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As anyone dealing with allergies will tell you, there are certain times of the year that you really wish didn’t happen. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you wish you had a fast forward button so that you could skip them!

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Well, we’ve just had that time of the year.

It sounds a tad dramatic doesn’t it! Sorry about that, but I do mean it though!

Every year, for the past 3 years, the same thing happens at the beginning of September.

I officially hate this time of year!

A strong statement maybe, but sadly true!


It’s this time of year that I have to stop Callum’s anti itching meds, and start to prep him for having his repeat allergy testing in hospital.

Now, Callum is a brave soldier, and always takes it in his stride. But as he gets older he becomes much more aware of what’s going on, remembers how things feel, the pain they cause.

I looked at this year’s round of allergy testing much the same as last year.

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A necessary evil for us to have to get through. It has to be done, there’s no doubt about it. We need to know whether things are changing for the better, or for the worse, so that we can alter Callum’s diet accordingly.

Each year we have a smidgen of hope that things will have improved in some areas, so that we can start to reintroduce things to his diet.

Realistically it’s highly unlikely that this will happen as his allergies are on the severe side of things, but hey, positive thinking and all that.

So this year, after being asked many times about what happens at these allergy tests, I asked Callum how he felt about us ‘writing a story’ about it. He was quite happy for photos to be taken, and smiled and gave me the thumbs up when we started the process.

I had planned on writing a really positive, upbeat piece, about how allergy testing really isn’t so bad, but it quickly became apparent that fate had other plans last week!

One thing to remember before I go on, Callum knows the medical team really well now, they’ve been caring for him since he was 16 months, and they know how he reacts to stuff. He feels safe with them, and I am confident in their care.

We started by having someone taking photos of his arms and hands before testing, so that a ‘true’ picture could be given throughout the process.

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Then we moved on to the numbers correlating to the allergies being tested, written on his arm.

He quite likes this bit, as, in his words ‘it tickles mummy!’.

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So far, so good!

Then comes the not so great bit.

Ok, who am I kidding, it’s the painful bit!

You start by dropping a bit of the histamine control solution – quite frankly it’s a bitch of a test this one. Without any antihistamine drugs in you, it very quickly becomes ridiculously itchy, to the point of painful, and makes you feel beyond uncomfortable.

And that’s just how an adult feels.

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Imagine a young child going through that!

And then, the skin needs to be scored, to pierce it, so that the skin is broken. Sounds a tad barbaric doesn’t it!


Then came peanut……

Usually this causes a quick, strong, and immediate large hive in Callum.

It certainly did that this time, and then some!!

It swelled immediately!

Normally, Callum can deal with it.

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This time, he screamed in such pain, it was heart-breaking to witness and hear. I was having to hold his little arm down, and cuddle him so tight, so that the rest of the test could be completed, the whole time, with him in a lot of pain, his arm swelling, and still with the other testing taking place – and he reacted to them too!

I swear, this poor kid is such a brave soldier.

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He goes through utter hell with his allergies, he really does!

Normally he never ever complains, but this was just too much for him to be able to deal with, and I can’t say I blame him!

Once all the tests had been administered, we were sent out to the waiting room to wait the 15 minutes to allow the tests to work.

Callum was beside himself by this point, and even with bribery of his favourite dairy free chocolate buttons, he was still sobbing.

My poor brave boy!

I felt ridiculously guilty!

The medical team were sufficiently concerned to come and check on him regularly throughout the 15 minute wait.

Thankfully, we managed to calm him down, and the reaction didn’t progress any further, but it was an incredibly sobering experience.

Amazingly, he was fine when they were measuring the size of the welts on his arm, and even managed to crack a smile!

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This reaction was simply to a SPT, no ingestion, and it was the worst reaction to a SPT to date.

None of his food allergies have changed, they are still all there, at the same levels as always, although peanut appears slightly higher. He is still severely allergic to all forms of dairy, all forms of nut, wheat, tomato, strawberry, and more!

They forgot to do egg, as it appeared negative last year. I’ve always queried it as a false negative, and upon testing this time round, which they did during the review of the rest of the testing, Callum reacted immediately to it, so egg is still most definitely a no go!

Now, I ummed and ahhhed for a long time over whether to share this post.

I had every intention as I said before about it being upbeat and a way of showing it’s not so bad to have allergy testing done. But actually, it’s educational, and shows that sometimes, reactions can happen when under controlled situations, and it’s a reality of the allergy world that we all live in.

As for Callum and his recovery, he slept the whole way home from the hospital, only waking when I stopped at the shops en route to buy him a new toy car for his incredible bravery. It definitely helped to cheer him up.

But, it did take 2 days for him to recover from the reaction, and he was exhausted during this time, and with purple shadows under his eyes!


0 # Guest 2015-09-08 22:32
I am in floods of tears after reading your story My heart is broken at the moment as all my little girls allergies are unfolding the list is getting longer by the week. She is now twenty months. I am still breastfeeding so stick to the same diet for her. Life is so hard I feel every day is a battle to get through it with no reactions, I am so terrified to feed her different foods my nerves are in bits with it all I don't know how to get through
Some days the responsibility to keep your child safe while letting them live a normal life is so hard to balance. I am praying it gets easier reading your post doesn't look like it that's y my tears could fill the bath, for your little boy and my little girl and every other child with this crazy life changing disorder. I keep telling myself it's not the end of the world but then my other part of me says what if it was. I am living in fear constantly and I am so sad for my little girl she's only so small yet she's gone through so much already she looks so perfect and then she reacts to something out of the blue so quickly it all changes her eye swells hives crying sneezing and what's worse some times we don't know what had caused it. So sorry to rant on don't really have anyone to talk to nobody understands how frightened I feel. Just want my child to be healthy happy and live a normal life. I think your little boy was so brave doing a story like that, wish there was some way to show how much I think he was amazing and very special. If you can think of anyway maybe if he had his own message page so people could tell him how they think he's brave and a little star for allowing all those photos to be taken of him when he was suffering just to help other people if not can u tell him that's what people think he is fantastic and a true star and thank you for helping other people to brave mum xxx
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0 # The Intolerant Gourmand 2015-09-08 22:56
God bless you Hun! I totally understand what you're saying, totally and utterly! I've been there! The despair of not knowing which way to turn. The fear of what the hell will happen next. Being scared of falling asleep incase the next day isn't any better...... And the middle of the night is worst, right!? The rest of the world is sleeping, while you watch your precious bundle itching and scratching away in restless sleep, and wishing you could make them better, take their place....anything to stop their suffering!
I totally 'get it'!
I promise you, it might not seem it right now, but it does get better! You will figure out all her triggers, so that you can avoid them and enable her body to recover! It seems daunting now, but we've reached that point, and the difference in Callum is incredible!
Please don't apologise for letting it all out, it's healthy to do so, and you will always find a welcoming shoulder and listening ear here!!
Big hugs xxx
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0 # Guest 2015-09-10 00:59
Just read your message thank u so much for taking the time to reply to me the flood gates have opened again it's the only time I get to cry late at night so not to show the children the hurt it causes seeing your baby suffer, I'm glad to know I'm not alone and going mad or over the top of how I feel as sometimes other people make me feel I'm worrying over nothing the knots in my stomach it's like being told bad news over and over again when I think of her with all theses allergies I feel physically sick and yes the middle of the night is the worst time all the events of the day come crashing down and my baby sleeps or try's to sleep with me my husbands on the sofa so I watch her like a hawk as u say the itching the wheezing the reflux its heartbreaking and the times I've prayed for it to be me instead it's like you have read my mind. She had a endoscopy last week and they put her to sleep in my arms but it was so much worst because of her allergies the risk was so much higher it frightened me to death I was a wreck soon as she come round I felt better but I kept thinking something was going to happen to her I am living in so much fear at the moment. They have taken her blood again to test for a longer list of things they have taken it several times and always something went wrong insufficient amount, once they lost it. She hasn't had much luck they confirmed dairy at 6 months old from big reaction the other things have been along the way now avoiding so much its crazy. Sorry ranting on again but appreciate communicating with somebody who has gone through it as nobody I know really understands even my works doctor said its not the end of the world if she can't have an ice cream the words have stuck like a knife a qualified doctor he has no clue. I am really just ranting on now I am so sorry. But thank you so much from the bottom of my heart you message sending me a hug was really appreciated more than u know as I feel so alone if I cry in front of my husband he thinks I need to appreciate the good things and not focus on the negative he says things like look at the people in that plane accident they have really lost somebody so I see where he is coming from and I have to pull myself together but sometimes I just need to feel sad to get through the next day and cope with what it will bring the consultant said I have to get use to the idea of using the epi pen but even when I say that I can't except the fact that she may need me to inject her with adrenaline I can't get my head round it. That's when I feel like I have been punch in the Stomach it's like I'm in a dream I have to pinch my self and say inject my baby with adrenaline because if I don't she could die and then my legs go like jelly and I feel sick. Am I going crazy is this normal am I being over the top I just wish it would all go away but it won't I know I am a mum and have to be strong for my children and I try to b strong in front of them but there are cracks showing I'm just not the same person I use to be. Oh I'm going for gold award ranting on tonight I sorry if u are still reading this don't blame u for giving up. It has taken the edge off my heightened emotions tonight so thank u and sorry. Your cheesecake looks so good u r soooo good to post all these things and actually make them I need a leaf out of your book. Thank u x
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0 # Guest 2015-09-09 18:18
[…] was pretty stressed in the lead up to the latest round of allergy testing, and when I’m stressed, my creative side goes into […]
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0 # Guest 2015-09-12 00:01
Little man.. He is so brave, isn't he? Well done to you for not letting it all be done without questioning egg. It is better to test with a SPT rather than giving him egg at home, assuming it is safe, and end up with a poorly boy. His peanut allergy seems to be incredibly severe. I really feel for him. He is lucky to have such a strong, determined mummy. xxxx
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0 # Guest 2015-10-21 11:55
Wow, I totally get it, you do try to be upbeat. It's only once a year?I hear you though--the last time my son had his tests (on his was interesting to see your son's was on his arm), it was actually ok but then there's the part about how they feel once those allergens are on them. I remember my son just wanted to crawl out of his skin, minutes of waiting felt like hours. And then the drugs to get them off are no fun either. Then the blood tests. It's a tough day all around. We did a food challenge a few months later--and I thought that would be easy/breezy too--and no- that "fail" was probably the single worst day ever...the things we and our kids need to endure for having this issue, nobody really understands. Stories like yours help get the word out, thanks to you and Callum for sharing!
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0 # Kris 2016-01-08 22:49
I sympathise. I really do. My son had his a couple of days before Christmas and every year he and I are hopeful that his will reduce and he will be able to do a challenge. But they haven't yet. His reactions aren't as high as your sons by the looks of things, but most were about 9-10mm. The histamine one caused him great discomfort and he only stopped scratching because I pulled his tops down and the nurse said she would have to do them all again if he contaminated them. It's so hard thoug...always so hopeful, and always we leave disappointed...but try to be upbeat! I hope you have mOre luck next time. Fingers crossed. Xx
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0 # Donna 2016-01-11 11:28
I was in tears reading that. My little boy has to have a repeat test done before he starts full time school this September and I am not looking forward to it. I was told by our consultant that the size of the whelt doesn't show how bad a reaction or allergy is. What was you told? I hope our boys grow out of those they can xxx
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