I apologize for my tardiness with this post- As part of a series on “Atopic” afflictions, here is our long promised update that still isn’t current (think early last year, and you’ll have the time frame just about right).
Here we go-
Coming away from the doctor after Levi’s first allergic reaction to food (scrambled eggs), I didn’t understand the seriousness of Levi’s allergy, or the severity of his reaction. I was under the mistaken impression that anaphylaxis is a label assigned only when a person’s throat swells shut, or they stop breathing, and it was only later I would learn that Levi’s reaction was anaphylactic which is also defined when extremely low blood pressure does not allow the body to carry oxygen to the brain (Levi’s reaction involved a great deal of swelling and extreme lethargy, indicating very low blood pressure).
Unaware, I continued to feed him baked goods and other foods with egg and egg products. I didn’t know his eczema that I was having to treat so often was being exacerbated by his diet, or that his chronic congestion was a sign that his body could be having trouble dealing with foods I was feeding him, or that his congestion was contributing to his frequent illness. We fell into a pattern: Levi would get a cold, and it wouldn’t go away; then it would get worse. He would inevitably develop some sort of infection- sinus, ear, upper respiratory- and I’d take him in to Doc #2 ( Doc #2 entered the picture when we moved).
Doc #2 was not actually a Doc, but a very nice nurse practitioner. When we visited Doc #2 about 5 times in the first three months we lived in our new house, Levi got a new nickname: Mr Sickley. It was during one of those appointments I expressed my concern over Mr Sickley’s skin (it was cracked open, and wouldn’t close). Doc#2 was no doubt surprised at my ignorance, and taught me a new word: Atopic.
Only with this new word did I realize the scope of all things Levi- “Atopic” meant that Levi’s reflux, food allergies, and eczema were all related. Atopic was what made our Mr Sickley so sickley, and as if that weren’t enough revelation for one day, the Doc had one more warning.
Asthma was another atopic affliction. As Mr Sickley had yet to present with asthma, I counted my blessings, and added it to the list of things to worry about later. With this new revelation, we quickly secured a referral to an allergist, and hoped the specialist would lead us to the root of Levi’s troubles. We weren’t aware that research on food allergies still needs a few “pioneers,” or that the first round of tests would lead us to more questions than answers.