Soncee Partida is eager to share how her family’s allergist changed their lives. Both her sons Antonio, 13, and Alex, 10 have asthma and allergies. “Their dad has asthma, plus they’re half-Hispanic,” she says. “It seemed almost inevitable they’d have it, too.”
As a baby, Antonio constantly caught colds and viruses that turned serious quickly, resulting in numerous ER visits and hospital stays. Soncee, a journalist and diligent note-taker, kept records of Antonio’s symptoms, doctor visits, and medications. “When he was 3, he’d been on inhaled corticosteroids five times in less than a year,” she says. “He was sick for so long that we were never able to get to the bottom of it. We thought his asthma was a byproduct caused by a virus. We didn’t know asthma was the main issue.”
Their pediatrician referred Antonio to an ACAAI member allergist who pinpointed what causes Antonio’s symptoms and helped the family figure out how to treat and prevent them. “The allergist knew what questions to ask,” Soncee says. “And she tailored Antonio’s treatment plan to his specific needs, she didn’t just take a blanket approach.”
The Partidas have been especially comforted by the above-and-beyond responsiveness of their allergist’s team. “Our family likes to travel, and sometimes we call her from the road. Maybe one of the kids is allergic to something that hits when we step off the plane,” Soncee says. “She helps us work through it. If our allergist isn’t available, another member of the team is there.”
Grass, pollen, and dust mites set off the boys’ allergies. “They’re also highly allergic to dogs. It’s challenging in southern California where everyone has a dog as an accessory,” Soncee says. The family adjusts; for example, road trips are better than plane rides because people bring pets on the planes.
Antonio and Alex feel in control of their asthma. “They’re living with it,” Soncee says. “They take responsibility. We’ve educated key people. The coaches know if they ask the kids to run a mile, the boys might have to use their inhaler beforehand.”
The result: Antonio and Alex are athletes with excellent school attendance, play competitive school sports, and have even attended sleepaway camp in the mountains.
“It’s so important to pick an allergist who’s a good fit. It’s like picking out a family member,” Soncee says. “Asthma is not something you just treat once. It’s ongoing.”
This patient successfully found relief after seeing an allergist, but the patient’s photograph is not available to respect the patient’s privacy and identity.