First OIT Appt

We drove to the Atlanta area for R1’s first OIT (Oral Immunotherapy) appointment in which he worked up to a dose of 3mg (or 1/300) of peanut flour in water. A wonderful friend of mine let us spend the night with her the night before so we only had to drive one hour to the hospital the next day.

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R1 got a total of 11 doses, he did so well that the Dr skipped a few, increasing a little more quickly than planned!

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In between doses, which were every 15 minutes, we played. I went to the Dollar Tree beforehand and bought a few things and wrapped them so he would have something to do. His baby sister and cousin provided some entertainment, too.

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We were there for about 4 hours total. It went really well. For the most part we were pretty bored, which in OIT circles is considered a good thing.

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Around the second to last dose his stomach started hurting. Dr A suggested a banana and I coaxed him into taking a few bites. It helped but the next dose made it hurt again. But luckily we were where we wanted to be so we just observed for an hour and then went on our way.

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This is the bottle. We fill it with water, shake it and dose every day. We go back mid-January (the doctor is out of the country for the holidays) to updose!

Possibly Pursuing OIT (Oral Immunotherapy) for R1’s Peanut Allergy

About a year ago I learned of this amazing new therapy that could desensitize R1 to peanuts. In case you don’t know he has a life-threatening allergy that we discovered when he was 18 months old. I’ve been researching and reading and asking questions for months now… and trying to talk R1 into it. He doesn’t want to do it. Part of it is fear and part of it, I think, is that he doesn’t have enough foresight and life experience to understand how this allergy will impact him more and more as he grows older. The ramifications of doing more without us around to make sure he’s safe, of trying to date (la, la, la) while navigating this allergy, the list goes on.

I found a doctor that specializes in OIT – he’s the nearest one and is 4 hours away. I called his office yesterday to ask a few questions. The woman I spoke to called back within 2 hours to answer them and then Dr. A called me HIMSELF today, from his cell phone. I asked him my questions about how/whether to proceed with the new allergist we are seeing tomorrow. He gave me a list of what to ask for and said to get back in touch with him when we have the test results so he can compare the new info with the old and we will go from there.

Now to convince the boy to do it. Prayers for peace.

After 10 Years… “It” Almost Happened

Since R1 was 15 months old I’ve known that exposure to peanuts could end his life. It’s been a hard road, trying to make people understand that this isn’t “just” a food allergy where he might start sneezing or get some hives. It’s been really hard for people (even our family) to wrap their minds around the fact that he could actually DIE from this. And a few of them still believe I’m overreacting or making it up. :(

I praise God every day that I have never had to use that Epi-pen on my child and I beg Him to give me the wisdom to know if I ever DO need to use it and that PLEASE GOD, let it work. Because, you see, it’s not a given that it will.

About a month ago the kids and I went to FL to visit my mom and go to the beach. Mom’s AC was out and I quickly realized that this hot-natured preggo would not survive. So friends of ours, who were out of town, let the kids and I spend a night in their home while the AC was repaired. We got there around noon and hung out and about 7:00 R1 said his back itched. I couldn’t really see anything but I rubbed it down with Benadryl cream. About 20 minutes later he said it was worse and when I pulled up his shirt there was this:

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Hives.

I immediately gave Benadryl and started grilling him about his breathing, tongue, etc. He hadn’t eaten anything that wasn’t safe but there was no way to know if there might be some peanut residue somewhere in the house he’d come in contact with. It wasn’t my house and I’ve not known these friends since I had kids so it’s not like they’d have been diligent to keep their kids at the table with peanut butter, etc, yk? I was thoroughly freaked out. I texted Mr. Fox and my BFF B. She reminded me that anti-acid meds are Histamine 2 blockers. R1 told me his stomach hurt and so we loaded up to head for the hospital. I was not taking any chances.

I talked to him in the car and realized he was really scared… which will make your stomach hurt. We went into town and bought Tagamet and he took one immediately. He was feeling ok and the hives weren’t spreading so we went across the street to Starbucks to hang out for a bit. I didn’t want to go to the ER if it wasn’t necessary but also wanted to be nearby in case it was. The hives still weren’t spreading and his breathing was fine, no other symptoms. It had been almost 2 hours at this point.

I got him a hot chocolate and called my nurse friend who agreed with me that if an anaphylactic were going to happen it would most likely have already happened. He was so scared, asked if we could just go sleep in the chairs in the ER just in case. :( I felt so bad for him. I explained to him that my mommy instincts were telling me he was ok and that if for one second I thought he was in danger we’d be in that ER before he could blink.

We headed back to the house and he took another dose of Benadryl and I asked my mom to sleep on the couch so he could sleep with me and I could keep an eye on him. We tried to sleep, he had such a hard time, he was so scared. I, of course, slept lightly and woke every 30 minutes to check on him.

He was fine in the morning but man, that was scary. And I have to say that had I heard about Natalie Giorgi before this night, I most likely would have hit him with that Epi-pen and headed for the ER. Would it have been an overreaction? Obviously. But I’d rather overreact than underreact and lose my son. And I think that is WHY this happened to us.

I’d become lax. 9 years with no reactions made me complacent. I allowed him to have food with a “may contain” warning every once in a while and wasn’t nearly as careful as I had been when he was younger. Not anymore. Never again.

If you love us and want to spend time with us, please read this. Thank you.

Ant Madness

When she was about 18mo R3 got into an ant bed at Seesters and had them all up her shirt and in her pants. She never made a peep. I SAW the ants and acted and really, even with a ton of bites she never had the slightest reaction.

Well, yesterday she got into ants in our yard. Two bites on her hand, one on her wrist and 5-6 on her shin/ankle/foot. I gave her Benadryl right after and then noticed it was really swollen last night. Her hand was huge.

Well, this morning it’s even bigger.

Pictures don’t do it justice. She can hardly close her hand. I’ve never seen anything like it! I popped them, put medicine on them and called to speak to a nurse at the Allergist’s office. She said to give her Benadryl every 6 hours for the next 24 hours coupled with Motrin and she is calling in a steroid cream to put on the spots. She said if it’s not significantly better tomorrow to bring her in.

I know that subsequent reactions can be the worst if there is a true allergy but she said really all we can do is watch for anaphylaxis. Good thing I have epi-pens.

I’m going to take her in tomorrow if it’s not better. But at least she’s not sad about it: