Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Trip to the Allergist

Today was the follow up visit to the allergist for the endoscopy. When I last posted about this, I was trying to decide which allergist to see. I ended up making an appointment in the same office as the allergist we had been previously seeing, but with a different doctor. The doctor that we saw today was mentored by Dr. Robert Wood. Dr. Wood is considered by many to be the food allergy "guru". His office is in Johns Hopkins University Hospital, and the wait to get in to see him is pretty close to a year out. Many people in our area have a local allergist, and then travel to see Dr. Wood yearly. I'm not at that point, but I find it interesting.

First, I have decided that I really like the new allergist. She started out by having me go through Luke's previous reactions. She sat and listened. Even my two boys acting like little monkeys didn't seem to bother her. She asked questions and seemed to be genuinely interested. I came away with quite a few interesting things...

1. Because Luke's RAST results for peanuts was relatively low, he has a better chance of outgrowing the allergy in the next couple of years(!!!).

2. Luke's reaction after eating at Burger King awhile back was indeed anaphylactic. I knew it, based on what I read in Food Allergies For Dummies. She used the reasoning that two parts of the body were affected (vomiting and sneezing/congestion). We should have used an epi pen that night.

3. I was given very clear instructions on when to use the Epi vs. Benadryl. Basically any reaction with 2 areas affected, a reaction involving breathing troubles, or a reaction where hives cover a large portion of the body requires using the Epi Pen. A few hives, or just one symptom (vomiting alone for instance) we can either give Benadryl or wait and see what happens.

4. Luke having pneumonia 3 times in 9 months could be a result of food allergies in the form that he could be aspirating when he reacts to foods. Or it could be a result of his immune system not developing properly. Blood tests will be done for the immune system.

5. We're going to be avoiding bananas (easy because Luke won't eat them), rice, barley and oats for 4 weeks to see if it fixes his delayed allergy symptoms. I'm not sure it will help, as he doesn't really eat any of those things. He used to be a Cheerios fanatic, but hasn't had them in quite some time. I don't think he has had rice since 4 or 5 months old (rice cereal), and the only barley he has is in foods, such as barley malt in his favorite pretzels. But we'll see.

6. She wants him to come in for somewhat regular growth checks, as he is less than 5 percentile for height and weight. He has been since birth though, so it's not something I'm particularly concerned about.

All in all, I learned more from her in the hour (yes, hour...when was the last time a doctor spent an hour talking to you? It's been awhile for me!) that we talked than in the previous 4 appointments with the other allergist.

If you're in the Northern Virginia area and would like info about the allergist that we saw today, please feel free to send me a message. I would be more than happy to pass her contact information on.


  1. Melinda, that's terrific you have a doctor you like and trust!

  2. It makes such a difference having a good Dr. I'm glad you got some answers and a plan. I know not truly understanding when to you the epi pen is so scary. I'm so glad she made it more clear. It's amazing what can happen if your Dr just spends the time. I'm glad your visit was successful.