Putting allergies and Mama to the test

I knew with absolute certainty that our younger son had seasonal allergies. No question. His nose has been running almost constantly for two years—with a few days off here and there.
So when I learned that he was old enough to go to the allergist, I made him an appointment.
He was so happy to have the morning with Mama all to himself. Besides, he loves going to doctor’s offices.
Moments after we walked in, he had wheedled a lollipop out of the secretary. In the examining room, Daniel sprang onto the scale, hopped up on the table, and flirted with everyone he met.
But I knew the hard part was ahead of us. I just didn’t know how hard it would be.
Much too soon he had to take his shirt off so the nurse could prick his back for the allergy testing. And, brave as our little boy is—and he was—he had had enough before we were halfway through the pricking. It was horrible to see him so miserable. I almost stopped in the middle of the test. It hardly seemed to be worth it.
But I knew we had to get to the bottom of his allergies—which, of course, I was sure he had.
When it was over, I held my whimpering son until he had calmed down. Then, because I knew he wasn’t supposed to scratch his back, I handed him an iPad and watched him play Temple Run over and over and over while we waited for the results.
Twenty minutes and a few hundred Temple Run games later we learned that he has only two slight sensitivities—no real allergies at all. And keeping him away from cockroaches? Well, that shouldn’t be hard.
As we walked out the door, Daniel trotting happily along and licking his second lollipop, I thought of how we had gone through all of that for nothing—except maybe to find that I don’t need to spend money on allergy medications. I felt terrible for what our little boy had endured. And it was my fault for being absolutely sure he had seasonal allergies.
As we were driving out of the parking lot, I realized I was emotionally drained. I just hoped my son wasn’t scarred from the experience.
And then a cheerful voice came from the backseat.
“See, Mama!” he said with a 3 ½-year-old’s authority. “I told you that was gonna be fun!”
That’s my boy. He’s brave, he’s always looking for the silver lining, and he’s much better at playing Temple Run than I’ll ever be—especially after all that practice time he got in today.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.