The Most Frustrating Thing About Allergies Is Not Allergies

To me, the most annoying and frustrating thing about allergies is not actually allergies themselves.

Since allergies came into our lives, strangely, I have been a much more relaxed and creative mum. I stay in control and really calm so that the children do not panic when something alarming might be happening. I am now using ingredients I had never heard of three years ago. I could tell you with my eyes closed what the best egg replacer is in any given recipe (well, don’t test me on that one!). I have developed more recipes from scratch than I would ever have dreamt of and I have even made a job of it all.

Being an allergy mum can be incredibly frustrating, especially when there is absolutely nothing you can do to move things forward. You see, a few weeks ago, Jumpy had her yearly round of skin prick tests, and it all looked pretty good. The bumps were smaller than usual, and for some of the allergens, there was no bump at all. In comes the euphoria. Then nothing…

Things can be so frustrating. Frustrated because things are not moving forward, frustrated because something that could take an hour takes 4 or 5 months. After her positive prick tests, nothing at all has happened. We have been in limbo. Jumpy was meant to have her paediatrician appointment last week, but the day before the actual appointment, I received a letter stating it had been cancelled, then rescheduled.

Instead of the appointment (booked a year ago!) in the hospital 10 minutes’ walk from home, we would have to go to another hospital, quite a way away on a Monday at 3.10 p.m., when I have three school runs to do to collect the children. I called to get an alternative appointment and the secretary quite abruptly declared that an alternative appointment could be made in 2 years’ time (TWO YEARS’ TIME!).

I have no choice but keep the appointment and take all my children out of school on that afternoon. I will have all four children for the appointment, which is far from ideal, but there is no alternative. It’s all a waiting game, my friends. Rant over…
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Comments

  1. Two years!! That’s ridiculous! The waiting is definitely annoying especially if progress doesn’t seem to have been made during appointments. I try to remember how far we’ve come and hope that in x amount of time, we’ll be closer to being allergy free

    • You’re right: thinking of how far we’ve come helps put things in perspective. Hopefully, her appointment will lead to food challenges and maybe some change in her diet. It would be so exciting to be able to introduce something new into her diet!

  2. Oh I feel your frustration!! We’ve been struggling to keep C’s eczema under control, and he sees a specialis eczema nurse every 4 months. Or at least he’s meant to!
    Every year it’s the same thing, appointment booked for November, which is then cancelled and moved to January, which is then cancelled and moved to May!!
    It’s not so bad when you know what you’re doing, incredibly frustrating, but I feel for all the newly diagnosed that are banking on that appointment giving them some answers!
    Fingers crossed the NHS is given more budget soon, it’s really struggling to keep up with demand at the moment xx

    • We had that stalling feeling when we were awaiting diagnosis. It was so frustrating having appointments cancelled when we were waiting for that Epipen prescription. At least now, it’s just a waiting game and she’s safe and sound, but those great prick tests were so exciting I just wanted to rush and see her consultant straight away!

  3. Oh no, what a pain. When we had SPTs in October the doctor said she wanted to see Amalia in 6 months. Then we got sent an appointment for 2018! Luckily we got it sorted but I agree, it’s all so frustrating.

    • When I put things in perspective, it’s not all that bad, but being told an alternative appointment would not be made before 2018 or earlier 2019 was the last straw after I’d received that cancelled appointment letter! x

  4. Oh my – that is so annoying!! I had a similar thing happen to me a few years ago when my little boy had a cyst on his belly button. When I rang up to change the appointment, I was treated so rudely I burst into tears after I got off the phone. I know the NHS is overstretched but seriously, treating people with dignity doesn’t cost anything and should be a basic requirement of anyone dealing with the public, surely? Hope the appointment is a positive one and worth all the stress and hassle! Eb x

    • You wonder what sort of training GP and consultants’ secretaries receive. In another life, I was a secretary & receptionist in my local surgery and it would never have occurred to me to speak rudely to one of the patients, no matter how many times they phones or came to the surgery. Common sense and basic human principles, hey!

  5. Being offered an appointment in 2 years after they have cancelled a scheduled date is appalling. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is down to an officious PA! I would have kicked up a major stink and probably complained to the health authority…… anything like that just makes me explode. And having to take the kids out of school seems so unfair.
    It does seem to be a bit of an expectation that the appointment booked a year ahead will always be changed at the last minute…..
    So difficult for you. I hope you get there and the news is positive xxx

    • It really did make my blood boil when I got the letter, and then the lack of empathy at the other end of the phone, but I didn’t want the appointment cancelled altogether since her prick tests were looking so promising…

  6. We gave up with the hospital, we just sort the allergies out ourselves, luckily none of them need epi-pens so the anti-histamines are all they need. The children’s department has no admin staff so although appointments are made no letters come out so you know nothing about it until the GP phones to ask why the appointment you begged them for you never turned up for!! Its ridiculous but you are right the most stressful thing about allergies is not the allergies but the hospital & ‘opinions’ you get from other people! xxx

    • Oh gosh, that’s ridiculous! I’m hoping to get to your stage soon. We still have Epipens for Jumpy but she hasn’t needed them in the 3 years she’s had them. Hopefully food challenges will take place soon. Fingers crossed!

  7. Two years! How outrageous. Can’t imagine how stressful to have to take the other kids out of school. It must have been mayhem for you. Grrrr

    • It was a real faff to take them all out of school, but luckily, there were plenty of toys for them to play with and they were (relatively) well behaved during the actual appointment.

Thanks for taking the time to write a little message. Comments always make me smile! x Mel