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A Travelly Tuesday

October 14, 2008
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So my last day off today.

Back to work tomorrow which I’m so looking forward to. Not. It’s so hard having days away from work and then having to go back.

YUK.

I’m fine once I get there but you know what I mean… don’t you?

Anyway.

Today was a further day off after Rowan’s birthday as today we had to visit the allergy clinic. The idea was that she may have had an allergy to milk following the years of vomiting and ear infections. The nursery manager rang me some months ago and told me that Rowan had suddenly vomited unexpectedly following a glass of milk and then later that same day had been perfectly well, playing, eating lunch and then had ice cream for pudding and was sick again.

I made an appointment with her GP and he referred us to an allergy clinic. I think he was getting to the point where he thought we were just parents that wanted something to be wrong with our daughter.

I definitely got that impression with the last consultant when he asked us if Rowan was our only child. It was a very patronising ‘is this your *only* child?’ He may have well stuck a ‘young lady’ on the end of it.

The fact is that I have just had a very persistent feeling that something has been wrong with her for a long time. The blue lips thing, the heart murmur, the vomiting, the ear infections just added to the feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

When Claire (nursery manager) suggested that maybe a milk allergy or intolerance could be the answer – I did some reading up and a large amount of memories.. a bit like the photo montage from a crappy movie, all started playing through my mind.

The repetitive vomiting of formula feeds as a baby. You never knew whether a feed would stay down or not. And it wasn’t spit up, it was forceful projectile vomiting. The milkshake in the cafe that time that came back in forceful vomiting within 90 seconds of drinking it. The chocolate mousse.. the breakfast cereal followed by sickness, the bottles of milk that came straight back even at 18 months.

It was like Rowan may have known something – like a sixth sense. It was she that turned her nose up at milk feeds at 18 months of her own accord.

It made so much sense.

We read up and found the following facts about milk protein allergies.

It can cause skin rashes and hives and eczema, atopic dermatitis – you see this sudden rash she developed on her face below? That was there for 18 months with varying degrees but always on her cheeks or somewhere on her face.

laying down

Lacking energy.

This one below is from December 2006 – Rowan lying around on the floor was a common occurrence. Not exactly regular for a girl of two – and I certainly didn’t think it at the time. I felt like something was wrong. I remember saying to my mum two winters in a row that I felt like I had a different child. The constant repetitive ear infections just never seemed to let her recover.

december-0064.jpg

Reflux & infantile collic – could this explain the constant vomiting and diarrhoea when she was a baby?

Gagging – well this is like a description of Rowan. Her gag reflex is astronomically high. To much food in her mouth, coughing. She can literally be sick at the drop of a hat. Vomiting itself is a symptom, refusing food, irritability, failure to thrive. Anyone could see for ages that she was underweight and her GP mentioned earlier in the year that he would like to see her about half a stone heavier. She was 1st 13lbs at 18 months and despite growing a considerable amount in height, as late as July this year, she only weighed 2st. She was pale and pasty and constantly ill. I really felt like she was relentlessly low and waiting for the next illness. Generally another ear infection. And guess what? That’s another symptom!

Stomach cramps, constipation or diarrhoea are common reactions as well, as is a wet nose & a wet chest often diagnosed (sometimes misdiagnosed) as asthma.

It all seemed to fit her.

We made the appointment and the appointment came through. And then we got married, and went away on honeymoon and suddenly she started eating whilst we were away.

My mum and dad said they noticed a real change in her, she started to jam solids in and was eating everything she could get her hands on. She’s put on 7lbs since the middle of August. She looks different. She seems happier and more relaxed. She’s continued to eat well. She still gets stomach cramps and constipation occasionally but we have really cut back on her milk consumption in general so we’re not sure if she’s over it or whether we’ve helped by reducing the amount she eats.

The other common occurrence is that kids grow out of this between the ages of 3 and 5.

The more I think of it and read about it, the more I think she has suddenly grown out of some sort of allergy or intolerance and that this could be her first great winter where she gets to enjoy it and run around and feel lively instead of feeling rotten and vomity and lethargic. Like last Christmas where she was sick every day for 3 weeks and lost 5lbs in weight.

I’m really looking forward to this year already. I feel very positive.

The consultant was lovely – he seems to think as she is maybe growing out of it that it would be a good idea for us to introduce more milk than she’s had for quite a while and see what reaction we get and make notes and keep records of any symptoms or reactions.

Something we really should have been doing since we had the idea. I feel a bit of a failure for missing that obvious thing.

He did want to test her for other allergens as well like peanut and egg after we mentioned the family histories of allergies and asthma on both sides but she never really gets enough of these type of things for him to get a good result and he said it could easily produce a false negative simply because she didn’t have the antibodies to react to the skin test.

So for the time being – we’re observing and being grateful. The skin test for cow protein was negative and that’s a real bonus.

We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that she’s over whatever she had.

So – from parents to Mansfield and then Mansfield to Lincoln – it’s been a travelly day and now I’m off to bed so I can get up and go to work in the morning. YUKKY! *as Ella would say 🙂

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