Someway, somehow, my poor baby has to deal with eczema/asthma/allergies. None of the rest of us have any of these problems so I was clueless, but I'm slowly learning. Since Jhett was about 8 months old, he's had some issues: rashes, respiratory infections, lots of colds. He was on prescription cough syrup and the nebulizer off and on, but his skin was a constant issue. Our pediatrician told me to use lotion, and when I told him I was, he told me I must not be using enough. It got pretty bad and soon he had open sores and was constantly scratching. We saw the NP who said it was either eczema or psoriasis and she prescribed a steroid cream but it didn't help much. The pediatrician said to keep using it and expect it to be worse during the winter. Basically, that we were just going to have to deal with it. I wanted a better solution. I knew there must be something more we could do. I googled my brains out and wondered if he had food allergies.
We couldn't do anything without the referral, and even changing PCP's seemed next to impossible b/c of the whole open enrollment period. So I decided that I would do what I could on my own. We tried an elimination diet which was a major PITA, but didn't get the results I was hoping for. I knew it would be so much easier to have allergy testing but I heard all these stories about how no doctor would do it on a 2 year old, and insurance wouldn't cover it. I knew we'd pay out of pocket if we had to, we needed to help our child. I kept researching and we changed insurance plans on the first of the month and finally switched to a new pediatrician. She took one look at Jhett and had no problem referring us and she was able to get us an appointment within 2 business days. YAY! Finally getting somewhere.
So the allergist officially diagnosed him with asthma, which we figured after having to take him to the ER in the middle of the night last year. He did the skin test right there (72 ouchies) and told me that he was definitely allergic to ligustrum and mildew. Several others were questionable so he decided to verify with bloodwork. We are waiting for results. In the meantime, he wrote a nice long list of new prescriptions. He is currently using two antihistamines, a steroid, four ointments, and albuterol. I can already see a little improvement plus it's made a big difference with his sleep. Before, he was not sleeping much at all. He'd wake up at night and climb out of his crib to roam the house and get into trouble, and then somehow still skipping his nap during the day. Since he's started the new meds he's sleeping (mostly) all night and taking at least a one hour nap.
Here he is being a brave big boy, just before the skin test:
Having all these prescriptions is a little overwhelming. Some of them have pretty scary side effects. I was nervous about missing one or overdosing. So I put them all in a plastic box with a lid, each one labeled, and on a schedule. Four times a day, an alarm on my cell phone goes off and it's "medicine time." He doesn't like them and runs away crying when he sees me with them but I think he is starting to get the hang of it. Tonight I said "It's medicine time," and he actually picked up his little box by the handle and brought it over to me. I realized he tolerates it much better in the living room with the tv on rather than the bedroom with no distractions. Every morning and night it's about a 20 minute process to give him the oral stuff, put on all the ointments, and do a breathing treatment. The other two times in the day are much quicker. Hopefully when we find out all his allergies and get that under control, the eczema and asthma will not be such a problem anymore and he can get off some of the medicines.
So glad we finally found someone who could give us answers. The pediatrician and the allergist were both really awesome and helpful. Can't wait to get my baby all better!