Friday, May 1, 2009

testing one, two, three

Well, we are back from our crazy week in Anchortown. Thea and I left Sunday afternoon after a crazy week trying to cram a lot into a week of almost no daycare. By the end of it I was frazzled, but managed to toss a few clothes and a lot of food into a couple of bags and boxes and off we went. We've been waiting for these tests for forever - it takes months to get an appointment, and we had to cancel one because we didn't know how to swing it financially. The insurance doesn't cover the cost of 4 nights in a hotel room, etc.

So after arriving in town, we settled into the hotel room at Inlet Towers, got some food, and managed to convince Thea to sleep in her pack n play, which I set up in a closet around the corner from me so she couldn't actually see me and might sleep while I worked and read etc. The only catch was I had to walk past her to go to the bathroom, so I didn't drink much tea after putting her to bed for fear I'd wake her up... the things we do!

The first appointment was bright and early Monday morning - it was so scary to enter this world of illness. You walk by people carrying kids and wonder, is that kid really sick? What are these people going through. Puts it in perspective. We met with a very bubbly doctor who spewed a steady stream of acronyms and left me in the dust several times but promised all would become clear shortly. Somehow docs seem to get the impression that I understand much more than I do because they all seem to skip over vital information ... funny. Anyway, Thea got skin prick tests for a host of foods and after the buzzer went off, the nurse came in and took a look. Negative across the board. Even milk. cat. beef. But skin prick tests are only for the mouth-swelling, throat-closing kind of allergy, not the gut-wrenching kind Thea most often suffers from these days. So on to test two, the one we really came for.

Essentially, they took a bunch of little metal circles and smeared food in them and pasted them on her back for three days. That's the test for delayed response allergies. So good thing I gave Thea a bath Sunday night because she wasn't going to get one again until Thursday.

Then off we went, armed with a book of pamphlets and a very tired baby. The next few days were a blur of shopping and visiting with friends. Thea and I went walking a lot - I so miss cities for that reason. Thea was a horrible shopping buddy - she would happily destroy every display she could get her hands on and pitched a several-hour-long fit when strapped in the stroller to keep her from said destruction. She loved the parks, however, and the nice, level sidewalks. And she really enjoyed the used kids store, where she found all the babies she could want and high chairs and bouncy seats to put them in - she could have stayed there all day, I think.

On Wednesday we went back to have the patches removed. We also went to get blood work done - test us both for vitamin d and test her for various allergy responses again. Frustrating that we did all that here in Homer, but those results didn't make it to the clinic, even though it was a referral. I am learning that one must keep all one's records with you. So they tried to get blood from Thea, but after two sticks, couldn't do it. She didn't even cry. I was awfully proud of her on that - she can be very brave. But unfortunately, we still had to do it all over again. They peeled the patches off her back and sent us on our way for the day.

Thursday morning was madness - I had an 8 a.m. apptment and was trying to pack up before then, but just couldn't do it. So I got most of it down, dashed to the hospital and got results that made the whole trip worthwhile. She tested positive for dairy and .... turkey. TURKEY! All along I've felt there was something we were missing that was causing her to respond. Thought I had it figured out with the potatoes, and who knows, maybe she was reacting to them back then. But Turkey? We have eaten that 3 night a week or more ever since last fall's tests red-flagged beef. So I am optimistic this might actually make a difference. Might not be the whole answer, but here's to hoping. And obviously, she is moving out of her dairy issues since she is no longer reacting to dairy the way she used to. So it is all really good news.

Then off for home, so happy to see Liam again and be on home turf, even if it took me all day today going full tilt to get things back in order, unpack the car and get some groceries. Tomorrow, we are going outside as much as possible. This may well be our summer, so we'd better snag it while it is here.

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