Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Allergies and God's Plan

This morning when I logged in and saw my ticker showing less than 1 month before Witt's allergy testing, my heart just about jumped out of my chest!

No matter how hard I try not to get worked up over this testing, I always do. I'm hopeful and prayerful, but yet realize at the same time that although God could take away these allergies, He may not... ever.

I realize that we've made it through another year without any major issues regarding these allergies and I'm so very thankful for that, but I also realize that we may have to struggle with dietary issues for another year... possibly longer. But I really don't want to.

It's hard having this testing at the end of the year when my thoughts are lead to remembering what 2009 held for us and what direction I want 2010 to go in. I know where I want to go, but I need to follow God's lead. Thankfully, this is an all or nothing situation and I will clearly know God's plan regarding our diet for 2010 once these test results are in.

The past three annual testing times have consisted of going for the skin test and the blood test on the same day. The skin test results are in within 15 minutes, but it takes another 2 - 3 weeks for the blood test results. Then it's just a follow-up call from a nurse telling me what was positive and what wasn't. I really haven't been satisfied with that.

This year I'm doing things differently. Yesterday, I called and requested the doctor's orders for the blood test so we can go ahead and get that done before the skin test. This year I'm going to get his IgE numbers in person from the doctor instead of over the phone from someone that doesn't really have all the answers I want.

I requested testing for

  • cow's milk
  • goat's milk
  • egg white
  • egg yolk
  • peanuts
We have never tested Witt for goat's milk. I understand that the proteins are fairly similar between the two milks, but that some people that are allergic to one are not to the other. Might as well give it a shot. We could at least improve our cheese situation if we could include goat's milk! :)

I can't help but wonder if the trials of this allergy were partly to lead me to stop feeding my family the SAD (Standard American Diet). Our diet certainly has improved over the last few years. I know the direction I would like to go in, but again... I just have to wait for God's answer on that one.

*** We interrupt this post with a call from the allergist's office!

Apparently, since Witt's blood test came back negative last year (although he's not at exactly 0.0 with his IgE numbers) they are not going to do the blood test this year. Hmmm.... I'm not really sure what I think about that.

I almost got in an argument over the phone with whomever I was talking to. I almost cried. I've heard of tests results spiking back up after they've gone down. I think I'd really like a second year of "negative" just to be on the safe side. But she wasn't budging on "The doctor's orders were to stop the blood testing once they came back negative."

Looks like I'll be talking with the doctor about all this at the appointment and possibly doing the blood test that day as well... if I can talk her into it... and assuming there are positives with the skin test.

AGH! I hate this! (And I rarely use the word "hate".)

I hate the not knowing.

This is where I have a hard time just submitting to God's will. I have to believe that part of this is not only so that I feed my family better, but that I learn to submit better as well. It's just so hard and emotional for me.

I gotta go before I start rambling... my thoughts are going in a million different directions now with this new information.

Please just pray for Witt. Pray that these allergies will be taken from his body and that he will be 100% allergy free. To enjoy an egg, a glass of milk with a chocolate chip cookie, to sprinkle cheese on whatever he pleases!

Pray for me that I'll submit to God. That I'll be accepting of his answer and thankful for all the many blessings that I have been surrounded with. That I will focus on the positive and be strong for my children.

Just please pray. That's what I'm going to do.

Thanks for listening.

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Angela (HsvScrapGirl) said...

Hang in there Becky. Our next round of tests come in February. So, not looking forward to it. With my son, they did the blood test with the first round of skin tests, but not the next time. We also got a negative skin test on egg the second year and we went straight to a food challenge. Check with your allergist and make sure that they do the food challenges. When my son passed his egg challenge, then he had officially out grown that allergy. Last year he had a positive skin test for milk, but a negative on the blood test. The allergist recommended a milk challenge and after only 1/2 oz. of cow's milk he went into anaphylaxis. So, for us, the skin tests are more accurate and we will probably not be doing blood tests at all anymore. So, just keep in mind that maybe what your allergist has seen in the past and may be thinking that the skin tests are more accurate.

Scottish Twins said...

If the allergist isn't willing to budge on the blood tests, see if your pediatrician can order them up for you. I have had that done before.

I just know that if I were in your shoes - I would want to know the results of the blood test, since the skin tests can sometimes be inaccurate.

And I totally agree with you about sometimes thinking that God gave my family these issues to deal with so that we would improve our diets. I always say that they are a blessing in disguise. Although I wish I didn't have to worry about anaphylaxis and epi-pens, I like the fact that I have an excuse not to feed my family junk. I find that people don't get as judgy with me about how picky I am about Gabe's diet (even with safe foods) because I have a good reason.

I'll keep him in my prayers. I hope you can at least start the goat's milk or eggs. Eggs are the one food that bother me the most on Gabe's allergy list. It's such a healthy, easy food to make.

Jamie Kaufmann said...

aw becky, it will be ok. i was just catching up on your blog last night. we had the same kind of blow last year when after miles's annual blood test, they chose not to skin or live. we just went in and she said, "still allergic, avoid". the thought of another year was hard. but like angela said, our allergist says skin is more reliable than blood. and really, the allergists do see trends and can guestimate better than we think. the year before last the allergist said no live test and we were disappointed. then a month later we had our first ana accident and we had a deeper appreciation for our allergists' hunch. she knew it would be that way and didn't want to put us all through a reaction like that on purpose.

on a positive note, i would be glad for any of the 3 tests at this point. as long as they are doing SOMETHING each year.

and if this helps, our household has added diet problems that now makes the food allergies seem easy. i've been sick with digestive issues for 8 months. finally figured out it was gallbladder and just had it removed. i thought i would be good to go for eating with the family again. but alas, i had another "attack" last night and got my usual 2 hours of sleep. i am very disheartened and don't know what to make of having a gallbladder attack without a gallbladder. i have a call into the dr. what i would give to be able to eat the red meat, no dairy, no egg diet with my family. but i have just a handful of things to eat right now. it stinks.

i feel your disappointment in so many ways. it will be ok.

oh, i also met with some friends last week who are on a STRICT NATURAL DIET! it made me realize people DO choose to eat more stricly than we have to. they eat wheat and no flour and no sugar. they eat eggs for breakfast everyday, salads and smoothies for lunch every day, and only chicken or beef for dinner. no pasta. just fresh foods. wow! that gave a whole new perspective on things. my kids are eating more than those kids and have more variety. my kids get baked goodies and pasta and breakfast cereal and pancakes and on and on. go figure?!

praying for you!

Jamie Kaufmann said...

i meant to say our friends eat NO wheat.

laurel said...

Becky, I am praying for you all!!

bekahcubed said...

I'm praying. Don't give up hope yet!

Nicole said...

You are in my prayers- it is so scary and frustrating. The most important person in your life facing scary allergies, and you cannot fix it on your own. Hard on the mommies...

Janelle said...

Praying for you, Becky! Allergy testing time is hard...there's no way around it. I always say I'm not going to get worked up about it either, but I always do.

Many times, God's will is not ours. It may be hard to accept, but remember that God has a purpose for everything. He is refining us so that we may shine bright!

mom24 said...

If you are nervous about NOT having the blood test, than find a way to get it. Our family dr did ours but a ped can order them too. However, I have also heard that the blood testing is not as reliable as the skin test. So it depends on how well you trust your dr.

I also agree with angela about doing a food challenge.
We use goat milk for our dairy sensitive kids with no irritated tummies or exzema showing up (tested neg for it) so it would be good to try that.

Hope the results are better this time!!

Meghan said...

your blog brought me to tears! i am just starting on this food allergy journey and can relate to many of your frustrations. i realize that just because you have been going through this longer than i have doesnt take away those frustrations. i read your blog regularly and am impressed with how well you handle everything. but thank you for posting this and making me feel more in tune with you. i am a wreck! my 15 month old son is allergic to eggs, milk and peanuts as well. i struggle with trying to change my recipes so as not to be feeding him something different from the rest of the family. he sees and wants what we have. my husband is less than helpful with this as he makes scrambled eggs and french toast breakfasts for my 3 year old daughter on his day off. and refused to eat the vegan pancakes i made one morning. my poor son has to eat a banana while everyone else gorges on the tasty things he can't have. it breaks my heart! i've gone on too long! but, thank you for having this blog, it really helps me!

Jamie Kaufmann said...

checking in. how are you doing, becky? thinking of you.

Becky @ BoysRuleMyLife said...

Thanks everybody! One thing I do love about being an allergy mom is the wonderful supportive community we have!

Based on most of your responses, it sounds like the skin test is going to be the way to go as far as accuracy. I just liked having a "number" - it's the engineer in me. LOL!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if nothing swelled on his back this go-round? I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I still have hope... I know you all know exactly what I'm talking about. :)

Thanks again!

Testing is December 15th! Please continue to pray for my little guy!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Oh girl. I'll be thinking of you and praying for your little guy. I can't relate directly, but only via walking the path with friends.

Praying peace in your heart!

Deanna said...


So sorry ya'll are dealing with this. Even though K's allergy blood work came back less than one this year, the allergist's words were "I don't think he's at risk for a SEVERE anaphylactic reaction to dairy." Excuse me? They didn't do skin tests this year. I'm not completely comfortable with it, either.

I do know this, that after being on this journey (and still on it) of reading every label, ingredient list, possible cross contamination, and so forth, I do not believe that I can ever go back to being the same consumer I was pre-baby.

Hugs to all of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

thanks for info!!