After the ‘Egg Gate‘ episode happened, we had been quickly referred for an appointment at Birmingham City Hospital for Bertie’s immunology testing.
Odd — seeing as Leicester (which is closer) has a reportedly amazing immunology department — but hey, we dance to the beat of the NHS drum, so we went along with it and didn’t cause a fuss. Whilst they were pretty quick in organising the appointment, however, there followed a waiting time of 84 days… (that’s a quarter of the Twinkle’s whole lives, so far!!).
But finally, on Tuesday, this week, we went to our appointment … only 3 months after Bertie’s egg allergy first reared it’s
We met a guy called Dr North. He chatted to us about ‘Egg Gate’ — asking why we thought he may be allergic to egg etc etc — he also asked why we’d come so far? Especially given that ‘Leicester is considerably closer and also has a (dare-I-say-it) better department than ours (possibly)’.
Hmm. That’s not at all annoying
said through gritted teeth. Think the NHS drums must have gotten a little out of sync on this occasion.
He said he would like to test Bertie’s reaction to histamine, egg yolk and egg white, and we were asked to give our parental consent.
Cue 3 tiny pen marks on his little arm to identify where Dr North would put a tiny drop of each; then forced into his bloodstream with the aid of a scalpel.
The histamine came up — red and angry — which was good, said the wise doctor.
Next he tested for egg yolk. Nothing. Great, I thought, maybe this was a mistake after all?
Nope, no mistake. When the good doctor tested for egg white, the patch of skin surrounding it came up like a burn. Red, agitated skin. Looking irritated that it’s beautiful smooth surface had been permeated by a foreign, eggy, invader.
Well, that’s it then — said he — we can conclusively day that he’s allergic to egg white. Ho hum.
He did tell us all sorts of other interesting things too… like… it’s exceptionally rare for anyone to go into anaphylactic shock due to an egg allergy. Most children grown out of it; around the age of 7 or 8. The majority of children that are allergic to egg can tolerate it if it has been baked ie cake, biscuits, pasta etc etc…
he said that we needed to test Bertie with this last theory.
The safest method, he said, is to get a few crumbs of cake and dab it onto the underside of his bottom lip. Apparently the receptors there are very sensitive, so if you’re ever unsure about adding a new food into your baby’s diet , this is the place to test it. He asked us if we’d tried B with peanuts — when I said no — he said that this is the method we should try. A dab of peanut butter on the tip of my finger and dab it onto the underside of his lip… better get the Sun Pat in then. And the ambulance on speed dial ;)
All in all, it has put my mind at ease. Albeit a bit of a ball-ache to trek over to Birmingham — when we could have gone to Leicester — or the fact that we waited for a whole 3 months for the appointment. Ultimately, our NHS is doing the best it can and I feel satisfied that the advice we’ve been given is good.
We tried Bertie with a bit of cake that afternoon. A tiny morsel of an ‘exceedingly good’ fruitcake. I dabbed it onto the underside of his lower lip, as I’d been advised, and we waited… and watched…
…and NOTHING HAPPENED!!! Yay!!!
Whilst my beautiful first born may not be able to enjoy a scrambled, poached or boiled egg — or a meringue — or a blob of mayonnaise until he’s a little older, possibly, he should be able to enjoy a piece of cake.
And that is a very happy prospect for a little boy who’s about to turn one in 14 days time.
2 more little weeks and my babies will be a year old. Who’d have thunk it?
We’ve come a long, long way, since I started writing this diary :)