Friday, August 28, 2009

Poor John

This morning, after we dropped Sam off at preschool, John and I went across the street to see the pediatrician. A couple of months ago, John had a horrendous case of hives that covered his entire lower body in huge welts and turned his skin fire engine red. It scared me to death. The doctor said it might be food-related, it could be viral (he had an ear infection at the time). He wasn't sure. Since then, John's randomly broken out in hives after meals and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the reactions. Welts on his arm after he touched macaroni and cheese. Hives around his mouth after cinnamon toast. He also appears to be HIGHLY allergic to mosquito bites. The welt swells up bigger than the first digit on my thumb and the resulting red patches around the welts can be as much as two inches square. They linger forever, and cause him unimaginable discomfort. And all this on the heels of a months-long case of eczema. The doctor made an appointment with an allergist for September the 9th and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this.

In the meantime, John is also getting teeth. Lots of them. According to the dentist, he cuts them in double pairs and has nine in various stages of entry right now. It is a testament to John's angelic personality that he isn't a screaming/snarling/teeth-gnashing demon at this point, because the same couldn't be said for his mother if she was dealing with the same litany of complaints.

I feel for him tremendously.

But more than that, I keep hearing this niggling voice in my head telling me to proceed with caution regarding him. It's the same voice I heard at the end of my pregnancy that told me I should not atttempt to deliver him vaginally. I listened to that voice, irrational as it seemed, having no idea at the time that he was wedged so tightly underneath my rib cage that his birth was even difficult surgically, and that his position in utero had contributed to his (thankfully correctable) torticollis, and that he was going to require months of physical and occupational therapy after birth to deal with that as well as his nursing and hypotonia issues.

His 15-month appointment is coming up in a week and a half, and he'll be due for his MMR vaccination. That niggling voice is back, saying to wait on the MMR. I got Sam vaccinated on schedule, despite all the conflicting vaccine info out there, and I'm very pro-vaccine, especially after the Great Whooping Cough Nightmare of '08, but I just don't think it's a good idea to subject John to a live-virus vaccine right now when his little body is having a hard enough time dealing with whatever-it-is he's currently allergic to. I voiced my concerns to his doctor, who is also militantly pro-vaccine, and he agreed to delay the MMR vaccine until John's immune system gets itself squared away.

Not to go all woo woo on you, but I can't know if John has a guardian angel or not, but these niggling pieces of "advice" come on so strong that it's impossible to ignore them or shake them off. I can only assume that someone knows more than I do about what awaits John in the future and is trying very hard to protect him from all possible harm. It's strange to feel these sensations so strongly in the gut, but I listen to them all the same.

So far so good.


  1. poor kid! trust your instincts...obviously they haven't let you down in the past.

    the eczema and rashes etc could be a gluten allergy. have you tried cutting gluten out of his diet? could also be dairy...(mac and cheese, did the tosst have butter?)

  2. I haven't tried an elimination diet yet just because it's such a pain in the butt. But yes, the toast was buttered, so it could be dairy or wheat. I'm hoping the allergist can give us something to work with.

    Cathy, based on your experiences, what are your thoughts on the MMR?

  3. i am still out on that one as a mother of a child with autism.

    i believe there is a genetic neurological difference that gives a propensity for many who get vaccinations to present with autism, but i can't say what it is about vaccines that causes that to happen.

    i say you're right to wait til he seems like his immune system is not compromised before getting the mmr. my pediatrician listens to me about how many are given per round with baby c, but i do eventually give her all vacs required, but not ones that are recommended. we tend to schedule some of them out longer than others.

  4. The boys' pediatrician is really a hard liner on the vaccine issue--an area where we differ. Though I am all in favor of vaccines, I'd prefer to space them out and give only for those diseases that are truly life-threatening. So I was surprised that he was fine with postponing the MMR. If he hadn't been, I'd already decided I just wouldn't bring John in for a check-up until I felt his immune system was stronger.

    After the whooping cough scare last year I feel so nervous and irresponsible skipping the MMR--but I wish you could see John--his skin is just all over red and erupted. Mosquitos went to town on his face and he looks like a prize-fighter. :-( I hope we get to the bottom of this soon.

  5. i hear ya, sister-mama!

    drs these days are pretty good at recognizing that to give a vaccine when the immune system is down is a bad thing.


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