February 11, 2010

Allergy Adventures

On Wednesday, Lucas and I decided to try another meal that we could all have as a family - scrambled eggs and toast. Now, the babies have had toast a million times, but not eggs. We had been given the go ahead from the pediatrician for eggs 2 months ago, but knowing that they are a highly allergenic food, and knowing that Ryan tends to be sensitive, I was afraid to try. However, Ryan has never officially been allergic to anything, and he had eaten a few things with eggs in them (with no obvious side effects), so I figured I needed to stop being so over-protective and try them already.

Very quickly I noticed that he started developing little, splotchy marks around his mouth. Unfortunately, my little vacuum cleaner had already devoured almost all of his eggs (he loved them, so there were only crumbs left...). Fortunately, I had some children's Benadryl on hand. Not knowing what would be a proper dosage, I gave him half of the amount I would give of tylenol. I kept an eye on him for the next 45 minutes - nothing seemed to have changed at all - and then put him down for his nap.

Around the usual time, the twins got up from their naps. Allie was up first, so I was a little distracted trying to corral her when I went in to get Ryan. I brought them to the kitchen, set them up playing on the floor, and got the bottles warming up. I had just put the bottles in the hot water, and turned to play with the babies when I noticed that Ryan had red, splotchy marks on his head (praising God for his lack of hair so I could see them!). He's had these before, but I had always assumed they were from getting worked up while he played. The odd thing was that he had been just sitting there - no chance to get worked up. What was going on? I got down closer, and about had a heart attack. He was covered, head to toe, in hives!

I immediately called the pediatrician (he was in with a patient, but they would have him call me as soon as he was done). Then I called Lucas (who was in the shower). Then I took pictures (not for the blog...I had read somewhere that if your child has a reaction to a food you should take pictures so that, even if the pediatrician doesn't feel the need to see you that day, you can show them the reaction at a future visit to confirm whether or not it was allergy related...I just decided later to use the pictures for the blog...). The pediatrician called me back and said that Ryan was most definitely allergic to eggs, and to avoid them and all foods with them from now on. He said there was a chance he could grow out of the allergy, and we could try eggs in the future, but that would be a discussion for a later date. And then he told me how much Benadryl I could give Ryan. Turns out I had given him 1/8 of an actual dosage - enough to slow the process down for the 45 minutes that he was awake, but not enough to stop the full blown allergic reaction. I gave him the rest of the amount of the recommended dosage and within 30 minutes his hives were almost completely gone!

You may be wondering, like I was, why he didn't have such a strong reaction to foods that contained eggs. Remember how I mentioned that he had gotten splotchy before? As I began to think back, the recent days that I noticed some splotchiness were the days that he had eaten foods that contained eggs. I think he was having a mild reaction, but it wasn't enough to trigger in my mind what was really happening (because I always noticed it after he was fussing, or had been rapidly crawling laps around the room, and had assumed it was because he was worked up and flushed).

We have survived our first allergy adventure...hopefully there will not be more in the future!


Anonymous said...

Awe...this is my least favorite blog. Poor Buddy...he looks so sad. I so can relate to those awful hives. I had many thru the years. Breaks my heart to see these pictures. Last time I will look at this one. I just want to pick him out of this picture and give him the biggest hug ever! Thank God for Benedryl. Love you babies. Nana

Anonymous said...

Kim, I can relate to your pain in this. When Paul was about 5 they were in the close-by woods and unkown to me they all ate some berries. I took Paul's shirt off and he had hives as big as a saucer and 1/2 inch thick and I let out a yip and scared him half to death as he couldn't see what was alarming me. Anyway the hives spread from the back to his whole trunk and head, then to arms and left out of his fingers and ears. During this time I rushed him to the doctor and he said that it was a blessing that they were on the outside as if they were on the inside he would have sufficated. He had a couple episodes like Ryan, but never as scaey as that. He outgrew all his other allergies by that time. It was the last. He lOVED tomatoes and I let him scarf them up, like with Ryan and same thing like Ryan. Hang in there!! Lots of hugs and prayers, G-gran