About 6 months ago we noticed that Cameron was making this horrible noise at random times throughout the day. It was a cross between a snort and a throat clear. At first we weren’t sure what to think of it. He didn’t appear to be sick, and it wouldn’t be the first time that one of my children picked up a completely random irritating habit, Brendan is the king of habits that make you want to rip your hair out. So for a while we ignored it and when that didn’t work we’d draw his attention to it and ask him to stop.
After 2-3 months of the issue not getting any better we finally decided that maybe we should take him in to see the doctor. Our pediatrician diagnosed him with chronic rhinitis (constant runny nose), and sent us to an allergist to see if there was something that Cameron was allergic to. It took us yet another month to actually get into the allergy doctor and in that month I wracked my brain like crazy to think what Cameron could suddenly be exposed to that he would develop this kind of severe allergy. The only thing I could come up with that had changed in his life was our house. The people who lived here before us had two large dogs, and no matter how many times I have cleaned, and scrubbed, and steamed the carpets I am still finding random deposits of dog hair.
I had a vague understanding of what to expect from allergy testing, and while I am usually a big advocate of making sure my kids know what to expect from their doctor appointments, I decided that in this case I would keep Cameron in the dark until the last possible second. And I’m glad I did, because what I would have described to Cameron as shots, the nurse assured him would be only pricks. He took the news that his arms would be pricked a couple dozen times about as well as you can expect any 8 year old to do.
I fully expected Cameron to scream, cry, and carry on when they came in to do the actual shots. This is the same kid that cowered under a bench an sobbed one day because there were gnats at the park. He did cry and moan a bit as the nurse was actually administering the pricks, but to be honest I’d like to moan and cry a bit when getting shots too. What impressed me was that they told him that if he moved his arms that the stuff inside the pricks would get all mixed together and they’d have to start over. By golly that was enough to make the kid sit still as a statue for the 30 minutes the test took. And this is my hyperactive child who can’t even sit still through dinner at night.
When all was said and done the doctor came back in and let us know that Cameron was allergic to nothing. He didn’t have the slightest reaction to anything that they tested for. Which was great news. Sort of. I mean, yay, I’m glad he isn’t allergic to anything, but that still left me at square one for what in the world was causing him to have all of these sinus issues. I figured that would be the end of things for the allergist and that we would need to search out an ear, nose and throat doctor next, but that wasn’t the case. The allergy doctor would not be satisfied that Cameron had a runny nose for no reason. The next thing he suggested was to have an X-ray done of Cameron’s head.
Within a few minutes the X-ray was complete and the doctor came in again with more news. Cameron’s issues were stemming from a sinus infection that hadn’t cleared up on its own, and that with a round of antibiotics we’d be able to clear it up and he’d quit making that horrendous sound. Now I admit, I am not a doctor so when they tell me something needs to be done I generally trust that they know more than I do. However, that did not stop me from wondering how in the world you can see a sinus infection on an X-ray. An MRI, or CT scan sure, those look at tissue. But an X-ray? The last time I checked those only look at your bones.
Despite my reservations I figured that one round of antibiotics couldn’t hurt, and maybe it would turn out that the doctor was right. Cameron took the full course of the medicine and I have to admit he was sounding better. He still made the sound from time to time but it wasn’t as deep throated as it was and he was definitely doing it less frequently. The doctor had asked us to come back after Cameron completed the antibiotics but like the first time it took us a full month to get back in to see him (and that was with me making the follow up appointment before we left the office from the original appointment).
In between all of this we were all due for dental cleanings. When I took Cameron in for his I mentioned to the dentist that one of Cameron’s adult teeth had come in but the corresponding baby tooth had not fallen out. He recommended that we pull the baby tooth, but said that before he did that he wanted Cameron to have an orthodontic consultation because, like his brother before him, Cameron had some major crowding issues and he said by waiting we could see if the orthodontist wanted any additional teeth removed and then he could do it all at once.
Which leads me to this week. School let out on Tuesday, and Cameron had his orthodontist appointment on Thursday, and his follow up allergy appointment on Friday. I knew that the orthodontist would be taking X-rays of his mouth (because how else is he going to determine if Cameron needs work), and I had a strong suspicion that the allergy doctor would take X-rays of his sinuses to see if the infection had been cleared up with the antibiotics.
Turns out I was right on both fronts. The good news was that while the orthodontist agreed that Cameron’s baby tooth needed to come out, he didn’t feel Cameron needed any additional teeth out or orthodontic treatments at this time. They’re going to monitor him for a couple of years to make sure his mouth grows as much as they’re thinking it will, but for now he’s in the clear. As for the allergy doctor he said the antibiotics did kill a lot of the infection, but the reason we are still hearing Cameron snort once in a while is that a little bit of it is still hanging on. He prescribed another round of antibiotics just as strong as the last dose and he’s confident that this time we will knock out the issue.
Cameron was quite happy to be done with these appointments, and super glad that all he was required to do was smile for the camera.