Friday, March 30, 2012

In the Throws of Allergy Season in Tampa

Allergy Season - Allergy Testing - Immunity 

Allergy Season in Florida:
The height of the allergy season in Florida is 2/15/12 through 4/15/12 and then again for children in August and September.  Finn always seems to get sick in February/March and this season was no different.  First his eyes were puffy and red.   He was already on Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, and Nasonex.  We had also been doing saline spray and we started back with Tobramyacin a couple of weeks ago.

The week before last hit hard.  Poor guy had a full blown sinus infection in what appeared to transcend in 24 hours.  Eyes were swollen, low grade fever, he was frequnetly holding his head and wincing, nasty cough, and of course the never ending congestion that cannot get out on its own.

I called his allergist - she was out of town.  We saw his pediatrician and he started Finn on D-Allergy and Cipro.  Finn is essentially out of antibiotics he can take.  This is his last one before he has to get admitted to the hospital and receive them via IV.  We also saw his ENT and she agreed that based on the culture Ciprofloxin was the thing to do.  We also changed his allergy medication to a stronger medication - Singulair.

On Friday, I told Dan Finn smelled like blood to me and sure enough Saturday and Sunday he was blowing out blood.  He had to miss school for the first time (other than one day for surgery) and miss soccer on Sunday.  Camila, my child who never gets sick, had a 103.5 fever by Friday evening and was inconsolable for much of the weekend.  She ended up having flu like symptoms and a double ear infection. 

Its really scary for us when Finn gets sick like this because it is so hard for him to recover and makes us anxious that he will need another surgery to correct his problems.  He has had so many issues with his sinuses/ears.  This morning he had nasty drainage from his left ear.  His left ear is the one that had the benign tumor removed from it so it kind of has a natural ear tube right now - the ear tube being a hole from where the tumor was.  His right ear had no drainage so automatically we think that his ear tube is blocked and he will need it replaced and Dan is off to call the ENT.  It seems like a never ending cycle with him and our ENT is great but she is relatively new to Finn and hasn't seen him go through all of his this.  I think she thinks we are crazy!

It has been a rough couple of weeks of no sleep and sick babies!  The good news is that one of the best remedies is swimming in a salt water pool so we have been getting a lot of pool time in on doctor's orders.

I think we finally learned a valuable lesson that during these rough allergy months we will start Finn on something stronger than over the counter allergy medications and we will start Camila on an over the counter allergy medication at the beginning of February.  I look around and everyone seems to be having allergy symptoms even people that normally don't have allergies. 

Allergy Testing
A word of caution...if your child has had allergy testing, especially where they simply draw blood and test it, it is not always accurate - mostly false negatives.  Finn's had about 8 allergy tests by now and there are only three constants: he is allergic to peanuts, milk and cats.  Some allergy tests also show he is allergic to soy, corn, wheat, elm, eggs and dogs.  Its frustrating to no end, but we do typically go by his reactions and his last skin test.


Finn is still a little mess, but improving.  His immune system is weaker than a "typical" child's so it typically takes him longer to recover.  Finn has his immune system checked regularly and has additional vaccinations to help boost his "titers."  One thing that is frustrating is that he did just have a vaccination that is supposed to prevent him from getting sick with the exact bacteria that he is sick with.  We just did the follow up blood work to see if the vaccination worked and of didn't.  Finn has his immunology appointment in a couple of weeks and I'm interested to know why it doesn't work on him.  

Good news is only a couple of more weeks and allergy season will be past us!

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