Robbie has always suffered from allergy issues – sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes. About a year ago (yes, ayearago), our pediatrician gave me a list of pediatric allergists that might be able to help. I filed away in my black hole (aka “my purse”) and forgot about it. Each time I’ve cleaned out my purse (honestly, only about twice in that year!), I’d see the papers and think, “I should call one of these doctors and set up an appointment. I’ll do that this week.”
And I never did.
Well, I didn’t until about a month ago. I knew Robbie and I had a couple of days off together, so I tried lining up doctors appointments. I scheduled him for allergy testing on April 30th (yesterday).
Robbie and I showed up yesterday and checked in. I’d filled out all the paperwork online, so we didn’t have long to wait. He’d just settled in with a tablet when they called us back.
The nurse was very friendly and took down his information. The doctor came in and we talked for a bit while Robbie wrote out various messages for her on a magnetic tablet they had in the room (just like the one that was in the waiting area). His handwriting amazes me more and more every day. His spelling does, too. I’m constantly amazed by how smart he is – sometimes I forget he’s only 5 years old.
She decided that allergies were definitely a possibility, based on the info we’d shared. Another nurse came back in to prepare us for the testing and answer some questions. They used a plastic device like this for the testing:
Robbie was able to touch it beforehand and see that it wasn’t anything terribly scary. He’s so much like me at times – he wants to really know what’s going on. Once when I was a kid, a nurse gave me a TB test…but instead of saying that, she said, “I’m just going to put little bunny prints on you!” She grabbed my arm and I FREAKED OUT!! I was maybe 7 at the time. I already knew what a TB test was and if she had justsaidthat, I wouldn’t have gotten upset. I wanted to make sure Robbie understood everything we were doing. He also knew that we were doing this so we could help him feel better.
They set him up nicely with a little DVD player and some books.
He started to flare up on some patches almost instantly.
Ten minutes in, I knew that whatever was in “B” was to be avoided!
I didn’t get a chance to photograph after the full 20 minutes, but you can imagine it was just a more extreme version of what he looked like at 10 minutes.
As it turns out, A was trees, B was grasses, C was mold, cockroaches, dogs and cats.
My poor kiddo is allergic to the outdoors…mold…and cats and dogs. For those of you just tuning in – we have two dogs.
The doctor said, “Obviously I would tell you to get rid of the dogs, but I’m sure you won’t.” How could I? They’re like extra kids to us. I love our pups.
She explained how we can help minimize exposure. Robbie already has top bunk, so the dogs are never in his bed. That night, I changed his sheets while he had a nice bath.
We’re going to do nightly baths (we typically follow more of an every-other-night-unless-needed routine) – that will keep him from tracking dog dander up to his bed. I explained to him that he needs to try not to snuggle with the dogs any more – no more rubbing his face on them, laying on them, etc. We’ll bathe the dogs more often, too.
As for the grass/tree issues… I think this will be his last soccer season for now. He’s not crazy about soccer anyhow. (I’m guessing part of his lack of focus has to do with the allergies, too.) I told him maybe he can try karate next – he liked the sound of that.
We’re going to give him either Claritin or Zyrtec and a dose of Nasonex every morning as well. Today was his first day and he took the nasal spray like a champ!
I’m hoping that his behavior at school might improve as he starts to feel better. I know I’m out of it when I don’t feel well, so I can’t imagine it’s helping him to be all stuffy and sneezy.
I feel like a horrible mom for not doing this sooner.