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Food Challenge (7/6/16)

The allergist did give us good newsat our last appointment – Keegan tested negative for an allergy to baked egg. So, he recommended we do a food challenge at Children’s Hospital. Keegan’s food challenge was July 6, 2016. The allergist provided a recipe for me to cook some baked egg muffins. It was a pretty easy recipe to follow. I tried the muffins and they were fine, but not great. We get there and they talk us through the whole process. We sign off and make sure we understand everything. After about 1 ½ hours, they administer the first “dose.” The dose was ¼ of the first muffin. He scarfed it down. No rash, no hives – nothing. He’s his happy, smiling self! Woo hoo! Dose 2 is give 15 minutes later. Before dose 3 he was getting a little less playful, but it was close to nap time, so I shrugged it off. Dose 3 comes. He was less eager to eat it. Maybe he was getting full?? Now he’s really crabby… I hold him in my lap and just sit with him. Then, he throws up a tiny amount. The nurse isn’t too concerned at this point because it was such a tiny amount – it didn’t stay tiny very long. Within five minutes he started projectile vomiting all over me, while crying because he’s so uncomfortable. I feel awful. The RN doesn’t think we need to do an epi, and instead just gives him some anti-nausea meds and lets me just rock him. I held him for a while and he napped – lightly. Then, maybe ½ hour later he woke up and threw up again. I handed him to mark so I could try to wipe off. That’s when his diarrhea started – all over Mark’s pants. We change his diaper, within minutes there’s more. And more a little bit later. Finally, he seems more comfortable and he naps for 1 ½ hours while I rock him. At this point, we’re almost out of diapers because we weren’t expecting to go through five in four hours, but we did. Children’s gave us another five or so to get us through. About three hours after he started feeling bad, he starts to feel better. He’s laughing, playing, and acting more like himself. They’re still monitoring him, but it looks like we’ll be able to go home in an hour or so. We’re playing in the playroom basically just waiting for an ok to take him home when the RN comes and asks to talk to us.

 

She has talked to our allergist, and he recommends we administer an epipen right away. Mark and I were extremely hesitant – why would we do this now when he’s finally feeling better? If this was going to help, why didn’t we do it three hours ago?!? She says she agrees with our doctor and that we should give the epipen. Mark and I had a ton of questions starting with the fact that earlier she had told us an epipen doesn’t usually work against any gastro related symptoms – which are all he’s had at this point. She doesn’t really answer and just says she thinks we should give the epipen. I keep asking why now when he’s doing better, and why not earlier? She didn’t really have a response again and kept just encouraging the epipen. Now, don’t get me wrong, if the epipen is going to make him feel better and the benefits outweigh the risks – yes, let’s do it. However, at this point, we were about to leave. They were telling us he was doing great, but our allergist, who hasn’t even seen him says we should do an epipen, so the RN just flips her opinion?? I was not happy – at this point I was crying because I don’t what to do. So, we buckle and just let them do the epi. They give him the shot, he cries of course, but I’m holding him and he stops pretty quickly after. Then, within a couple minutes, he turned so pale and looked completely out of it. I call in the nurse and she says that’s a normal, common side effect of the epi. My poor baby… I’m not nice and courteous anymore – these people can tell I’m pissed and am ready to leave. That’s when they tell us we have to stay another four hours for monitoring after an epipen is administered. Whatever – we’ll stay because if it’s about his safety, we don’t have a choice – we can stick it out another four hours. Before we left, the RN comes back in and I’m sure she can tell I’m not excited to see her. She tells me we made the right choice, but that she only recommended the epipen because our allergist recommended it. Duh. I had asked her that earlier and she didn’t respond and just said, “We recommend you give the epipen.” All in all, it was an awful day. I made the mistake of putting my poor boy through this food challenge when he can’t talk and tell me how he’s feeling. I know we’ll have to do food challenges in the future, but I will absolutely be waiting until he can tell me how he’s feeling as he’s being tested before we do another one. I’ll also be talking to a new allergist before we do.

 

After the food challenge we decided we definitely needed to talk to another allergist. I reached out to Mayo Clinic and set up an appointment for him – we’re eager to meet with them and see what they recommend. His Mayo appointment 9/1/16! I’m excited to get another opinion from a very trusted clinic – I hope they can answer my questions, including my questions about how to introduce foods to baby 2 – since Keegan has food allergies, there’s a greater chance baby 2 will also have food allergies, so we’ll have to be careful.

 

Also – we had a weird incident. Keegan was tested for a lot of possible allergens. He tested negative for all except egg, dairy, and peanut. But, we gave him Cream of Wheat – containing no milk, egg, or peanut, just containing wheat and walnut. He has wheat all the time and doesn’t have any issues. But, we soon after he started eating the Cream of Wheat, he developed a rash around his mouth. We assume this is from the walnut, even though he tested negative for walnut. I’m cutting that from any food for him until we talk to the allergist about that at his September appointment. Luckily, Walnut is a lot easier to avoid than the other allergens he’s allergic to. But, to be extra cautious, I’m going to avoid all nuts (other than almond because he drinks almond milk all the time without an issue) until his appointment as well. Here’s hoping we get some good answers in September.

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