I have never viewed his records before, and now I really regret it! I have been very discouraged about his RAST results, as the standard line I have received when I have called the nurses to follow up on test results is “Everything is the same, keep avoiding.”
Imagine my surprise when I received his records, plotted his RAST results on a chart by testing date, and found that his RAST numbers ARE declining!
We have had 5 RAST blood tests thus far at 6-month intervals. For tree nuts and peanuts, my son has gone down every single test. While his class has only changed from a “3” to a “2” his constant progress is something to celebrate!
For milk, my son spiked very high about a year ago, but recent tests have shown drops and he’s gone from a “4” to a “3”. Similarly, with egg he spiked at the same time as milk but his numbers dropped dramatically from his test six months ago. He is still a class “4” with eggs, but is nearing the cutoff for a “3”.
Now, none of these results or numbers can tell me how his body will react if he accidentally ingests an allergen. But, we are making progress towards the goal of "Undetectable" levels of IgE to individual allergens in his system. That's exciting!
What else did I learn? My son’s medical files contained records that were not his! While the information in the header was my son’s, the medication, parental info, and allergy information was not his. That means some other child is missing medical records in their file too!
There are lots of good reasons to have medical records for a child with a chronic condition. It is always good to have written documentation of conversations, medications, and dosages so you can refer back to them. It is good to have the files on hand so you have time to review them in a way that makes sense to you (like plotting on a chart!). It is good to have them if you ever want to get a second opinion. Finally, it is good to have them to ensure you are understanding the medical staff, and so that you can confirm the accuracy of the content. If you are toting another child to appointments, you know how difficult it is to listen and retain information the doctor gives you.
I went from feeling discouraged over the past couple years to feeling VERY encouraged about his potential to outgrow these allergies in a manner of minutes. All it took was a few minutes to request his records and a few minutes to read them. I wish I had done it a long time ago!
To get your child’s records, just contact your doctor to find out how to obtain them. You may need to file some paperwork, and you may have to pay a fee to have the file copied.
Click here for a basic description of the RAST test.
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