On Sunday morning, Liam woke up with what I thought were lots of insect bites on his body. The more he scratched, the bigger the welts became, until his body was pretty much covered in angry looking red lumps. I took him to the pharmacist who said it looked like some type of dermatitis and gave me a cortisone cream. We fumigated his room, I put one of those insect repellant plugs into the wall and I scoured his bed for bed bugs or eggs or anything foreign looking. The redness cleared during the day.
On Monday he woke up and although the redness wasn’t as severe, it was there. Yesterday he woke up and they were back in full force, he came home from school and they had cleared up. Last night I was cooking and the kids were in the yard with their dad, raking up the cut grass. I called them in to bath and as Liam walked passed the kitchen towards the bathroom, I yelled for him to come back. His left eye was almost swollen shut, he had big red splotches all over his face, behind his ears, down his neck, I took his clothes off and cringed at the sight of his body which was littered with these red lumps. The swelling on his face was definitely getting worse, and although he was showing no other signs of discomfort – no fever, no listlessness, not even scratching – I was afraid because it seems to be getting worse very quickly. We bathed him and I took him to the doctor, he was thrilled for the nighttime escapade. Doc took one look and said it was Urticaria (hives), an allergen either to food, chemicals or pollen / grass. After many questions and what felt like an interview for a job, he deduced that it was most likely something in our garden. It made sense: it comes up after he has been out in the garden, it’s only started since we’ve moved to our new place, his diet, body products or washing powders haven’t changed at all, and last night in particular it was at it’s worst after he was picking up grass and trimmed plants. Now if you haven’t seen our yard, there are more than 10 different trees, there are plants and flowers galore – I don’t even know their names. To narrow down WHICH plant or tree is causing the allergic reaction is virtually impossible. It would be easier to keep Liam inside or cover him in bubble wrap before he goes outside, than to establish which plant(s) he is allergic to. The next solution is a daily dose of an antihistamine, probably for the rest of his life. Doctor thinks that it will calm down once pollination/germination season is over. I don’t want Liam on drugs everyday for the foreseeable future, I want to consult my most trusted doctor, Dr Google, to see what other parents are using for their allergy prone kids.. natural remedies maybe?
Liam was allergy prone from birth, he picked this up from his dad who suffers with hayfever, allergies and mild asthma. He practically came out of the womb sniffling, coughing, sneezing and with watery eyes. But I didn’t think this would mean he is allergic to EVERYTHING! Doctor says that he is most likely genetically allergy prone and we should watch him for other allergies as well, especially his first bee sting. He didn’t recommend the allergy testing which is expensive and not really conclusive other than defining if your allergy is food, chemical or pollen based – but that we could look at the testing if his allergies persisted and also the severity of the attacks, maybe from about age 5.
He woke up this morning, hale and hearty and his skin was clear. Both my kids have never really been sick. They’ve never been hospitalized, or suffered with serious illnesses or had to have grommets inserted or any of the “normal” illnesses that befall most children. So when I discovered that Liam has quite a serious allergy which needs to be monitored, I felt a twinge of something – powerlessness, guilt, fear? I’m not sure? I think when your kid is sick, in whatever way, it makes you sad! Well it makes me sad anyway. Is there anyone else dealing with allergies in children – pollen and grass in particular? Other than putting Liam into a bubble, are there other useful tips for dealing with it? And no, I am not selling up and moving house. Never ever! Look at this poor kid…