Blog by Erin Kirwan
“Life was miserable for my little guy,” says Jacqueline Ortiz-Wilson.
Jacqueline’s talking about her 8-year-old son, Reid.
Reid has allergic asthma.
Jacqueline says a persistent cough has been with her son since he was little.
“It’s been unbearable,” says Jacqueline.
The cough was all day, every day. It kept Reid up at night, and like a drum, almost rhythmic in nature, the cough blanketed the background of his day too – in school, at home, and throughout sports practices.
And it wasn’t just a cough. Reid’s symptoms included drainage which almost always morphed into a full blown respiratory infection, often fevers, and sometimes ear aches. When Reid was around four years old, middle-of-the-night emergency room visits became a regular thing. He was getting such little sleep, Reid hardly had energy to get through his school day.
“I wished it was me suffering,” Jacqueline says.
At the time, Reid was seeing an Allergist. He was on several medications and a daily breathing treatment.
Yet, in early spring of 2015 Jacqueline found themselves, once again, in the emergency room.
Shortly after the ER visit, something unexpected happened. Call it coincidence, divine intervention, or simply darn good timing, Jacqueline found herself having a conversation with a friend at the pool about just how difficult life had become having a child with this persistent cough and asthma. The friend recommended Dr. Patricia Dinger.
What happened next was the start of what Jacqueline says changed her family’s life.
Jacqueline made an appointment with Dr. Dinger and Reid met her for the first time in March, 2015.
Despite having been skin-tested for allergies two years ago with his prior Allergist, Dr. Dinger had Reid tested again. The skin test showed that Reid was severely allergic to oak. And his last ER visit? Smack dab in the peak of oak season.
“At that point, the correlation was clearly made and I felt we had our answer,” says Dr. Dinger.
Dr. Dinger diagnosed Reid with allergic asthma and allergic rhinitis, meaning his allergy to oak triggers and can exasperate his asthma.
According to Dr. Dinger, 70-percent of moderate to severe asthmatics have allergic triggers.
Also at this visit, Dr. Dinger, board certified in Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology and therefore skilled at interpreting a special test that can measure just how well Reid’s lungs are working, administered this spirometry test on him. The test showed Reid’s breathing looked good. In fact, so good, Dr. Dinger actually suggested in Reid’s treatment plan that he remove use of his asthma inhaler that he had been using daily up to this point. Dr. Dinger also started Reid on allergy shots, or allergen immunotherapy, a form of long-term treatment to desensitize a person’s body to an allergen.
In May of this year, just a little more than a year following his first appointment with Dr. Dinger, Reid had no longer needed to use his rescue inhaler. Better yet, Reid had not visited the ER. Not even once! And remember that persistent and pesky cough? Reid’s mom says it’s gone too. And back is Reid’s energy, because he’s no longer waking in the middle of the night.
All of these improvements have allowed Reid to once again excel in school and sports, such as summer swim team.
“Dr. Dinger, and her amazing Nurse Practitioner, Marlena, have made our lives so much better,” Jacqueline says holding back tears. “It’s amazing what the correct diagnosis and treatment plan can do.”
Erin Kirwan owns Savvy Media Marketing and Public Relations. A former journalist, Erin works with Dr. Dinger and Advanced Allergy to help share important news, information, and patient stories.