appointment with the allergist-what should i expect?

subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
majerle apparently is highly allergic to pecans so at her check up today we were given a prescription for epi pens and she has an appointment with an allergist. i was hoping someone could give me the run down on what the appointment is typically like so i can know what to expect.

also, when it comes to food allergies (especially nut allergies), was it hard adjusting to constantly checking food labels?

if your child has an epi pen, where exactly do you keep it? she has 2, and i plan on keeping one at my parents house but im not exactly sure about the one for home. do i just leave it at home or carry it in my purse?


  • Brown_Eyed_GirlBrown_Eyed_Girl Posts: 1,353Registered Users
    My mom has an epi pen and carries it in her purse. I would recommend keeping it with you. We took our youth group hiking one time and one of the girls who has an epi pen for bee stings did not have hers with her and she got stung. Everything turned out okay, but you just never know when you're going to need it.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    We're still figuring this all out, although its been a year since we got the initial diagnosis of Sandhya's allergies and the epi pens.

    Epi-pens are recommended to be kept as pairs. A large percentage of reactions that require the use of one pen, will actually require a second. Anyways, we just have two. I keep them in a pouch along with a bottle of benadryl and a list of emergency contacts and a list of her allergies. That pouch goes every where with her. So if she's home, so is the pouch and if we go out, its in the diaper bag. Eventually I'll get my act together and make up 2 pouches (if she went to preschool/daycare I'd do it). Epipens are expensive and they expire in 1 year, so I'm not exactly keen on buying a bunch.

    So how did you discover that she is allergic to pecans? What the allergist will do is skin tests in his office to common allergens - probably peanuts as well as different tree nuts (ours didn't separate the tree nuts and just tested a mix). Then he'll send you to the lab for blood testing.

    Other than the diagnosis, allergists don't do much. You are kind of left to your own devices to figure out how you are going deal with the allergy. He might give you some reading material.

    With regards to avoiding ingredients - its not hard to read labels once you know what you are looking for. But it can be very hard to eat out at someone's house or in a restaurant or to trust someone else to feed her when you aren't around. At this point Sandhya has so many allergies that she doesn't eat anything that hasn't been prepared by me, or in my presence. Her nut allergy is not much of a concern at this point since the most common culprits for accidental nut exposure are baked goods which she can't eat anyways.

    Food allergies are a big PITA, but you learn to deal.
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    the skin test doesnt hurt does it?

    we found out she was allergic to pecans last month. she saw a bag of them that i used to garnish a few pies and asked for one. SO gave her one and she spit it right out (i think she was expecting it to be candy). moments later her eyes turned red and itchy, her mouth started swelling up and the rest of her face and neck turned red and splotchy. all that and she didnt even actually eat the pecan!
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    The skin test doesn't hurt so much as it itches and is uncomfortable. I've been to an allergist several times to be tested for various food and environmental allergies. They take this tray that has a dozen or so dropper-like tubes with a liquid version of an allergen. They place that on your skin and then put a small prick on the area where each allergen is and then monitor your skin's reaction. I'm not exactly sure how the skin test works for younger children - but this is what I went through as an older child and as a young adult.
    Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Subbrock - how scary!

    I'm glad Keltie replied because to be honest I don't know if the skin test hurts, since I'm not the one getting it! Sandhya doesn't like having her arm held down to administer the test - the doc will draw a grid on the forearm and then prick a few times. Then you wait 12 minutes and come back and look at whether hives have formed. The hives could be itchy but Sandhya hasn't seemed to mind that. Allergist appointments are LONG though. We have never gotten out of his office in less than 45 minutes (that's excluding the wait before hand - it can be a whole afternoon event).

    The blood draw is pretty stressful for the little ones so make sure that the doctor requests everything that he wants tested all at once so you only need to do the draw once.

    We've got an allergist appointment tomorrow. Its been 1 year since Sandhya's initial diagnosis and she's going to be retested for everything. I hate our allergist. Actually, no, he's a nice guy, but he is forever the bearer of bad news. Just once I'd like to go in there and here that she's NOT allergic to something!

    A couple of other things to think about - you might want to consider a medical ID bracelet for Majerle. Its another thing on my "to do" list. Also, Benadryl is sold in individual doses (I think its called Perfect Measure). I'd buy a box and stash them all over the place - in the glove box, your purse etc... A friend's daughter had a really serious first reaction to cashews - much like Majerle, she just spit it out - and all she had on hand was Benadryl and that pretty much kept her alive until they got to the hospital. I had never realized how effective Benadryl is.
  • subbrocksubbrock Posts: 8,212Registered Users
    her dad bought some of those benadryl perfect measures yesterday so he could keep a few in his car. and i saw these saftey tats yesterday: /home/leaving?" class="Popup so i might consider ordering some. they look pretty cool and they even have some that you can write on.

    oh and mad scientists- i know you have one child who has food allergy related eczema, can you tell me more about your experiences with that? i dont mind if you PM me. for no real reason, i havent given the munchkin any milk in the past few days and her seemingly incurable eczema has suddenly cleared up.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    Those tats look great. We've considered writing "Do Not Feed Me!" across Sandhya's forehead when we take her to parties. I don't know how many times I've had to do a diving interception to keep some old auntie from slipping her a cookie.

    Yes, Sandhya had really bad eczema for the first 6 months of her life. Really bad. When we realized that it was allergies and eliminated her allergens (from my breastmilk, she wasn't yet on solids), it was a pretty dramatic turnaround. Maybe a couple of weeks to clear it all up? Now she has the most beautiful skin. Actually she has much better skin than Karan who has regular eczema flare-ups that aren't food related.

    I would definitely experiment with not giving Majerle milk. For lots of kids, its just a matter of avoiding actual milk, and not milk products - cheese, yogurt etc... so its not necessarily that hard.

    One thing I have learned is that allergy testing isn't the gold standard for allergy diagnosis. Elimination diet is. So you don't need a doctor to tell you if your DD is allergic to milk or eggs or whatever. Do your own investigations.

    I forgot to mention... with regards to label-reading. Different people have different comfort levels with regards to the risks they will tolerate. Some people are ok with "may contain traces of nuts" or "processed in the same facility as nuts" and others aren't. At this point I won't feed Sandhya anything that has any nut-related warning on it. But if you've already been giving Majerle things with these warnings and she's been fine, then I don't see any reason to stop.
  • deedlesdeedles Posts: 2,467Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    Liam is going to an allergist next week... so I am glad this is posted.

    He has asthma so I was wondering what if anything in the house may be causing it... (dust/our cat) he also has eczema ( I guess that's what it is) it looks like permanent goose pimples... and is dry to the touch... anyway, he's had that since birth and I wonder if that's allergy related as well..

    he also seems to get bites (bug) and they seem to get infected really easy...

    lots of stuff to ask!

    Liam: 6 years old
    Colin: 3 years old
    Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
    Member Since: August 2000