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Today? Is dead to me. Seriously, I cannot remember the last time I had a day quite this bad.
It began this morning around 4 am when I had a panic attack of epic proportion. For no reason what-so-ever, I became convinced that the baby had suffocated in his room because we are unable to open his windows and it was warm. I woke my husband who assured me that when he went in there to shut off the sound machine around midnight that it had not, in fact, been too warm. I was still unable to get back to sleep.
Gunne Bear is getting molars and was a train wreck at breakfast. Clingy, whiny, prone to spitting his oatmeal out if the spoon hit his mouth wrong. Ugh.
Then we go to the allergist. 45 minutes to get there, during lunchtime. The doctor looks at him from across the room and says, “So I see he has eczema.” I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. This is the best his skin has looked EVER and you can still tell? Yeah, apparently it’s pretty bad.
They make me hold him down across my lap while they stick twenty, that would be 20, needles in his back to test for allergens. A bunch instantly inflame, and he gets itchy. I’m instructed not to let him scratch, so I have a hungry, teething, itchy baby on my lap frantically squirming and lashing out in agony.
The doctor comes back, and it turns out that Gunne Bear is allergic to milk. Milk? Seriously? Milk? In addition to everything else, he’s allergic to MILK? The kid eats a TON of Greek yogurt every day. And he’s allergic to milk. Excellent. Great. What the hell do I feed my kid now?
Not to mention the fact that he has had eczema and some hives since he was a few weeks old. And I brought this up with his old pediatrician who just told me that it was a rashy age and he’d grow out of it. Yeah. So I’ve been giving him milk-based formula, yogurt, cheese, and butter ever since. Great.
We leave with a prescription for an epi-pen, some Zyrtec and instructions to start him on soy and wean him off milk. He goes back in a month for a recheck and further testing.
So we drive 45 minutes home, with him wailing the entire way. When I reached back to try to comfort him, he bit me. Hard.
We get home, and he’s now missed lunch and most of his afternoon nap. I say, fuck it, and we go to the pond. Spend 30 minutes splashing around since it’s 90-degrees out today and we were both miserable. The pond was the only good part of my whole day.
Back at the house, I have to try to find him a meal that is wheat and milk free. I ground up a hot dog with some corn. It looked horrifying, but he ate it along with two squeezy fruit pouches, some O shaped cereal and some of the leftover fruit from breakfast. I cannot believe I fed my son a meal like this, but I have NO other food in my house that is dairy and wheat free.
On the plus side, he’s not allergic to peanuts.
Oh and he totally leaked through one diaper and then pooped through another one, so I’m doing an unscheduled load of laundry. I have gotten only half my work for the day done and the house is a mess. I’m so bummed and confused about this no dairy thing I just do not know what to do about it.
I am so freaking happy this day is almost over and I can put it behind me. Tomorrow had better be freaking better or the universe and I are going to have to have one, long chat.
One Month Later ….
So about a month ago, we had Gunne Bear in for some allergy testing, because his eczema had gotten out of hand. We were surprised to learn that he tested positive for a milk allergy, and began the elimination diet. An elimination diet consists of removing the food in question for 2 – 3 weeks, and then reintroducing it again to watch for a reaction.
So I spent 3 weeks, trying desperately to get him to eat foods that weren’t dairy and spent hundreds of dollars on a plethora of non-dairy foods. Only to watch his eczema get worse, not better. Hhmm…
So nearing the end of the elimination diet, I spoke with a neighbor whose son has eczema even worse than Gunne Bear’s. And she told me some interesting things:
1) Allergy testing for eczema is not foolproof In fact, the results are often inconclusive.
2) Probiotics, like those found in yogurt, are known to HELP people with eczema by giving them something their skin naturally lacks.
Two days after this, I spoke with his doctor who told me something else that was very interesting:
The control prick on his back inflamed as well. The control prick WHICH WAS RIGHT NEXT TO THE MILK PRICK.
Shortly after this, we figured out that Gunne Bear liked to “fake choke” to get attention. Even when he wasn’t eating anything.
So we decided to end the elimination diet right then and there and reintroduce some milk products to watch for a reaction. And we got one, it just wasn’t what we were watching for.
Gunne Bear nearly dove head first into the tub of yogurt. He was so happy to have one of his favorite foods back he was practically shoving it in with both hands and a spoon. I watched him carefully and so no reaction.
We gave him some more the next day. No reaction. And more the next day. No reaction, but I noticed that his skin was starting to look better again.
Sooo… three weeks and hundreds of dollars later, I think we can safely assume that Gunne Bear is not, in fact, allergic to milk, although he DOES get very ill if he eats wheat, blueberries or strawberries. I’m really annoyed at the whole thing, and since a new routine of washing and moisturizing, combined with cloth diapers and a new detergent has pretty much cleared it up, I canceled his last appointment. I couldn’t stand the thought of 20 more needles getting stuck in his back for more inconclusive results when he’s getting better.
Gunne Bear has also let us know what he thought of the elimination diet by refusing all foods that are not made of dairy, with the exception of fruit and peas. Noodles? Cover them in cheese or he won’t touch them. Yogurt? Yes, please, but plain and straight out of the container. Is that ice cream you’re eating? He’ll take that, thanks.