February 22, 2014

Update on Tree Nut Allergy

We have had an eventful couple of weeks in the allergy department.

At Abby's 5 year well check we talked about her allergy in kindergarten this fall. That led to me making a follow up allergy appointment to ask the many questions I have about keeping Abby safe in public school. My questions with the allergist prompted him to skin test allergy for tree nuts.

We have a very strong PEANUT allergy and that hasn't and will likely never change. However, last summer after doing bloodwork, we were told Abby was allergic to TREE NUTS. We found it strange since she drank almond milk daily, including the morning of the test. The numbers were "weak" but present, so we cut out tree nuts.

Last week we did a skin test for the many tree nuts out there (pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews, sesame, etc). This is what her back looked like. Note that #9 is histamine and it should be the biggest reaction.

Her skin test showed a "weak" presence of allergy to walnuts, cashews, and almonds. They are #1, #3, and #4 above. So, we made the decision to do a food challenge in his office. He was 98% sure she was not allergic but felt safest testing her in his office in small amounts increasing to larger and doing one more skin test.

We started with 1 cc of almond milk, waited 15 minutes then 2 cc, then 4 cc then 6 cc. She was so excited to have it... after the initial fear it would make her sick. No reaction!

So, Marcus ran to the store and grabbed a can of cashews. She ate 1/2 of one, then 2, then 4 with 15 minute intervals in between and nothing happened! Hooray!

We can happily eliminate tree nuts from her allergies and it is now just peanuts! The peanut allergy is still major, these nuts measured 3 and under on blood tests and her peanut number is over 100. And we likely won't give her many tree nuts since they are processed with peanuts and fearful she'll accept a peanut on accident. But, we know almond milk is okay and we don't have to be as fearful around the many tree nut desserts.

We are still trying to balance what is reasonable with the school and what is safe for Abby as she enters kindergarten. I have had numerous conversations with the nurse, our pediatrician and our allergist. So far, we have resolved 3 major issues and have one hurdle left. Will you join us in praying that we can convince the school to have kids wash their hands after lunch? 

Kids will still have nut foods at lunch (she'll sit at a nut free table) and if they don't wash their hands the peanut oils could be placed on shared objects and if Abby contacts them she could get a rash/red eyes. She wouldn't go into full anaphylaxis if she didn't ingest the nut; however, anaphylaxis starts as a rash/red eyes and not giving an Epi Pen soon enough can be tragic. So, we will have to Epi her and call 911 if she shows those symptoms from touching peanut oil or rely on the judgement of the school to determine if it is just touch or ingestion. It is a scary place to be. Hand washing would eliminate the possibility for us. 

As a side note, we did learn that anti-bac gels do not remove peanut oil from the skin. It must be soap and water or wipes like baby wipes. We'd happily provide baby wipes to Abby's class as a solution; however, after lunch she is cross mingled with kindergartners from numerous classes for things like music, PE, art, etc. So, it would be more difficult and is also riskier since she won't be returning to her desk with her teacher during the high risk hour after lunch.

We'll keep the conversation going and look for more solutions!

If you are curious about our peanut allergy discovery, click here. My sweet girl was a puffy red mess!

February 16, 2014

Our Valentine Celebrations

We have been celebrating Valentine's Day for a good week around here! 

On a recent snow day, Abby and I made her Valentine's. I had some cute business card size photos made with Abby's five year pictures and tied those onto a handful of pixie sticks and baggies of gummy bears for Abby's school friends.

While I was doing that, she drew pictures for each of her friends.

I also had her write each of their names and she was GREAT at it! I was so proud of her for taking the time and not complaining! She was obviously bored being home another day and happy to have some art to do!

She did Micah's first.... "because I love him". Oh boy!

The Friday night before Valentine's Day we had date night with another couple at Jack Allen's Kitchen while Abby was at the YMCA playing. We exchanged little gifts that we had picked out for ourselves- I got a new bracelet and Marcus got a pair of bluetooth headphones. 

I joined Abby at her school party on Wednesday, just before Valentine's. They all made boxes from Kleenex boxes and here is Abby's. Super cute!

The kids exchanged simple Valentines and had an ice cream sundae party.

Abby's little Valentine survey made me laugh. I attended a talk on Monday morning about love languages for kids and I can't decide if hers is gifts or touch. Clearly, I am on the right track! :)

 On Friday afternoon, we met up with other Moms from our MOPS group and delivered Valentine cards to a local nursing home. It was a great opportunity to talk to Abby about serving others!

Finally, on Friday night we had heart shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's and we had cupcakes from Gigis. We loved them both!

February 05, 2014

Dentist Appointment

Abby has the best dentist and she has the prettiest offices! It looks like a fancy hotel, but is just an amazing lobby! 

 Our last dental visit was March of last year when Abby had cavities, crowns, and root canals needed and we learned that flossing toddler's teeth is important and costly! We also learned that fruit snacks are bad!

So, we were a little nervous this time. We even bought the good dental insurance this year so we could see Dr. Singletary and so that we'd be ready if another big bill came.... and it didn't! No cavities. Very little plaque and we found out her 6 year molars are coming in and front bottom center teeth are loose. Um, is this my baby we are talking about?

Abby did great and dug through the prize drawers before picking a new rubber ducky for her bath collection. We celebrated with Sonic milkshakes :)


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