I have never met peanut in any form I didn’t want to eat. This little boy hasn’t really been exposed to it. It was a new experience. Terrifying for mom at first but once the first couple tests went well I got less anxious.
And then here are a few pictures to show what we did between tests or feedings as I like to call them. There were not many options in a doctors office but we managed. He did amazing.
The end result was the Peanut allergy diagnosis was in deed a false positive.
When I got pregnant with Aaron I was praying the test was NOT a false positive. Luck was on my side that day because it was indeed positive. The other day I was praying the peanut allergy WAS a false positive. Again luck on our side as it was false.
I wasn’t sure we would, but in the end Aaron and I survived the peanut challenge.