Ugh. So much to think about and figure out. Poor Karter.
Today we had his allergy appointment. It went fine, a bit long, but oh well. They did the skin prick tests on him, and he didn't cry at all. The things I thought he might be allergic to, he wasn't. Soy, wheat, almonds, fine. Milk--yes, kind of. And walnuts, hmm, didn't expect that one. But, the problem is that for it to be a true allergy the prick welt has to be 3 mm. Well, they were only 2mm -and his control histamine prick was only 2mm and that should have been bigger, because everyone reacts to that. I remember getting mine done and I had huge welts on my arms. His were tiny, yes he's smaller, but his body should have showed more reaction.
So, what does that mean? That the skin test isn't as accurate, for him at least, and that we aren't getting a good read on it. They now want blood work done to look at the positive ones more in-depth and see how it looks that way. Mostly they're just going to test the milk and walnut, maybe one or two more. Negative is negative, so the ones he didn't react to, are not an issue. That's good to know, I don't have to worry about wheat or soy or other nuts, etc. anymore.
I don't like doing blood work in babies. It's terrible. So I have to gear myself up to doing that this week. Joy of joys.
The doctor was very interested in his reflux. Asked a lot of questions about it, and some things I hadn't thought about lately because I'm not seeing so much of the symptoms anymore. But, he wants Karter on Prevacid for one month to see if reflux is at the heart of a lot of his growth/weight issues, as well as his eating issues, like his late interest/disinterest in foods. (well he's very interested now, he'll even eat dog food, ha!) I'm not sure how I feel about this. I need to do some more research on it. I asked about GI testing, but I already know the tests, and he confirmed that's what they'd do--barium swallows, endoscopy, and pH probes--all very invasive, NOT fun tests, very uncomfortable for babies especially. He thinks it's the least invasive way to go and see if it works, if not then he'll stop taking it right away. We'll talk about it and figure that out.
I kind of thought the reflux was almost gone. I've seen some symptoms here and there, especially if I have spicy foods or lots of dairy. Part of that is because he is upright and mobile, and a belly sleeper. Lots of symptoms appear more obvious when the baby is younger, and flatter, etc. I don't want to just give him medicine just because, just to see. But, part of me is wondering if that might still be an issue. He's still got symptoms of the 'silent reflux': he's a major thumb-sucker, he still wakes several times at night to nurse, nursing is the only thing that soothes him sometimes (all those things can point to reflux because the sucking and the swallowing of the liquid and saliva can soothe the esophagus if it's burning) there are still times he's crabby and crying and I find myself saying "I just don't know what's wrong, what?!", spitting up is gone, except when I've ingested a lot of dairy and/or spicy foods, or he has, occasional hoarse voice, coughing, hiccups (more than typical babies) and the weight loss/slow gain. Before he rarely could eat very much without spitting most of it up, just in the last couple months he's been able to actually nurse both sides and keep it down. Part of why he's grown slowly, I'm sure.
And, I forgot to tell the allergist, because I actually wondered if I helped cause his diarrhea/vomiting episode, as I had eaten a TON of dairy those few days as he started getting sick. We're talking, pizza, cheesecake, cheese, dips, desserts, pudding, etc. stuff I don't usually eat, or take in very small quantities of, as not to bother him. When he started throwing up that night, I thought it was from that, then it kept getting worse. The ped said it could be from an allergy since no one in the family got the "virus" he had for 2 weeks.
So I guess we will see what the blood work says. I don't know though, really, how's it going to help us? I already removed dairy, or it's at a bare minimum. I eat things with walnuts but Karter doesn't yet. Other family members with dairy allergies/sensitivities, including myself, outgrew them, and I'm sure he will too. Part of me wonders, why bother with the testing then? Why not just avoid these things like I have been? Obviously it's not a severe, need an epi-pen type of allergy thing. Perhaps the prevacid would help, perhaps he'd be more comfortable. I don't want to shun the medicine and make him suffer needlessly, if that could be an issue still. There were nights I'd crush up a tums and give it to him because the acid reflux was bothering him so much.
Part of me wants to have testing done to see if the reflux is still happening (I'm sure it is) at what intensity, but I really, really do not want to put Karter through those tests. I had so many clients deal with those and it's pretty awful. Allergist says it's the lesser of two evils and he's had good responses with it. So, I'll do some research and make a decision on that in the next few days. As for the Failure to thrive label, hooey. I don't care, don't buy it, he's a bit small and lost weight when sick, oh well. He's thriving and doing awesome in every other way. Well, except the poor blonde mullet, but that's another story =)