Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Rough Go

Wow, what happened? Seems like we were cooking along just fine until unlucky month 13 struck. Since August 1 poor Georgia has:
  • had a diaper rash misdiagnosed by pediatrician #1, causing it to last way longer than it should have.

  • had pediatrician #1 respond to her allergic reaction to eating 2 bites of hummus (i.e., coughing, itching, hives, redness) by refusing to test her for allergies and instead recommending that we find out whether the problem was the chickpea or the sesame, "the next time you're in a Meditteranean restauarant".

  • visited pediatrician #2, who performed a blood test and diagnosed her as allergic (to varying degrees) to: milk, egg whites, soy, wheat, peanuts and walnuts. He also told us she's anemic. Unfortunately, pediatrician #2 stopped there and gave us no additional information.

  • suffered her first "real" illness, which consisted of a spidery all-over body rash, followed by several days of fever, lethargy, fussiness and runny nose. This required a visit to pediatrician #3, the person at #2's office taking same day sick appointments. He diagnosed Georgia with hand, foot and mouth virus (no, that's not the same thing as the fatal disease that livestock get) by glancing at her arm. Never mind that she did not have, and never developed, any sores on her hands or feet or in her mouth. We've since decided this guy just wanted to give us a name for her problem.

  • bonked her head so badly that we considered going to the ER.

No, that's not Hollywood makeup.
  • based on friends' recommendations, visited pediatrician #4, who was fantastic. What is this explaining and answering questions? I am unfamiliar with it.

  • been prescribed an Epipen junior and a multi-vitamin with iron.

  • suffered from diarehhea and a persistent yeast infection (no, not quite the same as adults get), which resulted in this weekend's visit to pediatrician #5, the person at #4's office taking same day appointments.

  • switched from breastmilk, to cow's milk, to soy milk, to rice milk!
So, that's 5 doctors in a month, and it doesn't even count #6, who I dropped in on solo to get her to write Georgia a needed prescription, and #7, the recommended allergist, who Georgia is slated to see in October. So, to those reading this who have now decided that we're paranoid, high maintenance parents, I can't argue with you, but I really feel like it has taken some serious proactivity on our end to get answers to our questions.

The current assessment is that it's all interrelated. Georgia's got various food allergies, so we've had to make changes in her diet. Whatever it was that caused her to get a yeast infection in the first place, the yeast was continuing to have a party in her gut due to (a) all the yummy (read: high sugar) summer fruits she'd been eating, which the yeastie beasties apparently love feasting on, and (b) the digestive distress her GI tract was in from eating allergenic foods that hadn't yet been eliminated from her diet. So, I think we've finally eliminated all of the allergenic foods, and she's on oral medication to kill off any remaining yeast in her system. As a result of those changes, the "output" on the other end has significantly changed for the better, giving her poor tookus a much needed break. The other good news is that Georgia's eczema has greatly improved. (And lest I have freaked out any grandparents, please remember that she's happy, healthy, and developing normally. I have done my share of motherly worrying and have to remind myself of those things sometimes.)

You know how I said she eats like a Roman? I think I now need to revise that to say she eats like an Inca - or at least what I imagine an Inca would eat like. Quinoa, potatoes, corn tortillas, fruits, veggies, milk and meat. Olive oil gets added to give her the needed fat that she's now missing in the milk.

I realize this is probably ten times more detail than anyone cared to know, but since these concerns have been on my mind morning, noon and night for weeks, this actually feels like a relatively short summary to me! P.S. Did you know that you can get calcium from a corn tortilla?


Danni said...

Poor Georgia!!! How awful!!! Good thing she won't remember any of this. But since you will, you can lord it over her later when she acts ungrateful like you never did anything for her.

You are great parents btw. Nice work :-)

Susan said...

I was going to say "Poor Georgia", too! So do you or Joe have allergies? Are these things she may grow out of in a couple of years? Just curious. Does not sound fun!

Kate said...

We don't have allergies. I think there's a good chance that she'll outgrow most of these - they're common in infants. We'll find out more from the allergist. I have heard the peanut one is often life-long, though.
The good thing about being 1 is that if you suddenly never see your favorite food again, you never even remember that it existed!

Christa said...

OK, you don't know me - Sarah Kennedy shared your blog with me (she's a friend from graduate school), and I had to comment. I went through an almost identical experience with my son when he was seven months old. After the ecsema, hives, swollen face after eating barley cereal, and much more were ignored by our pediatrician ("babies get ecsema"), I bypased the group and went straight to an allergist. We found out he is allergic to all grains (wheat, barley, oats, corn), dairy, eggs, and all nuts. It was overwhelming. As I was nursing at the time and he was reacting to what I was eating, I had to cut all of that out of my diet. It was awful! Anyway, he's two now, in great health (it was amazing to see how everything cleared up when he stopped eating these things) and I feel like I have had a lot of success in navigating this road. I would be more than happy to chat with you about it, if you are looking for support! I also have a list of foods/products that I learned about through trial and error that I would highly recommend. Please email me if you are interested - schmidtc@umd.edu. Good luck!!

Kate said...

Christa - hi, and nice to meet you! I'll email you back directly.