Sunday, November 15, 2015

Allergy Testing

This summer, we started noticing Harper was having major allergies.  Nothing was working.  She coughed, sneezed, and had major issues all summer.  She also was up all summer, every night, for about an hour or more.  It was a rough couple of months.  She also ended up getting pretty winded on certain things.  Like, she would cough and not be able to catch her breath.  Or she would laugh hysterically and then not be able to stop coughing.  So we finally did some research and figured out that she presented almost all of the symptoms for asthma.  We went to an allergy and asthma specialist where she got tested for both.  She did a breathing test and was pretty much at only 60%.  This confirmed the asthma.  She also had to get the 80 prick skin test.  They tested her for everything outside, inside, and foods.  It was BRUTAL.  I had to hold her down and I still couldn't keep her still.  She thrashed and screamed and was stronger than I'd ever seen.  She was like an alligator rolling to keep from capture.  She was like a child possessed by a spirit.  Poor kid, was absolutely miserable.  She hated that she couldn't see what they were doing and she couldn't visually prepare for the shots.  And the worst part was that every time she squirmed and moved, they had to push harder and it hurt much worse.  After it was over, she got tons of treats and some ipad time.  It took her awhile but she eventually stopped itching and started feeling better.  The doctor came in and explained that she was pretty much allergic to everything.  All grass, all trees, all molds, all dust, pet dander, everything.  He explained that she needed to stay out of the elements as much as possible in peak times, allergy season (April to October) or midday.  Yikes.  She was also going to start allergy shots, immunotherapy.  It gives her minuscule doses of everything she is allergic to so her body learns to stop fighting them.  It would be a few months until she felt much better, and then a few years until she was to the point where she was almost cured.  It wasn't a full cure, but it was as close as she could get.  Allergy medicine was helping her cope, but she would never feel better without something stronger.  She had to do a full day of Rush Immunotherapy, getting a shot every 45 minutes for 5 hours.  Then, she would get a shot every week for 3 months and then once a month for 5 years.  He also explained that her asthma was allergy induced so that if we could get her allergies under control, her asthma would be too.  She has to use her nebulizer for now and have an inhaler later, but it is a good prognosis.  Her food allergies were also tested.  She came back with about 10 food allergies.  Soy, Milk, Peanuts, All fish/shrimp, chicken, pork, etc.  It was a long list.  He said it was only 30% correct so we were confused.  Tomato wasn't on the list, but soy was.  So we had her blood drawn and tested and it came back more conclusive.  She was allergic to milk, which was new but not really.  She was allergic to milk when she was a baby, but we thought she had gotten over it after a year old.  But I guess we hadn't really tried it because she doesn't drink milk.  The biggest way this will affect her is ice cream.  Girl loves ice cream.  It also had tomato, so that was normal.  But it included chicken, which is weird and confusing (since she eats it all the time).  But soy wasn't on the list which was insane!  Eating whatever she wants, snacks at friends' houses, cupcakes at birthday parties, not bringing her separate food everywhere we go.  It's been hard to change my thought processes.  In general this has been hard.  I hate that she has felt so crappy for so long.  But I am so thankful that God has shown us how to help her and get her feeling better.

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