Saturday, May 19, 2007

want a free Joost invite?

Not allergy-related, but I've got a bunch of free Joost invites to give away. Joost is a prototype tv-on-the-internet service. It's also free for now. There aren't a lot of channels on it yet, but it's an interesting service.

To get one, leave me a comment with your email address, and I'll send one your way. In your comment, you must tell me how you found my blog. Feel free to substitute (at) and (dot) for the obvious parts of your email message.

Hives are all gone

Just a quick update for anyone who's following our saga of Andrew's hives. They're all gone now. Tony actually forgot to give him his Benadryl dosage before bedtime last night, and Andrew slept through the night without any pain or itching. And he hasn't gotten any Benadryl today, because he's not scratching and we can't see any hives.

I did a quick google search on "virus hives" and found a bunch of hits. Apparently it's not uncommon, so it just took a calm doctor to relieve all my fears.

It's yet another childhood ailment that other kids and parents just get through without too much panic. Alas, when you're got allergic kids, full-body hives for over 24 hours aren't something that can be easily brushed off.

The website I found also mentioned that the hives can come and go for the next few weeks, so we'll just keep the Benadryl handy. Oh wait, the Benadryl already comes everywhere with us. So in that aspect, at least, nothing will change.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sometimes, hives aren't an allergy symptom

Poor Andrew scratched himself all night, and woke up screaming from the itching a couple of times, despite liberal doses of Benadryl.

So I rushed him off to Children's Hospital this morning, and waited for two hours until we were seen. (There was only one person ahead of us when we got there at 7:30, but I guess they didn't have any doctors on.)

The verdict, once we finally got it: he's got some kind of weird virus that's causing the hives. Keep dosing him with Benadryl, and that's all we can do. The virus might last as long as two weeks.

Now I'm just hoping that Geoff doesn't catch this bug.

It took me another couple of hours to relax my system after putting it on red alert. He'd been having hives for almost 24 hours by the time we saw the doctor, and as a parent of a kid with severe allergies, that just hits all my panic buttons.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

random hives

Right now, I just want to put Andrew into a plastic bubble and serve him nothing but food that's been certified to be safe for him.

I had to work late today, and when I got home, Tony told me that Andrew was covered in hives and calamine lotion, and had been dosed with Benadryl.

What happened?

We're not sure ourselves. He hasn't eaten anything out of the ordinary today. He got picked up by Granny this morning, and they went and played at the beach. It was cold today, so he was in his galoshes and jacket, and the only exposed skin he had was his face and hands.

But after she washed his hands of all the beach sand and seaweed, she saw that he had what looked like bugbites popping up on his arms. She then took him to his favourite fish&chips place (where the batter only contains water, flour and vinegar, and is SO tasty!) and he had lunch there.

After lunch, the "bug bites" had gotten bigger and itchier, so she called Tony to find out what to do. He came home early and took Andrew to the clinic, who agreed that it was definitely hives. By this time, they were all over Andrew's chest, back, arms and legs.

But he didn't have any breathing difficulties, so they just said to give him Benadryl and cover him in calamine lotion for the itching.

When I got home, I got all of this news. He looked okay, and just a little bit bumpy when I checked his skin. But by around 8:00, he was itchy all over again, and the hives were getting big again.

So we popped him into an oatmeal bath, and dosed him with more Benadryl, and tucked him into bed. I've just checked on him, and it looks like the hives are going down again. Thank goodness he's being so cooperative about everything. He even let Tony trim his fingernails down so that he won't scratch himself bloody in his sleep.

Every cough he makes, and every weird sound I hear from his room, is setting off my fight-or-flight instinct. I'm totally on edge right now, and just trying to calm down.

I hate allergies. I hate that he has them. I hate that we don't know what caused this round of hives. (Our best guess is that maybe someone was shelling peanuts on the beach, and he played in some residue?)

I was riding so high on the fact that his dairy count seems to have decreased from last year. And now I've been brought crashing back to earth with this case of mystery hives.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More allergy blogs added

I've just added a few more great allergy-parenting blogs to my sidebar: Our Story, No Whey, Mama, He Can't Eat That, Food Allergy Queen, Living My Dream and Check My Tag.

Check them out!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Psst! Want a discount on allergen-free granola bars?

I love NoNuttin' Foods, and not just because they're based right here in British Columbia. I pack their granola bars into my kids' snack bag, and even if the other kids have a tasty-looking snack, Andrew's even happier with his chocolate chip granola bar. And of course, I'm happy because it's guaranteed to be nut-free, peanut-free and dairy-free. (For what it's worth, it's also a gluten-free production facility.)

With all of his major allergies, it's just a relief to be able to give him something that's safe for him to eat. This is also a huge help when we're out with friends, and his buddy's snack always looks tastier. (Sigh.)

So anyways, NoNuttin' has a referral offer on right now. Give them the magic coupon code -- "YUMMY" -- and you'll get $10 off your first order. (The fine print: you have to be a first-time customer and there's a minimum order of $50 Cdn, which is about $45 US.)

Full disclosure: If you give them my name -- "allergic mom" -- I'll get a $10 credit too. But even if you don't mention my name, you'll get the credit. And enjoy the allergen-free food too.

Apparently they just got mentioned in the Wall Street Journal for their Double Chocolate Chunk granola bars. Those will definitely be in my next order!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Good news on his dairy allergy

We took Andrew in for his blood test a month ago, and there was a bit of a mixup about whether or not they could actually test for whey and casein separately, or if they could only test for milk. The lab ended up sending his blood sample to a different lab in the city, and we did end up getting RAST results for whey and casein.

Last year, he got about a 65 on the milk RAST test. This year, he's scored a 7 for whey, and a 14 for casein.

Woo hoo!

Yes, 7 and 14 are still in the anaphylactic range, but it's a huge drop from 70! Our fingers are crossed that he'll keep on dropping over the next couple of years, and outgrow his dairy allergy by the time he starts school.

His peanut score was still over a 100, and we tested him on cashews for the first time this year: he got 80. Oh, and his egg white score dropped as well, to 3. So he's still "technically" allergic, but the drop does explain why he can eat a whole boiled egg and not have any physical reaction at all.