Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Doctor Update

In August, we made the trek to Texas Children's for our biannual checkup.  For our trip, I pack the diaper bag with the necessary gear.  I pack an extra bag with toys and coloring books.  I pack a bag with food and snacks.  This time I also had Ladybug in tow so I had her gear and a stroller.  I felt like I was moving in!  Hubby took the older two kiddos to a nearby Children's Museum while we spent 4 long hours at the appointment.  Here's the recap:

Round 1 with the doctor:  The general consensus was that we still have bad allergies and bad eczema.  Nothing new there!

There was a family practice doctor shadowing our immunologist so I got to explain our problems from the beginning so she could learn.  Our doctor made multiple comments that she was going to use one my comments when teaching other doctors.  Lovely.  So nice to be infamous and be a teaching tool.

We discussed our latest reactions and the doctor encouraged me to be more proactive in using the Epi-pen.  Allergic reactions are unpredictable and can clear up in 5 minutes or take a turn for the worse in 30 seconds.  She wanted us to err on the side of caution.

The dietician:  The dietician went over our current diet and we concluded that there was nothing else we could add or change.  We're staying the same on our diet and there aren't too many new products out there for us.  Bee has gained 2 pounds and the dietician felt that her growth was right on target.  Go Bee!  She's working a little of the cute toddler chub!

The respiratory therapist:  Well, this was a new one for us!  Apparently the doctor decided that she wanted us to be armed with inhalers as another line of protection in the event of an allergic reaction.  Now we'll have an albuterol inhaler with a fun little mask to help insure that Bee actually breathes in the inhaler.  So we spent some time going over how the mask works and I practiced using it on Bee.  She was surprisingly cooperative and stopped playing with her magnets long enough to try on the mask.

The nurse:  Just in case I couldn't figure out the Epi-pen, the doctor sent in a nurse with a demonstrator pen.  I had to pretend to give Bee the Epi to prove that I could in fact use the Epi-pen.  Pull off cap, press into thigh, count to ten, and don't forget to have a total panic attack and meltdown.  Yes, I've got the Epi down; I just don't want to use it!

Round 2 with the doctor:  We agreed on no testing for Bee for the day since she probably hasn't improved enough to do a food challenge.  In 6 months we'll retest and hope for some improvements.  Maybe we can add a new food back in!

After discussing her latest reactions the doctor cautioned us to avoid all cats and dogs and not even enter a house in which a cat or dog lives.  Bee is definitely allergic to both animals.  She also reminded us to watch for reactions to any other foods and let our experience guide us when choosing foods for Bee.

We addressed Bee's eczema which is out of control right now.  The doctor believes the heat is our biggest problem.  We have a few options:  1) Give Bee a daily dose of Zyrtec to help control the itching and the flare-ups  2) Cover Bee in a steroid cream daily to help reduce the eczema  3) Do a combination of both  4) Try the medications daily for a few weeks at a time to help control the eczema and then back off with the understanding that we may need to continue the medication daily

I am going to choose.............none of the above!  We've tried daily regimens before and the day we stop them, Bee flares up 10 times worse than she was before.  We're going to stick with cool tub soaks, wet wraps, lotion, and the occasional Cortizone Cream or Zyrtec dose on days we need it.  We've kept her under control for over a year with no meds so I want to keep doing what has been working.

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