Today I am reading about allergies. Buddy Boy has been breaking out in masses of hives so last week I took him in to get allergy testing. He has always been an itchy boy but this spring it has gotten ridiculous. I called the Dr. last night because they left a message on my answering machine. At first they told me I had to call back between 8 am and 4 pm, but when I insisted that I needed advice now because he was miserable they put a nurse on the line. He told me the throat culture was negative and the allergy tests weren’t in yet. I already knew about the throat culture because it was a quick read test done last Thursday and the Dr. told me it was negative before I left his office. I told him I needed to know what I should give Buddy because he was covered in hives. I already gave him something this morning, but could I give him another dose now? So he looked on his computer again and said “Oh, yes, the results are here, but I need to talk to the Dr. first and call you back.” He said not to give him more meds yet. So two hours later he calls back and says the results are positive for mites, mold, and shrimp – moderate; milk, eggs – mild. He’ll call in an Rx in the morning and I should just use cold compresses on the hives. Right. Buddy is not going to sit still for cold compresses. He didn’t have much information to give me about which allergen was triggering the hives and he suggested I cut them all out and make an appointment to see the Dr. in two weeks. I asked about possible strawberry or food dye allergies and he said those tests weren’t done. So now I am reading everything I can find online, doing my own research. I am disappointed that the Dr. wasn’t prepared to answer my questions and provide the information to me right away. They are quick to give you an Rx without definitive identification. I am discouraged and overwhelmed at the thought of having to cut out all milk and eggs, completely changing Buddy’s diet as well as thoroughly cleaning the house to get rid of the mites and dust. I have Celiac Sprue and can’t eat wheat, rye, barley or oats (gluten). I only found out about that three years ago, after being on antihistamines for about 10 years due to hives, also a symptom of Celiac Sprue. My dermatologist couldn’t figure out the cause of them so she had me on meds year after year. It was only after an ER visit with severe gastrointestinal pain and several tests that the real problem was identified. I don’t want to have Buddy on drugs for years, not knowing what the major triggers are.
I found a lot of information about allergies and milk substitutes at About.com, and discovered that May is National Asthma and Allergies Awareness Month.
The second week in May is Food Allergy Awareness Week. I am asking all of you who have any experience with allergies similar to Buddy’s to send me links to good information. How do you cope? What are your best meals and recipes? If you are allergic to milk, or have a child who is, which is better: soy or rice milk? Anyone know about hives? How do you keep the mites under control? If Buddy is moderately allergic to mites and mildly allergic to milk and eggs, do you think I even need to focus on his diet or just go after the deep cleaning first?