7 years old and already an old hat on the medical research circuit…that’s life for an allergic kid with a pediatrician mom. We just finished our second research experience this weekend at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The first experience was a year ago for U of M, doing a fun 24 hour urine collection and a blood draw trying to see if there are other chemical markers for anaphylaxis (the answer is no, so we’re all stuck with the problematic RAST for now). This time the study involved the whole family with the research goals to look at potential causes and genetic risks for food allergy.
The long and short of it was basic vital signs, a blood draw and skin testing for us all (our non-allergic kid was not pleased!) and then also spirometry and body fat measurements for those over age 6….plus a lot of questions. A lot of questions. Pregnancy and nursing histories on the kids all seem to run together, the matrix of who can and did eat what and when really gets complicated. Hopefully my memory serves science well.
But the fun part was a budget-neutral trip to Chicago with the kids and free RAST testing to be sent on to our allergist. The gas money was covered and we got a boatload of Target gift cards for our participation. We ‘transfered’ the gift cards into cash at American Girl Place for the girls and had a great end to our day serving humanity. The study is still recruiting families, if you’re in the area and have to get RAST testing done this year anyway it’s worth doing. Hopefully our next research experience will be as participants in a cure study…