told by allergist to \"let it go\"

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 2:51pm
sacena's picture
Joined: 07/31/2006 - 09:00

My son saw his allergist today. As mentioned in previous posts, he has had 2 contact reactions, one in May, one in July. May was in school after sitting at a table with children who had eaten peanut butter; the second at a supermarket after handling a shopping cart. I believed he was having some psychosomatic symptoms after the second episode because the poor thing was scared. His symptoms were itchy tongue, feeling like his throat was closing, and chest tightness, along with "just feeling different".

Before I even mentioned the psychosomatic symptoms to the doctor, he said, "just let it go". He does not believe my son's reactions were from peanuts! I asked him to explain why the school nurse saw that his throat was swollen along with his eyelids and why did it happen while sharing supplies with kids who had eaten peanut butter. His response "I don't know, but I do not believe it was peanuts". He said if he ate a Reeses cup, I would feel different. He does not believe a reaction would be caused by peanut residue. He said there could be an earthquake, it doesn't mean this building would fall down. Some would, but this one might not!?? He said, "I could probably go to his room tonight while he is sleeping and open a jar of peanut butter or rub some on his arm as long as he didn't eat it, and he would be fine".

He said that I should give him Benadryl when he says his throat is closing and "let it go". I said, "I should give Benadryl and wait until he has trouble breathing to give him the EpiPen"? He said "No, he won't have trouble breathing unless he eats peanuts".

He kept saying to my husband "you agree with me right?" My husband half agreed. I agree that my son has some anxiety over the allergy, but I absolutely do not agree with this doctor! I spent 4 years trying to get my husband to realize how serious this allergy is. When my son had the 2 reactions, my husband finally realized the danger. Now, this doctor tells him otherwise!

Please someone tell me if am I out of line here or is this doctor a complete idiot? Does anyone out there understand where this doctor is coming from? If you see his point, please fill me in. I left the office in tears.

Also, I asked for him to be tested since he hasn't been tested in 2 years. He said no need to be tested. We know he is allergic. The tests would be positive again. Just don't feed him peanuts or tree nuts. I am usually not this critical of people and I have never argued with a doctor in my life until now. [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 3:06pm
Daisy's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

Many >>>Hugs<<< to you!
ARGGHH! Just like with Peds, Allergists can be cut from different cloth. Some are aware, some are not. Sounds like yours is one of the latter. Time to go shopping. (Do you know anyone else w/ PA or MFA in your area? Better to have a referral from a parent, than hit or miss.)
BTW, I saw my Allergist after an inhalant reaction earlier this year. It was mild but scared me, just the same. I asked him, "Is this real? Or is it just anxiety?" He said, "There is quite a bit of anxiety that comes into play with any allergic reaction."
Your son needs to know that you believe him, no matter what. Even if his anxiety is flaring (with good reason, I might add), some allergic symptoms can last *for several days* following a reaction. This is why they often advise Benadryl/steroids for several days.
It sounds like your Allergist has labelled you and your son.
So sorry,

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 4:59pm
gw_mom3's picture
Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

I agree-find a new allergist. My dd's allergist TOLD us to stay away from people eating nuts/peanut. He told us that he had several patients that reacted from residue/traces/smell at school (all kids-he's a pediatric allergist). He also wrote a letter for us to give my inlaws that said to keep her away from residue-they didn't listen but we just quit going there for holidays and get-togethers. Anyway I wouldn't trust your allergist.

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 9:34pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I would find a new allergist. This guy sounds like an arrogant, uninformed, not someone I would like treating my child!! His saying that you could put it all over him while he is sleeping is half the battle we have in educating people about the ways people can have a reaction.
I would change doctors quickly.....

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 10:38pm
turtle's picture
Joined: 12/10/2004 - 09:00

I see you are in Massachusetts. I am too. I took my son to an older well known allergist who is respected in his field. I was not impressed and ended up going to another doctor who we like much better.
When I asked the doctor about traces of nuts and calling companies, his response was "It's like the line in the middle of the road. You stay on one side of it, but sometimes you have to cross it. You don't call the highway department to make sure it is there." My first thought was-you cross the line in the middle of the road, you could get hit head on! I never went back.
Find someone else.

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 10:41pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

It is time for you find a new allergist!!! Our first one was a real jerk, but the only Ped allergist in the small town we used to live in. He actually told me that my son would probably be allergic to milk too. Which about freaked me out b/c he eats yogurt all the time. One of his main food sources. My new allergist where I live now said no allergist can predict what allergies a child will develop. Good luck to you and ALWAYS follow your mother's intuition!!!

Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2006 - 11:46pm
LisaM's picture
Joined: 11/04/2005 - 09:00

I wouldn't *necessarily* say that you need to find a new allergist . . . it depends on the overall relationship. If the allergist is generally very good on other issues, I'd stick with him. *BUT* just know that when it comes down to it, trust what you see happens to your child with your own eyes rather than listening to the dr.
there's stuff in the medical literature about severe contact reactions . . . but i think that a lot of allergists see that very small study by Sicherer & co. superseding all the previous anecdotal evidence in the literature about severe contact reactions. That isn't good science because one person's allergy is not the same as another . . . what we might have is 1000's of different levels of reactivity and each child might have a different threshhold. SO if you have a sample of, say, 20 kids you can't guarantee that they are going to be representative. (And the Sicherer article recognizes that what they found would be true for the *majority* of kids . . . the study obviously didn't recognize *all*.)
Anyways, it *is* better to have a doctor who makes conclusions more based on her/his clinical observations rather than blocking clinical observations out because they aren't attested to in the medical literature.
*But* it is really hard to find one like that. Most of them are likely to dismiss patient's concerns if it doesn't seem to match up with what they think they know from the medical literature.
I've just learned to accept that I'm not going to be happy with my doctors all the time . . .but I trust them on some things. So I research everything and try to figure out when to believe them and when not to.
(just to give a recent example in my family: father had elevated enzyme levels suggestive of major liver problems. we researched the high blood pressure meds . . .sure enough, it is a common problem with people who take these meds. Some doctors have a real block against acknowledging that medications they prescribe can cause problems. The doctor was *certain* it wasn't the meds. *But* since my father was adamant about going off them the doctor prescribed something else. The enzyme levels are now going back down and the GI doctor said it is probably the medication as nothing seems to be wrong and he is improving.)
If you go to a lot of doctor's appointments, stuff like this is just bound to happen. Thank goodness for the internet!

Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:01am
jtolpin's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

We go into BBoston - Childrens. We like our allergist, FWIW, though we're 'status quo' in our journey, so theres not much she can do for us. Email me, and Ill give you her name, if you want.
[b]* Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:10am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Well. I'm more concerned about the effect this allergist's words are going to have on your husband. [img][/img]
I think the difficulty all along is that contact and airborne reactions may not be reported as often as ingestion reactions - although truth be told, I don't know what Anaphylaxis Canada does with the information when I do report a reaction.
I would find a new allergist and more importantly, I would trust your *gut* instinct.
I can't even begin to imagine a doctor saying something about coming into my child's room with peanut butter. [img][/img] However.
Best wishes! [img][/img]
If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk up to heaven and bring you back home with me.

Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 12:59am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I agree with CSC. You have just had an "expert" express that you and your son are both just imagining things... [img][/img] In fact, this was contributed to real marital woes during the two or so years when everyone thought [i]I[/i] was making it up... or "looking" for a problem that wasn't there. It took time for our allergist to get on board, but he was [i]never[/i] as obnoxious as yours.
In my own experience, until you [i]see it with your own eyes[/i] you tend to be very very skeptical, especially of aerosol triggered reactivity. Because it is rare among allergies.
But the other concern I have is that not only is this allergist creating problems within your family, he is not going to be any help to you with school issues whatsoever. He may even be undermining you when you need his help most.
Find a new allergist. Your son deserves to be treated seriously. [i]HE[/i] is the real expert on his own allergy, and I'm shocked that your allergist doesn't see it that way.

Posted on: Wed, 08/16/2006 - 1:16am
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I don't like how he was trying to get your dh on his side. Weird. I emailed you. Wondering who you see! Wondering if I have the same allergist or not!


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