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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lay the Blame on Hubby.

Mitchell must have been about 6 months old when he showed the first signs of exema. It started in small circular shaped patches on his legs, and I was convinced it was ringworm. We visited he's pediatrician's office and were told not to worry, it was just sensitive skin. The instructions given were to moisturize immediately after bathtime and to use OTC Hydrocortisone cream. Between 6 months old and 14 months old, we visited the doctor for the same reason approximately 138 times.... well it felt like that anyway. An online pediatric dermatologist explained to me that he probably had what is called Numular Exema. In human terms, that basically means it's exema, in circles. If you were to google Numular Exema, you would find that it's more comming in males, aged 55 and older. ... hmmm... makes no sense to me at all why my 1 year old would be plagued with this. Eventually he developed it on his chest and soon after, his chin. We were able to get the breakout on his chest under control, but not without a bout of staph infection in the meantime. His chin on the other hand..... it wasn't so lucky. The rash would itch, he would scratch, it would bleed. During our Thanksgiving day drive down to Rancho Cucamonga, we had to stop halfway to clean him up. His hands, chin and face were spotted with blood.. more than I would have expected to see from a rash. I was told it would most likely be that way until his molars finished coming in, at which time he'd stop drowning in his baby drool. We began putting vaseline on it a few times a day which really seemed to help protect his skin from the excess moisture.
The one time in Fall that I took him to the doctor for something OTHER than his chin, was when I was told that the exema had turned into cellulitis. Mind you, this is a couple of months after his first visit for the "chin problems". I was given an antibiotic and a regimen for his creams.. then VOILA! it disappears. FINALLY. However, in the midst of all that mess, I got the courage to ask for a referral to Dr. Leung who has been seeing Andrew for his allergies since he was four years old. Seeing as they don't recommend testing for allergies until the baby is 18 months old, I was very surprised when my request was granted.
We started with a blood draw. All of the results came back negative when testing for allergies to common foods. This would seem to be good news, but unfortunately, the blood tests are very inaccurate. This past Friday morning, Cory was able to 'work from home' so that he could accompany me to Mitchell's appointment for skin testing. Andrew had the same barrage of tests done on him a couple of Summers ago, so I knew what to expect.... and I knew it wouldn't be pretty. Mitchell didn't do so bad when they rolled the pad of pokey needles across his back three times. The hell for him came when we made him sit still for 15 minutes while we waited to see his body's reaction to each part of the skin test.
Anyway - the whole point of this blog is to keep our family and friends updated.. so here's an update:
Mitchell as of now is allergic to different dusts and molds. Not surprising considering Daddy and Brother's allergies. He also shows a sensitivity to eggs, but the allergist said it's not quite bad enough to firmly label it as an allergy yet. The test for different types of nuts came back negative, HOWEVER, since Andrew is allergic to peanuts (and it is a very difficult allergy to outgrow) we were advised that Mitchell is not to eat any food containing nuts. Our pediatrician months ago had suggested keeping him off of peanuts until 3 years old so we knew it'd be awhile before he could enjoy a good ol' american PB&J sandwich. Now, who knows when he'll get to delve into the creamy, fruity goodness.

As for Andrew, he has a follow up appointment on Tuesday morning with Dr. Leung. After his last set of skin tests it was determined he was allergic to many, many different types of weeds and trees (Cory's fault!), peanuts, eggs, chicken, soy, cow's milk, dogs, cats and fire ants (of which I have seen first hand). Hopefully the insurance company will authorize another skin testing once again for Andrew so that we can find out if I can go back to packing PB&J for lunch each day!

When it comes to Kaitlynn, well, she's as healthy as any parent could wish for. No allergies, no injuries, no hospitalizations... Like Mother, Like Daughter.