Fiala’s patch testing results (and her NOT MRSA staph infection)
Well, we got back from the allergist’s office…
First, we saw the physician assistant today (and the nurse), not our normal doctor. The PA looked at the back of Fiala’s legs and agreed that 8 doses of Omincef should have produced a better result that what is currently happening on her skin. So, he prescribed another antibiotic — Augmentin — which means ten more days of antibiotic. The good news is that, though he said there is some “resistance” going on, it’s not MRSA, which had been a fear of mine. He said MRSA is hot, swollen, red, “angry looking,” and feels like a golfball under the skin — one that oozes pus. Whew! The backs of her legs do look bad, but it’s not MRSA. He said, “It doesn’t even look MRSA-ish.”
“Funny” thing is that he said her eczema was severe, and right now, it is SO SO SO much better than it was at her worst. I’m not sure what to think about that.
Secondly, Fiala’s worst reaction to the disk/patch test — the one that I thought was zucchini — is actually garlic. It was a “++” — strong positive reaction. She did test positive to zucchini, but only a “+” — weak positive reaction.
She also has 12 irritants. It’s my understanding (from two friends who have gone through this before) that, depending on the doctor, some of them want you to completely abstain from irritant foods, and some say to limit them. I also understand that it’s very possible that many of the irritant foods won’t cause a bad reaction once the real culprits are removed from the diet. In other words, the real culprits are what is causing her immune system to go on overload, and once we get her immune system calmed down, it likely won’t react as negatively to other things. I will ask the doc about that on Monday.
Fiala’s irritants are:
- brown rice
In a way, I feel a little gratified that so many of the things I had identified on my own are on the list — milk, soy, potato — and I had half-suspected apple and pear — because they seemed to immediately irritate her skin. I had a little-less-than-half suspected carrot and sorghum, both because she never seemed to digest them well. But, onion, mushroom, coconut, garlic, zucchini? I had no idea. (ETA: Doh! I forgot a couple of months ago when I tried coconut oil as a moisturizer, and that made her skin worse, and I theorized that maybe she had a problem with coconut. I forgot about that until today when I saw the coconut oil in the fridge. )
The PA also said that I need to step up the treatment of the backs of Fiala’s legs by doing wet/dry wrap therapy. Basically, I smooth on the steroid cream (triamcinolone), then dampen a gauze pad and place it on top, then wrap it. We’re to do this twice a day. He said that as the gauze dries, the moisture will be absorbed into her skin, and it will help the triamcinolone absorb better, as well. That seems like a weird therapy to me, but after Googling it, I see that the therapy is recommended…
So… no more honey, at least for now. I know I wasn’t using Manuka honey — just organic raw unfiltered honey that had propolis, royal jelly, and bee pollen in it… so maybe we would have had a better result if I’d used actual Manuka honey… but I’m not so sure. Saying that honey has antibiotic properties — yes, I believe that. Saying that you have to use ONE and only one really expensive kind of honey only found in a certain area of New Zealand??? No offense to Kiwis, but I have a harder time buying that. Literally and figuratively.
I’m STILL not going to use lots of antihistamines with Fiala. We use Benedryl with her 2-3x/week, and will likely continue that. But, I still want to see what effect removing the allergens has on her before I start a daily regimen of antihistamines and/or anti-itch medication.
Other questions I’m going to ask the “real” doc on Monday:
- I read a study that said that half of the zucchini-allergic people they studied tested positive to celery allergy, as well. (Only 4 people were tested — 2/4 cross-reactive to celery — but authors said zucchini allergy very rare.) Would it be worth testing celery, and/or other cross-reactives to other allergens (like other things in the allium family, due to the strong reaction to garlic, and the irritant reaction to onion)?
- Is it possible that the basis of Fiala’s zucchini allergy is actually a salicylate allergy? (I’m a little less suspicious of this now, as she tested positive for things NOT on the salicylate list, and tested negative to other things that ARE on the list.)
- Would it be worth it to test other summer squash, like calabacita (Mexican grey squash) and yellow/crookneck squash?
- Do these patch allergy tests diagnose an intolerance, or is that something else altogether?
- Do you think that Fiala would well-tolerate white rice? Brown rice is an irritant, but do you think that the most irritating part of the rice would be the bran?
- What does it mean when something was an irritant at 48 hrs, and is not at 72 hrs?
Well, that’s it. For now.