Friday, October 30, 2009

Noah's big Adventure

Noah had an adventure yesterday at the Allergist. We had been trying to get him in to the Allergist and were relieved when they called Wednesday to see if we could come in for a cancellation the next day. Our concern was that he seemed to be allergic to something. He was constantly rubbing his eyes, coughing at night and in the morning, sniffing his nose, and itching his throat. They asked if he had any history of asthma. We said no, and we were not really concerned with any tests for asthma since our main concern was his apparent allergies. I was very interested to see what he was so allergic to.

Here is the best 'before' picture of him. He was all jazzed when we got there. He jumped up on the table and took a good look around.

The Medical Assistant took us into another room for all the preliminary tests and vitals. He was interested in the blood pressure machine, but didn't really like the squeezing, which he said made his arm hurt.

This was one of his favorite parts. He got to choose his own mouthpiece, and take it home!

Here he is blowing out 'computer candles.' I was a little surprised that on the 3 tries, he was not able to blow out all the candles on any of them.

Then began the waiting. When we came in, we got lots of funny looks for all of the things we brought. I was told it could take 2 to 2 1/2 hours for the appointment, so I came prepared. We brought Noah's DS (handheld game player) and all of our games, my Ipod, on which I had downloaded some of his favorite PBS shows, his home reading book from school, our reading lesson book, my knitting, and a myriad of snack foods.

Then, it was time to see the doctor. We were very pleased with Dr. Jacobs, who was a new doctor to us. I had read about him online, and was happy to see that his demeanor was icing on the cake of his qualifications. Noah happily shed his shirt, and hopped up on the table for Dr. Jacobs to listen to his chest.

Next came the allergy testing. He was already nervous about this part because we had tried to explain it to him in the most innocuous yet honest way possible. We had told him that he would get little scratches with each of the allergens on his back. What we didn't tell him is that there would be 40 of them. Or that it would hurt like the dickens by the end. Or that he wouldn't be able to touch them, and whatever he was allergic to would make him itch like there's no tomorrow.

Then, the tears began. This was so hard for me and for him.

So sad. Then, he had to lay still for 10 minutes before she could read the results. He calmed down quickly when we read a book that required him to find things on the pages. He loves to read, but it took some convincing at that moment.

A close-up of the results: The far left is the control histamine, which everyone should be allergic to. The next red spot is one kind of dust mites--bigger than the control histamine! Next to that is another kind of dust mites. The far right red spot is cats. That was new news to us, but should not be surprising considering my allergy to cats could hospitalize me if the exposure was long enough.

This is after we wiped off the ink and histamines from his back. Still red and itchy.

Even though I predicted that he would have some allergies, he had nowhere near as many as I had thought. We had already known that he was allergic to dust mites since his pediatrician had done a blood test for that not too long ago. But, I figured he would have more allergies to other things.
Then, came the surprise. Finally, after 3 hours of testing, Dr. Jacobs' diagnosis for Noah? Asthma. I had always thought of asthma as wheezing unpredictably, uncontrollably, and often with exercise. I had no idea that many of the symptoms Noah has been experiencing have been because of asthma. So, he got a baseline chest x-ray (which he thought was very cool), and 5 different medications. We are going to try them for now to see what works well, then have another appointment in 2 months to re-evaulate. So, 2 different inhalers, anti-histamine, nasal spray, and anti-histamine eye drops. $100 in co-pays later, he is already doing a lot better. Very little coughing today. We gutted his bedroom today, got an encasing cover for his mattress (we already had one for his pillow), got rid of all the stuffed animals, and practically boiled all his bedding. We are so thankful to know what has been going on with him for the past 6-8 months. We know this will improve now.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

He looks so tiny sitting on the exam table. What a big week for Noah! Tell him Aunt Hannah loves him!