Friday, March 12, 2010

Matthew Drama...

I am sorry for not posting a little more often. I have found myself completely wrapped up in parenting... more specifically, keeping my youngest charge alive and getting him healthy.

Back at the end of February I came to a startling realization. My newborn had been sick for a whole month! He was constantly congested, and his jaundiced look wasn't going away... I remember waking up one morning and it hit my like a ton of bricks. Something else is wrong. Something serious. A thought formed in my head, and I brushed it away. It kept popping back up, and I kept ignoring it. Finally, I listened to that little voice and made a call to one of my friends. "Cynthia- how did you know that Brian (her son) had allergies? What were his symptoms?" You see- Cynthia's son has been struggling with some pretty hefty and very serious allergies since he was a newborn... As Cynthia listed all the signs her baby had shown, I mentally checked them ALL off my list. Matthew was showing EVERY sign of having allergies.

Around that same time, he really did get sick and woke me up at 2am with a NASTY (scary) bout of Croup. So I sat up with him all night in the bathroom with the humidifier running (to keep his airways open), and waited for morning. When the doctors office opened the next day, I got Matt in for an appointment. He was pretty seriously ill with Croup (which, I now know is extremely dangerous in newborns- it can turn deadly very quickly). I mentioned to the doctor who treated him (not our regular doc) that I suspected that he had allergies, and though she seemed to dismiss the idea, she did say they would look into that once Matthew was healthy. To treat Croup, they gave Matt a steroid, and wanted me to bring him back the next day. Within an hour of that shot my son was a completely different person! His jaundiced looking skin paled out to a healthy looking creamy complexion. His "baby acne" that covered his chest, back and face was completely gone (it was a rash- not acne), and for the first time in his short little life he was breathing easy with no signs of congestion. The steroid shot- which SHOULD have helped with his breathing- fixed all his other health issues too. It turns out that by opening up his airway with the steroid, it helped him to breathe easier and boosted his immune system enough to clear his alleged allergies up as well!

Here is a couple pictures of the reddish color of his skin before the shot ( I know they are newborn shots- but his skin color never changed... he stayed that red until the steroids)

And now a picture I took 2 hours AFTER the shot.

So the next day, I took Matthew BACK to our regular doctor for a follow up from the croup. The steroid was well on it's way out of his system, and his skin was starting to turn red again, and the rash was back... When I talked to my pediatrician, he confirmed that Matthew absolutely WAS showing signs of a food allergy. He then went on to explain that it was most likely cow's milk since that was the only food allergen to truly manifest itself in breast milk. Most other food allergens wouldn't show up in high enough doses to cause a reaction.

Since that diagnosis I have completely cut all dairy out of my diet. And lemme tell ya- the difference in Matthew is astounding! Not only is he pale enough to actually look like he belongs to me and Joe, but he is mostly rash free, has stopped projectile vomiting, isn't congested as much, and is sleeping better. I keep slipping up with the dairy, so he isn't completely free of the rash and congestion, but as I become more accustomed to the diet, I think it will get better.

Now- in my own defense, I am not purposefully eating any dairy products. My "slip ups" are with things I was not aware HAD dairy in them. Things like bread crumbs in my meatloaf recipe, or butter in my syrup, or dehydrated milk in the seasoning packet for Ramen noodles, etc. It is RIDICULOUS how many store bought products have milk in them! But- I love my little man, and therefore, I will continue to go diary free.

Oh, and in case anyone is interested- if you wanna drop some weight quickly, cut out dairy. Works wonders, I tell ya!


Sariah in Vancouver said...

Sure it works wonders, it's easy to lose weight when you can't eat ANYTHING. ;)

I'm sorry for all the Matthew drama but glad he is improving! You're such a good mama! Do they have any idea if he might outgrow the allergy?

Amber said...

WOW! That is scary...but glad that its working for ya~ Hope to see you soon!

Ben and Heidi said...

So glad you got it all figured out! Oh the sacrifices we make for our chuldren