Itchin’ to Know

Dear Buddy,

We finally got around to taking you back to the allergist – yay! You had your first allergy test done when you were about 18 months old. It was a blood test which revealed that you had a slight egg allergy and a slight dog allergy. We dutifully kept you away from dogs and eggs for a year (mostly).

After a year of slight or no reactions to your chance encounters with both dogs and eggs, we decided that we would talk to your doctor about the feasibility of getting a dog – something you, your sister, and your father had been pining for. The doc took a look at your reaction levels from that old blood test and noted that you were technically below the ‘allergic’ threshold for both dog and egg, which seemed like information that should have been shared a long time ago.

It is now two years since that first allergy test and a year since we’ve had the dog. Things are going well. Only…sometimes you’ll turn around and have splotches on your chin. Sometimes after playing outside or eating dinner or – not really doing anything – you’ll have a red splotch on your cheek. Is this a new allergy? An old one? Is it your face flushing? It’s puzzling. So, we scheduled an appointment with an allergist.

Here’s what I learned: scratch tests and blood tests do not confirm an allergy. They confirm a ‘sensitivity’. An allergy is having an actual reaction which is diagnosed ‘clinically’ (ie: by observation). Blow me down. I did not know that.

She did a quick scratch test on your forearms for egg, dog, cat, grass, several types of trees, dust, and mold. You came up very slightly on the egg still, slightly on the cat, not at all on the dog, and fairly significantly for the grass, maple trees, grass, and dust.

I asked, “Does this mean we have to get rid of the cat??”

“Is he reacting to the cat,” she asked.

“I don’t think so. He doesn’t seem to be.”

“Then keep the cat,” she said. “If he’s not reacting to the cat then he isn’t exhibiting an allergy. He is cat sensitive. Just try to keep the cat out of his bedroom and you should be fine.” Wheh!

The blood test will be next and cover a much wider spectrum of possible allergies. We’ll also be able to directly compare it to your results from two years ago so we can see/track how the levels are changing over time. It’s this sort of analysis junk that totally geeks me out. I so feel like making a spreadsheet right now! 🙂

Buddy's arms clearing up after the scratch test. You can still see the big welts of grass and dust on the left.

Buddy’s arms clearing up after the scratch test. You can still see the big welts of grass and dust on the left.

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Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Itchin’ to Know

  1. Poor buddy, and poor meg. Eggs are so easy to make, and dogs so hard to live without.
    I hope he comes up as just a poor translucently white person – not unlike myself- whose skin flares up at the idea of a scratch. Poor kid. He’s going to need a prescription hat at some point.

  2. Dennis Joyner

    He Meg…Just so you know…allergies run in Cooper’s family. My brother, my daughter and I have them every spring and fall. ..and so did my father. I am…however… the only one of us that has actually been tested. I am “sensitive” to lots of trees, grasses and weeds…ragweed of course, but also trees that I love…Riverbirches…boo hoo…they are so beautiful. I had anaphalactic shock to the iodine dye they give you for medical scans…and have developed “sensitivities” to almost all antibiotics. I have to take a battery of allergy drugs in order to take almost any antibiotic..and penicillan is totally out. I’ve only been tested for the 9 most popular foods…and was allergic to 3 of them…chicken, pork and yeast. The woman told me I am screwed because of the yeast. Yeah…tell me about it. At any rate…I get the allergy shots to combat the “growing things” sensitivity. I’ve been getting two a week for the past two and a half years and they have helped me immensly…had no prob’s in April and only had one day of sniffles from ragweed this year…but of course I take Calriten every day of my life. Anyway, just thought I would give you some family history to work with. Hope Cooper didn’t get all that!! Hugs, Aunt ‘Nita PS: I don’t appear to be allergic to any animals except horses!

    • Wow! That is a lot of allergy history, and I had no idea. Thank you for sharing! That is very helpful. Hugs to you and Dennis!

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