Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh Yeah, and about those RAST results....

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.


Hippy Goodwife said...

Good news! We have negative RAST for peanut too, but the wheals and hives still appear. We are heading for an oral challenge at age 5, that's a little over a year away and it makes me sick to my stomach just to think about it. Thank goodness for the internet!

Elyse said...

Uhhh-I know that this can be really tough! Hang in there! I know that RASTs can be stressful!

Pez said...

Oh, Gabs, I am so happy for you and Bella! I know that you are not quite there yet but soon, very soon. Hurray!

Nicole said...

I hope Bella does indeed grow out of her allergy but kudos to you for keeping up your guard in the meantime. I need to make another appt for my DD - it's such a whirlwind of emotions preparing for blood and RAST testing!

Anonymous said...

so happy for you.... and jealous. my 31/2 year old went up 7 to 11 but my allergist said she is still not convinced she will not outgrow because her symptoms have been so mild. i discovered she has a high rast to cashew though. i am so scared for her to go off to school this fall. preschool. i would love to hear how you handle preschool if she goes....

Ria said...

OMG! That is fabulous news... even with the positive skin test! Just imagine how your life will change. Did you ever thing this was possible?

My guy's RAST numbers to peanuts and tree nuts are so high... when I asked my allergist when we could do the peanut challenge, he looked at me like I was... nuts!

I'm an optimist by heart though... so whenever I read that someone has outgrown it, I do a cheer for our side! :)

Jane Anne said...

That seems like such hopeful news!! I am an optimist, too-- I hope it is sign she is outgrowing it. I can only imagine it was a bit of a roller coaster for you.

katg1006 said...

I found your site while doing a peanut-free search because my little guy has a possible peanut allergy.
We he was smaller he had a couple hive outbreaks and we narrowed it down to possibly nuts. So we eliminated all of the nuts from his diet. None anywhere. I was diligent but still...sometimes the labels are just not honest :(

Last year we had his blood tested and skin testing to all nuts. They were all negative!! I was soooo elated!!!! This April we did the peanut challenge and we were so sure he'd be okay. The skin smear was fine, the skin test..we think he reacted to but it wasn't immediate, but when they put it on his lips that was it..hives everywhere :( I was so devasted. We will need to retest in a year.

He starts Pre-K in September and I am freaking out about what he could be exposed to. Thanks for having this so helps to know I am not alone ((hugs))

MommyCheryl said...

Congrats! That's amazing news. But I'm just small enough to also feel a not-so-small twinge of jealousy. Sigh.

I wish I had something to share that would bolster your already good news -- and it is, indeed good news. In addition to my pity party for not being in your situation, I also give a big cheer for someone actually beating this thing. Yay for the good guys!!!

Alexis Ahrens said...

Congratulations! This is encouraging news, since we're at the beginning of our nut-free odyssey. I didn't know the peanut allergy was something they could outgrow. Is there anything we can do to move in that direction, other than avoiding nuts? What a relief to think that the kids could be through with this before starting school! Fingers crossed for Bella, and all the rest of us! Cheers!

Kimberly said...

Hi there... thanks for the post. I am looking for a place to do a RAST test. Are you in Los Angeles? I like my allergist, but I do not trust that the skin prick test results are entirely accurate. I want to go somewhere for a RAST test. I can't find a place that offers them by looking online, but you keep coming up in my search results.

Bottom line: Are you in LA?

Unknown said...

So my LO is 17 months. She had negative skin prick test to milk,eggs and peanuts. But she has had reactiond to all 3. The allergist sent us for RAST testing and all 3 came back positive. Not high results but still results. We now have to do the food challenge for all 3. Is it a nightmare with a toddler?

Gab said...

Mandy, I haven't done a food challenge with B. Best of luck to you - i'm so happy you get to challenge. I sincerely hope she can tolerate them - that would be awesome!!!