oh eczema, how we will not miss you.

14 03 2009


the angry chicken is no longer angry. instead of screams, our house rings with the sound of her blowing raspberries. she pips and squeals with delight. even though her scratching hands are still on auto-pilot, occasionally raking over her tummy out of habit, she is now exploring the world with those strong little fingers.

i can’t believe that we fixed her. and i can’t believe that she had to suffer for so long. and i blame america. ok, not really, but kinda.

clover has always been loud. she was kicked out of the nursery in the hospital for waking the other newborns. the midwives brought her back to me with a pained smile calling her “feisty” as they hurried back out of my room. she slept in 30 grumpy minute spurts, squirming and clearly uncomfortable. lets be honest, inside my belly, i knew she would be trouble.

i brought her home and everyone started calling her “spirited” and “colicky”. to me it seemed like something else. i went through every natural, organic, and homeopathic potion looking for a cure, but nothing quite worked. her skin flared to match her temper and she started to look as painful as she sounded. great, eczema AND colic. i was tired. and hungry. and i had just enough time to make myself one more peanut butter and honey sandwich. PEANUT BUTTER and honey, because i am an american and we eat peanut butter. in fact, through both of my pregnancies, i craved peanut butter. i ate it with apples and i ate it on toast. this time i was eating it with my 1/2 american 4 year old daughter slash peanut butter sandwich addict.

i kept the eczema as under control as i could with a 3x daily regimine of creme and lotions. i tried the natural stuff and she rashed up even more, so back to the big plastic jars of QV creme and QV balm. i rationed out the one bottle of Corn Husker’s Lotion for her head since it was the only thing i had that was not too greasy. she still suffered. i shoved her growing hands into newborn mittens to protect her. somehow she would pull those off to scratch her skin raw. she would writhe in her sleep and wake often. i think she learned to roll over just to scratch her belly on the floor.

to top it all off, she failed to grow. in fact, she got tinier.

and then she developed enlarged lymph nodes. that sent us back to a a bevy of doctors who finally suggested some allergy testing.

i was sure it was the dairy or maybe the soy. at the office, the doctor pricked her skin with the allergens and sent us to the waiting room. a huge welt began to develop before the control hive even showed up. something did not agree with my baby. and sure enough, she is allergic to dairy soy PEANUTS.

i did not expect peanuts, they are bloody american staple food. i had heard of peanut allergies, but i was never related to anyone with one.

apparently clover’s is a strong allergy and even if we kissed her after having peanuts, she could have a reaction…even up to 3 days after we ate the darn things. i don’t think i went 3 days without having peanut-something…until now.

we are a peanut free house. gemma will just have to get used to vegemite because her american kid sandwich is no longer on our menu. (don’t worry, i am not that mean, we are getting almond butter.)

the doctor also gave us a Rx ointment (Advantan – Fatty Ointment – methylprednisolone aceponate) for the really red eczema…we used it for a few days and have not had to put it back on her since. so with that and no one in the house having peanuts, we now have a spotless, smooth and contented baby. i am thankful for the fact that it is only peanuts as i know it could have been a lot worse. and i am glad we know about it now, so we can be careful with our girl.

for those who have asked the secret, i can only speak from our experience…allergy testing.




16 responses

14 03 2009
Miz Booshay

I am so happy that you found the answer for little Clover…and you.

Here in the states public schools are peanut free due to the huge numbers of children who are effected.

Do they follow the same vaccination schedule as the states?

14 03 2009
n o t | y o u r a v e r a g e | g i r l

You know, my baby girl has the same horrible reactions that I’ve had at the end of and since my pregnancy. I think something during my pregnancy caused the reactions, but the dermatologist can’t figure out what. I can’t stop antihistamines long enough to do skin patch tests. They said she had eczema, but maybe I’ll ask to have her tested. Thank you for the details and advice! I’m so glad your little girl is happier and itch free now. =)

14 03 2009
Alisha Robertson

Oh I so feel your pain. My Lydia suffered from something very similar and I just knew that the eczema was not just a skin thing. After allergy testing we found it was cats/dogs and after a clean out of our house the skin cleared up almost immediately. I am so happy you found this out so early. Big hugs to Clover!

14 03 2009
Scott Stater

Hi Rachel,
Very glad to hear she’s on the mend. That must have been so stressful! We went through something similar with Harry. He started gaining less and less weight, dipping on the % charts with every doctor visit. He eating just fine, and was a smiley as all get-out…but the little dude was only putting on about an ounce a week, not ideal.

We had him tested for celiac and thyroid stuff, both came back negative. I never thought to try him for allergies. Perhaps at his one year apt next month. Of course my wife felt awful as she was his primary source of food at the time. However since he’s been eating regular food he’s start to plump up. But he’s 11 months and is still in his 6 month clothes. I guess that’s just the way he is!

Take care,

14 03 2009

And I live in Suffolk, the peanut capitol of the world. How is that for ironic.

14 03 2009

Oh my, who whould have guessed an allergy could be that strong. I’m so glad for you all that you found out.

14 03 2009
Julia Avina

Yeah! She can now be a happy little girl with no itchies. Good for you to find out about this so early.

15 03 2009

Rachel, I am so sorry that you had a difficult time dealing with Clover’s eczema issues until now. I am so happy tho that you’ve found out the cause and have dealt with it. Besides, a happy little vegemite don’t hurt no-one πŸ™‚ You gotta Gemma to learn the song *heehee*

15 03 2009

Oh my goodness it just clicked… you’ve been eating peanutty food since their birth.. WOW.. so did that mean that Clover was reacting to your breastmilk all this time as well?

15 03 2009
Kate aka the bossy yankee

I am going to email you. My mom went through the same thing with my brother who is a year older thanme and thankfully she discovered akllergy testing by the time my little brother and I came along a year later.

I am so glad clover is feeling better being allergic to something and not knowing it is awful for everyone especially the person allergiic.

15 03 2009
Kate aka the bossy yankee

Spelling errors so bad because I am commenting from my phone!

16 03 2009
Linda from Norway

Poor little “peanut” – how she must have suffered. I’m SO glad to hear that she now is spotless and feeling better. πŸ™‚

16 03 2009

i just heard something on the news LAST NIGHT about peanut allergies. how there are MDs, who are introducing peanuts to the children, in extremely low doses and eventually some of the children can have peanuts. this study was saying how keeping these children completely away from peanuts is actually harming them more. here’s a link to the article http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/us_world/Peanut-Allergy-Could-Be-Cured-in-a-Day-Scientists-.html

hope it will help!

17 03 2009

That’s fantastic that you figured it out! PS Nutella is also yummy and peanut free!

18 03 2009

Oh poor Clover. I’m so glad you figured out what it was! Allergy testing is great stuff. It helped control my brother’s asthma. Poor boy was allergic to corn, fish and eggs…and during lent on Fridays, he was having eggs for breakfast and fish/corn for dinner! He’s luckily grown out of a majority of his food allergies. I’m glad you were able to figure out what Clover was allergic to.

26 03 2009

I’m super glad Clover is gonna be just fine! Just an idea- if you guys get to missing peanut butter a lot, try the SunButter brand- it’s made with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts, and is delicious! Best of luck to you!

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