The Shrimp

January 28, 2009

Olivia had an appointment with her allergist yesterday for a shrimp challenge.    We headed off to the city shortly after Sarah left for preschool and Olivia was delighted to get to sit in Ya-Ya’s car seat for a change of scenery.  We stopped at Costco for a quick shopping trip (which is never less than $300) and a potty break, then got to the allergist’s by noon.  We were his first appointment after lunch, so got right in.  He was impressed with how much she’d grown since we saw him in April and how beautiful her skin is now.  It’s still a bit dry, so we will continue to lube her up with eucerin a couple of times a day, but she does not have the patches of eczema that have plagued her most of her life anymore.    He was glad to hear that she has outgrown her reflux and that we have weaned her off her Prevacid.  He was surprised that we still have not heard from the GI specialist (she was referred in July) and when I told him that we were told it is a 10-12 month wait, he said he had sent it as an urgent referral.  

We talked about her penecillin reaction over New Year’s and he is going to challenge it in July.  He was slightly concerned that she’s lost 5 lbs since switching from Alimentum to Rice Milk in November, but we will keep an eye on it and as long as she doesn’t lose any more, that is fine.  (She was chunky and off-the-charts for growth before, so now she just looks more normal.)

He did a skin prick test with raw shrimp, and decided to test her for some environmental things at the same time – cats, dogs, dust mites & mould.  When reading the results, he asked, “Do you have any cats or dogs in your home?”  When I said no, he replied, “Well don’t get any!”  The other three were negative so we proceeded with the shrimp challenge.  

Olivia took one look at the shrimp in the cup and said, “NO!”  I begged, bribed & coerced her, but to no avail.  I finally ended up holding her down and putting it in her mouth.  She ate most of it, but spit part of it out on the floor.  We went back out to play while we waited for the next piece, and the woman who was having a tree-nut challenge with walnuts started to have an anaphylactic reaction to the very first piece they gave her.  

She had picked the walnut crumb (they literally start with a crumb) up with her index finger & thumb and put it inside her right cheek.  She then touched her other hand with her fingers and her hand looked like it had been burned in those two spots.  Her tongue went numb and her cheek and hand swelled up in a matter of moments as she started to itch.   It was scary, yet fascinating to watch, as her allergist was right there and she was looked after swiftly and efficiently.  We had been talking before the challenges started, so had already developed a rapport, so it was interesting for me to hear her describe, as an adult how she was feeling since Olivia can’t do that for me yet! (Her challenge was obviously called off, but she was still there under observation when we left.)

When it came time for Olivia to go into the room and have her next piece of shrimp, she refused again.  She cried and screamed & threw a proper two-year-old tantrum, crying so hard she started to cough & gag & turn red.  Since those are all signs of a reaction, the challenge was called off.  Her allergist is confident enough that she is NOT allergic to shell-fish that he is comfortable with us feeding her any fish or shellfish at home.  We always have her epi-pens close by anyway!

Our next challenge is dairy, scheduled for April 7th.  We will try to get her to drink plain milk, but her allergist told us we might want to bring along some peanut & egg free ice cream “just in case”…


2 Responses to “The Shrimp”

  1. Destiny Says:


  2. […] the original post:  The Shrimp « Is this a Boarding House or Something? Share and […]

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