Always learning

3 May
Its amazing how you can live with a medical condition for years and yet constantly be learning about it.  We’ve known Adam has allergies now for over 2 years and yet we still can’t say we are 100% sure what a severe reaction looks like that would warrant a hospital visit, for example.  We were once told off by a young doctor (with attitude!) when we were in A&E with Adam having an asthma attack, for not having brought Adam in to A&E weeks earlier when his lip had swollen up from eating smoked salmon.  We tried to explain to the doctor that coming into hospital is really the last thing we want to do (Adam is inconsolable in hospitals and becomes absolutely distraught even if he needs to be weighed, let alone examined!) and that we were watching extremely closely for any worsening of his allergic reaction, with an Epi-pen at the ready.
Today for example, I gave Adam some beef to try.  I’ve thought for about 6 months now that he might be allergic to it but wanted to try again (I re-try foods that I suspect might have caused Adam eczema every few months).  I never re-try foods that have caused vomiting, swelling or immediate hives.  Anyway, within a few minutes he needed to poo and then a few minutes later seemed to have a full blown, bad cold. He was sneezing like crazy and started coughing and coughing and then began wheezing slightly.  He asked for his inhaler himself which never happens unless he’s feeling really unwell.  I thought perhaps he really did have a sudden cold and gave him Montelukast which he’s been prescribed for when he gets a cold and starts wheezing (to help stave off an asthma attack).  I kept checking for hives and didn’t find any.  Weirdly enough, all his sneezing, runny nose, coughing and wheezing disappeared within an hour.  His wheezing and coughing were immediately relieved by the inhaler and Montelukast thank God and his diarrhoea carried on for the rest of the day.
So after Adam’s fallen asleep I’ve had a quick look again at what constitute the symptoms of an allergic reaction. It seems that my assumption that hives MUST be present is completely wrong and that Adam most probably was having an allergic reaction this afternoon and not a freak one hour bad cold!
Have you been uncertain before about whether what you’re seeing is an allergic reaction or not?  Has your child had a moderate reaction without any hives appearing?  I’d be really interested to know whether people have ever been unsure about whether to go to hospital or not or whether you have a list of specific symptoms that you would always definitely go to hospital with?
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2 Responses to “Always learning”

  1. Madison May 7, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    Hi…We’ve been living with my son’s multiple allergies for four years now and I still go through the “is it, isn’t it?” routine. He hasn’t had anaphylaxis (touch wood) so that’s the big mysterious one that we are dreading.

    I’m not sure how old your son is, I’m going to have a good nose around your blog after this post, but my son use to have an aversion to doctors and hospitals too. But now he absolutely loves going to see doctors, hospitals even ambulances. I think the turning point for us was when he got a doctors trolley toy with lots of instruments on it, he was two years old. We played endless hours of hospital and doctors. He was the patient and I was the doctor and we’d swap. I think it really helped and I would make it funny (he has a very naughty sense of humour e.g. Doctor Mum putting a bandage around teddies mouth by mistake and his hospital lunch had to be fed through his ear!)

    Maybe you could try the medical trolley route. We got ours from Tesco Direct but I’ve just had a look and it’s not on there anymore. The great thing about it was that it had a blood pressure cuff and pump, and an IV drip. It was as close to real life as is possible for a two year old allergic child.

    Oh and my son has a beef allergy too. Not that uncommon apparently.

    Off to have a good nose around…Madison xxx

  2. Alexa Baracaia May 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    It’s not straightforward, is it, goddamnit?!

    We’ve had situations where our son has had red blotchy rashes but no hives, so we’ve been unsure what to make of it. But in most instances what’s transpired is that he was beginning to become allergic to something and, over time, the reaction became hives and subsequent skin prick tests confirmed the allergy.

    This happened with green peas, chickpeas and red lentils, all of which he ate for several months with no problems. Then a few red marks appeared… the next time a few more… then the next time, wham, hives 😦

    Now if he gets suspiciously splodgy we stop feeding that food to him until we can have him tested or ask the allergy doc for his advice. For instance, the same started happening with kiwi. After several zero skin prick tests the last one he had registered low, so we’ve been told we can try kiwi on him under a very controlled environment over a period of several days at home (using hospital guidelines we’ve been given). So that’s the next task!

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