Back at L’s one year well visit, I reminded the pediatrician about the possibility of having him tested for allergies to see if we could find a reason behind his eczema. The pediatrician handed me a list of recommended allergists for me to look into. After ruling out the majority of the list because they were located at least 45 minutes away, I chose one closer to home. I was surprised at how quickly we were able to get an appointment and was happy we got one before his scheduled frenectomy at the end of the month.
We were told to stop all allergy creams five days before his appointment and we had to make sure not to apply lotion or oils on his back and arms 24 hours before it.
I was told when I made the appointment that we needed to allow 2-3 hours for it, and the website let me know L would have the allergy tests performed during the same visit. There was no good time to make it; L would either end up with a shortened nap or no nap at some point in the day. I opted for the earliest time I could get, figuring he could sleep the afternoon away if he wanted.
We spoke with the doctor who asked both Mr Boots and I about our health and skin and asked questions about how long L had the eczema issue and what we’d been doing to help it. He determined allergy testing was a good idea.
The doctor said he would test for common environmental triggers (such as pollen and mold) and then took out a piece of paper with a bunch of foods listed on it and checked off the five most common for food allergies. He asked me to mark five more that L ate frequently and, because I am still nursing, five that I ate frequently. This was hard because between the two of us we ate nearly everything on the list.
A nurse came in with three trays of vials and a marker. She marked up Ls back and began sticking him with the triggers. He handled it like a champ until the spot the nurse stuck the control shot began itching. It didn’t help that it was past his nap time.
L spent the next twenty minutes fussing, trying to find a comfortable posting on my lap. Of course, once he found one the nurse came in to measure a few red bumps that appeared on his back. Then the doctor came back in and gave us the results.
L tested positive for ragweed, dog, and peanuts.
Finding out he has a slight peanut allergy made me sad. The allergist told us to avoid feeding L peanut products and, because I’m still nursing, he told me to avoid them too.
“But I don’t eat nuts every day. I can go days without eating peanut products,” I responded.
Even so, in order to do all that we can to help L’s eczema, I had to stop. On the way home I realized that this also meant the pumped breast milk I had stashed was no good because I don’t remember what I ate on the days I pumped.
The doctor said L’s peanut allergy wasn’t so bad that we needed to run out and get an epi pen, but it was something to keep an eye on. He mentioned retesting L again in six months, as some babies can outgrow the allergy. I’ll be holding him to that. We were given a prescription for 2.5% cortisone cream for the eczema spots below his neck and to apply 1% to his face. We needed to do this for one week then just use lotion twice a day, only going back to the cortisone creams when L had a flare-up. We go back next month for follow-up, which will hopefully be a shorter visit.
After a week of the 2.5% cortisone, L’s foot looked a lot better, though his face has had good days and bad days. It doesn’t help that he’s sick (again) and snot is running out of his nose like a faucet.
I decided to continue giving L one pouch of pumped milk a day since he hasn’t been feeling that well. I know it’s probably horrible to do so when I don’t remember what I ate on my pumping days, but I can’t get myself to throw them out. I can’t donate them because of taking Zoloft. I don’t want them to go to waste. He had just one box left of pouches left and should be done with it by the end of this week. I am down to nursing L right before bed and am still trying to figure out how long I want to continue that, so I have cut out peanuts from my diet and am remembering to read labels. The tricky ones are the products that say “may contain peanuts.” Ugh. This has definitely given me a lot more empathy towards the parents who have kids with peanut allergies.