Okay so. We went to the allergist for Kiddo this morning, which is really not as scary as it sounds, I promise! I always do my best to treat these things as I would a regular checkup – lighthearted and easygoing, sets a positive tone for Kiddo. And I believe it really makes a difference in his attitude towards doctors’ offices. When Mommy is confident and relaxed, Kiddo is way easier to handle. He still has his 2-year-old moments, for sure (such as laying down on the floor of the waiting room and throwing a fit once he realized we weren’t leaving after I signed us in…) but overall he generally does really well in those situations.
We chatted with the nurse and the doctor for a bit, and then they did the “prick test” on his back. It went surprisingly easy – four rows of four pricks, done with a thing that makes four pricks at once. Then it had to sit for 12 minutes so I had to keep Kiddo from scratching his back as the reactions developed. He ran around the room playing with a tongue depressor and I sang the Veggie Tales theme song periodically to distract him if he reached to itch. Then they came back and measured the red spots that showed up.
The verdict is: He has a definite dog and cat allergy, which we knew based on what we’ve observed over the past year. He also showed positive for peanuts, which we’ve suspected based on the fact that the few times he’s tasted peanut butter he immediately and violently vomited. We’ve avoided giving him peanuts because of that. But the doctor said kids diagnosed with peanut allergies this young sometimes outgrow them – the number is around 30%. And given that Kiddo never had a rash or breathing reaction to peanuts, his prognosis for outgrowing it is positive. They’ll re-test him in about a year and we’ll go from there.
As far as asthma, we really can’t test him definitively until he’s older, because of the nature of an asthma test. But it is an extremely strong possibility that allergies are what triggered his labored breathing episodes, so the plan for now is to continue with our preventative measures, which have been working well. That means Zyrtec, which totally eliminated the runny nose we’ve been dealing with since who knows how long, keeping our home environment under control, and avoiding known triggers as much as we reasonably can. We should be able to let him be around dogs within reason as long as he’s had his Zyrtec. We’ll have a couple of things for emergencies – like a nebulizer and an epi-pen – but the idea is to manage things day to day in such a way that we won’t have to use any emergency measures. That sounds good to me!
It was honestly pretty much what I expected. No surprises, nothing I’m intimidated by or afraid of. In the grand scheme of things it could be so much worse. If a little Zyrtec every day ends up being all it takes to keep my baby feeling well and away from the hospital, that’s good enough for me!
We will also continue using the essential oil diffuser in his room. When we added that into his regimen after we started Zyrtec, his nighttime breathing improved even more. There was absolutely no sound when he breathed, and he was breathing nice and deep, which means no drainage! The essential oil helps clear and open up his airways. We use a blend called “Breathe” and a little lavender too, which is a natural antihistamine. Kiddo even reminds us to turn the diffuser on when we put him down for naps and at bedtime – he points at it from his crib and says “On! On!”
So, that’s that for now. I feel very positive about everything. And the doctor we went to was really great – the nurses were absolute sweethearts, and the doctor was very personable and really listened to me when I described everything we’ve been dealing with up to this point. I look forward to going back for our follow-up in a couple of months!
For which they promised to send me a reminder postcard. Because I will have a newborn by then. And I will forget if left to my own devices! LOL