This past Friday Mr C and I headed to Melbourne (a 650km round trip) with our 3yo Miss J for her next round of skin prick testing for food allergies.
Having recently relocated from the Hunter Valley (NSW) where we had an excellent allergist, to country Vic, we have only just now been able to get into our new allergist, Dr Joanne Smart, an expert in the area of paediatric allergies and immunology.
Skin prick testing for food allergies involves applying selected allergens to the forearm or the back with a dropper, then the skin is gently pricked with a sterile lancet. If within 20 minutes, a red flare or weal shows up it generally means that the test is positive for that allergen.
The larger the weal is generally the more accurate the positive result is, it is not an indicator of the severity of the allergy, ie anaphylactic or not.
If you have never seen it before, this is skin prick testing results for allergies!
The writing is abbreviations of the allergens tested ie E for eggs, CM for cows milk, DM for dust mite, etc etc.
The raised welts are the allergic reactions, which are measured and then a rating is calculated.
Our 3yo Miss J was such a good girl, so brave and lovely on a very stressful day for her, she was very quiet on the drive to Melbourne, not her usual bubbly self and said a few times “Mumma my ‘aggerlies’ are gone I don’t need to go to the Doctor”, broke my heart!
The Doctor and nurse were lovely and congratulated Miss J for being such a good patient for them, she even gave the Doc a high 5 when we were leaving.
Mixed results for us, her most dangerous allergy, peanuts, reduced from 19 to 5 which is encouraging, unfortunately dairy jumped from 4 to 15, and egg stayed high at 14, and a new one of dust mites at 11. A rating of 3 and above is considered allergic.
The good news is that the specialist recommended we proceed to in hospital oral challenges for baked egg and baked dairy. We will go back to Melbourne for the first oral challenge in October and the next in November, where they will also do another skin prick test for peanuts to see if the reading remains low, just for safety sake, and to see if an oral challenge can be scheduled for the future.
So for now we keep on keeping on, and hopefully the next tests might bring better news!
Do you or a loved one have food allergies? I would love to hear from you, especially your experiences with allergy testing.
Until next time,
Mel – This Happ-y Mumma