Yesterday KayTar had an allergist appointment to get her RAST results.
She tested negative for eggs and tree nuts, but borderline for peanuts.
Negative is LESS THAN .35, her peanut level was .35 EXACTLY.
That's our girl, slightly abnormal, but never clear cut.
With such borderline results, there isn't an across the board recommendation for avoidance. It seems to be our decision in the end, so long as we are never without Benadryl and her epi-pens. RAST levels aren't always indicative of the strength of a reaction and the deciding factor is what happens when she actually ingests the allergen, which is also a little unclear.
She reacted strongly to the Blizzard; peanuts are the only allergen we could place at the scene of the crime and also the only allergen she showed any response to. She has eaten a small amount of peanut butter once since that time, I gave Benadryl immediately through her g-button, and she never reacted (though, she did have runny stool the following day, but that could have been from another cause altogether). The pediatrician said that she likely would have had some reaction if peanuts were the culprit, but the allergist said that sometimes Benadryl is enough to occlude the reaction if given quickly enough.
If the decision lies with us, I think we are leaning towards avoidance at this point in time. I do feel reassured that we have the epi-pen, in case something does happen, but I never want cause to use them. Even if there is a slight chance of reacting negatively to peanuts, I don't want to offer them to her. At the same time, I'm a bit torn because her diet is already so severely self-limited, saying no to any food seems like sacrilege. In the end, though, I think the possibility (even a very slight one) of anaphylaxis trumps my qualms about limiting her already limited diet. We'll keep an alternative, equivalent product in the house in case she wants some, but Josh and I are both more comfortable avoiding the (ever so slight) possibility of a negative reaction.
As we laid in bed last night, we had a good chuckle about the results. It is just like her to give us a little something that indicates a problem, but she never gives up enough information to yield an answer with any kind of certainty to it. Take this one instance and multiply it hundreds of times over and you've extrapolated the KayTar experience, abnormal yet nonspecific to the Nth degree.