Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sadie vs The Allergies

(This is so long, I honestly can't believe I spent almost a whole evening writing this, but I guess it's a huge topic in my life.)

I haven't touched much on Sadie and her allergy issue since her 4 month post (side note, I can not believe it's getting close to a year ago that I wrote that!), but I feel that this topic has been on my mind A LOT lately and is starting to warrant it's own post. So here it is, allergies, you hear that? You're getting your own whole post!

Let me back up and do a some history about what all has been going on. Before Easter last year (end of April) Sadie, at 2.5 months, had what I thought was a cold. Mostly just snot. Lots. Of. Snot. There was also a cough every once in a while and you could just the congestion in her little body. This "cold" continued through March and the beginning on June when we went in for Sadie's 4 month appointment. Now, I am sure there is someone out there saying what a horrible mother I am for not taking her in to the doctor sooner and just letting her suffer. Look, here's the deal, in all the reading I have done little kiddos going into a daycare setting will typically battle back-to-back colds for a few months as their immune system gets adjusted to all the germs around them. Plus, as far as I know, there is no approved cold medicine for a 3 month old. On top of all that, the snot and congestion never seemed to bother Sadie, she slept and ate fine, just with her mouth more open than most babies, she played fine and she was happy. So, yes, I waited until her 4 month appointment to get it checked out.

At her 4 month appointment her doctor said, that combined with some other symptoms, she was leaning towards allergies being the culprit of all the issues and prescribed an over the counter children's allergy medicine, Cetirizine, name brand, Zyrtec. It takes about 2 weeks for any antihistamine to show it's full benefits, and after two weeks we did see some improvement in the amount of snot and congestion, I didn't realize just how much of a improvement until about a month or so in when I forgot to give her a dose one morning, holy cow, snot faucet.

For the next 8 months we dosed Sadie every morning with her medicine, she became a champ at taking medicine and we clapped "yay, Sadie!" after every dose to keep it fun. I learned to keep Boogie Wipes (BEST THINGS EVER) in my purse and we bough stock in Kleenex, Little Noses and Nosefrida and became immune to the snot constantly coming out of our daughters nose. At every doctors appointment I would ask if we could up her medicine dose or if there was anything else she was old enough to try. The answer was always "no". At her 9 month appointment I finally broke down and asked "so when will she be old enough for something different?", you know, the questions I dreaded the answer to. Turns out it wasn't that bad, two years. At two years a whole slew of medications become available for allergies. I thought, ok, I can do that, it's been almost a year, what's one more, right? So, along we went with our finally upped dose of Cetirizine and a prescription for amoxicillin.

Wait, amoxicillin? What? Where did the amoxicillin come from? Turns out Sadie had a slight double ear infection at that 9 month appointment. According to the our doctor this was pretty good considering her ears constantly have fluid in them.

On to the big ONE YEAR appointment! Our doctor walks into the exam room carrying a box and says "how about we try something new?" Oh, thank you baby Jesus! What is it? Why are you just now offering this to me? Why did you not tell me 3 months ago there was something we could try at a year? Again, what they crap is it? Hell, I don't care, is it going to make my Sadiekins better? Turns out the new medicine is Singulair. My next question was do we stop the Cetirizine now that we are trying this? No. Singulair is a leukotriene blocker and Cetirizine is a histamine blocker, two totally different things. So, along we went with our new prescription for Singulair, steroid cream prescription (for her eczema, maybe I'll talk about that next), instructions to keep up with the Cetirizine and prescription for amoxicillin.

Wait, amoxicillin? Again? Yup. Our doctor said Sadie's ears were looking pretty red and along with the green goop coming from her eyes she felt comfortable going on and prescribing the antibiotic to nip any infection in the bud.

Less than 10 days latter we landed in the Emergency Room with Sadie running over a 103ยบ fever.

Yeah, that was a fun day. Sadie's daycare calls me at 4:30 saying she is running a 102.7 fever and that I need to come get her. The fever had gone up from 102.1 in 30 minutes. So, I call my doctor and ask what to do. At this point it's too late to get her to see the doctor before they close at 5. So, my choices are take her home, get her Tylenol and take her to the doctor in the morning or head to the Emergency Room. Normally I am an under-reactor mom vs an over-reactor mom and everything in me said just to take her home, especially when I got to the daycare and she was bouncing around happy and playing. But, dude, SHE WAS ON AN ANTIBIOTIC, there was no reason she should of been running that high of a fever while on an antibiotic. So, off to the Emergency Room we went.

At the Emergency Room they got some Motrin in her and had us strip her down to her diaper. Once we finally so a doctor her fever was down to the 101's and it was determined that she had a raging double ear infection. So, along we went with a prescription for different, stronger antibiotic.

Two weeks later, I took Sadie into our doctor to get her ears checked out to make sure the infection was all knocked out. Yeah, no. Our doctor prescribed a Z-Pak for Sadie, yeah, Z-Pak, strong stuff. She left us with the warning that if this didn't knock the infection out we were looking at the possibility of getting ear tubes put in asap, that an infection this bad and this long, on top of all the fluid that's always in Sadie's ears could start doing bad things.

All along we're giving Sadie her daily dose of Singulair and I started noticing I couldn't hear her breathing through the monitor as easily at night, and her daycare teachers notices the same thing at nap time. We still had the snot though. But, hell, if my baby can breath without struggling anymore, I'll take the snot! Then one weekend I noticed it was Sunday afternoon and I had only wiped Sadie's nose ONCE the whole weekend! Hallelujah! She's cured! Right?

Two weeks after the Z-Pack prescription I take Sadie in to the doctor, just to check and make sure the infection is finally gone or start talking tubes. Again, hallelujah, the infection is gone! Why not push things a little right? I ask if we can try taking her off the Cetirizine since she seems to be doing SO GOOD. Our doctor says, yes, but with the reminder that the Cetirizine and Singulair battle different things. Saturday morning I skip the Cetirizine. Saturday night the snot faucet is back. Damn.

That was a little over two weeks ago, and we still have snot faucet. I kept hoping that skipping that one dose was all that it was and once she got the Cetirizine back in her system she'd be fine. No such luck.

A little over a week ago Sadie started in with a cough and then green eye goop along with swollen, puffy eyes. Lots of googling lead me to believe it was just a cold, but colds often lead to ear infections. And I am super paranoid at this point, so I took Sadie into the doctor on Good Friday. Thankfully the ear infection is not back, yet, but her hears are looking red. So, along we went with a prescription allergy medicine, Levocetirizine, brand name Zxyal. From my understanding this is basically a stronger version of the Cetirizine, hence it being prescription based. 

(Pretty sure we have been in the doctors office more since Sadie turned 1 than we were her entire first year, it sucks.)

Now, we wait. Like I said above, it takes about 2 weeks for antihistamines to show a full, if any, benefit. Our doctor said if in 2 weeks her ears are still red and fluid filled it would be time to talk to an ENT. I have a few more homeopathic things I am going to try and try during these few weeks, but I am not quite ready to talk about those yet. Gotta get Robert on board first!

Note, I have NOTHING against ear tubes, in fact everyone that I know that either they or their children had/has tubes has said nothing but good things about them. So, if it comes down to tubes, Sadie will get tubes. But in the mean time if there are some less invasive things, without getting too hippy crazy,  I can try first, sign me up.


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