A Visit to the Allergy Doctor

Ever since Raileigh was little, she’s suffered from what we thought were seasonal allergies.  We’ve treated them with over the counter children’s allergy medication as needed.

Then, this past summer, we took Raileigh to the doctor after returning home from a trip to visit our families.  She was puny and really not feeling well.  Our family doctor diagnosed her with a cat allergy, which seemed to fit considering Darren’s family has several of them.  We began her on a stronger prescription allergy medication and breathing treatments that we only turned to if we knew she’d be in contact with cats.

Then, last Sunday, we traveled up the coast a few hours to shop and spend some time together as a family.  We had just finished eating, and were getting ready to leave the restaurant.  I noticed a small raised bump under Raileigh’s eye– similar to a little unpopped blister or a bug bite.

By the time we left the parking lot, this small spot had grown into a full blown welt, and several others had developed around her eye.  The area continued to swell, and I noticed a few additional welts on her torso. 

It was a Sunday, and we were several hours from home, so we headed for a pharmacy.  The pharmacist confirmed she was most definitely reacting to something, and recommended Children’s Benadryl.

This seemed to stop the spread of the reaction, and it eventually shrank back down.  However, the following morning the swelling was trying to start up again, so we quickly got some additional Benadryl into her system.

The problem was– we had no idea what caused the crazy reaction.  She was around peanuts, which Darren is allergic to.  We’ve never let her ingest them, just to be on the safe side.  However, she definitely touched them and was around them.  She also came in contact with pineapple, which she had not really been around previously.

So, we decided to make an appointment with the allergy doctor.  After all, we decided it would be better to know what she is allergic to and stop trying to guess at what it could be.

This morning, she and I headed to the doctor.  She was a very, very brave girl.  They “scratched” her arms and back with FIFTY potential things she might be allergic to– FIFTY!  Not one tear fell. 

Instantly, she did start complaining that one area of her back really hurt and she kept asking me to wipe it off.  Of course, I couldn’t, which was a hard thing to experience.  I was certain it was cats, or perhaps peanuts.

However, when the test came back, she showed absolutely no sign of being allergic to cats.

She does in fact have a extremely severe allergy, though– to dust and dist mites.

Never in a million years would I have guessed this.  She didn’t just react a little to this– it was really awful.  The doctor told us it was a very severe reaction.

We now have a long list of things we need to do or change within our home and her life in order to keep the dust away as best as we can.  The problem is– dust is EVERYWHERE!  It will be a constant battle to try and keep our home as dust-free as possible.

However, I am committed to giving my daughter the best quality of life I can.

As for the food allergies… we’re still working on that.  The test today said she wasn’t allergic to any foods, but neither the doctor nor I are convinced.  So, we had blood drawn today and will also return for a peanut challenge in several weeks where she will eat a small amount of peanuts in a controlled environment.

Parents– if your child suffers from a severe allergy– how do you deal with it?