Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Challenge!

Conrad has struggled this spring with skin rashes, hives and some lip swelling, but on Monday afternoon the glass flowed over. we had just got the results back from some allergy tests (blood tests) that he had done two weeks ago and they were all negative - shows no allergies when this happened:  

Needless to say he was very unhappy, especially since he got even more swollen than what the picture shows. After almost a whole bottle of Benadryl, many hours at the allergist's office and an injection of epinephrine, we came to the conclusion that he probably has a sensitivity/intolerance to Salicylates. 

Salicylates are the chemical compounds found in Aspirin and many other pain medicines, but it also occurs naturally in almost all plant material (read fruits and vegetables). A sensitivity is different than an allergy in that with an allergy you will react to the smallest amount of whatever you are allergic to, but with a sensitivity you first need to reach a threshold. For some people this threshold is much lower than for others. It now falls to us to try to find Conrad's tolerance level. The first step is to try and avoid as many Salicylates as possible, let his system reset itself and then slowly reintroduce different foods one at a time. Food additives, dyes and medicines containing Salicylates will be off-limits for a very long time, maybe forever. For now his diet is limited, but he is taking it like a champ. I think he realizes he already feels better, for the first time in months he is completely free of rashes and hives - of course that might have something to do with the prednisone he is taking right now.

On a much more cheerful note. Kajsa is off on her Europe adventure and she seems to be having a fun time with her friend exploring, sightseeing and just enjoying being young!


Alison said...

Oh gosh - poor lad. That looks very uncomfortable. Hope he can find a good balance with his diet and get something back to normality.