Friday, February 19, 2010

Phone Photo Friday - A Challenge

My challenge to you is to read this post without scratching yourself.

The good news is that Michael took every single dose of his Amoxicillin without a fight. Not even any hesitation. I would give him the dosing spoon and he would drink it up. Every single time. It was such a huge relief. When I gave him the last dose on Wednesday morning I was thrilled.

Of course, no one ever talks about the good news unless there is bad news.

On Wednesday evening I noticed a few bug bite looking spots on Michael's neck and noticed him scratching. I wondered if my mom's cats - that haven't been outside for 4 years - had gotten fleas. Then I wondered if some of the ants had escaped from my mom's ant farm. Both seemed unlikely. I figured maybe Michael had gotten something on his neck, so we gave him a bath and sent him to bed.

He was up four times Wednesday night, so I knew something was up, but I had no idea what was going on. I got him up, looked under his shirt and went, "Wow! Those are hives!"

I'll be honest. One of the first things that crossed my mind was, "Maybe I can give him some Benadryl and send him to school." Any working mom who's short on sick time will understand where that thought comes from. However, it didn't last very long. It was quickly replaced with, "OMG, that must really itch!"

Michael was actually in a good mood, and wasn't scratching much at all. He wasn't having any trouble breathing so I gave him some Benadryl and decided to wait for the doctor's office to open. As the morning progressed I realized I should probably take some pictures so that we could track if the hives were getting worse or better. This is what he looked like.



It breaks my heart just looking at him. It also makes me really itchy. I think I actually scratched more yesterday than he did!

I called my mom to see if she had done anything different with him on Wednesday that might cause this. The only unusual thing was that he ate a Slim Jim. (Seriously, a Slim Jim? The kid that won't eat most meats will eat that garbage?) There were no chemicals or cleaning products used. They hadn't been in her apartment to spray for bugs. They aren't painting any apartments near her. Nothing that would lead to this.

The doctor saw us 11:00. The moment she walked into the room she said, "Wow, those are hives!" I would be proud of my accurate diagnosis, but it's really obvious that Michael has hives.

We discussed possible triggers and the doctor is very confident that Michael is having a reaction to the Amoxacillin. She make a big note of it on his chart and made sure I understood that he can't have any of the penicillin family of antibiotics ever again. She also cautioned against cephalosporins as well. Crap. She also pointed out that someone with one allergy is likely to have more than one. Double crap.

I have a lot of emotions about this. It's not horrible. It's a lot easier to prevent exposure to penicillin than, say, peanuts. It limits and complicates future treatments for infections, but there are other antibiotics for most infections.

But still, every time I look at him, it breaks my heart. I just want to give him a kiss and make it all better, but that doesn't work.

As far as treatment goes, because he isn't wheezing and it's not getting much worse, she wants me to give him Benadryl every six hours until it clears up, in about a week. A WEEK! That's a very itchy week.

Oh, and the kicker? Michael hates the Benadryl and is now fighting every one of the four doses a day. So that happy dance I did when the Amoxicillin was finished without a fight was wasted.

To Michael's credit, aside from refusing to take his medicine, he's been very good about this all. He was great at the doctor and he was fun and pleasant all day. He was very good about not scratching until the evening when I think it just got to be too much for him. I'm pretty sure if that was me, I'd be whining, crying and scratching all day long.

So, did you make it through without scratching? I didn't.


Jen said...

Are there other things you can do to help with the itch? An oatmeal bath, I think Benedryl makes a topical cream.

With antibiotics you have to make sure they take the full dose and every dose. But, if you can't get all the benedryl in him it doesn't really do any harm, just won't give him as much relief.

Stacey said...

I'm allergic to codeine (sp?) and I have to announce it every single time to a doctor despite it being on my charts. I also break out into hives with it. The most annoying thing? Doctors aren't good at coming up with non condeine based pain medications. Imagine how I felt after getting my wisdom teeth out and breaking out into hives as well. Shudder. Now I'm hardcore and only take motrin. If his allergy is very bad you should think about a medical bracelet...helps clarify things in case of emergency. Good luck!

Mel said...

Oh I am itchy itchy itchy now! Poor Michael!!! I hope it does not take a full week to clear up!

Mama Mia said...

I am allergic to most antibiotics, the dr's are always able to find something new...My face swells up, and my left eye swells SHUT! It is quite attractive!
Hope M is feelign better!!

Karla said...

Ugh poor Michael!! Poor Mommy! I hope things clear up quickly for you.

Steph said...

Poor Michael! When Cooper had a bad reaction/skin rash I used those Aveeno oatmeal bath packets and it helped calm the redness some. They have come in handy a few times when he has been sick. Of course prepare yourself for the 8,001 questions about why the bath water is so murky looking and what is that floating in the water...

Deanna said...

I have a friend whose son didn't break out in hives until the very last dose...of amoxicillin. Craziness. She also had to do the one week routine of benadryl.

Hope there's no more scratching today!