Have You Tried an Allergy-Friendly Hotel Room? (Guest Post)

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The following is a guest post by Kevin Arnold from PURE Room Blog.

Hi everyone! My name is Kevin and I write the PURE Room blog. Rachel has invited me to tell you a little bit about allergy-friendly hotel rooms, which are a great option for people traveling with allergies and asthma.

Have You Tried An Allergy-Friendly Hotel Room?

Food allergies and environmental allergies may be different in certain respects but as Rachel will tell you, some people experience both. She does an amazing job writing about both food allergies and asthma, including how each can impact the other. It’s important for everyone in the allergy community to work together to share information and raise awareness, which is how we’ve come to partner with Rachel.

PURE’s mission is to “make lives better” for people with allergies and asthma, especially when they travel. It can be tough to spend time in an unfamiliar environment when you have these conditions. By providing a certified hypoallergenic space away from home, PURE aims to help people get the most out of life.

PURE Rooms are treated according to a scientific, 7-step process that eliminates 98-100% of germs, bacteria and other irritants in the environment. Our technicians clean and treat the heating and air-conditioning units, all hard and soft surfaces, as well as the air itself. PURE Rooms also come equipped with a HEPA air-filtration system, not to mention hypoallergenic bedding and pillow encasements. The rooms are tested and re-certified every 6 months to ensure that they continue to meet the highest standards in the industry.

The result is a superior hotel room that is more comfortable for people with asthma and environmental allergies. If you’ve never stayed in a PURE Room before, it’s something you really need to experience for yourself! Our guests tell us that the air is lighter and fresher than in a standard hotel room and that they typically get a more restful, better night’s sleep than they even do at home!

With nearly 300 PURE hotels nationwide, it’s easy to find an allergy-friendly hotel room just about anywhere. The best way to reserve a PURE Room is to visit pureroom.com and use our convenient search tool right on the homepage. Just select your destination and travel dates and we’ll show you a list of allergy-friendly rooms in the area. You can even read TripAdvisor reviews and book your room, all from our website!

If you or someone you know has allergies, we encourage you to learn more about PURE Rooms and to share this information with others. Living with allergies shouldn’t mean that you have to restrict your travel plans or suffer through your next vacation or business trip. So get out there and start exploring!

Have You Tried An Allergy-Friendly Hotel Room?

Kevin Arnold writes about allergies and asthma, travel and healthy living. For more tips and information, check out all of his posts at www.pureroom.com/healthy_living_blog.

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Goodbye Daily Asthma Inhaler

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I never thought I’d type the title to this post, but I’m so happy to be doing so.  It’s been a long haul the past 26 months, and I had gotten really weary the past 12 months.  You see, it was 26 months ago that Superman was finally diagnosed with asthma, and 12 months ago that I realized he had basically stopped growing.

GoodBye Asthma Inhaler~Mom Vs. Food Allergy

As a first-time parent, I was clueless about asthma, and thought he was just suffering from a really bad respiratory virus the first time we had to take him to the ER.  Once admitted the nurses kept saying “asthma” and “asthma action plan”, but no doctor ever said “Your child has asthma”.  Needless to say, I was confused and thought the nurses were overreacting.  He was, of course, given nebulizer treatments, prednisone, and a prescription for Albuterol, the asthma rescue inhaler.  Even after a follow-up with his pediatrician, she didn’t diagnose him with asthma.

My dad and I rushed Superman to the hospital late one night, for the 4th time.  He just couldn’t catch his breath at all, and it was getting extremely scary.  Superman was coughing so hard, and out of breath that I couldn’t wait on the respiratory team to get there to begin his treatment….so I did it myself.  Later that night he was admitted for the night and was able to go home the next evening.

Finally, (and not because I wanted it),  the other foot fell, and I heard the words “Your child has asthma”.  In some ways it was a relief, because I was ready for these late night ER runs to come to an end.  It was then, while in the hospital and after diagnosis, that he was prescribed Flovent and given an Asthma Action Plan.

Since that hospitalization, we’ve not been back to the ER for asthma!  That’s great, especially since it’s been over 2 years since he started the Flovent. But….

about a year ago I realized that he wasn’t growing.  At 5 1/2 years old, he was only 40 inches and a mere 30 lbs.  He was cranky, tired, became a picky eater and had no appetite.  He was irritable, had trouble falling asleep, and had no energy.  My biggest concern was that he hadn’t grown taller or gained weight in awhile.  I brought it to the attention of our pediatrician at his 5 year well child check, but she wasn’t concerned and attributed his slow growth to his limited diet.  I was still concerned, and after a comment from our allergist, I was even more concerned.  I simply asked our allergist, “If he were your child, would you be worried and take him to the pediatrician? “.  The next day I made an appointment with our pediatrician (a new one), and thus began many months of doctors appointments and tests to see what was going on.

Most of his blood tests came back normal, except for an elevated bilirubin and one marker for Celiacs Disease.  However, at age 5 years and 3 months, his bone age X-ray came back to reveal his bones were the size of a 4 year old.  No surprise there, and at this point (October 2014), strangers were asking if he and my 2 1/2 year old daughter were twins.

In April 2015, he started getting small dots around his eyes.  They never itched, but kinda looked like small pimples.   In late March, I talked to our allergist about an unrelated topic, but when asked how Superman was doing and I explained the “rash”,  he recommended a Neosporin for eczema.  The cream didn’t work and the “rash” continued to get worse and spread.

Fast forward two weeks, just two days before our routine allergy appointment, and the rash was now on his cheeks and wrapped around his chin.  It was red, puffy, and inflamed.  Our allergist prescribed an antibiotic for Impetigo and sent us on our way.

Goodbye Asthma Inhaler~Mom Vs. Food Allergy

Superman has been a bit self-conscious about is “bumps”. Because the internet isn’t a safe or honest place, I am protecting/respecting his identity in these picture where he has his “bumps”, so that’s why I’ve given him Superman eyes.

After two weeks it didn’t work and he referred us to a dermatologist.  Another round of antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory cream later (Eledel), the rash was still there.  So, on to a different cream (an antibiotic cream used for acne patients) and it still didn’t work after two more weeks.  Dermatology was stumped, but came to the conclusion that he had steroid induced acne.  It’s rare, especially in a 5-year old, but coupled with his growth delays there was really no other explanation.  Back to the allergist we went to discuss a steroid free medication for managing his asthma.

Superman is now on Singulair, a 5 mg chewable, and over the past two weeks we weaned him off of his QVar (we had switched from Flovent a few months ago, hoping it would fix the growth delays).  He still has his Albuterol rescue inhaler to use  when we need it.

Let me tell you the changes I’ve seen as Superman has weaned off of his inhaled steroids….

-increased appetite

-his acne is healing

-more energy

-less cranky

-falls asleep easily

-no headaches

-he already looks taller

The biggest change for me that I notice, is that I see him SMILE and he seems HAPPY, for the first time in a LONG time.  He isn’t an irritable boy that feels yucky anymore.  I really feel like inhaled steroids stole my son from me the last two years.  He had become very hard to parent, as he was just never happy or pleased about anything.  I truly believe the steroids have slowed/stopped his growth and were almost to the point of poisoning him, and the acne was the result of the dangerous levels of steroids in his little body (I’m assuming they can build up in some sort of way).  

The exciting, positive part?  The fact that after 10+ doctors appointments (yes, at least 10 trips to the pediatrician, GI, endocrinologist, dietician, and allergist) between October of 2014 and May 2015, we may have finally found the cause of Superman’s delayed growth and acne.  I am beyond ecstatic and can’t wait to see how Superman continues to improve and grow!

If you are having similar reactions in your child who is taking a daily inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), talk to your doctor.  Because acne and growth delays are a rare side effect, it took a long while to convince any of the doctors that it was the ICS causing the “rash” and growth delays.  For us, it got to the point where there was no other explanation, and I’m praying that Superman’s health starts to turn around.

 **I am not a doctor and this post is not intended to be medical advice.  I am a mom with a child with life-threatening food allergies, environmental allergies,  and asthma, and I am simply sharing our experience in hopes to help someone else going through a similar situation.  Please consult with your board certified allergist or pediatrician for your medical needs or before stopping/starting any medications.  I do not recommend stopping inhaled asthma medications without a thorough consult with your doctor.  Asthma is a serious condition, and can cause death if not well-managed.  Those with life-threatening food allergies and asthma need to give extra care to their asthma management.

 

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