Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On Allergies and Day Care

Early in the morning we ventured to the pediatrician.  It's a little office with the typical "well baby" and "plague creepy" waiting rooms.  On the germ side, a real fish tank keeps the unfortunately afflicted entertained.  The temporarily healthy (and hoping to keep it that way) side has a digital fish tank to occupy the wait.  Pretty hand crafted quilts of nursery rhyme stars adorn the walls.  Magazines are [strategically] stern about the space beckoning would-be readers with enticing taglines. The diversions matter not, as Ya knows what is waiting when his name is called, his clothes are removed, and the door is closed behind the nurse.  SHOTS!

Today, Chi had her physical scheduled.  She's not required to take it, but I erred on the side of caution and mentioned on her Before and After Care registration that once-upon-a-time she got a rash after eating about a pound of peanuts.  Seriously, though, no one eats a pound of peanuts regularly, and she's never had a reaction while sucking off the salt on the things (and putting them back like all the cool kids do). 

At the time she was probably four (maybe five) and the pediatrician decided to issue us a prescription for an Epi-pen Jr. and flagged her file.  She was listening attentively to the doctor when he said allergies can begin mild but at any moment can get tremendously worse - dangerous even - without notice.  Her eyes widened then, and I think she was immediately thinking death by peanut was hardly worth the indulgence.  Then, like now, she self advocates. She's a smart child, and avoids all things peanut (while indulging in the occassional tree nut or cashew that her grands keep stocked in their house).

I thought the daycares had a "no nut" protocol due to the high prevalence of nut allergies.  I was wrong.  It seems that because she was "itchy" three or so years ago, I'm required now to see an allergist.  I'm required to refill the Epi-pen prescription (expensive!).  And I'm required to file a "permission to treat" order with the daycare on the first day of school or she can't be cared for.  While I love that my child's best interest is at heart here, where was this policy last year or the year before when she had the same diagnosis and was at the same daycare?  Then, you warned of the allergy so that the care giver avoided or minimalized her contact with the allergen and that was all.  Now she has to have drugs available? 

So I'll be refilling the prescription (while tossing the unused expired prescription in the trash) reluctantly.  And Chi has been reaffirmed that peanuts=death by her new pediatrician (new to the office and we love her mannerisms!). 

Oh, and tomorrow we return for Ya's appointment - his 24 month Well Baby appointment.  This is bad news... I'd told Chi we were only getting her physical, but apparently they missed a shot at her school entrance appointment two years ago... actually, she got the first dose but no one scheduled the follow-up.  Well, Ya watched Chi get her booster shot today (big girl winced but did not cry) and I know he remembers the evil nurses wield pointed "hurts."  It should be interesting [insert: a workout] trying to get him back into the room to strip down, sit on the crinkle paper, and allow the doctor to do his thing.

He did all of the required check up mimicking just fine today...

First, attempting to strip down to the "bear" essentials (ie: nearly nothing)
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Then, checking his weight and height
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And finally, destroying the crinkle paper they use to protect the examination table's plastic.
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I must remember:
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Chi is now in the 25th percentile for height and weight, weighing only 51 pounds and standing 48 inches tall. (She was distrubed that the extra inch happend post-Disney).  She'll be in her booster chair until she's 80 pounds, which might not go over well if she doesn't hit that weight before her teens.

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