Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes, Hand, Foot and Mouth

Tuesday can be boiled down to three events. The First Doctor Visit; the Second Doctor Visit and the Poop Incident.

First Doctor Visit: The girls had their one-year appointment today, on Day Three of this heat wave that is currently sucking the life out of the East Coast. Taking the girls outside in this scorching heat is not desirable, but the pediatrician’s office is just about a mile there and back, so I figured they would be okay.

The stats: Avery is 22 pounds, 8 ounces and 33 inches. Madeline is 21 pounds, 8 ounces and 33 and three-quarter inches. All was going swimmingly (babies playing with tissue paper, lots of smiles, babbling, only a little crying after the shots) until the doctor uttered the words “Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease” and “Madeline” in the same sentence. I panicked (always my first reaction) and who wouldn’t when the word “disease” is dropped so casually. My only recollection of this illness was the hoof and mouth version that was killing cows left and right a few years back. Turns out the human version is common and it goes away, but it can make children uncomfortable in the process. In a strange twist, a certain Beckett has the same illness. An outbreak, perhaps?

I asked the doctor about food restrictions and she said there were none. I asked specifically about peanut butter and honey and she said “sure.” I told her I was going home and giving the girls peanut butter on toast, a favorite of mine that I eat daily for breakfast. I couldn’t wait for them to try peanut butter. And peanut butter cups! And the realization that I would have another food staple in my artesenal of lunches overjoyed me.

Second Doctor Visit: So I take the girls home, put them in their high chairs, strap on their new palstci bibs and serve up a delicious peanut butter sandwich. You see where this is going, right? Within five minutes, Avery is scratching her head. She has peanut butter all over her face and in her hair, so my first thought is “Oh, she is a sticky mess. I wonder if I can get away with no bath and just wipe her down.” My second thought is “There is effing peanut butter everywhere. I’m going to have to give her a bath. No more peanut butter until the girls can eat it without wearing it.” And my third thought is “OK, something is not right.” Her face started to get very red and a rash started forming all over her body. Within minutes. She was crying this sad, sad cry, which she has done from time to time when she doesn’t feel well. It is a soft, mewing kind of cry which sounds like she is having breathing problems (she’s not, but the cry makes it seem that way.)

Commence the mad dash to find my cell phone, which always tends to disappear when I need it. I place frantic calls to the doctor (goes to voice mail) and to Nicole. I eventually got the doctor on the phone but it disconnected so I did what I knew I had to do: Bjorn Avery and put Maddie in the stroller and run up to the pediatrician's office. Sweat was pouring off of me, but the more Avery mewed in the Bjorn and scratched at her head, the faster I went. I made it to the office in record time, truly.

It was hives, a reaction to the peanut butter, and the best part was by the time I was at the office, Maddie had some hives too! Thank goodness it wasn’t one of those reactions where the throat closes and bad things happen. So both girls are clearly not ready for peanut butter. The doctor gave them Benadryl there and then I took them home and they slept for three hours and only woke up because I woke them up. Despite the three-hour nap break, I was a mess, checking on them every ten minutes and worrying like crazy, so I didn’t even notice the extra time.

So no peanuts or peanut products for a very, very long time.

The Poop Incident: Later on, after the girls had dinner and Nicole and I had dinner, the four of us were relaxing in the living room. I was sitting on the stairs and turned and looked at the end table. There was a giant smear of something brown and chunky on it, like refried beans. Is that poop? It can’t be poop. How would poop get there? I asked Nicole to investigate, and a few gagging seconds later, it was confirmed: It was poop.

I go to get some cleaning accouterments when I hear “Oh my God. Oh my God” being repeated in the living room. I turn to see Avery in the entryway, playing with a pile of poop on the floor. It is in her hands, on her feet, and I was afraid to know where else. Nicole scooped her up and brought her to the tub for a hose down (she got her bath after all!), while I cleaned up the end table and other messes.

We tried to put the pieces of this poop puzzle together after and the best we came up with is this: Avery’s diaper wedged in a thong way, so the poop didn’t go where it was supposed to go. Avery first put some on the end table, moved to the rug and left some shitprints there, played with her ball and left a little there, then moved onto the entry way, which is where we noticed her.

The funny highlight of the day: In the tub, she was standing and drinking the water from the faucet. She loves to drink water from places she shouldn’t, like in the tub, in Nana’s lake and from washcloths that swipe her face after meals.

It’s Wednesday morning and I woke up wired before 4:00 a.m. I couldn’t get back to sleep. There is the potential for this to be a very long and tiring day, as any day is that begins when there is a 3 on the clock.

Pictured above, Avery caught with her hand in the cookie jar. There better be no peanuts in those cookies. Below that, what an allergic reaction to peanuts looks like, just so you know if it happens to you.


Anonymous said...

Poor little pumpkins.

Jean said...

Wow, I am so glad that you caught that early. I have to say those as a parent whose kid has serious allergies, that is a bad reaction. Please have your ped call you in a script for jr. epi pens (one set for each girl) and carry them with you everywhere!!!!! You never ever know when they may accidently come in contact with peanuts, and a second reaction can be much much worse, as they have already been sensatized. When you read packaging in the store, peanuts must be labeled clearly, and usually it is in bold at the end of the ingrediants. Also remember peanuts are a bean technically, so slowly introduce other forms of beans, as some may also cause reactions. I would also suggest a consult with pediatric allergist so that the girls are under his care,should they happen to develop any more allergies, and when they get older an allergist can retest them for peanuts without actually feeding it to them, a much safer option. Charlie had to be tested at 8 months to identify all his food allergies,and he gets retested every 6 months. At first he could not have eggs, shellfish, peanuts, or tree nuts, as well as some other random foods like bananas. Now he only tets positive for eggs and shellfish, he has outgrown the other two, but it makes life much easier to know before introducing new foods to him, even at 3. Also check out this website, as they are a huge help and can also alert you to food recalls for missed ingrediants, which happens often.

I am so glad the girls are okay and I hope the hives receed quickly.

Carey said...

What a day!! Poor little babes!! But ok, the term 'shitprints' is totally cracking me up...

MsPrufrock said...

I cautiously gave P some peanut butter a couple of months ago when she was 21 months old. Soon after taking the first bite she started to cough and make choking noises. Naturally I panicked and thought her throat was closing and that she would die right in front of me.

All it was in the end was the matter of P not knowing what to do with a food of that texture getting stuck on the roof of her mouth. I realised this about 10 minutes later, but I still checked on her about 8 times before I went to bed that night.

That's my very long-winded way of telling you that I've been in a similar situation. I'm glad both of the girls are ok now!

Susanica said...

Hi Jenn. I'm so sorry that your girls had such a bad reaction to the peanuts. Wow. Sounds like you did all the right things though, but like one of the other commenters mentioned, it's probably not a bad idea to get them hooked up with a pediatric allergist. Hope today is a much better day (at least it's a lot cooler so far here on the east coast.) -Monica

calliope said...

holy hell!! What an effing day! I am amazed you could sleep at all after being in Uber Mama mode. wow.
So so so so glad that the girls are on the mend.

& really- did your day need to end with a poop exclamation mark?

I hope today is blissfully mellow & uneventful.

Anonymous said...

Poor babies! I second the recommendation on getting an epi pen. The first reaction is always the mildest.

K J and the kids said...

I was a little leary when reading that your doctor ok'd peanut butter AND honey. We were told to hold off on peanut butter until 2 and honey until 3.

I think she got HFandM from my children. yes it's going around.

amy said...

very scary peanut butter incident!! i thought you were posting a picture of her reaction to hand foot and mouth.

your description of the poop incident had me laughing hysterically, especially when she left the shitprints.

Miss Kate said...

Very scary stuff. I would be freaking out if anything like that happened. Wy hasn't even been sick yet, knock on wood. But I have to say you had me laughing at my desk. Pretty much anything with poop will have me cracking up. I never grew out of the potty humor phase.

Kerry Lynn said...

I hadn't given them any peanuts because our pedi said to wait til 2. But one day MIL bit off the chocolate/toffee coating of a weight watchers bar and gave Madison a bite of just the vanilla ice cream. A few minutes later she had a few hives on her back. We looked at the box after and it said it contained almonds. I couldn't believe how sensitive she was! But like you said, at least it's not the closed throat reaction!

Moira said...

let's hope there are no more days like this in your future ...or in ours! hope things have gotten better. poor babies. do you think Dr. G is a bit casual? -- M.

Mikhela said...

oh my god. peanuts are so fucked up. you were so calm though- good job. hysterical with the poo. we are about to start ours on solids. not all that excited about it really. lou

psapph0 said...

As usual, let me be the devil's advocate here and say DON'T rush your kids to a million different allergists in order to stock up on epi-pens and drugs. Outsider-without-children though I may be, I see kids all day long who are convinced that if another child eats peanut butter/wheat/eggs/milk/chocolate or just about any other substance within a mile of them they are going to keel over and perish. Truth be told- I'm sure that this extraordinary boost in "allergies" over the past decade and a half has been a WONDERFUL boon to the pharmacuitical industry (the same one that advertises drugs for every possible ailment, real and imagined). Did you know that our country is really the only one experiencing this allergy phenomena?

Do what parents have done for thousands of years: Make a mental note of it, wait awhile and then introduce the food again when you have time to run back to the DR if there is a reactions. Hell, introduce the food again in a DRs office (or medicine woman's cave) if that makes you feel better. The gentle breeze blowing a life threatening, peanut-buttery wind across the park is highly unlikely.

(on a side note- when I was little, I had this awful rash that would show up all over my face from time to time. It was itchy and we had no idea what caused it. We narrowed it down to milk, chocolate milk, bread, pizza or dirt. I was taken to the dermatologist, given some sort of cream, and told "Don't eat things you don't usually eat." Needless to say, since the rash showed up with almost weekly regularity, it was something that I DID usually eat that was causing the problem. I was also supposedly allergic to coconut, coconut milk, chives, onion grass and other random things at random times. Today, I enjoy all of the above with only mild itching when I overdo it on coconut milk. Sure, I'm sensitive to the stuff, but it tastes damn good.

Also- there is a gulf of difference between having an allergy to something and having a sensitivity! The word allergy is thrown around far too loosely, if you ask me. )

Speaking of food... WHEN ARE YOU COMING FOR DINNER?????

utRus said...

damn that psapph0 is smart. how's everyone doing over there? hives gone?