02 December 2010

Peanut Allergy Treatment DAY 1

A revolutionary new treatment is available for people allergic to Peanuts, Milk, Eggs and Wheat. The treatment is called Oral Immunotherapy (OIT).   
We begin today - our Food Allergy Desensitizing Day 1 is here. There are 3 patients ready to begin the treatment program. Each person has a different Food allergy- Egg, Milk, and Peanut. My son is the peanut patient.
We arrived at 8am to Dr. Wasserman's of Dallas Allergy Immunology with pillows, blankets, snacks, electronics and "to do's" in hand. The stage is set for an entire day at the doctors.
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After completing our computerized health status questionnaire we proceed for med check (height,weight, blood pressure) & then to the PFT test which Alexander FAILED in September (click here to see my "Roadblocks" post). 
Xander passed this time with 79% lung function. Not great but vastly improved. Next the physicians assistant questions Xander about his current health as he was undergoing treatment for a cough & drainage in addition to Advair for his asthma and poor lung function.
Hurray- we are deemed healthy enough and allowed to proceed.

We settle into a large room with reclining loungers along with an 18 year old teenage boy with an Egg allergy and a 10 year old boy with a Milk allergy.
Picture a small table set up in the room and a nurse armed with a timer to dispense a dose of the allergen every 15 minutes (treatment details will be provided in posts to come). Alexander is given a name tag to wear that says "PEANUT". The other 2 patients don "EGG" and "MILK" name tags. 
As a precaution each patient wears a name tag displaying his particular allergen

The dosing procedure is fully explained and we begin.

8:54 a.m. I am handed a syringe with Dose 1.  A tiny bit of peanut flour mixed with grape juice.  I hand it to Alexander and he squirts the peanut "cocktail" into his mouth.

A syringe is used for the "allergen cocktail" of peanut flour and grape juice

After a few doses Alexander "settles in for the long haul" teenager style.

The environment is comfortable especially with the teenage accouterments 

This scenario is repeated every 15 minutes like clockwork. Alexander ingests 26 doses of peanut flour mixed in grape juice with each dose increasing in strength. Very precise procedures.
The nurses regularly check to ensure each patient feels normal, no cough, itching, hives or worse.  
For more information on this treatment click here for my post "Oral Immunotherapy Frequently Asked Questions".

5pm- He made it! Ingesting all the doses with no adverse reactions
WHEW! Praise God.

Share your food allergies stories. Email your stories to salt.light.truth@gmail.com and I will post them on the blog. 

There is a world out there waiting for information, help or encouragement


Kay Wyma said...

SO glad you've started and are taking steps forward. Thanks for sharing the ride.

V Dancer said...

This was really helpful. I have CF (Cystic Fibrosis) and all of these things sound familiar to me; Advair, PFTs....etc. He had about the same numbers as I do for PFTs. How long did the total process take?

JulieBeiersdorf said...

Hi. You definitely sound like you've been down the same road. It took Alexander 2 month on Advair to bring his PFT up to a level where we could begin treatment for his peanut allergy on Dec. 2. I thought that was amazingly fast.

Tanya said...

Thanks for posting. We will be starting this summer when my son turns 5. He is all for it, me...well very nervous and scared. We too will also be seeing Dr. Wasserman.

JulieBeiersdorf said...

Dear Tanya, This is great news. We have had a wonderful and successful experience.
I am writing an update on Alexander's treatment - will post soon. Thank you for reading my blog. Hope it helps you.

Aggiejules2002 said...

My daughter is 4 1/2 and we are going in for our initial consultation in 5 months. I am so nervous but at the same time so hopeful this will give her a saftey net against the dreaded peanut. I would like to hear out your son is doing, etc.

Jules Daniels said...

I am crying because this is so wonderful.  My little girl, 15 months old, is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts (and a whole host of other things, unfortunately, but the other things like milk, wheat, eggs, etc. do not cause anaphylaxis).  As everyone here can relate to, I am terrified that at some stage she will find a granola bar of something somewhere and pop it into her mouth (as kids this age often do) and that I won't be there with the epipen.  Knowing that treatment is even possible is giving me hope.  Thank you and congratulations!

JulieBeiersdorf said...

Hi Jules. I'm so glad our blog is an encouragement to you. I agree the "hidden peanut"  is a scary reality. Please read my page called "Where is the Peanut Hiding". It reveals all sorts of crazy things to avoid. This should be helpful.. You can do many practical things to try and  protect your child. We were blessed  that our son dislikes Chocolate as that is a big danger. I advise avoiding it.I  still have trepidation about peanuts and Alexander but he has as much protection as is scientifically possible at this time. We thank God, Our Father for his tender love and mercy and provision!Lastly FYI- Dr. Wasserman can start treatment for a child I believe as early as 4 years old.I am happy to answer any questions. I wrote this blog to be a blessing to others.- Julie