Well, we got the results of Mac’s allergy tests. And boy am I glad we didn’t wait. He has a significant allergy to peanuts, as expected, but he is also allergic to egg whites! This is apparently another common pediatric allergy. We keep thinking of lots of foods he’s had that on the label says it contains eggs, and he’s seemed fine, but we’ll stay away from them for now. The peanuts for sure are a 3 on a 0-4 scale. I honestly can’t recall if the doctor said both are a 3 or just the peanuts. We will meet with the pediatric allergist and are even more affirmed in our decision to switch to a clinic connected to one! And we’ll undergo some diet changes in our household too. We’re not sure if these are allergies he’ll outgrow.
The pediatrician was concerned enough about the severity of the allergies that he prescribed an EpiPen Jr for Mac and suggested we also keep Benadryl on-hand. We were going to be heading out of town to a cabin for the weekend, so we made sure to pick up both before we left… just in case! We thought it would be better to be safe than sorry in a strange place away from home with friends and other kids who might mistakenly give him something he shouldn’t have.
We arrived safely Friday and were getting settled in. Mac was playing with the dogs, pets of the owners whose daughter invited us and some other friends for the weekend. They were there just for a bit to turn over the cabin. Mac loved the dogs, and they loved him too, licking, licking, licking. He was laughing and happy, and it was absolutely adorable, until… Minutes later poor Mac had hives on his face! And his poor mommy started into panic mode. We were pretty sure of the cause since we didn’t see him eat anything he shouldn’t have – best guess was it was the dogs, so we started by getting him away from them. Jeremy and I discussed what to do, and decided to give a dose of Benadryl (thank goodness we picked that up!) and see how he responded. I tried really hard not to freak out, but then there was an additional worry – Jeremy had a reaction to Benadryl (he thinks) when he was younger… oh man, nice relaxing weekend! But Mac did respond well to the Benadryl – his hives were almost gone within a half hour. We then, as a precaution for his worrisome mother, got necessary emergency information, just in case, since if you have to administer an EpiPen, it must be followed by a call to 911. So then my pet allergy experience became very useful. We covered the cloth furniture, laundered the sheets and blankets in our room, vacuumed, swept and cleaned where necessary, and hoped for the best. And I tried to continue to calm my nerves. Mac went down for his nap, and we checked on him often. He slept great, ate well when he woke, and though he had a couple little hives after he was up and around later, that was the last we saw of them the rest of the weekend. As a precaution, we gave him one more dose of Benadryl before bed that first night, but he didn’t need any more and didn’t ever react to that.
I guess we’ll need to meet with that allergist sooner rather than later so we can learn more about what an emergency situation will look like. I was on high alert all weekend, which maybe wasn’t necessary, but when Mac can’t tell me what might be bothering him or what’s not quite right (and on top of that he’s so tolerant), it’s hard not to keep watching every little behavior that seems not quite right and wonder.
More about our fun weekend in a later post. Pictures are on Flickr!