Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Another Post About My Daughter

My poor daughter. Not only did she inherit my shyness and her grandmother's stringy straight hair. She also appears to have inherited her aunt Jennifer's extremely sensitive and allergy-prone skin. The poor girl hasn't got a chance in the world.

Last night, prior to watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on television, I sat my daughter down and put exactly one drop in her left eye to combat her pink eye. I won't get into the details of how it went down, but suffice it to say that it was not pleasant. After that, she snuggled up next to me in the chair to watch Rudolph.

About fifteen minutes into Rudolph, I looked over at Sophie and noticed that her left cheek was rosier than usual. I initially dismissed it as typical post-crying blotchiness (yes, there were many a tear involved in the eye drop incident). However, upon further inspection, I noticed that she had a small red circle right on the apple of her cheek that appeared to have a little raised bump in the middle. I wondered if perhaps a bug had bitten her while she sat there. It looked quite a bit like a tiny mosquito bite, though I doubted mosquitoes would be out and about in the frigid weather we were having yesterday. Sophie did not appear to notice the spot on her cheek, so I also ignored it.

About fifteen more minutes passed and I noticed Sophie's left side of her face growing redder and a cluster of tiny bumps had appeared along her jaw line. By this time, I was a bit concerned. We had two unfortunate incidents in the past with Sophie having an allergic reaction to sunscreen. One ended with us in the emergency room at Children's Hospital when Sophie's mouth swelled to the point that she was drooling and beginning to have difficulty breathing. We switched to a different sunscreen and now carry Benadryl in our beach bag all summer long. I decided to watch her easy task since she was practically sitting on top of me in the chair.

By the time Rudolph had ended, Sophie's entire left side of her face was beet red. Strangely, her eye appeared to be unaffected. However, her entire cheek, under her nose, her chin, and part of her neck and behind her ear were bright red and covered with tiny bumps that looked like acne. I rubbed her face and she quickly recoiled. Her cheek was hot to the touch and she complained that it hurt when I touched it. I quickly gave her a dose of Benadryl, despite her objections of "yuckiness," and tried to decide my next course of action. I was home alone with the kids. It was 8:00pm and I had all of the kids in their pajamas already. Not exactly an optimal time for an allergic reaction. However, if there is one tiny nugget of wisdom that I have garnered as a mom, it is that nothing happens at the optimal or convenient time with children.

I first called my mom. Because she raised four kids on her own and none of us died or ended up in prison (to date), I consider her a leading authority on all things maternal. I asked her if she had ever heard of a child being allergic to eye drops. She had not, but assured me that if there was ever to be a child with that particular allergy, it would be Sophie. Not entirely comforting, but altogether true.

I next called my sister Jennifer to get the phone number for the after hours nurse line at our pediatrician's office. I've been pretty much "winging" this whole parenting thing the last few years, so haven't had much need to call the nurse line. Jennifer gave me the number and asked that I keep her informed.

I dialed the nurse line and answered no less than one hundred questions. The nurse eventually concluded that Sophie needed to be seen by a doctor. She said that allergic reactions can be serious and there is no way of knowing if the next dose (as if I'd really give her another dose of the eye drops!) will be lethal. Way to scare a mom with the word "lethal."

So I called Ruanita at work and explained the situation. Ruanita, in typical momma bear fashion, immediately said that she was coming home so I could take Sophie to urgent care. I was not completely convinced that was necessary. By that time, the Benadryl seemed to be taking effect and the glowing red had dulled a tiny bit to a fluorescent pink, though the bumps remained. I told Ruanita as much, but after discussing it further, we decided she needed to be seen. Ruanita would head home to sit with the boys and I would take Sophie to urgent care. I hung up with the word "lethal" still echoing in my head.

I quickly put the boys to bed, dressed Sophie and myself, and waited for Ruanita to get home. As I should have expected, Sophie was jumping around and playing, happy as could be by the time Ruanita arrived home at 9pm. The frightful rash that had so quickly taken over her face had faded just as quickly with one dose of Benadryl. Her skin was practically back to its normal color.

Ruanita and I sat staring at Sophie, who was smiling at us completely oblivious to the trauma she had caused. She was just excited that the boys were in bed and she was not. We debated what to do next. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: What do you think we should do?
Ruanita: I don't know. What do you think we should do?
Me: I don't know. She looks fine now. I think the emergency has passed.
Ruanita: Yea, but we should still have her pink eye looked at since we can't give her those drops anymore.
Me: True, but do we need to do that tonight?
Ruanita: I don't know. What do you think?
Me: I don't know. It could probably wait. Then again, we're both here right now and Sophie and I are dressed.
Ruanita: True. So what do you want to do?
Me: I don't know. What do you think?
Ruanita: Why do I have to decide?
Me: You don't have to decide. I just want your opinion.
Ruanita: No, you want me to make the decision.
Me: No, I want your opinion. You apparently want me to to decide.
Ruanita: I'm not making the decision.
Me: Well, I am not making the decision either.

Nice, huh? In the end, we decided to wait and take her to her regular pediatrician today. Ruanita took Sophie in at 8:00 this morning. Nicholas had to go along with her, but Ruanita bribed him with a McDonalds hash brown to behave himself during the appointment. She just called me with the report. Sophie apparently has pink eye in both eyes now. The pediatrician gave us a new set of drops that contains a different antibiotic. She indicated that Sophie did not have a true allergic reaction to the previous drops. Had it been a true allergic reaction, her eye would have been affected. Since it was just her skin, the doctor felt that it was a simply a case of extremely sensitive skin rather than an actual allergy. She suggested that we cover Sophie's face and use caution when inserting the drops. We should try not to get any of the medication on Sophie's face, as her skin may break out again. I put all of ONE drop in her eye last night. So really, how much of it could have gotten on her skin? Definitely an extreme reaction to such a tiny bit of medication.

So it appears that we have a definitive diagnosis. Sophie has pink eye in both eyes and freakishly reactive skin, and Ruanita and I are equally immature and neither of us like to make decisions. All in all, an enjoyable combination on a frigidly cold Tuesday night.


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