This week we visited Birmingham Children’s Hospital to have our yearly allergy discussion and skin prick tests (SPTs) with the allergy nurse. I was pretty certain Anya has NOT grown out of her dairy allergy as she had a pretty bad reaction in September with an A&E visit.
I had been planning the day for weeks – we were going on the train, I was taking my mother to watch Anya get skin prick tests, then we were going to the Italian restaurant that is good with allergies. After dinner we were going to have a brief browse of the German Market and pop into the Art Gallery and then home on the train in plenty of time to pick up little sister. I try to make the day fun, so she doesn’t remember the skin prick tests, but remembers the carousel ride, the lunch, the art gallery and time with Nanny on the train.
Well things never go to plan do they! Little sister had two chocolates from her advent calendar (as we sometimes forget a day) and decided to share one of her dairy chocolate with her dairy-allergic sister. Anya was chewing it when I found out and made her spit what she had left out (which was a tiny amount), so she must have eaten the equivalent of three quarters of a chocolate button. She had no immediate face swelling, she continued to eat her breakfast and didn’t complain about tingling in the mouth so I decided not to give her any antihistamines as it may have affected her skin prick tests later (and someone in my allergy group pointed out they may not go ahead with the SPT as it may also give a false positive if I don’t give antihistamines and a false negative if I do). She was on and off the toilet after 30-45 minutes with diarrhoea, but apart from that she was doing fine, so we carried on to the hospital.
After I did my brief yearly summary they decided not to go ahead with the SPT, not because of the chocolate in the morning, but because the A&E visit just a couple of months ago showed she was still too badly allergic to proceed with a dairy challenge.
I asked again about her egg allergy, as I do every year. She has not eaten egg at all since she was about 11 months old, she ate it once in a cake and after 4 hours she was covered head to toe in hives and vomiting profusely. There has been no diagnosis, no confirmation with blood tests, we have just continued to avoid on the advice of the hospital.
This time I was taken by surprise, the nurse said ‘yes’ to a baked egg trial. The plan is in the next three months we will spend the day in the hospital and the dietician will come up with a dairy free biscuit containing egg for Anya to trial. If all goes well we can continue at home. Exciting times ahead – avoiding both allergens is sometimes difficult. If egg is introduced back into her diet we have the bonus of more varied source of protein (as currently she only eats fish) as well as a much improved diet.
We left the hospital very happy that morning (especially Anya as she didn’t get the skin prick tests) and to top it off she had a free lunch in Bella Italia as they felt they couldn’t fully accommodate her allergies – which was very nice of them!
All in all a great day, now I have to read up on food challenges…
- Allergy increase in rural Poland likely related to EU membership (medicalnewstoday.com)