Saturday, June 24, 2006

Victory Will Be Mine

Lest I begin to forget that I parent a child with multiple health issues, something always happens to bring me back to reality. Before I can say, Summer is Zane’s best season, we have another trip to the ER (see Chicago Trip 3 weeks ago) or a birthday party that I forgot to make allergen-free cupcakes for. (Cripes, you’d think that I’d just make another batch and freeze them like I did for the first 8 birthday parties, but somehow I’ve neglected to do this).

Not to complain. Summer is Zane’s best season. We haven’t needed to use any rescue asthma medications for him since we returned from Chicago. That means that we’ve only had to do the two “pulmicort-foradil cocktail” breathing treatments a day with two oral medications for a chaser. We’ve been down to using just four different medicines a day for weeks now.

And, really, the food allergy stuff is now a way of life for the most part for us. We do most of our adjustments without thinking. Somehow, though, this relatively hassle-free life has lulled me into forgetting just a little bit that our child is not “typical”.

Two things have happened this week to remind me that, hey, I better get my lackadaisical stuff together and step up to the parenting plate.

  1. I attended a meeting for parents of children with food allergies.
  2. The rash on Zane's face continues unabated, and I'm starting to feel like it's looking at me accusingly.

First, THE MEETING. This group was started about five months ago by a mama whose child has a life-threatening peanut allergy. I went to the first meeting, got freaked out, and didn’t return until this month. At the initial meeting, there were about 23 parents in the room who talked about their kids’ anaphylactic reactions. Well, at our house we were in full asthma season at that time (September through April when I live in a constant state of anxiety and hypervigilance), and I just couldn’t handle any new worst-case scenario images in my head. Also, most of the discussion focused on one allergen (peanuts), and Zane’s got four allergies (including peanuts), three sensitivities, and severe asthma. It was all just a little overwhelming.

But I went back this week, and it was a very pleasant experience. It didn’t feel like a life-or-death-if-you-don’t-have-the-right-information kind of meeting. Zane’s list of allergies was still longer than most other folks in the room, but I got some good information – i.e. Benadryl Fast-Melts in cherry flavor have soy protein in them. (As an aside: How can a medication which is the #1 medication used to treat allergic reactions contain one of the eight major allergens? It just seems to make no sense to me).

Anyway, hearing what other mamas are doing just reminded me that I need to keep up with all the precautions we take.

And then, should I still forget, there’s THE RASH. Zane has had an eczema-type rash on his face around his mouth for the past several weeks. Let me just confess, I completely know what started the rash - dairy. In the space of 24 hours, I let him eat McDonald’s Satan Fries and some popcorn – which I knew had butter on it - at a friend’s house. This is where the whole “lulled into a false sense of security” comes back to bite the junk in my trunk.

As for the Satan Fries, we hadn’t had them in a really long time, and I just thought, Well, he can have them today. He does so love them. I’ll give him benadryl later and make sure he doesn’t have any more in the near future. Which might have been okay. But then the next day we went to a friend’s house, and I let him have the popcorn. Again, I just thought, Oh my gosh. He just wants to eat what the other kids are having. He always has to have a separate snack. I just want him to be normal. And I let him eat the popcorn.

Well, wanting my kid to be normal led to diarrhea 20 minutes later and difficulty sleeping for the next two days, and – oh yeah – a wicked face rash.

So the dairy exposure started the face rash, but the question for me now is: What is making it continue?

Could it just a particularly recalcitrant eczema episode? Could it be exposure to another allergen? But that would mean either he’s been exposed to something I don’t know about or he’s developed a new sensitivity/allergy. Okay, both of the last two scenarios freak me out.

Could it be an environmental allergy or a virus in his system that is triggering eczema? Could it be a yeast infection on his face (caused by the breathing treatments) that I am mistaking for eczema? Could it be a reaction to the sunscreen we’ve been using?

So basically, after about three weeks off the vigilance, I am back to it full-tilt.

It’s me against THE RASH, and I swear I will be victorious.


Mom said...

Honey, it's a rash. It does not have a life of it's own. It cannot look at you accusingly.

I, however, can look at you accusingly about the rash. The rash that's been on little man's face for weeks and that you obviously aren't taking care of.

Bad mommy!

Oh, yeah, I love you honey!

Zany Mama said...

You just totally kissed me in front of all my friends as you dropped me off for school. Stop it!

No more "honeys" or "I love yous". Just drop me off at the corner, all right? There's no need for other folks to witness your demonstrativeness.