False Positives

Our daughter had been through enough already, at least we thought that way. So when the basic blood test for allergens was done and it came back positive for wheat, peanuts and egg whites, it was a blow. An appointment was made with an allergist and we saw another day out of school for her as their appointments could only be in the mornings. Alas, it is what it is.

Adjustments have been made and I promise it wasn’t easy. Peanuts – nothing! They are such a common allergen that you can find all kinds of substitutes and you can easily see if peanuts are on the ingredient label. No problem. Greta loves Wow Butter so we are good to go. The wheat and the egg whites were more difficult. One entire line of gluten free breads doesn’t know how to make them without egg whites. Oh bother, but somehow we managed to get some foods she could eat and still feel like part of the family.

Today we saw the allergist. She asked a few questions and went over results. Greta has never had the throat constricting, projectile vomiting, hives, swelling and so forth that are typical of a dangerous allergic reaction. The allergist assured me that the test Greta had done was not a diagnostic test. It is used in conjunction with other tests and with records of whether or not the patient has had allergic reactions before. The bottom line: Greta’s diet doesn’t have to be limited anymore! I took the girl to Ryan’s for lunch and she proceeded to wolf down two dinner rolls. Ahhh, the taste of a hot buttered dinner roll.

I have been thinking about that false positive test. It was never meant to be a diagnostic test and it does have a common problem of showing up false positives. This is something we had already researched and therefore we were hoping we would get the news we got today. It made me stop and wonder: are there other tests I’m using in my life that aren’t diagnostic tests, but only to be used in conjunction with other things? Do I have narrow vision and limit myself to only one way of doing something? I shall be taking inventory the rest of this week. What needs to be contrasted with something else. What is a stand alone test. This will be an interesting week.

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