It seems quite fitting that Callum has had an allergy review with his consultant during Allergy Awareness Week! Due to the severity of Callum’s allergies, he is seen at least once every 4 months to ensure he remains stable, or at least as stable as he can be given his situation.
Callum’s consultant always does a very thorough review, especially as Callum has to follow such a restricted diet – we need to ensure his bloods are always at the right levels, and that he is sustaining calcium and vitamin levels sufficiently.
This review went quite well. It was a follow on from September, when Callum had repeat SPT and RAST testing done. The exclusion diet has meant that Callum appears healthier, and his skin, whilst still trying to remove stubborn eczema patches, is on the whole the best it has ever been, and is relatively clear currently.
There are some lymph glands that have been raised continuously for the past 6 months, which are being closely watched, and may require a blood test in the not too distant future to check all is as it should be. But, for now, the consultant is happy to watch and wait.
The best result of the review, Callum has finally started to put more weight on, and has even grown 1cm! It may not seem like much, but to us, it’s a sign that we’re doing something right, that his body is happier, and that we are beginning to win the battle against his allergies.
The journey is by no means over though, and we still have a very long way to go to continue to keep him safe and well.
I am fully aware of how fortunate we are to have this level of care, and know how ridiculously hard it is for others in the country to get this.
It’s not always been like this for us, and that’s why I am truly grateful things finally changed for Callum for the better. When his journey started, we battled for 16 months to get listened to before finally being referred to his consultant.
16 months of at least weekly attendances to hospital, including emergency admittances, or to eczema clinic, to be fobbed off with:
‘oh it’s just baby eczema, it will get better eventually’
When you’re a mum, desperately worried about your precious little bundle, watching their skin get worse and worse, battling infection after infection, witnessing extreme allergic reactions including struggling to breathe, and not knowing how to make it better, it’s quite literally soul destroying!
It really is!
And the fear, the fear of not seeing any light at the end of the tunnel, and wondering if this is how it will always be!
That’s why Allergy Awareness Week is so important, not just for allergy sufferers, but also for the medical profession.
It reminds them that allergies need to be taken seriously!
It makes them aware that many more people are now suffering with allergies, and need the right diagnosis to help them!
It shows the severity of the situation, and the burden that is now being placed on secondary care as more and more people resort to hospital admissions to seek help, often in an emergency!
An allergy review can be interpreted in many ways:
- A check up with someone from the medical profession
- A roundup of the allergies you suffer from
- An insight into what you know about allergies
- A chance to update information on allergies either on a personal level or through training
This week has the power to do all of the above, a chance to bring allergies right up to the top of the list of things to do, and to educate on what to be aware of.
It’s a chance to make a real change!