Friday, July 3, 2015

Better Luck Next Time!

Matthew has had a rough month! In May he developed Molluscum Contagiosum (little raised skin bumps from a virus) one of which turned into a mass that had to be surgically removed. Then, the last day of school he caught a cold from his brother that knocked him on his butt for almost two weeks. He had a horribly sore throat and high fevers for 10 days. All he could do was lay on the couch and watch TV. He didn't even play his beloved X Box! He also lost five pounds in a week because his throat was too sore to eat.

Ironically, this was the first time Matt was sick all year, and it happened to fall over the week that he was supposed to have his peanut challenge and study unblinding. We had planned to go to Baltimore Monday and stay in a hotel 2 nights to make a little summer vacation out of the long appointment days, but we didn't even try to go Monday because we knew he was too sick.

Tuesday afternoon we packed up and headed out, deciding that we would stay the night in the city and go to Hopkins Wednesday for his appointment and let his allergist make the decision. We checked into our hotel and then walked to the National Aquarium for a few hours. We planned to have dinner at the Inner Harbor, but when we came out the skies were black and we had to run back to our hotel before the huge thunderstorm hit! The kids swam for exactly seven minutes before they had to get out of the pool for lightning. We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant since we were stuck there because of the rainstorm. Jessica and I normally get super excited about staying in hotels, but this room while nice, was pretty tiny for the five of us. Not our best trip ever but we were making the most of it!

On the right, Dave and Ryan are touching the Atlantic Stingray!

The next morning we got ready and drove over to the hospital. Unfortunately, after assessing him, Matthew's allergist felt he was still too sick to have the food challenge and chance an allergic reaction on top of his illness. He was able to have his blood drawn (55ml of blood, about a quarter cup), and his skin prick test. His peanut prick developed a big hive. Matthew looked at it and said, "well...I'm not NOT allergic to peanuts". If you've been keeping up with our story, then you know we have been thinking this patch has been a placebo all along so we will not be surprised at all if he is still allergic. That said, we also know that skin tests are only marginally useful whereas the food challenge is the holy grail of food allergy tests, so I will reserve judgment until it's all complete.  

Matthew playing games to keep his mind off the very itchy hives on his arm.

Playing in the Hopkins playroom. Matthew got his sister this bear from the prize box after his blood draws. It says " I helped Johns Hopkins learn something today!"

After the appointment we wanted to make up for lost time from the night before, so we went to the World Trade Center and up to the "Top of the World" on the 27th floor. It was an absolutely beautiful 360 degree view of the city. Jessica was scared at first but soon Daddy was able to coax her off the bench and over to the viewfinder. After that she was sold. When we were done we took a ride on the paddleboats in the harbor and then had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory (SO good!). 

Our view from the Top of the World: The Aquarium, Federal Hill and the Power Plant.

A few days later Matthew's throat was considerably worse. he could barely open his mouth or talk due to the swelling. I gave him steroids and he started a Zpack and finally started to improve! He was well enough Monday to start his high school football conditioning: weights and running. Next week he goes away to youth group summer camp, and the following week we have rescheduled the food challenges on the 13th and 15th. Praying he stays healthy and we have no more delays!
Next time will not be a vacation since we have work and Matt has football. We'll let you know any updates.

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