Monday, August 31, 2009

Inen's Allergies, Part 2

A while ago I promised that I would give an account of what we found out from the appointment with the allergist. So here is what went down:

At the allergist appointment we ended up not drawing blood for a RAST test, but instead the doctor recommended just doing a simple skin prick test for the biggest concerns. When we told him about Inen's previous two reactions, he concluded that the second one had to have been the cashews. They did not do skin tests for the cashews or peanuts, figuring that those are definite known allergies, and not wanting to cause a severe reaction by administering the test. What they tested for was cats, dogs, dust, wheat, soy, sesame, citrus, milk, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and tomatoes.

So what this test, past experiences, and the previous RAST test tell us that Inen is allergic to

  • milk protein (casein)

  • eggs

  • peanuts

  • cashews

  • pecans

  • and walnuts

is slightly sensitive to

  • almonds

and is not allergic to

  • cats

  • dogs

  • dust

  • wheat

  • soy

  • sesame

  • citrus

  • tomatoes

  • and hazelnuts.

We are very relieved and thankful to find that he is not allergic to wheat, soy, or sesame (yay! he can have tahini!); and especially that he is not allergic to hazelnuts. That is the one nut that we have in abundance in our area, so we can get them from the farms and know that they were not processed with any other nut. It's also good to know that while he has allergies, they are limited, and the things he can still eat make his diet very very do-able. Praise God!

We are still going to look into a full panel of foods just so that we aren't having to do trial and error so often. There are still allergies that can pop up that we haven't tested for, so it will be good to know. In fact, we may have found a new one on Saturday while preparing for his birthday party: chocolate. We'll keep y'all updated if we find anything out about that.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Inen's first Birthday!

Today Inen turned one year old.

Can you believe it? I can't. It seems like it's gone by so fast, while at the same time, it seems like it's been a lifetime. So much changes so quickly about this boy. And of course, for you faithful readers, the Inen in this post will seem like a very big change indeed, since I haven't been posting updates for the last (oh, goodness... am I that delinquent?) three months. So I had to be on top of this one, even if it meant losing precious, valuable sleep. Here's a recap of Inen's first birthday. (Remember, I'm losing sleep for this post. Savor it.)

Inen got up not too terribly early this morning. Just before 5 AM. Korie managed to get him to go back to sleep until 5:45. That was his gift to us.

After he was up, we did our normal routine of getting everyone ready for the day, and getting breakfast. After Korie headed off to work, it was time to head to the coffee shop.

We played with toys, read books, talked to people, and then headed out as nap time approached. From there we stopped at Tim's place to see his new Scottish terrier puppy, Bonnie. Inen was absolutely thrilled.

Once home, Inen took a nap while I got stuff done. When he got up we did some more reading and playing until Korie got home for lunch. (Yay!!!) Always a happy time for Inen. After Korie went back to work and he was fed, we headed out for groceries. We stopped at the community garden for some corn, and then to Freddy's for the rest. Once home, it was time for another short nap before heading off to Grandma Kathleen's house.

Here's a story. We got to Grandma's, and while Inen eyed the toys, Grandma and Daddy talked. Suddenly, there's Inen wanting Dad to pick him up. I picked him up, and what does he do? He points to the door, says "door," and then looks at me and waves, saying "Bye-bye!" Sheesh! I can take a hint! So I left him contented with Grandma Kathleen.

Meanwhile, I works on getting the grill going and dinner started. Inen got home with Korie, and soon Grandpa Mike and Grandma Kathleen arrived. We all had a good dinner, Inen having loads of fun making a particularly large mess of his. After dinner Inen got to see the gift that the Jones Grandparents goot for him: a fabulous green frog rocking chair.

We wrapped up the evening with many huggs, kisses, and the usual bath and bed time routine. And off to sleep went our amazing little one-year-old boy.

It was a good day. It has been a great year.
Here's to many more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Inen's Allergies

So I said in my last post that I would let people know about Inen's allergies. Here's a brief overview of the story so far:

We picked up on his allergy to milk protein in January. He had really bad eczema, and we figured that it was related to diet. Korie gave up milk, and in a few weeks his eczema had largely cleared up. We know it's milk protein (casein, possibly whey), because Korie and he could still have things with lactose in it - which is milk sugar, not protein - without problems. Then one day several months ago I was playing with Inen and kissing him on the face and neck when he broke out into hives, and his neck started turning red and getting swollen. We gave him Benadryl and the symptoms abated in a few minutes. Thinking about what may have triggered it, the only thing we cold figure was that I had just eaten a peanut butter sandwich before playing with him. At this point we made an appointment to have him tested for a peanut allergy. Korie had also noticed that he was fussier when nursing after she had eggs for breakfast, so we had them test for an egg allergy while they were at it. (Later I would wish that we had just had them test for everything, since it was pretty traumatic – mostly for me, I'm sure – to have this tiny baby stuck with a large needle to have blood drawn from his teeny-tiny arms.) When the test came back, it showed that Inen is on the lower end of the "Highly Allergic" part of the scale for eggs, and at the higher part of the "Highly Allergic" part of the scale for peanuts.

We have an appointment with an allergist early tomorrow morning to get him tested for... well, everything. We'll let everybody know what the results are when we get them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Inen's first emergency room visit

Okay, okay... so I know I have a lot of content to post still, and plenty of catching up to do. I'm still editing videos and uploading content, so June and July updates will be forthcoming. I realized, though, that does not mean I can't post about what's currently happening. (Yes, I'm a bit obsessive compulsive, feeling that if I'm going to post it, I must post it in chronological order.)

So what is happening?

Well, last night Inen had his first trip to the emergency room. Yay! ("Yay" that he's back, not that he went.) Here's the story:

I was making vegan mac and cheese for dinner, the "cheese" for which has myriad ingredients - potatoes, carrots, earth balance margarine, nutritional yeast, raw cashews, tahini, miso, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. The "cheese" goes over rotini and broccoli, and is then baked with bread crumbs on top. Yum yum!

Korie wondered about giving Inen that for dinner, to save me work and see if he might like something more to chew on. I thought this was a good idea, briefly going down the list of ingredients in my head for any of the things Inen is allergic to: milk, eggs, peanuts. The dish is vegan, and we don't even keep peanuts in the house because of his allergy, so my mental once-over produced no red flags. (I just realized I haven't posted anything about Inen's medical history, including his allergies, of which we know only the three aforementioned. Mental note: I'll have to do another post on that.)

So we put some on his tray and he grabbed up noodles with both hands, greedily shoving them into his mouth, and promptly coughed and hacked on them (I'm reluctant to say "choked" - he didn't aspirate) due to his eagerness. Korie removed the food from his mouth, and we were about to resume feeding in a more controlled manner when Korie noticed Inen's neck turning red and swelling up with hives. We immediately gave him benadryl, but he was looking pretty swolen so Korie announced, "We are going to the emergency room."

We packed him up and headed for the ER. By the time we got there he was a little better, but still red with hives. He was admitted, we told the story, and they said, "You did the right thing, he's not having trouble breathing, we'll just observe him for a bit." Korie had called our parents on the way down, for prayer support and because it's and unwritten rule that you let parents in on emergencies like this (because they need more to worry about, and they'll kill you if you don't share the anxiety). So Korie's parents came down, and we played in the hospital for a while. I ran home and got him dinner that isn't life-threatening. After an hour, we paid our $100 copay and went home with a prescription for an EpiPen. ("Just because his reaction is so severe, and just in case. Only use it if he turns blue.")

Inen was back to normal within 45 minutes of giving him benadryl. He's just fine and dandy. The best that anyone can figure is that one or two ingredients were "processed in a facility that also processes peanuts, etc." Given that it would be such a minuscule trace amount (a little bit of peanut got on a little bit of a minor ingredient in a sauce for a dish that he only tasted one noodle of...), it gave us some perspective on what the label "Highly Allergic" really means. We had a good scare, are thankful he's okay, and are now really pondering the future for our child in terms of his peanut allergy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Inen's first July

It's that time again! Your monthly slide show of what Inen has been up to. This one has got a wealth of photos (more than double the length of the last one). He had his first Independence Day, he attended his first wedding, he saw his first parade... all sorts of fun!

Now, I know that I have been delinquent posting June and July happenings. A lot has happened in these two months to post, which is also why I haven't been posting: so much has been happening! I promise that I will have photos and videos of all that Inen's been doing in the last couple months.

Meanwhile, enjoy the slide show: