Utah hates us. I actually really like it here, so this makes me sad. First, we found out the reason my son gets a blotchy red face, itchy eyes and a runny nose when we visit our friends here is because they happen to primarily grow the ONLY DANG GRASS TO WHICH HE IS ALLERGIC. That’s right. So day 1 we had to start him on medicine for seasonal allergies. Everyone assures me he will be fine one the grass dies….you know, when it’s too cold to keep things alive. TOO COLD TO KEEP THINGS ALIVE. *deep breath*
So now, a week after my husband left us to go back to work, we are all sick.
Since my 3 year old licks the rail going up to our second floor apartment, getting sick normally wouldn’t be a shock, but this very activity is one of many that probably contributes to her ironclad immune system. We call her “the tank.” Apparently her luck ran out and when she got a whopper of a snotty nose, my son soon followed. She is, of course, already feeling better and bouncing around. I, on the other hand, get sick once every other year (outside my migraines) and have been 34 different temperatures today and embarrassed myself by laying my face on the cool granite counter at the doctor’s office because it felt soooooo good.
I had some serious mixed feelings about our doctor today as I wanted to hate him for making me get out of my pajamas and drive to his office, plus go to Target and fill a prescription while every part of my body ached (I even picked up a fever reducer for myself, which tells you how dire shape I am in at the moment). The other part, the part that won, was thankful that he didn’t want to take any chances of me dosing my son with his poison (peanut) without knowing how badly he was sick. Fortunately, it’s just a cold and we should be fine with some extra precaution.
This is not the first time I have had to contact the doctor outside our regularly scheduled appointments. Sunday morning (I felt horrible interrupting his Sunday) I texted to let him know my son had experienced an upset stomach and sore throat for two morning doses. Within 5 minutes there were followup questions and a slight adjustment in timing, and we were back in the game. This is precisely why we chose this doctor. He’s available to his patients in case of any side effects of OIT, he’s reliable and he’s knowledgeable.
I have been vague with names on this blog, mostly to protect my children, even though most of you reading this know us personally, but also about our doctor’s identity. I wasn’t so sure he wanted to be associated publicly with me, since I tend to use some colorful language. I must say, I’ve done a pretty damn good job lately, though, of keeping it clean. Our allergist in Utah is Dr. Douglas Jones with Rocky Mountain Allergy and Asthma. Even though moving 650 miles from my husband, parents and friends isn’t the easiest thing in the world, I would have chosen to move to be under the care of this doctor even if someone in Arizona magically began doing OIT because I have faith in this guy. He is offering this program so that my son and I, and all the allergy families, can have a life – not be held hostage by a food allergy. He is not in it for the accolades or praise, though I hope he takes a great deal of pride in what he does for all of us.
We have more prescriptions on hand right now than we have filled in all of my son’s six years combined, but I have trust in Dr. Jones who has gotten so many patients through this process. Honestly, I would rather medicate a little than stress daily about an accidental peanut exposure. It’s my son’s life at stake and my job is to keep him safe. Every day we dose him without reaction, he is that much safer than the day before.
Our first day of actual treatment was last Thursday. On that first day, they pushed my son’s little body by dosing every 15 minutes. By the end of the day, he made it to his goal! So that is the dose he is on twice a day until his next appointment, a week later. (This will actually get pushed back a few days until his cold is gone). He is a brave boy, who took it like a champ! Our biggest obstacle now is that they mix the dose in Kool-Aid which is HFCS and food dye, two things he never consumes, and therefore, he is a bit crazed. Also, getting used to our new normal has taken time – dose 9 to 15 hours apart, low activity 30 minutes prior and two hours after, no sleeping for one hour after dosing. It’s easy when we are home, but when we go out with friends for dinner (thank goodness for other families here in Utah in the same boat! We have dosing buddies!) I have to really plan out carefully. I’m sure in a few weeks it will all be natural and I won’t have to remind him to calm down after his dose so many times.
Despite Utah seeming to have it in for us (why do I get the feeling it will be a particularly snowy winter now?), we have enjoyed our time here and are looking forward to Fall quite a bit. We can’t wait to explore the area more once we are feeling better. The mountains all around us are glorious and the rain our first week was welcome after how hot and dry we were in Arizona. The Target stores and Starbucks are hit or miss, but really…you can’t have everything.