Allergies and Asthma

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Reiss turned 2

We had a great celebration for Reiss’s 2nd birthday at the house – pony rides, petting zoo, bean bag toss, a photo booth and CAKE!  Reiss loved being around the animals and playing with her friends and family.  I didn’t take as many pictures as I would have liked. Next year I will assign that to a family member!

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Coughing and Puking

Reiss has  always had an issue with coughing and puking, and I have mentioned this in many posts in the past.  If she got too upset, she would cry, cough and puke.  If she was coughing, she would cough and puke.  If she was running around being a normal, crazy two year old, she would try to catch her breath, cough and puke.  This Spring, we started to have consistent coughing issues – we first thought it was a cold and waited for it to subside.  Then after the usual 2 weeks of cold came and went, we started to try allergy meds.  Claritin didn’t do anything and after a month of that, we switched to Zyrtec – which also did nothing. We visited our pediatrician and were given a prescription for Cingulair – which worked FANTASTICALLY! Except for the fact that there is a chance for nightmares, which Reiss ended up having. So, we stopped the Cingulair and went to Flovent – an inhaled steroid usually prescribed for COPD.  We were on 1 puff per day and it did nothing, so we stopped that.  We then tried Allegra, which seems to lessen the affects of the cough, but not really “cure” it.  Finally, we asked our pediatrician for a referral to an allergy specialist in town.

While waiting on the doctor, Reiss decided to practice her facial expressions.  I think she is pretty good at them!

(side note:  yes, she took a spill this week and bopped her chin.  It turns out that climbing counter height chairs in mud boots doesn’t work well.)

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Have you been through an allergy test? I haven’t. I had only heard about it from friends.  This is what happens.  The nurse comeskin-test-applicators in with 6 applicators (as seen to the right) with oils from 6 different common triggers on each applicator.  She marks on Reiss’s back with a regular, cheapo ball point pen to show where each allergen will be and starts applying by rolling the applicator from left to righ in the allotted areas.  I’m not sure how painful this is or isn’t, but I do know it scratches the skin enough to apply the allergen under the skin.  Reiss hated every second of that. She was screaming, crying, arching her back (making application a little harder), and shaking.  After the nurse left, I was able to calm her down with crayons and nursery rhyme videos.

It turns out that Reiss is allergic to 3 different types of weeds – including Ragweed – and also Kentucky bluegrass, with the grass being the most severe allergen. Luckily, she had ZERO reaction to dogs. Phew!  Emma and Ellie were happy about that. 🙂 We were told that Reiss has a combo of allergies and asthma. So, she was prescribed both types of medicines —Allegra – instead of the 1/4 teaspoon we were taking 2 times/day, we were told the correct dosage was 1 full teaspoon 2 times/day.  The doctor also added the inhaled Flovent 2 times/day at 2 puffs each.  And lastly, Albuterol for emergency needs as she has a coughing fit.  Starting this morning, our morning and evening routines have changed to accommodate these new medicines.  Hopefully this will reduce the coughing – whether that is from allergies or asthma – and puking.  Then maybe she’ll be able to put on more weight!!

We will go back to see how well this new regimen is or isn’t working in 3 weeks.  additionally, we are going to look at seeing a pediatric pulmonologist to make sure her lungs are functioning as they should.  We do not have an appointment until February, but are hoping to get an earlier one.  This may mean that we make a day trip to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

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Synagis shots

We were initially told that she would not qualify synagis shots again this year.  Well, I got a call from the Home Health nurse saying otherwise.  Reiss will have these shots monthly for the next 4-5 months.

Developmentally

Other than the nasty coughing and puking, Reiss is excelling in most areas.  She is talking more and more everyday, putting together 6 and 7 word sentences and also showing some deductive reasoning capabilities. She says her numbers and the alphabet, but is more likely to showcase this talent if you are a cow or dog. 🙂  Potty training is a rocky road, but she is further along now than she was a month ago. She loves feeding the cows with daddy, feeding her babies and making lego towers. Our next cardiologist appointment is in December.

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