Since the skin blistering episode, I have been doing a lot of reading up on how or why Zac could be having such odd reactions when we are keeping him on a gluten free and dairy free diet. The skin blistering actually turned into a hideous abscess in the end – leaving Zac with a raging infection and in screaming agony. It left me with raging rage and a strong desire to punch the doctor who turned us away the week before.
The doctor who saw and diagnosed his abscess was visibly shocked and asked if it had looked infected when I showed it to the other doctor. Clearly she would never say anything questioning his judgement but her face said it all, as she then apologetically told me she would have to squeeze his elbow hard to get out as much pus as she could. It was already oozing from two places, so she didn’t have to work too hard. I had Zac in a rugby hold and his screams took the roof off the surgery. I just hope the other doctor could hear it through the walls.
Anyway, after being prescribed much needed anti-biotics, I asked the new doctor if she thought this was related to his allergies and she said no. I also asked if she had anything on her records with regard to the hospital appointment we were still waiting for and she said no to that too.
It has been a while since I gave an update on Zac’s condition. This week we had a distressing new symptom to deal with and I wanted to share it with everyone – just in case anyone else is going through this and is as puzzled as me. Zac has been ill with his intolerances and allergies for more than three of his four years. I have been seeing doctors and paediatricians and dieticians since he was one and they all say the same. He will grow out of it. But the truth is he has grown in to it – he started off dairy intolerant, then became so sensitive to wheat and gluten that I suspected and still do suspect he has Coeliac disease. He is also allergic to cats, has hay fever and has started night coughing, which I know (from experience) is an early sign of asthma.
I have argued that he needs a full allergy screen and further tests. So far all he had was a blood test for Coeliac which came back negative. But previous to this he had been on a gluten free diet for months. We introduced gluten containing foods in the three weeks before the test but I suspect he hadn’t eaten enough to give a positive result. He was so ill by the end of the third week, he could hardly eat at all and ended up in hospital!
Despite all this, not one GP at our practice thought he needed to be seen again and like a fool I accepted this. They flattered me by saying how well I was managing his condition and just said I should keep him on a very restricted diet for several more years and then they would consider challenging him again.
Then in recent times we have had some accidental ‘gluten’ incidents which have told me that we still have a problem. The first one was several months ago when he had a gut bloating reaction after eating Burger King fries – which I later discovered are not gluten free. Then more recently after a supposedly gluten free, dairy free meal at Carluccio’s he was suddenly hit by an uncontrollable urge to scratch. He was literally clawing at his face. I ran to the nearest Boots and got him some anti histamine. Within about twenty minutes, he stopped scratching and fell asleep.
As far as I was concerned that was an alarmingly swift and very definite allergic reaction. So I went back and saw yet another GP and begged for a referral to a different hospital (our third). This GP was sympathetic and surprised that both previous had discharged Zac. He referred us to a dermatologist at another local hospital but warned there could be a wait. A month later and I still have not got my appointment.
Since I started this blog, one of my main gripes has been about how hard it is to eat at restaurants when you have an ‘intolerant child’. I cannot deny things are improving and certain chains are revising their menus, labelling their ingredients very well and even buying in gluten free foods but dairy intolerance is not really even considered. More…