Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delusions of Grandeur

"Denial ain't just a river in Eqypt" ~ Mark Twain

Scootch enjoying his lollipop after having his blood drawn

It has been one heck of a month. September felt like I was just riding things out, but October...October feels more like a perfect storm. Besides Monkey's birthday, her fractured ankle, and Little Bear being sick, plus the regular stress of everything that has been going on at home, today was the day we got the results to Scootch's large scale allergy bloodwork.

Let's go back and refresh if anyone doesn't remember. At Scootch's one year appointment he still was suffering from horrible eczema. So bad that he would scratch himself until he was bleeding. The pediatrician had given us prescription cream after prescription for it since he was about four months old, but it never seemed to go away completely. And I had already noticed he suffered mood changes after nursing when I had ingested certain foods from about 6 months of age. So I basically told them I think it was something inside that was bothering him, and wanted some allergy testing done. The did an infant scale RAST test that tests for the 5 common allergies in babies, and Scootch came back positive for egg white, egg yolk, and peanut. The RAST test measures the concentration of antibodies the body has created against a particular food allergen. The concentration results are scaled in severity from Class 0 - which indicates negative reaction (i.e. not allergic) to Class 6 - which indicates a 100% chance of reacting if exposed to the allergen. On his initial test scores, Scootch scored as a Class 2 and Class 3 for egg yolk and egg white, and a Class 4 for peanuts.

When we were referred to this allergist, he tried explaining how allergies like egg and milk are actually very common in small children, but that kids tend to grow out of them between ages 3 and 5. He indicated that since Scootch's reactions were so low on the scale, it was highly likely he could outgrow it. I might have latched onto that statement a bit harder than I realized. Of Scootch's two allergies, the egg allergy is the one that I have a severe loathing against. If you haven't already noticed from all my dejected whiny posts about my baking issues from being egg free, I also have indulgent fantasies about going out to breakfast almost daily. Fluffy pancakes, Belgian waffles, hot corn cakes, eggs over easy with bacon on the side. The list is endless. When someone asked me where I would go out to dinner if I had the option, IHOP was actually my first answer. I'm a cheap date, what can I say? The bigger underlying issue is that I've been in denial. My whole mentality through the last two years was that this was just a short endurance race. If we just wait it out for two years, Scootch will outgrow his egg allergy and we can go back to having a real breakfast, and baking marathons with repeated successes instead of repetitive failure. Imagine how crushed I was when we got Scootch's in depth RAST results back at today's appointment.

This time around, we opted to test for 13 different allergens; egg white, egg yolk, whole egg, peanut, walnut, pecan, cashew, pistachio, almond, lobster, crab, shrimp, and clam. We knew he was allergic to the eggs and peanuts, but we had been avoiding tree nuts and shellfish as a general precaution, so we figured we should check to see if he did in fact have these other allergies while we were at it. The test indicated he was allergic to everything except the almonds and all the shellfish (the former of which I was hopeful about after we experienced this). The fact that he tested positive for the tree nuts didn't surprise me after the reaction he suffered over New Years (his walnut and cashew results are both in the Class 4 category). His peanut allergy tested even higher than the last test, and takes first place as the sole Class 5 reaction. But the biggest bummer was that his Class 3 egg white allergy had merely dropped to a Class 2 to join the egg yolk, which had stayed the same. And just like that, my hopes of jumping over to sample IHOP's Trick or Treat All You Can Eat Pancake Special after his appointment were whipped out the window. Le sigh.

Scootch's allergist recommends him being re-tested in another two years, when he turns 5. He was very optimistic that since the levels were already falling it was a good indication that this is an allergy he could outgrow with time. At this point though, I think I need to adjust my way of thinking. We are an egg free family. For the comfort, health, and happiness of our Scootch, I need to whole-heartedly embrace this assignment. And maybe enroll Scootch in preschool and have a late brunch by myself at IHOP every couple of months. Just to take the edge off.


  1. I sure hope the dr is right and they change to being not allergic at 5. I hope somebody brings you to IHOP soon!

  2. I hope they are right too! And you deserve that IHOP, Lex. You are an amazing mom!