Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Starting the Year Off Right

Starting the new year off right

As many of you know, when Kevin hit kindergarten he began getting sick with an almost constant runny/stuffy nose in addition to lots of sinus and ear infections. It was so bad that he missed practically half of his kindergarten year being sick. I took him to Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat to have him checked and allergy tested. When the allergy tests came back negative, I was left totally frustrated and confused.

They performed a CT scan of his sinuses and it was determined he had a chronic sinus infection. Apparently they had been infected for months! Poor thing. The doctor wanted to do surgery to scrape his sinuses. NO. FRIKKIN. WAY. So we were left treating the symptoms for his 'nonallergic rhinitis' via a regimen of Singulair, Zyrtec and either FloNase or Veramyst nasal spray. He's been on that cocktail since kindergarten. Not only is it expensive, but I was convinced it was useless as it didn't seem to change much about his symptoms. He still got sinus and ear infections. He was still runny and stuffy all the time. And he still always sounded sick. That has continued through first grade up to the present with his symptoms letting up only slightly. I just knew he was allergic to something. I just knew he was.

Well, I finally got smart and decided it was time to take him for a second opinion, this time to a different group of doctors who specialize more in allergies as opposed to eye, ear, nose and throat specialists. Sooooo glad I did and now I could just kick myself that I waited so long!

allergy tested
Latest allergy tests showing positive reactions!

This past Monday we went to Carolina Asthma and Allergy (CAA) for re-testing. I never stopped suspecting he had allergies contrary to testing negative with the first group, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat (CEENT). CEENT's testing was not nearly as thorough as CAA's was on Monday. CAA tested for 56 things and Kevin showed a positive result for at least 12! At CEENT he was only tested for 16 things and they all were negative, hence the diagnosis of nonallergic rhinitis. It's such a relief to know there is a light at the end of this stuffy, runny tunnel!

I can't believe I waited so long to get a second opinion. Poor Kevin has been taking his cocktail of meds for two years or so and to not much good. As a result of his appointment on Monday, he no longer has to take Singulair and we can cut his Zyrtec use to 'as needed'. A nasal spray is still being prescribed; however it is now generic FloNase instead of the expensive Veramyst. What a money savings! We're so happy!

When I watched the test results popping up red on Kevin's back I felt so vindicated and was thrilled! I told Kevin "I told you so! I knew you had allergies!" It's hard to imagine being ecstatic your child has allergies, but I'm sure you can understand why. Now we know the underlying cause for his issues of the past two years. Kevin and I did a high five and I felt like a 100 pound weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Grasses and weeds are his main irritants which are most prevalent in spring and fall. It was so obvious to me watching him get sick during those times of year and so frustrating having someone tell me he wasn't allergic.

I definitely feel the year is starting off on the right foot. His allergy shots begin in two weeks and maybe eventually the boy will no longer sound sick nor will he be stuffed up all the time. I can't wait for that day and neither can he.

So if you have any doubts whatsoever about a diagnosis you are not comfortable with, don't just live with it. Don't hesitate as I did. Go get yourself a second opinion--ASAP! It could save you lots of money in the long run as well as give you peace of mind that you have covered all your bases regarding treatment options and diagnostic abilities. I have no doubt that had I not waited, Kevin and I both would have been breathing much easier long before now.

Until next time! Happy Wednesday to you all!


Yazmin @ A Pretty Rock said...

I really am happy to hear that they were able to pinpoint what was causing K's issues. I know it's a relief for everyone all around! And I see your wallet's included, too. ;)

Alison Kelley said...

That is so great you were able to get a second opinion and it resulted in finding out what was really going on. That doesn't always happen either! Poor Kevin, I hope he will get everything under control and manage those allergies very soon!

msbelle said...

It's unbelievable how much money we've shelled out for just those three things. And that doesn't include the copays for trips to the doctor and money for additional prescriptions when he's been sick which has been often. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and Kevin did too actually! For once, he wasn't stuffed up at the doc's office this time!

katja said...

So glad you stood your ground and went for that second opinion! Here's to a brighter year with less sniffles!



ThePeacockShop said...

Yay for Kevin having a future not being sick all the time! I must say that I had the worst allergies the whole time I lived in North Carolina, and it was rough, so I'm glad Kevin has some relief in site! Hugs to you both!

Kathy Hardy said...

Yay!!! I know how you feel..I've had allergies all my life. At least I "know" what I'm allergic too. Of course, one of them is "pet dander"...oh well :) Good luck with Kevin, Ginger! I know you are relieved!

TheGlassOnion said...

whew! I can imagine what a relief it must be to know the cause. The photo is so interesting, to see the way the test is done and what it looks like when there is a reaction.

msbelle said...

Thank you all so much for your stories and encouragement! It really makes me feel good to know we're not alone! said...

Wow, what a trial to come through. This is a good story to share, Ginger. I think I will go ahead with Pinky's second opinion, too. Her kindergarten year sounds just like Kevin's.