Some of you might remember a little post I wrote about a month ago, detailing Bella's RAST test. And I never actually got back to you all on the results?
You KNEW there had to be a reason behind that, right?
Well, there was. We got her results. Oh boy, did we get them. Got a minute?
My sweet, sweet allergist phoned me with the news a month of Fridays ago, taking up two messages on my machine! I had come home from my parents' place that night, Bella asleep in my arms. I put her to bed, exhausted myself, anxious because it had been over a week since her blood draw with no word and a couple of messages in to their offices.
With Bella settled, I walked into our dining room and there was Mark with his excellent poker face. "Dr. B-- called", he said, "with Bella's results."
At this point, I was terrified. "And??" I stammered.
With his best 'serious' face, he said, "All negative. To all nuts. Bella's RAST results for her peanut allergy (all and other nuts for that matter) were NEGATIVE. And he wants to know if we want to do a food challenge."
At this point I burst into tears and fell into his arms. Uncontrollable sobs. I could NOT believe it. I was expecting a low level at best. But negative? Unbelievable.
I called my folks (my mom is anaph. to shellfish so she REALLY 'gets it'), while my wonderful husband opened a bottle of wine to celebrate, and we sobbed together. It really was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (without a train at the end - ha ha - love that expression). The feeling of relief that I had was incredible.
But I knew this wasn't the end of this.
The next Monday I made an appointment for Bella's food challenge. Yesterday was the big day. I actually bought peanut butter this week (it was terrifying!). We got a big bag of supplies ready for the 3+ hour appointment that awaited us. We were filled with hope and excitement.
Fast forward to this morning.
I was hoping that this post would be my goodbye to you all, my fond farewell, my 'see you later', 'adios', and 'adieu'. But I hate to break it to you all.
You're stuck with me for the time being.
Bella reacted to her skin test. Aw nuts!
Were we upset? Of course! Not crying upset, mind you. Just bummed out for Bella.
Was Bella? Not so much. She didn't seem to care at all that she wasn't trying out peanut butter that day (although she did ask last night "now when can I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"), but was pretty psyched at the three (yes three!) lollipops the nurse gave her at the appointment.
But there is good news here. Really, I swear there is.
Bella has a NEGATIVE RAST result. And even though she reacted, her wheal size was smaller than last year's (which was also smaller than the previous year's). Her allergist is confident that she will outgrow this fairly soon (and he's an allergist that ALWAYS stays on the cautionary side of things - he is not a risk taker or nonchalant about allergies, suffering from them himself - so I was shocked by his comment). So we left the appointment feeling good, even though we didn't come out with the exact result we wanted.
I can't say I was totally shocked that she reacted though. I've read enough of the scientific literature to know that it was a possibility. I just hope, hope, hope that we make it through to the other side of this. A beginning, middle, and happy ending to our peanut allergy adventure would be awesome.
So are we changing anything? No. We're still being just as cautious as we always have. And in the new year we'll schedule another challenge. I hope she passes.
But even when she passes, you'll still be stuck with me. So many of you have proven to me that you are true friends - I wouldn't give you up that easily. I feel like I know so many of your kids already through your posts, emails, and IM's that I'll still be advocating for this, even if (and long after) Bella's peanut allergy resolves.
Have any of you gotten to the same point as us? I'd love to hear from you either in the comments or via direct email.