Brad’s feeling prickly 2

Today Brad saw an allergist. He has eosinophilic esophagitis, and has figured out a few of the foods that he has allergic reactions to, but thought there might be more. Especially as his mom has been discovering lately that she has a bunch of foods she’s allergic to.

I didn’t even think about the fact that I’d be taking a dog into an asthma and allergy center until we were almost there. Then I realized that I might have a big access challenge over Hestia! So I was very nervous walking in.

We checked in, and the receptionists didn’t notice Hestia. When we went to sit down, I saw them pointing at Hestia but I was purposefully looking the other way while simultaneously making sure the “service dog” patches on her harness were clearly visible. When I chanced a glance in their direction I saw that they were smiling and they made motions like they thought Hestia was cute, so all was good!

It turns out that the nurse and doctor also didn’t even mention the fact that Hestia was a service dog! It was great!

They did mention her when we were talking about what animals lived in our home, and the nurse made some comments about how Hestia liked to watch everything going on. But it was all good, and I was happy with the level of interactions they had regarding Hestia.

We met with the doctor and talked a bit about Brad’s symptoms and so on. She was worried we wouldn’t be able to do an allergy test on Brad because he was in his wheelchair, but we figured out that he could lie on his side on the table in the room while they did the tests on his back.

When Brad mentioned he got cold easily, they very kindly moved us to their warmest exam room for the allergy testing!

He had 82 scratch tests done on his back and one later on his arm. It was interesting sitting there watching some of the spots grow and grow. I took a picture of his back about 10 minutes in, but when they came in 5 minutes later some of the allergic spots had gotten lots bigger!

We found out (confirmed) he is allergic to basically all pollen and dust mites. That means we need to wash our sheets in hot water every week instead of throwing them in on cold with the rest of the wash. He is definitely allergic to green peas, interestingly! He may or may not be allergic mildly to peanuts (less likely) and almonds (more likely). But that could also be bleed over from having the pollen tests react so strongly the doctor said.

We are for sure eliminating green peas from his diet. For now, she wants us to eliminate egg and soy for sure, as the top four allergens for eosinophilic esophagitis are milk, wheat, egg, and soy. Brad already doesn’t eat milk or wheat. We’ll also eliminate almonds for now. We’ll do that diet for 4–8 weeks, then add back in egg, soy, and almonds one at a time to see if they cause him problems. We might then do a peanut one, but we’ll have to see how we feel at that time.

It’ll be an easy to switch over to cashew milk instead of almond milk, and in smoothies omit the almond butter in favor of cashew or other nut butters. We don’t eat a lot of eggs, but when we were vegan for a while I used egg replacer and found it to work well, so that’ll be an easy swap, too. For cutting out soy, that won’t really be a problem as it just basically means cutting out some vegan fake-meat products.

She also confirmed Brad has non-allergic rhinitis (runny nose) and that it can cause phlegm your throat, too! She also said he has oral allergy syndrome, which is an interesting phenomenon!

Basically in some fruits and veggies, there are proteins in them that are similar to the proteins in pollen. So even if you aren’t allergic to peaches, for example, the proteins in fresh peaches might make you react when you eat them. But if you peel and/or cook those fruits and veggies, then they’re OK. She thinks Brad has this for several fruits.

It was a long and very informative appointment! We were there for three hours! Little Alice was so happy to see us when we got home.

Picture below of Brad’s back 10 minutes into the test! He has some pretty big welts where the pollen and dust mite sections are!

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2 thoughts on “Brad’s feeling prickly

  • Danny & Sheldon

    Wow! Glad you and Brad have more information about the allergies, but that pic is bringing me back to when I had the same thing done to me, except I was a little kid with poor impulse control and just wanted to scratch the whole time. I remember it being excruciating trying to resist the urge to scratch during those tests.

    Did they use the “caterpillars” to place the allergens? I don’t know if they have better technology now, since it was maybe 30 years ago, but they used plastic things with handles (the backs of the caterpillars) and little serrated cups (the feet of the caterpillars) that were filled with the allergens. Then they’d push them into your back and you’d have to wait and not scratch. Of course, maybe they called them caterpillars because it was a pediatric office. They were also very careful to call our medications “meds” and not “drugs” so we wouldn’t think we were “doing drugs” as little kids. Also, they had the best toys and stickers and were super nice to us. Being a kid with chronic illnesses was hard, but that Allergies and Asthma Medical Group made it easier.

    • doctorveronica

      They used little plastic sticks with sharp metal tips that they dipped into the allergen and then scratched across Brad’s back. They said kids hate it! I’m so sorry you had to go through all that as a kid, but I’m glad they made it as nice as they could!