Posted in Food allergies, Parenting

Bring Out The Cheese!

Last Thursday, we went for Little Dude’s follow-up appointment with his pediatric allergist.  It was freezing cold and there was oddles of traffic so I’m super happy we took the train and subway to go to the hospital.

We first sat down with the doctor who asked how things were going allergy-wise.  She was thrilled when I told her that we had successfully introduced milk in baking and cooking.  I also talked about the insane reaction that Little Dude had after taking Amoxil a couple of months ago.  Then, after some more waiting in the toy-filled waiting room, we went back in to see the nurse who would conduct the scratch test.  This time, she skipped the synthesized dairy altogether and used a drop of fresh milk right off the bat.  I was really eager to see how it would go, because last time, the test spot started reacting before we were even out of the nurse’s office.

Well, it turns out that we would be receiving good news.

1.  Despite the fact that Charles did react again to the fresh milk, his reaction was so small that the allergist gave us the green light to try hard cheeses with Charles.  She went on to say that if the hard cheeses were ok, that we could then try softer ones and even yogurt!

2.  Because Charles’ reaction was smaller than the control spot, the allergist is pretty confident that Little Dude’s dairy allergy will be history by the time he’s 3.  We will have a follow-up appointment in 6 months to keep monitoring his progress.

3.  It turns out that the little guy isn’t allergic to penicillin.  Though he had an immune reaction, it wasn’t an allergic reaction.  It was a serum-sickness-like reaction to either a virus or the Amoxil.  Since there’s no way to know which it was, I was told to avoid the Amoxil, but told that other forms of penicillin should be fine.

Perhaps, by his 3rd birthday, Charles will be able to have some buttercream icing or whipped cream on his cake!

Posted in Parenting

Enough Is Enough!

It seems like Little Dude just can’t catch a break.  Three weeks ago, we brought him to the medical clinic for a bad cough to find out he had an ear infection on both sides.  Then, the morning after finishing the antibiotics he’d been taking for ten days, he broke into hives and suffered through the bad reaction all weekend.  He’d been doing pretty good for the last two days or so and then, yesterday morning, something was off.

He woke up in a good enough mood, but things quickly went downhill.  After throwing a tantrum when we had to force him to take his Benadryl, his screams and tears became more insistent.  He refused to walk, repeating the word “hurt” over and over again (a word he’d also used over the weekend, at the peak of his hives, when it was time to walk).  When, I asked him where it hurt, he told me it was to his knees.

Feeling that the tears and tantrum were more than those of a terrible two toddler who’s just plain sick of being sick, I decided to bring him in to the walk-in clinic.  It turns out that the little one has lots of fluid in his ears (which isn’t infected…yet…).  As for the pains, the doctor told me that hive sometimes came with joint pains.  He suggested we give some Motrin for the next five days to see if things got better.  After giving Charles two doses of Motrin, I see a big improvement!  Though the little guy walks as though he was an old man, at least he’s walking again.

So now, Little Dude is on a nice cocktail of Motrin and Benadryl for the next five days.  Here’s to hoping that he’ll be spared from any pain or discomfort for a while by Monday.

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Posted in Parenting

Updates!

So today was Amélie’s 1 month check-up.  Since her brother had had a mysterious illness over the weekend, we decided to bring him along as well to get him checked out.  It turns out that the pediatrician took more time with Charles than she did with Amélie.

ImageI commented a couple of days ago about how baby girl suddenly didn’t fit into her newborn clothing anymore.  It’s little wonder though as she is now measuring 54.5cm.  That means that in 14 days she grew 4.5cm (or almost 2 inches).  Holy crap!  Now that’s what I call a growth spurt.  She also gained 780g (or 1 pound and 11 oz).  It would seem that mama has got some pretty darned good milk.

As for Charles, well, the pediatrician was absolutely flabbergasted when she saw him and heard what had happened since last Friday.  She immediately told us that it was a pretty impressive allergic reaction (hives) and urged us to talk about it with Charles’ allergist the next time we go to see her.  She is pretty certain that the reaction is in response to the amox that he took to treat an ear infection as the hives started to appear the morning after he finished his prescription.  She’s asking us to continue to give him Benadryl every 4 h until the hives are all gone and had us meet with a pharmacist to see what was the maximal dose we could give him.

Dada and I are both conked out from the stressful weekend and the little guy (who has always been super good about taking medication) now has to be forced to take his Benadryl (we suspect it’s because he associates it with the intense itch his hives cause).  No fun!

To give you an idea of the progression of the hives, here’s what our weekend looked like:

On Friday, they were just small red spots here and there.  As the day progressed, the spots got redder and larger and had raised edges.

P1000858On Saturday, the spread the continued the spots changed again and became the crater-like spots that turned blue that you see in the picture below and his eyelids became swollen after his nap.

By  Sunday, most of his body was covered by either new or old spots.  BUT at least he started to be in a good mood in the afternoon and started to play so we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Finally, this morning, we’re noticing that there don’t seem to be many new spots and the ugly red-bue ones that were there yesterday are gone.  He also actually had breakfast: his first complete meal since Friday at lunchtime (we’ve been keeping him hydrated and have managed to get him to snack a bit over the course of the weekend).  However, because of the insane amounts of Benadryl he’s been taking all weekend, he now looks like a zombie.

Image 1Oh well, we’ll get through this!  I’m just happy nothing worse happened.

So milk and now, it would seem, amoxcillin.  Here’s to hoping we don’t discover any new allergies.

Posted in Parenting

Oh No, Not Again!

Guess what?

Yeah, my son had another reaction to something he ate.  *Pulls out hair*.  I swear, I’m going to have to invest in benadryl stocks…

Of course, now I’m getting paranoid, so, naturally, I’ve been doing some reading on food allergies.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

–  It generally takes a few exposures before the body has an immune response to a food that was consumed (which explains why my son seemed fine the first time but then broke in to hives the second or third time).

– 90% of food allergies are caused by an item from the “top 8”: cow’s milk, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish and wheat

– Don’t assume that a reaction to a certain food will always present itself in the same way (which means that “just” because my son has been breaking into hives, doesn’t mean his body can’t eventually have a more severe reaction like anaphylaxis).

– Symptoms might appear a few minutes (hives) after eating an offending food, or many hours after (eczema).  This sent off a light bulb moment in my head.  You see, my son has had eczema pretty much from day 1.  Therefore, it is entirely possible that he’s been reacting to what I’ve been eating through my milk!

– If a parent has a personal history of allergies (seasonal allergies, eczema, food allergies, asthma) their child has a greater risk of developing an allergic condition.  In our case, dad has no allergies but I have seasonal allergies and have developed an asthmatic reaction to cats when I was in my preteen years.  It has mostly disappeared now, but I still keep my inhalers just in case.  This surprised me, because I thought that he would only be at risk if either his father or I had food allergies, which we don’t.

– Many children outgrow their allergies to foods other than peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

Now, I’ve been communicating with a couple of mommas on a food allergy board, both of which suggested that I get my hands on an epipen for my son after seeing how widespread his reaction was when we initially went out to buy some benadryl.

So, where does that leave me?

1.  I need to call his pediatrician’s office again to see if she can write Little Dude a script for an epipen.

2.  Keep up the food log and take note of the other more subtle signs of an allergy.

3.  Keep a food log for myself and see how what I eat affects his eczema.

4. Call the allergy department of the hospital again to see if I can convince them that my son is more important than all of the other children that have an appointment before him to move up my son’s appointment before I run out of things to feed him.

5.  Become “that annoying mom that’s always calling” until I get answers.

Sound like a good plan?

 

Posted in Infant, Parenting

How To Stump A Pediatrician

For those of you not following my blog on BLW, here’s a small recap of what has gone on so far.

We started BLW when my son turned 6 months old – nearly 3 weeks ago.  Seeing as neither my partner or I have any food allergies, we dove right in and avoided only foods that had a high risk of triggering an allergic reaction like nuts.  Things were going really well until I noticed one day that my son had a pretty gnarly rash on his lower face and forearms.  At first, I brushed it off as being an eczema flare-up, a decent assumption given that I only noticed the redness the following day after an overnight change of temperature from cold to hot.

The thing is, though, the next time I gave my son some yogurt, I wiped him down, sat him on his playmat and, when I turned around to start cleaning the table, he started screaming.  I looked at him and immediately noticed this his lower face, cheeks and the inside of his arms were bright red with little white bumps all over.  Enter Benadryl…  Eventually, I put two and two together and realized that my son was reacting to dairy, or, at the very least, yogurt.  Reading up on it, I found that it wasn’t uncommon for babies to have trouble processing lactose and that this reaction could just be the result of his system not being mature enough to handle it.  ‘No matter’, I thought, we’ll just wait a few months before reintroducing dairy.

Then, he had a reaction to tomato – the second time he ate it only.  I thought that it might be because the second time around it had been in contact with an acidic dressing, but I still decided to err on the side of caution.  Henceforth, I would only introduce one new food at a time.  I made some fishcakes.  New ingredient: panko bread crumbs.  I did not want to use the other breadcrumbs because I read in the ingredients that it had been produced in a plant where they also use milk ingredients (yeah, you can say that I was overcautious…).  The first time he ate some, he was fine.  The second time he ate some, he was fine.  The third time…the third time he had an allergic reaction.  His lower face was bright red again and some bright red patches with little white bumps had crept on his back as well.

Damn.

So…where did that leave me?  I had (read: have) no idea what my son can eat.  I mean, seriously, why is he fine one day and not the next?  So, I rang up my pediatrician’s office this morning to see if I could get an appointment and perhaps a referral to an allergist.  Her office was very accommodating and found a spot for me today!

Well, after spending about a quarter hour in her office, she was stumped.  At first, she thought I might be mistaking an allergic reaction with eczema.  I suppose, however, that after asking me the same question about five different ways and getting the same answer from me, she realized that I actually was able to distinguish the two (don’t fault her for asking in so many ways though, she was being thorough!).  What also confused her was that I hadn’t changed my diet since giving birth.  She told me that, according to what she knew, my son shouldn’t be reacting to food because he hadn’t had any reactions to the proteins that were in my milk.

Eventually, she took out her prescription booklet and a post it and told me that she would be referring us to an allergist at a children’s hospital.  I’m calling tomorrow to get an appointment.

In the mean time, we are going to continue solids and I will be jotting everything down.  That way, I will have a mine of information by the time we are able to see the specialist.