Thursday, April 14, 2011
Jillian's Visit to the Allergist
There have been several concerning incidents where Jillian has broken out in a mysterious rash. The first incident happened when she was six month old. I had received a frantic phone call from daycare saying that Jillian had broken out in a horrible rash, was scratching at her temples viciously, and was crying so hard she had some difficulty catching her breath. Jeff and I were both scared to death and immediately picked her up from daycare and whisked her off to the ER. As fast as we got her there, the rash had already disappeared and Jillian had calmed down. We never got a straight answer from the ER doctors on what could have caused Jillian to have such a reaction. We did happen to try a different version of Jillian's formula that day, however, the doctor didn't think that it would cause such a severe reaction since both types of formula were made by the same company, Enphamil. It was frustrating not knowing what could have caused our baby to react to something so severely. We just continued to pray that it wouldn't happen again.
The second incident happened a month ago. I was in the process of transitioning Jillian from formula to regular milk. I initially tried giving Jillian milk outright in a sippy cup, however, my picky girl would not have it. I decided to try the transition method where you mix milk with formula, slowly increasing the milk to formula ratio every couple of days. I had just increased Jillian's intake of regular milk from 1 ounces to 2 ounces which seemed to be going well. Then I got the call from daycare that Jillian had another rash all over her torso accompanied by a fever. We needed to come get her and get her checked out by a pediatrician. I did happen to notice a slight rash on Jillian that morning, however, it had disappeared by the time we arrived at daycare. I asked them to keep an eye on her in case it returned. And sure enough, it did. Our pediatrician was nice enough to see us right away even though she was just about to wrap up her last appointment. She examined Jillian and explained that even though she had a fever, the rash looked to be an allergic reaction. The fever could have been caused something completely unrelated like a virus or even teething. So we left with a referral to a pediatric Allergist and instructions to call her if the rash returned. I felt awful that both rash incidents happened while Jillian was at daycare. The unfortunate thing too was that both rashes faded by the time I had gotten to her so I didn't feel like I could clearly explain to the doctor what happened during both occasions. I only had cell phone pictures to show them that Jillian's daycare teacher's had taken, which I was extremely grateful to them for taking.
There was one other time where Jillian had broken out in a mysterious rash. Luckily, she and I were both at home. We were changing her out of her clothes and into her pajamas and I noticed a strange rash all over her torso again. We tried thinking about what she had been in contact with that day and what new foods she had eaten. We were in the process of introducing Jillian to new and different foods since she had just started eating table food. Jillian had spent the day with Jeff's Mom since it was her day to watch Jillian. We found out that the only thing out of the ordinary was that Jeff's Mom had Jillian try scrambled eggs for the first time. The logical answer was that Jillian was having a reaction to the eggs so we decided no more eggs for Jillian for awhile!
After seeing Jillian so upset and uncomfortable during each of these rashes, you can imagine how upset I was when I found out that I couldn't go to the long awaited appointment to the Allergist. The appointment was two weeks ago during the peak of my illness. I could barely get out of bed the morning of her appointment. We had been waiting for this appointment for three weeks and couldn't bare the thought of cancelling it just because I was sick. So Jeff took her while I rested at home.
Do you want to know what my sweet girl is allergic to??? Milk, Eggs and Peanuts!!!!!!!!!!! My poor baby, we are both very upset that she has to deal with this. On the bright side, the peanut allergy is mild, only a 35% risk. The Eggs and Milk are more serious coming in at a 90% and 80% risk, respectively. I felt so bad for Jeff too, what a time he had at the Allergist. At first, the Allergist was uncooperative and didn't even want to administer the allergy tests since Jillian had a fever during one of her reactions. He said it sounds more like a virus and didn't even know why he was even there. However, Jeff insisted doing the test since he had made the trip downtown and was already there. So the doctor tested her for milk, eggs, peanuts, cats, dogs, and dust mites. After confirmation of the three food allergies, Jeff had to take Jillian across town to a lab where they needed to draw some blood to confirm the severity of the allergies. Jillian was not a cooperative patient and completely fought the nurse who was trying to draw blood. On top of everything else, Jillian had a major blow out inside the lab, probably from nerves, and poor Jeff had to try to find a decent location to change her. I just felt awful that I couldn't be there for either of them during this whole fiasco.
See the little red mosquito like bumps in the picture above? Those are the allergic reactions. So where do we go from here? I have an appointment with Jillian's pediatrician next week to talk about what kind of milk I can give Jillian. Jillian is still on her Enphamil formula for now which has always agreed with her. Obviously, eggs and peanuts are out indefinitely. The allergist did mention that most kids do grow out of milk and egg allergies by the time they are four so here's to hoping that happens. For now, I have to keep Jillian away from straight milk, eggs, and peanuts. The interesting thing about this is that Jillian still eats dairy products like cheese with no adverse reactions. She can also eat baked goods like cake and cookies without having any reaction from the cooked eggs. So heres to hoping that her allergy isn't that severe, I really hope she doesn't have live with food allergies her entire life. The letter we received in the mail this week from the Allergist confirming Jillian's bloodwork mentioned that even though she has a clear allergy to all three of these foods, we do not need to carry an Epipen since her allergies are not life threatening. Praise God!
I would love to hear from Mom's who have dealt with food allergies, especially with milk, eggs, or peanuts. Any suggestions? Did they eventually grow out of it? Even though the peanut allergy is the least severe, for some reason that one is the most scary to me. I would really appreciate any words of advice!!! I am really worried and this all so new to me.