Monday, September 24, 2012

Just in Time for Halloween

Little Guy was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 13 months, when he had a very bad reaction to his first-ever peanut butter sandwich {immediate swelling of his face and hands, hives, vomiting, etc., which resulted in his first-ever ambulance ride}.  Buddy Boy's diagnosis came earlier, at around 4 months, when he broke out in terrible hives all over his body three separate times, after I had eaten peanuts and then nursed him.  Both of their allergies were confirmed with positive skin test results.
Ever since then, we've been an Epi-Pen totin', peanut and tree nut-avoidin', SunButter-eatin', Halloween-fearin' family.  We've been extremely careful, but over the years, we have had three accidental exposures.  Little Guy found a peanut once in a hotel room and popped it in his mouth.  Another time, he took a bite of a peanut butter cookie that I thought was a sugar cookie.  Buddy Boy once found a peanut on the floor of an airplane and ground it up in his mouth.  Each time, we figured out right away what was going on and removed the food from their mouths before it was ingested, but there was definitely exposure.  And there was no reaction any of those times.  So, we were hopeful that perhaps they were outgrowing their allergies.
Somewhere in there, we had bloodwork done on both of them and the blood test results were negative {even though the skin tests had been positive}.  The blood test doesn't test for allergy to every protein found in peanut, so it was possible that they were allergic to one of the proteins that the blood tests doesn't address.  But the negative tests made us even more hopeful.
Today, we had them undergo a peanut challenge, closely supervised by their awesome allergist {I've already referred two families to her...if anyone in the DC/MD area needs an allergist, email me...she's fabulous}, to see if their allergies really had been outgrown.  They were given increasing amounts of peanut butter in nine stages each fifteen minutes apart, starting with just half a gram of peanut butter.
In between each dose, they were monitored and had their vitals taken.  After completion of the doses, they were monitored for another hour.  {Not to mention that they were monitored for an hour beforehand, after receiving their flu shots!}  If you've been running a tally, you'll realize that makes for a heckuva lot of hours in the allergist's office.  
I could not be more grateful for the help of our dear Nanny today.  This was her last day with us, as she is returning to her studies abroad, but what a day to have a second set of hands!  All day, we played a hand-off game of nursing Baby Girl, taking the boys to have their blood pressure read, taking little ones to the bathroom, rocking Baby Girl to sleep, changing diapers, wrangling the boys for shots, playing puzzles in the waiting room, reading picture books, handing out snacks.  It would have been a nightmare to manage by myself!  A long, long nightmare.
Instead, it was almost pleasant.
And the important part is...THEY BOTH PASSED THE CHALLENGE, y'all!!!!!!!!  We are so excited! 

And tired.
But mainly, excited.  Bring on the Reese's cups!!!


Laura said...

that's awesome news! but oh man, that picture at the end is a hoot. glad you had such good help today and such good results!!

BettieBoyd said...

Hurray!!!So happy for all!!! Love, Mama

Katherine said...

How wonderful! And the last picture is hilarious (I mean, *now* it is. I'm sure at the time it was a disaster. :)

Julie said...

Great "peanutty" news! One less thing to worry about!

Aunt Betty said...

Party Mix for Christmas!!!!! Yea

Jamie Helms said...

How wonderful! So thrilled! One less mama-worry on the list! Love the last photo. And Nanny has such a sweet spirit about her!!

The Steffens said...


Courtney said...

How exciting! Yay!!!

Anonymous said...

THAT is so awesome!!!! that last picture just kills me. I cant get over how sweet your family is.