Update on Appointment with Allergist plus Dust Mites Question

Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2006 - 2:44am
amyd's picture
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Joined: 09/12/2006 - 09:00

Soooo we went to the allergist yesterday. It was a really good appointment. Our fears that our son has peanut allergy were confirmed but the allergist took about an hour with us just talking about managing it, answering questions, discussing testing options, etc. We ended up doing the skin prick test to know immediately what he might be allergic to as well as the RAST test for peanuts and a variety of tree nuts. He didn't seem really bent on pushing one over another, interestingly. He prescribed Epipens, gave us the info for a local support group that's forming, as well as a lot of information to take with us to read.

Anyway, for the skin test, he had scored a 2 for peanuts, dust mites, and CATS! We have 2 cats! It sounds like keeping them clean and free of dander is going to be a major project so we'll be looking for a good home for them. This is a bummer for us but worth it for Elliott's health of course.

The allergist also prescribed Zyrtec. He believes that there's a possibility that taking it now can help prevent the onset of asthma. I know little about the drug except for that it's going to cost us an arm and a leg unless we find it at a discount. Our co-pay is $40 and it looks like it only lasts for a month. Bleh.

As for the dust mites, it sounds like having a HEPA vacuum cleaner will help keep things cleaner. If any of you have experience with these I'd love to hear your recommendations. We have a pretty cheap vac right now. We have hardwood floors except for in our bedroom as well as a few throw rugs. A machine that would do upholstry well would be good.

This is a little rambling but my head is still spinning from all of the new information. I'm really glad I was able to find this board before the appointment or I think I would have been even more overwhelmed. Thanks for any info/insight you have at this point!

Amy

Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2006 - 7:23am
PennMom's picture
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Joined: 08/01/2006 - 09:00

Sorry to hear that your son has peanut allergy, my daughter had a severe peanut reaction about 2 mths ago- and we now know after testing she has PA, TNA, also garlic and oranges (although she has never reacted to those two).
As far as vacuums we got the dyson ball- we absolutely love it on our carpeted areas- but really aren't that thrilled with it on the hardwood/tile areas. It will pick so much up off of carpet but it's a little tricky to manuever. If you have a Lowes Home Improvement (not the cheapest place but you can narrow your list down and shop around!)- we went there and they actually let us try out the vacuums first hand, also consumer reports is good to check for advantages/disadvantages.
One question for you regarding the zyrtec- could I ask how old your son is and how much/often they are suggesting the zyrtec? They just put my daughter on it because we are having mystery hives most days now- but never mentioned it might help her with avoiding asthma - she is 3 and I'm just wondering if they have you taking 1/2 tsp daily or 1 tsp daily if your son is around the same age. Thanks!

Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2006 - 12:44pm
NicoleinNH's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

EDIT
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:11am
shoshana18's picture
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Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

a great alternative to the dyson (only because it so $$$) is Vax. it has almost identical features to the dyson ball; has high allergy ratings; hepa filter, of course. the amount of fine "sand" it has picked up in our carpeting vs. our other hepa vacuum from sears (a hoover, i think) is amazing. it picks up everything -- on carpet, wood, and tile. i found it for a great price on [url="http://www.abcvacuumwarehouse.com"]http://www.abcvacuumwarehouse.com[/url]
the model is the Vax x5. and they have free shipping.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:25am
shoshana18's picture
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Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

also, i am sorry you will have to find a new home for your cats. this is a difficult thing, i know. three years ago, i said good-bye to my 8 year old golden retriever when my dd (then 5 months old) tested allergic. her eczema almost totally cleared up after and all her nasal symptoms disappeared and have never (yet -- she's almost 4) returned. you're doing the right thing for your little one, though i know how hard it is to say good-bye to those furry members of the family...
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 5:00am
amyd's picture
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Joined: 09/12/2006 - 09:00

Thanks all for the advice and support. I'll check out the Vax, that sounds interesting. I'd like something that works well on hardwood as well as carpet, especially since we'll be moving in the next year and I'm not sure what we'll be faced with in a new home. I'm really hoping that we'll find somewhere with mostly hardwood floors.
I am so sad about my cats still! It's nice to know there are others who have had to go through this. I think we'll be able to place them with a family locally. At least this way maybe I can go visit occasionally. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] The no-kill shelters in the area aren't even accepting animals right now so this will be our only way to go. That makes me feel better anyway. I think a shelter would be stressful for them probably.
Pennmom: My son is 15 months old. The doctor has him on a teaspoon daily. He's a big guy for his age, around 30 pounds. We're going to talk to the allergist about options though since it's so expensive. Either that or we'll find a cheaper source of the drug hopefully! So far it seems like he has no side effects from it.
Thanks again all,
Amy

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:22pm
JRB's picture
JRB
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Joined: 09/11/2005 - 09:00

Sorry to hear your situation. We were in the same spot. We had to get rid of our cat. It was hard to do but we found her a good home. After we got rid of her and started watching what we ate ds did get better. I did not purchase a new vacumn. I vacumned a little more often to get rid of the cat hair and then I cleaned the baseboards in the living room only.
I got rid of some of the stuff animals. We were overloaded anyway and what I wanted to keep I put in the freezer for a few days.
It really is so overwhelming. I used to read this board everyday sometimes twice a day now that I have gotten a routine down that works I check it maybe twice a week.
Good luck and find your routine and stick with it.
[This message has been edited by JRB (edited September 28, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:49pm
hopechapel's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

Sorry if this is wrong info but if your floors are hardwood -- don't you just have to damp mop? Check for sure on the efficacy of HEPA vacs for dust mites.
Also "hepa filtration" is not the same as a "true HEPA" with a sealed air system. Many of the HEPAs at Walmart do throw the dust around. (I learned this on a lead paint war my pre-PA days).
I think that the bed casings and laundering the bedclothes are pretty important.
Sorry about the allergies for your son and sorry about the kitties.

Posted on: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 5:16am
amyd's picture
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Joined: 09/12/2006 - 09:00

You're right, you need the "true hepa". The ones that really work decently for dust mites are expensive.
We have mostly hardwood floors but also have a few rugs and 2 bedrooms that are carpeted, though they aren't in DS's room. We're moving within a year and expect that we might find carpet in a new home so it would be nice if whatever we purchase can go either way decently well. Vacuuming upholstry is important for dust mite allergy too, I've learned.
The hardwood is pretty easy to clean, I have damp mopped before and without tons of cat hair around it'll be easier I imagine.
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 12:28pm
TJuliebeth's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/30/2005 - 09:00

in addition to the vacuum and the air cleaner, another thing that might help is hypoallergenic allergy covers for the matress and pillow...They carry them at Walmart...
when I needed to place a kitten I rescued awhile back, I called PetSmart to find out who the adoptable cats in the store came from...it turned out to be a local no-kill shelter who said they didn't have room for any more cats...I kind of hinted that I may be interested in getting another dog (which I will be someday) and kept them talking...it wound up they agreed to take him if I made a donation to pay for his care until he was adopted...maybe that could work for you if nothing else turns up...
there are also websites like [url="http://www.petfinder.com"]www.petfinder.com[/url] and [url="http://www.freecycle.org"]www.freecycle.org[/url] that let you post your animal and search for a suitable new owner...I have seen several animals find new homes with our local freecycle organization...
Bet you can't tell I love animals...I know from experience its painful to give up your furbabies...but you are doing the right thing, your child's health has to come first...
Wishing you the best...
Juliebeth

Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2006 - 7:23am
PennMom's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/01/2006 - 09:00

Sorry to hear that your son has peanut allergy, my daughter had a severe peanut reaction about 2 mths ago- and we now know after testing she has PA, TNA, also garlic and oranges (although she has never reacted to those two).
As far as vacuums we got the dyson ball- we absolutely love it on our carpeted areas- but really aren't that thrilled with it on the hardwood/tile areas. It will pick so much up off of carpet but it's a little tricky to manuever. If you have a Lowes Home Improvement (not the cheapest place but you can narrow your list down and shop around!)- we went there and they actually let us try out the vacuums first hand, also consumer reports is good to check for advantages/disadvantages.
One question for you regarding the zyrtec- could I ask how old your son is and how much/often they are suggesting the zyrtec? They just put my daughter on it because we are having mystery hives most days now- but never mentioned it might help her with avoiding asthma - she is 3 and I'm just wondering if they have you taking 1/2 tsp daily or 1 tsp daily if your son is around the same age. Thanks!

Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2006 - 12:44pm
NicoleinNH's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

EDIT
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:11am
shoshana18's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

a great alternative to the dyson (only because it so $$$) is Vax. it has almost identical features to the dyson ball; has high allergy ratings; hepa filter, of course. the amount of fine "sand" it has picked up in our carpeting vs. our other hepa vacuum from sears (a hoover, i think) is amazing. it picks up everything -- on carpet, wood, and tile. i found it for a great price on [url="http://www.abcvacuumwarehouse.com"]http://www.abcvacuumwarehouse.com[/url]
the model is the Vax x5. and they have free shipping.

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:25am
shoshana18's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/02/2005 - 09:00

also, i am sorry you will have to find a new home for your cats. this is a difficult thing, i know. three years ago, i said good-bye to my 8 year old golden retriever when my dd (then 5 months old) tested allergic. her eczema almost totally cleared up after and all her nasal symptoms disappeared and have never (yet -- she's almost 4) returned. you're doing the right thing for your little one, though i know how hard it is to say good-bye to those furry members of the family...
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 5:00am
amyd's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2006 - 09:00

Thanks all for the advice and support. I'll check out the Vax, that sounds interesting. I'd like something that works well on hardwood as well as carpet, especially since we'll be moving in the next year and I'm not sure what we'll be faced with in a new home. I'm really hoping that we'll find somewhere with mostly hardwood floors.
I am so sad about my cats still! It's nice to know there are others who have had to go through this. I think we'll be able to place them with a family locally. At least this way maybe I can go visit occasionally. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] The no-kill shelters in the area aren't even accepting animals right now so this will be our only way to go. That makes me feel better anyway. I think a shelter would be stressful for them probably.
Pennmom: My son is 15 months old. The doctor has him on a teaspoon daily. He's a big guy for his age, around 30 pounds. We're going to talk to the allergist about options though since it's so expensive. Either that or we'll find a cheaper source of the drug hopefully! So far it seems like he has no side effects from it.
Thanks again all,
Amy

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:22pm
JRB's picture
JRB
Offline
Joined: 09/11/2005 - 09:00

Sorry to hear your situation. We were in the same spot. We had to get rid of our cat. It was hard to do but we found her a good home. After we got rid of her and started watching what we ate ds did get better. I did not purchase a new vacumn. I vacumned a little more often to get rid of the cat hair and then I cleaned the baseboards in the living room only.
I got rid of some of the stuff animals. We were overloaded anyway and what I wanted to keep I put in the freezer for a few days.
It really is so overwhelming. I used to read this board everyday sometimes twice a day now that I have gotten a routine down that works I check it maybe twice a week.
Good luck and find your routine and stick with it.
[This message has been edited by JRB (edited September 28, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 09/28/2006 - 12:49pm
hopechapel's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2005 - 09:00

Sorry if this is wrong info but if your floors are hardwood -- don't you just have to damp mop? Check for sure on the efficacy of HEPA vacs for dust mites.
Also "hepa filtration" is not the same as a "true HEPA" with a sealed air system. Many of the HEPAs at Walmart do throw the dust around. (I learned this on a lead paint war my pre-PA days).
I think that the bed casings and laundering the bedclothes are pretty important.
Sorry about the allergies for your son and sorry about the kitties.

Posted on: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 5:16am
amyd's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/12/2006 - 09:00

You're right, you need the "true hepa". The ones that really work decently for dust mites are expensive.
We have mostly hardwood floors but also have a few rugs and 2 bedrooms that are carpeted, though they aren't in DS's room. We're moving within a year and expect that we might find carpet in a new home so it would be nice if whatever we purchase can go either way decently well. Vacuuming upholstry is important for dust mite allergy too, I've learned.
The hardwood is pretty easy to clean, I have damp mopped before and without tons of cat hair around it'll be easier I imagine.
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 09/29/2006 - 12:28pm
TJuliebeth's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/30/2005 - 09:00

in addition to the vacuum and the air cleaner, another thing that might help is hypoallergenic allergy covers for the matress and pillow...They carry them at Walmart...
when I needed to place a kitten I rescued awhile back, I called PetSmart to find out who the adoptable cats in the store came from...it turned out to be a local no-kill shelter who said they didn't have room for any more cats...I kind of hinted that I may be interested in getting another dog (which I will be someday) and kept them talking...it wound up they agreed to take him if I made a donation to pay for his care until he was adopted...maybe that could work for you if nothing else turns up...
there are also websites like [url="http://www.petfinder.com"]www.petfinder.com[/url] and [url="http://www.freecycle.org"]www.freecycle.org[/url] that let you post your animal and search for a suitable new owner...I have seen several animals find new homes with our local freecycle organization...
Bet you can't tell I love animals...I know from experience its painful to give up your furbabies...but you are doing the right thing, your child's health has to come first...
Wishing you the best...
Juliebeth

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