Rewind to when Beau was a little over 1 year old, and had the WORST case of eczema. We tried nearly every prescription steroid cream and wash. It provided topical relief, but we could never quite figure out what the actual CAUSE was. He never had that "soft" baby skin...it was always rough & patchy. After the last steroid cream prescription that our pediatrician called in was over $200, I threw my hands up and said THIS IS IT.
Enter the allergist.
I was referred to our current allergist by a friend on Facebook (one of those times that Facebook does good!), and we started our next uphill climb. Allergy testing.
We went into this with a basic blood panel - which tested all the common allergies, for which he was diagnosed with the following: egg, peanut, and dog.
My brother has a service dog, and given that Beau spends 2 days a week under the care of my mom, I started connecting the dots. Perhaps his eczema WAS related to allergies?!?
Our first allergist appointment was when Beau was 3 years old. Our plan of attack was another blood panel (the first one was done when he was 1 year). The blood panel still was positive for dog & peanut, but no longer egg.
Peanut we can avoid.
Dog we can not.
The allergist put Beau on a regimen of Singulair and children's Zyrtec.
Beau's eczema cleared up almost immediately.
We have kept him on this regimen every single day since that initial appointment, and his skin is 1000 times better.
We had no reason to test for allergies, until the unthinkable happened. I had taken Beau & Brooks to a friend's house, who also has a young son. The boys were all playing together while us moms talked & I did a little shopping. When it was time to leave, I was buckling Beau in his car seat and he said "mommy, I did not like his snack". I didn't think much of it, and then in the car, Beau said "mommy, my mouth feels weird". Again, didn't think ANYTHING of it, we get home, I put Brooks down for his nap...and Beau comes to tell me "mommy, my belly itches". I finally stopped and listened. I lifted up his shirt & his poor belly was COVERED in hives. His back was covered, his bottom was covered...he was having an allergic reaction. I grabbed Brooks from his bed & we raced to the pediatrician's office which is literally 5 miles away.
At this point, Beau had only 1 twin pack of the EpiPen Jr. (more on this later), but I was not educated in ALL of the warning signs for anaphylaxis. We got right in to the pediatrician, and ultimately, that was THE most expensive dose of Benadryl. When I finally had time to breathe, I texted my friend to find out what her son was eating....CASHEWS.
Hives on his neck
He was breathing fine, which was where I was wrong with warning signs! Hives are normally a first indicator! I had no idea.
We had no reason to test for other nuts....and the allergist does not do random testing "just to see".
I immediately got on the phone with the allergist office, they ordered a blood test to be run. We had those results in a few days: NEGATIVE for cashews.
HOW CAN THAT BE? Beau had head to toe hives. CLEARLY there is an allergy there. The doctor was on the same page as me, the rest of our family thought that I was off my rocker, and that Beau clearly got in to something else.
2 weeks later we found ourselves back at the allergist for Beau's first skin prick test. After a LOT of tears, from both Beau & myself, we walked away with the results: POSITIVE for cashews. The reaction was immediate on his poor back. (More on this later: in regards to prepping for a skin prick test).
First skin prick test, just testing cashews
The allergist ordered another skin prick test for when Beau turned 5...we recently had that done, along with another blood panel test. He still has ALL of these allergies. Many people ask us "Will he grow out of the peanut allergy?" - - > NO. Chances are good he WILL NOT.
The skin prick test also covered airborne allergens, which we found out Beau is also allergic to such things as ragweed & pig-weed, along with oak tree & Australian pine tree.
He was not excited about this...tears started FLOWING
The start of the test - Beau has to lay flat for ALL of this or the results get skewed.
About half way through the test - results are becoming more apparent
I'm not crazy about putting these pictures of Beau out there, but I feel like it's absolutely necessary to drive this home. Allergies are severe & not to be taken lightly.
I'd love to hear from you! Do you or someone you love face allergies? Our bodies react in different ways - perhaps what you don't think is an "allergy" or something to be concerned about, does require attention!