Where to start with this rollercoaster… I’ll keep it high level… We found out when Keegan was around 9 months old that he has some food allergies. I tried to start supplementing with formula when Keegan was 6-7 months old. We gave him some formula, and he kept pushing the bottle away. Within a couple seconds, he had a rash around his mouth. We called the nurse line and they told us just to try again in a couple days. We tried again – same thing happened. I talked to our pediatrician, and he recommended we talk to an allergist. Keegan went in and had some blood tests done at the Park Nicollet allergist. It didn’t go well. The doctor gave us good information, but the lab tests were awful. The nurse told me to ask for someone who was very experienced drawing blood from babies, so I did. She assured me that whoever was going to take his blood would be very experienced. That was not the case. He sat in my lap while they did the draw. He instantly started crying when she poked him the first (OF MANY) times. She missed, missed again, missed again, missed yet again, then finally got a vein. He’s hysterical at this point. I’m holding him looking at this woman and thinking about how badly I want to pounce out of this chair and tackle her. However, I keep my composure for my son’s sake. Finally – it’s over. I hold him for a couple minutes until he calms down. Mark and I get him situated in the stroller and are walking out, when she comes running after us… she missed a test and has to do a re-draw for one more vial. I asked her if she was f-ing serious. She apologized, but said yes. I said fine, but she wasn’t going to do it. She went and got another person to do the draw. She found the vein on the first shot, and the whole thing took about 10 seconds. He cried, but it was at least quick. Then, we got the hell outta there!
About 2-3 days later we got a call from the allergist – the test results were in. Keegan tested as being allergic to dairy, eggs, and peanuts. Everything else came back negative. I wasn’t surprised by the dairy, but eggs and peanuts weren’t expected. I’d given him peanut butter in small amounts a couple of times already with no issues. The allergist let us know we needed epipens and re-testing in about 6 months. Of course, this wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to dig in deeper. We got him epipens for the diaper bag, home, and daycare. Which is awesome since they’re about $530 per set. It’s recommended that you always have a two pack in case the first dose starts to wear off before the ambulance arrives. Obviously, we didn’t really have a choice, so we ordered the ones we needed. Personally, I think it’s a crime that people have to pay this much for epipens because there’s a monopoly on them. I’m incredibly thankful the medicine is available, but so sad at how much it costs. In Canada – it’s less than ½ the price.
Mark and I talked about it, and decided to take him to the Allergy Specialists. It’s been an ok experience. The doctor has done a lot more testing and answered a lot of questions, but I disagree with how frequently he wants us to use an epipen. Basically, if we see Keegan ingest anything either dairy or egg (but not peanut?!?), we give him an epi shot. I understand his reasoning here – most of the time, when people die of anaphylactic shock, it’s because they do not get an epipen earlier enough, so better safe than sorry. And, when the child isn’t old enough to talk and tell us how he’s feeling, it’s better to give the shot, then to wonder if he’s having symptoms we can’t see. So I really do understand the reasoning. But, every reaction my son had to date was either a small rash or one hive. He has always continued smiling, laughing, playing, running, etc. So I just don’t know if it’s the right option for him. Next up, we’re going to try a food challenge.