A few weeks ago, I got a letter from my local hospital confirming an appointment with the allergy specialist. I had been waiting a long time for this appointment to be confirmed and it was a welcome relief when the letter finally arrived, confirming everything.
I felt it was important to see an allergy specialist, just to make sure we had all our bases covered, as we strived to reduce my daughter's suffering.
When the day arrived for the appointment, I was initially apprehensive, especially after the poor service I had received from seeing the dermatology specialist at the same hospital.
However when we went to see the allergy specialist, my initial apprehensions were definitely ill founded, as I quickly realised the specialist, was incredibly knowledgeable and more importantly, compassionate.
They reassured me, about the things I was doing by removing certain food types from my daughter's diet, were correct in dealing with allergies which may be contributing to her eczema.
This reassurance meant a lot to me as like many parents, I just want the best for my child and by ensuring her eczema flare ups are limited, is of the upmost importance.
Plus knowing my actions as well as my husbands were not contributing to my daughter's eczema and her suffering, were also a very welcome relief.
The allergy specialist made two comments which sort of struck me, firstly, that my daughter has chronic eczema.
The word 'chronic' just made it sound really bad, but they reassured me, it sounded a lot worse than it was and what we were doing, was helping immensely in making the eczema less chronic.
They pointed out the eczema on the wrists and ankles being the severest and classed as chronic. This would require a lot more effort to control and limit. However, they did come up with a plan of creams and steroids which seems to be working well.
The other comment was that if dietary changes had been made earlier, the eczema could have been controlled.
I felt pretty lousy about this last comment, as my initial thoughts were of, it being my fault for not pushing for this earlier. But as my husband said, we as well as the other medical professionals we encountered, did not know what was causing the eczema, so it was a sort of trial and error journey.
Anyway, testing for allergies at a young age, that is under the age of two, is something that is not advised, as the belief is the testing will be inconclusive.
So yes, we could have gone private and had the testing done but would that have pinpointed the problem food types accurately?
The consequences of cutting out a food type which had been pinpointed incorrectly could have in turn caused other issues. I mean we, always thought dairy was a problem but the allergy tests have confirmed otherwise and my daughter drinks plenty of full fat milk and loves cheese, especially as a filling for jacket potatoes.
In conclusion it's a difficult one to call, we are sort of happy the allergies are in the open, that is, we know which food types are definitely causing problems and we don't regret that we didn't try to cut the food types out earlier, as without using proper techniques, we could have caused potentially health problems.
Although it's hard, I strongly recommend the control crying but start on a Friday when you don't have to get up early and you've got the weekend to maybe have a bit of a lie-in or least you don't have a need to get up at a certain time for any commitments, like work. If you can, do this with some help, either from your partner/husband or a friend. It's always better and easier to do with support.