Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Why can't food allergies be black and white?

Okay so most of you who know me know that I like things black and white. Gray is bad. I like plans and lists and organization. God knows I like these things and has been teaching me patience over the last few years. Okay God- I get it. Peyton has a heart problem- when to treat it is a gray area but overall either your heart beats normal or it doesn't- black and white. Peyton's ability to reason is a little gray but overall she is my little rule follower- she likes things black and white. Then I got my little wild child who has no idea what rules are and neither does her body.

I have been waiting for her allergy test results and finally got them Monday. I spoke to the nurse and she said that all of her numbers had come down dramatically but to keep avoiding milk, egg, and peanut for the next year. Confusing since her milk reactions have gotten worse but okay we'll go with it. I go and pick up a copy of the results since I need to fax them to Arkansas Childrens for the research study and I like black and white so I want to see the numbers. I pick them up and the numbers look odd to me and then I notice that she is showing up positive to other foods- but not very high. What? the nurse didn't say anything to me about that. So a panicked call to Dr. Aunt Melanie followed. I then left a message for the coordinator at Childrens and then called the doctor here. Let's just say that she was no help and the little bit of nagging distrust I had for her grew to a lot. I then found Landree's test results from last year and got even more confused.

Basically when they do RAST testing they are testing the blood for antibodies built up to certain foods and that number is called IgE. Theoretically the higher the IgE number, the more allergic you are to that food. They then have a scale that they use to convert the IgE # to Classes. Classes run from 0 to 6. Zero being a negative score and 6 being a very high allergy. When I compared the two sets of IgE numbers the latest numbers had gone down a lot; however the Class numbers had gone up over last years class numbers. Huh? When I looked at the scales that determined the class level they were very different on the two reports. Melanie and I decided they must be using two different tests. Well I posted all of the info on my message board for food allergy moms last night. This morning I had several posts and sure enough there are two different tests and the allergist didn't pay attention. So her allergies to milk, egg, and peanut have actually grown- which is to be expected until she's about 3 or 4 years old. She is Class 2 to milk, Class 3 to Peanut, and Class 4 to egg. So the theory would be that since she is having such bad contact reactions to milk then she would be even worse to peanut and egg. But food allergies aren't black and white. There are children that test very low to foods and are anaphylactic and others that test very high to foods and have no reaction and are able to eat them. So we don't know how she would react to peanut and egg since she has not eaten them before.

She also tested Class 1 to Wheat, Oat, Soybean, Pork, and Lamb. She tested Class 2 to Beef. Okay all of these things with the exception of Lamb are foods that she eats on a regular basis and does not seem to have reaction to them. So that makes me think that she is having false positive results. But she does get red eyes and a runny nose a lot that we have always assumed are related to environmental allergies. So now we don't know which is which. She did have a reaction one day after eating a hamburger patty, tomato and drinking orange juice. We assumed it was the orange juice since Papaw reacts to oranges. Well she tested negative to oranges so maybe it was the beef but at this point who knows. I have left a message with the coordinator at Childrens and hope to hear from her soon. I am definately finding a new allergist here. I was so spoiled with the allergists we had in Little Rock and now I am dealing with what most parents of children with food allergies deal with. Did I say I don't like gray?

I finished our Christmas cards and sent them to be printed so be looking for them next week. If I don't post tomorrow, it will be next week before I post again since we will be leaving for Mawmaws Thursday.

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