Since Nolan has both digestive problems and respiratory issues (along with chronic sinus and ear infections), a sweat test was ordered to determine if he has cystic fibrosis. We went up to Buffalo Children's on Tuesday and checked into the lung center.
The technician cleaned his arms and placed the electrodes on his right arm. She added the Pilocarpine and turned on the electricity - the electricity generator looked like a giant car battery.
Nolan was very brave and sat still for the test. The technician said it feels like the pins and needles when your leg falls asleep - a very strong tingling sensation.
Nolan did say, "It hurts, Mommy," a few times, but he sat still for the test.
After five minutes of stimulation on his right arm, the area was wrapped and the same process was repeated for the left arm.
Once both arms were finished and wrapped, we went off to wait for about 30 minutes. Nolan's sweat was collecting into the filter paper as we waited in the small waiting room in the CF center.
After the thirty minutes had passed for each arm, the gauze was unwrapped and the filter papers were taken by the technician to be weighed and analyzed for the concentration of chloride in his sweat. We left and went to Chuck E. Cheese as a reward for being so very brave.
I called the pediatrician's office today to find out what the results to the test were. Sweat chlorides over 60 mmol/L are positive for cystic fibrosis, chloride levels between 40 - 60 mmol/L are equivocal (might have CF), and levels below 40 mmol/L are considered negative.
Nolan's sweat chloride level was 9 mmol/L - very NEGATIVE for cystic fibrosis.
I am glad we have ruled it out, as our treatment strategy would change if he had CF.
I am extremely relieved that his lungs are healthy and we won't ever need to worry about this again.