Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I've Got a Tight Grip on Reality

The Tour de Doctors is never ending. And unlike the Tour de France, there's no trophy or metal at the end.

Hopefully, health.

So back to the doctor we went Monday. This time, the family doctor.

She thought another round of oral steroids would help. Cut back on the prescription allergy medicine a bit, but add a daily dose of Benadryl. Go off the topical steroid (he became immune), and add (after my request) the prescription lotion the big boys take.

Boy howdy we know how to party over here.

We're also trying to wean, but Stubborn McFussyPants has no use for anything in his mouth except the boob. Of course. This morning I fed him a new (fourth!) formula in a sippy that didn't have the stopper. I think he got half of it on him, but even so - that's the most he's had of anything that didn't come out of a boob. So, I say WIN!

The steroids are an interesting, horrible life experiment. Let's take a baby who obviously doesn't feel well, but has a stellar disposition and turn him into MEAN ANGRY HULK BABY CRASH BOOM SMACK. New favorite pastime? Whacking Mama with a very hard rattle. Screaming non-stop. Giving big brothers dirty looks instead of laughing when they dare to make him giggle.

At least he's not turning green and ripping all his clothes off.

One dose in him and he's already better. And he's be even more better if he hadn't mastered the fine art of scratching his face into everything including the couch, carpet, blankets, his own shirt, our shirts and anything he can possibly get his face on.

Oh boy. Such a party.

Postscript: I just got a call from the doctor's office, when they swabbed his cheeks on Monday, the sample grew a Staph infection. Not MRSA, thankfully, but still: fuck. Fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When You're Down There's Just One Way to Go

We're on Spring Break here- no, wait. The boys are on Spring Break. I don't get a Spring Break. 'Cause I'm a Mom. A Responsible Mom. A Responsible Mom who doesn't drink rum in the middle of the day even though she really wants to. Especially when the boys are on Spring Break.

So. The boys are on Spring Break from school. Aaron's still out of town (hello, day 13: you suck).

Because I'm a Responsible Mom, I'm making the boys clean the playroom over Spring Break. Which means, according to them, I'm a rotten, awful mother who will be sent to the grossiest of gross nursing homes as soon as they can falsify my records and make me sound like I'm incapable of making Responsible decisions.

Which means at the rate that Griffin and his lawyer-ness is going, two years?

And I will par-tay.

ANYWAY. The cleaning. Yes. See?

Please note: yes, Emerson has "tiny" legos in his hands, but they are impossible-to-choke-on-legos. And I'm only helping Griffin find me the rottenest of nursing homes, yes?

Emerson's test results came back last week: dog and egg

Which totally stumped me. "What do you mean only dog and egg?" "Isn't that enough?" "Have you not looked at my other boys' files? He's got to be allergic to more than that!"

I got the paper copy of his test results Monday and yes. Turns out he's way more allergic than "just" eggs and dog. But whatever(s) it is, it's not testable yet. His general-allergic-to-the-world IgE was through the roof. Which means, most likely, he's allergic to me. Like Darwin was. Why the children's hospital can't test that is beyond me, but there it is.

And I've tried weaning him onto the Elecare (that wonderful hypoallergenic formula) and he isn't going for it. On Monday, the allergist gave us vanilla-flavored Elecare. And I got a little excited on Facebook and Twitter and posted this with a WIN! and yeah. That WIN! lasted about two minutes.

I'm an overzealous person, internets.

My new plan is to ditch this place and go away this weekend when Aaron gets home, so Aaron could get him to take a damn bottle and I could sleep.

I really think not-getting-two-straight-hours-of-sleep-at-any-time is really screwing with my brain.

But? HA. Like that's really gonna happen. Please. I'm a Responsible Mom, remember?

Internet, meet The Incisors of Death. You realize I'm still nursing, right?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

In case you don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, we've had a couple of really awful shitty weeks over here. After the oozy incident, Emerson got tons better on the steroids, new antibiotic and antihistamine.

Three days later, when he took a step down of the steroid, he completely broke out again. A week later we were back at the doctor, crying. Not sleeping. Begging for an answer.

At this point, the infection is secondary. The issue is the inflammation, which is opening the skin to be susceptible to the infection. Their only thought?


At which point I totally did a facepalm because duh, I should have figured that one out on my own.

I spent that whole Friday calling the allergist's offices (who's having her own set of health issues regarding her eye, poor lady - I really like our allergist a lot). I spent the whole Monday calling her offices (she works out of three: the "fancy" one we go to, one at KU Med and a third kids' clinic at a satellite KU Med location) (doctor has credentials, yo) and couldn't get Emerson an appointment until Friday.

Another allergist in her office offered to have us come in on Tuesday to "explain to us how food allergies in babies work, but wouldn't test the baby for allergies." Like there's anything any doctor can throw at us that we haven't already heard, studied and had test results that were against their textbook lectures.


Aaron pushed back a business trip, I nearly had a nervous breakdown (as in, do I need to go to a mental institution? or just check into a hotel and get some freaking sleep?) and we finally made it to the appointment.

We arrived, and immediately got stuff rolling for Emerson.

This is a good true-to-life photo (little slap-happy filtering on this one - the others? hello funky filters that don't make my baby look quite so miserable), taking his blood pressure.

After going through all our papers, asking us questions and looking him over carefully, we were sent to the hospital for his allergy blood test.

Five vials. They needed five vials of blood to test all of the allergies ordered (and the doctor ordered every single one possible).

The results are in, but OF COURSE we have to wait to tomorrow 'cause today is her day at her kids' clinic and she'll review them tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, we have new body soap and lotion, new antihistamine and two cans of Elecare just in case he is allergic to my breastmilk. And based on the tests we did at home (rubbing some into a quarter-sized spot on his back that was originally clear), he is (his poor back broke out after three applications).

So remember when I said we have tests that go against textbooks? Yes. We do. All of us. (Well, not Aaron. But the rest of us.) Please don't leave any snarky comments saying IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO BE ALLERGIC TO BREASTMILK!!!1!!!!!

Improbable, yes. Impossible, no.

Darwin was. I will not at all be surprised to find out Emerson is too.

And yes, to answer your question: if he's allergic to me and my milk, then why now? Why not when he was born?

Because of two things: One, a baby's immunities is reflective of his mothers when being born. It takes a while for the mother's immunities to flush out and the babe's to turn on. Two, genetics turn on and off multiple times over your life (and each switch is slow, taking a few months or as you age, a year). Once around six months (Emerson's age), another big genetic switch around the age of five (when lots of kids "grow out of allergies"), another during puberty, and genetics can turn on and off anytime the body goes through trauma (broken bones, pregnancy and delivery, hernia surgery, etc).

I can haz nerd cred.

Emerson started breaking out in November - I just thought it was the cold weather. In December I went dairy free (keeping in mind, for myself I'm gluten and soy free), which helped a bit. Then I went egg and nut free. But it's just compounded and compounded and compounded and nothing I do is making him any better.

I may have to start weaning tomorrow, which is a great disappointment. I had planned on nursing him for a few more months.


I will do whatever is necessary to take care of my babies. Emerson's constant screaming and inability to sleep is proof something is going on his little body. Whatever it is needs to be diagnosed and remedied. Period.