Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Which I Recieve A Nice Surprise, And Ponder A Conundrum

There was a knock on the door today, and it was a delivery from the florist. Jer sent me roses, just because! Do I have the best husband ever, or what?

In other news, yesterday morning when I picked Connor up from school I noticed a couple of little hives. Well, this morning when I picked him up he was sporting a pretty good case of them. Since his teacher and her aids have already purged every trace of lavender from the classroom and their bath products (because they are awesome, as I have mentioned several times before) I am left with one of two possibilities.

The first possibility, and the one I'm really hoping for, is that one of Connor's classmates has a parent who uses a lavender product on either their skin or their clothes. While this would not be particularly wonderful, as it would mean that Connor would be periodically breaking out in hives at school, it would be better than the second possibility: that Connor is allergic to another mysterious substance. Joy of joys.

The little guy is going to have a referral for an allergist, and we'll probably end up going in for allergy testing (which I've been told is just oodles of fun with a toddler) to see what other crazy things he may be allergic to as well. What I'm wondering is whether or not they'll be testing the right sort of things. We know the kid isn't allergic to peanuts, or cats, or shellfish, or any of the other stuff you generally have to watch out for. No, he seems to go for things that are a little more exotic, a little more dramatic, if you will, than your everyday run-of-the-mill allergens. So I'm going to suggest that they test for some wilder possibilities. Like, oh, bears. The kid's probably allergic to bears. Or Spam. I'm of the opinion that everyone should be allergic to Spam, but that's beside the point. Given our past track record with the kid having crazy, rare medical conditions that no one can figure out, I'm not expecting any easy answers on this one.

So to my mind the best possibility of the two would be that another child is bringing lavender oil residue into the classroom in the form of soap or lotion or laundry detergent or air freshener or scented candles or-- well, you get the point. It's not enough to cause Connor to have a full blown reaction, but it is enough to cause him to break out in hives. The problem is that I'm not sure how to go about solving this sort of thing, other than dosing him with Benadryl whenever he breaks out. I suppose I could just write a letter to all of the other parents. Something like this:

Dear Parents Of All Those Other Children,

My darling, perfect, sweet child is extremely allergic to lavender but flawless in all other ways. Because of this, you must throw away all lavender and lavender products in your home, because if your kid touches my little sweetie pookums with his grubby little lavender-contaminated hands, it will cause my own perfect child to break out in unsightly red bumps all over his poor widdle face. This is completely unacceptable, so for my personal convenience and to save his handsome complexion, your evil lavender must go. Really, the nerve of some people.

See you at the next PTA meeting-- my turn to bring cookies!


The Mother Of The Most Important Child In The Universe

On second thought, maybe not.



Gina said...

Jess, it's actually quite possible that he might be getting exposure to lavender from the other children themselves. I know that I still use Johnson & Johnson lavender baby bath soap on my 4 year old...I would definitely stop though if Connor was in her class!

Good luck with it!

J. said...

I think that is great letter, not sure how those other moms would feel but if it came home with my kid I would have a good laugh.

Niksmom said...

Oh dear. Here are a couple thoughts based on our experience w/allergy testing our son. A GOOD allergist will listen to you first about what to test for (and NOT). If you tell them you're pretty sure it's not certain foods then they won't waste the effort.

Lavender is part of the larger class of evergreens (mediterranean to be specific) which can include many types of shrub-like herbs. How does C do with things like rosemary? Pine or juniper? Different types of mint, too? I'd ask the allergist to look in that direction first.

Also, in the meantime, can you give C either claritin or zyrtec to mitigate low-level sensitivities? We have to give it to Nik b/c he's super sensitive to certain foods but not actually allergic.

Also, I think you should send home a note to parents. Just explain that your child is allergic to lavender and, before you embark on more extensive/expensive tests to find the latest culprit, could they simply contact you to let you know if their child is exposed to lavender which C might come into contact with. That way, you're not asking them to do away with their routines/products/etc. but are letting them know you are just looking for information. Then go from there.

MFA Mama said...

I still use the J&J lavender stuff on my kids and the oldest is eight! I'd absolutely switch brands if I got a note from a classmate's parent though...I agree the note as-is is hilarious and it would thrill me to get one like that from another parent but there's always SOMEone who's literal-minded enough to take offense at a good funny so I'd write to the lowest common denominator and do a note (seriously, do a note!). I second the recommendation about a maintenance allergy med like Claritin; he'd still need Benadryl for acute symptoms but that could help him be less reactive to minor exposures. I've had a toddler tested with the dozens of pokes before and it's not a huge deal; those things really aren't that painful (yes I've had them) and my kids didn't complain much except about the itching from the test one (pure histamine so they have something to gauge reactions of other pokes by) and the ones that were positive. Good luck with the allergist!

Julia said...

First, you have a fabulous husband. The roses are gorgeous. You deserve them. Second, as everyone else has said, I think it's perfectly appropriate to send a note home to parents. If I got a note like that one (okay, not quite like that one), I would be all too glad to do what I can to help solve the problem, and I think most parents (all the ones worth considering, anyway) would feel the same.

Mel said...

Hey Jess, if you are ever interested in a *really comprehensive* food / environmental allergen test, I had one done a few months ago. It's a blood test (I'm sure Connor would love having a bunch of blood drawn, though), but it's expensive and not covered by insurance...just a thought. It proved helpful for me by bringing up foods besides grains to which I am allergic and should avoid for a period of time to let my body rest.

Refer to ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies:


terena said...

Those allergies can be so difficult! Queen Teen still has trouble on occasion, so we put her on Clariton which has done wonders.

I love the letter. And I think you should go ahead and send a letter to the parents in his class asking them not to send or use lavender at school. If he had a peanut allergy, you'd do the same, and I think other parents would understand (I would stop using lavender if he was in Queen Teen's class, even though I'm a HUGE lavender fan and grow it in abundance in my yard).

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