Monday, April 12, 2010

Allergies Are Still Haunting Us - Sort Of

Since he was around 8 months, we determined that Henry's allergies were either gone or extremely mild.  He drinks milk twice a day, eats yogurt, cheese, eggs, etc. without a problem.  That is until we traveled to Mexico where he regularly ate food cooked by others, and those others used a lot of butter.  He loved the pancakes and would gleefully wipe his butter-smeared hands all over his face and hair.  

On day 3, he broke out in a terrible red rash on his face (only).  Now that I think of it, the rash was reminiscent of a rash he had when he was 2-3 weeks old.  I never cook with butter at home, and am convinced that the mantequilla touching his face was the culprit.  Since we’ve been home, he has not had any rashes.  (See above photo - he's eating a cheddar omelet, notice no rash) 

Upon our return home, I took Henry for his 15 month well visit, and our pediatrician recommended we either go to an allergist or do a blood draw at the office.  The blood draw would test for 12 different possible allergies.  It was torture.  Poor Henry screamed the entire time, and the blood came out so slowly.  He survived the blood draw, despite a small bruise. 

A week later, the pediatrician’s office called to tell me that there was not enough blood to do a full test, and the only thing they determined was that Henry has a very mild allergy to something, but they don’t know what it is.  I was livid.   I would recommend avoiding a blood draw for allergies if at all possible.  We will be visiting an allergist once we’re settled in our new home.    

My uneducated diagnosis is that Henry is allergic to dairy when it touches his face.  When he was a newborn I let him nurse resting on the nursing pillow, which would often be wet with breast milk (I was eating dairy).  He broke out in a rash, and I thought it was because the milk was dirty.  Once I started putting a towel under his face, and changing it for each feeding, the rash subsided.  Perhaps this allergy should’ve been discovered a year ago.  Or, maybe the reason so many children have allergies today, is not because more children have allergies, but because in previous generations, children just had rashes and parents assumed it was nothing.  Hmmmmmm.    

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