Friday, May 8, 2009

Lots of Anxiety, Very Few Answers

We visited Ella's allergist today because she was due for her yearly check in. She has been having a ton of allergic flare ups, and not because she has been eating known allergens. Her eczema is as bad as ever and I am almost certain that she is also allergic to latex. We put a band-aid on her after she got a boo-boo at school and she broke out in tiny hives all around the bandage. There are several other "hot spots" on her body all working hard to ensure that I have sleepless nights.

And I am stressing about the fact that she is due for her second MMR shot. When she had the first shot, at 15 months, she had a horrific reaction. At the time, we were told that she was amongst the 1% of the population who react negatively to the highly controversial vaccine. She had a high fever (103 degrees, for about 3 days) and broke out into a measles like rash that started about a week after the inoculation and lasted another week. It was freaky. And this was all before we became aware of her allergies. As a mother who is always looking for answers, I cannot help but wonder if the MMR contributed to her long list of allergies. Of course, I am not a doctor and there is no research to support my irrational thought, but maybe there is a link? And maybe (most likely) I am just crazy. In any case, it is pretty hard for me to consider possibly subjecting Ella to this madness again. So I asked our allergist to consult on this issue. She was very careful about how she responded to me, but it was clear that she did not think that giving her the 2nd MMR is a good idea. She suggested that we try and get the shots separated, omitting the Measles portion. And if that cannot happen she said that no one would think of me as a bad parent if I decided to pass on the whole enchilada. So now I will have this conversation with her pediatrician and we shall see.

Adding to all of the stress is the fact that Milo is now 18 months and has not yet had his first MMR shot. I am so unsure about how to proceed. Normally, I am the most decisive person you would ever want to meet. But on this matter, I am completely at a loss. What to do? What to do?

Normally, we do a blood test at our yearly allergist visit. Not today. Her doctor would like us to come back in a month or two so that we can do a full allergy scratch test. DREAD! I can tell you from personal experience that this will not be easy. One might even call it, hell. But I am also curious about my current allergic situation so I will also be doing the scratch test with Ella. I will go first and hopefully Ella will not see me flinch and will march ahead, the brave little soldier that she is. And maybe we will find out what is really going on with her. I am praying that there are no new allergies... like to dairy or rice. And maybe there will be a bright light if we find out that she can indeed eat things that are currently on the forbidden list.

For now, her meds have been upped... Zyrtec in the evening, Singulair in the morning. Topical creams for the rashes and eczema. Oh how I love my little girl. I am so sorry that she has to endure life like this. But her determination and strength is truly inspiring. She stands tall and marches on! She is my hero!


Robert Boyle said...

All the hidden and not so hidden dilemmas in raising children are exemplified by your struggles with this exasperating allergy problems. Natasha and I pray for all the right decisions and for Ellas health (and yours)
Natasha and Dad

Nikki Frank said...

Have you seen your pediatrician yet? I'm very curious to hear what he or she has to say. Give your blog-followers an update when you can, please!

Heidi Miller said...

I have not spoken to the doc yet. I am still VERY anxious. I will let you know, for sure!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog and have a daughter who is 6 with tree nut and peanut allergies.

Regarding the second MMR shot, ask the pediatrician to do a Blood Titers Test. If her levels are high enough, she might not even need it and the proof of that should be acceptable in schools. This is the case in NJ. Every state is different, below is the info. Linda

Heidi Miller said...

Linda, thank you, thank you for your comment. I have heard of this test for pets but I had no idea that they could also do it for people (of course they can!) I will call our pediatrician to discuss it with her. The school issue is a very good point, one that has also been on my mind. Thank you for giving us hope! You have made my day! Also, thanks for reading my blog! Best, Heidi