Yesterday was an intense day. Too many appointments, the prospect of lots of lab work for Nik, and the question mark about whether or not he did, in fact, have a rotavirus. You know, just another ordinary day in our lives.
We had a great appointment with a new doctor, an allergist, to help us make some headway into figuring out the causes of Nik’s ongoing pains and recent skin rashes. We left feeling really good —despite a long list of allergens to be tested. The doctor was personable and Nik seemed to take to him. Always a bonus.
The day took a nosedive from there.
The appointment with the pediatrician, to discuss Nik’s recent apparent illness and whether to culture for a rotavirus, ended up not happening. The nurse that had scheduled the appointment had not confirmed it in the computer. When we arrived, we were told that the second doctor in the office had a family emergency; that left Nik’s doctor, Doctor Mary, holding the bag for all the appointments for the day. Since Nik seemed to be so much better than he had been even twenty four hours prior, we opted not to wait in the hopes she could see us.
We headed over to the lab to get the blood drawn for Nik’s battery of tests. After a lengthy wait, we were greeted by a seemingly disorganized lab tech. As soon as she realized the tests were for Nik, she balked. Whether it was because it was so close to the end of her day and she didn’t’ feel like dealing with a screaming child or whether it was simply because she felt like it, she told me she couldn’t do the tests because it would require more blood than she could take from a child at one time. I’ve since discovered that wasn’t true but, whatever.
So, a lengthy day spent traveling up and down the middle portion of our state, bouncing from appointment to appointment —it made us tired and cranky. By the time we got home, we decided to go out to dinner. As luck would have it, both Nik and I had reactions to some food. Neither was too bad, but it was enough to make us both uncomfortable.
I woke this morning feeling pretty tired and crabby; a state I must confess lingered until about lunchtime. I’ve been sitting at my computer, willing myself to find words to write —and coming up dry. I’ve also been listening to my son singing and playing happily in the loft. For some reason, it put me in mind of this post from Kristen. I realized I could choose to be angry and resentful about all the energy expended yesterday —seemingly for naught, or I could choose to find something good to hold onto. I chose the latter —in the form of a cookie.
Yes, a cookie. And french fries, too.
Since we’ve been limiting Nik’s exposure to potential allergy-inducing foods, the allergist warned us that it might actually skew the testing. He actually suggested that we feed Nik some of the foods we’ve come to suspect —especially wheat —in order to trigger an immune response. So, with that in mind —and thinking we were getting blood drawn in the afternoon —I bought Nik a giant chocolate chip cookie. Okay, let’s be honest; it was as much for me as it was for him. But we shared that cookie in the Starbuck’s parking lot like it was manna from heaven.
It was Nik’s first-ever chocolate chip cookie. Yeah, okay; big deal, right? Right. The cookie was fairly chewy and soft so I was able to mash up bits and pieces and slip them into Nik’s mouth. Normally, he would either gag or reach in to remove anything larger than a single crumb, but this cookie was sweet and gooey and melted quickly. And he adored it! By the time we were through, Nik had consumed nearly a quarter of the cookie; much of that he even placed in his own mouth —another first —instead of licking it off of my fingers!
While we’ve been trying to mitigate all these weird reactions to foods, we’ve had to severely limit Nik’s oral intake; it’s just so challenging to find things he will eat that are the right consistency and texture that are not potential allergens. We’ve been more than a little concerned that he might regress in his desire or ability to eat by mouth. So, after the allergist told us to “stimulate his system,” we decided to really go for it.
When we went out to dinner last night, we let Nik have some of a buttered roll, a lick of my patty melt —he even tolerated a very small crumble of beef on a fork without gagging—and, of course, french fries. Nik’s favorite thing to do with fries is to dip them in either Daddy’s salad dressing (usually honey mustard) or in ketchup. His favorite thing to do last night? Show off his ever lengthening reach and lightning quick food-snatching skills. At one point, I wasn’t fast enough to stop him; Nik helped himself to a fistful of fries off the plate. The boy’s hands are definitely getting bigger, too!
Nik did have a bit of a reaction to all those foods and was a cranky, uncomfortable boy by the time we got home —clawing at his ear, pulling his hair; we gave him a quarter dose of Atarax at bed time and another half dose five hours later. He slept through the night and has had relatively few side effects today. The allergist gave us a prescription for Allegra to see if that will help with the symptoms without causing the neurological side effects. We will start that after the blood draw on Monday.
Meanwhile, we’ll be sharing cookies —with our glasses half full.