Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In Which We Finally, Finally Figure Out What The Heck Has Been Going On

We kept Connor on the Benadryl this morning and while he was rather zonked out and drowsy, he seemed to be doing okay. When the Benadryl wore off in the afternoon, he started coughing and rubbing his eyes again so we gave him another dose and called his pediatrician in Seattle.

As a result Connor is now the proud owner of a shiny new epipen. Joy of joys.

His doctor also asked us to take him into an acute care clinic. We were a little concerned about all of the germs that float around in the waiting rooms of those places, which due to the long wait time would give Connor ample chances to pick something up. Luckily his doctor's office from three years ago (when we lived in Texas) was fantastic and allowed us to bring him in right away. We only spent about five minutes in the waiting room, and the only other kids in there were there to get flu shots and weren't actually sick. Whew! So we've got a prescription for a steroid now and we're going to pick up some Zyrtec as well, which will hopefully not make him quite so drowsy.

Armed with an epipen and Benadryl, we decided with the doctor's permission to perform an evil, evil experiment on the little guy to try and rule out some triggers. First we took him out to a restaurant and allowed the Benadryl to wear off. No problems there-- he was just fine. Then we took him over to my sister's house to see if their cat and two giant dogs would trigger an attack. No reaction. So we took him back to the house, from which my parents had removed all really strong-smelling items and aired out by opening all the doors and windows. And the little guy was fine! No problems. Finally we went out to the garage, grabbed a bag of lavender, which Mom had been putting into little bags at a table in the living room earlier in the day to throw at the bride after the wedding, and opened it up in the room.

Five minutes later he began coughing and rubbing his eyes, and his nose stopped up. Bingo!

So all of the lavender is back out in the garage, and we will be getting an epipen for school because my child decided to have an allergy so strong that being in the room with lavender will cause his eyes to swell shut. Lord knows what he'd look like if someone used it in soap or laundry or God forbid, put the essential oil on something and then touched him. My child would pick something to be severely allergic to that's totally weird. I mean, I know some people are allergic to flowers, but this is ridiculous. Of course, he couldn't possibly be midly allergic to anything, because that wouldn't be nearly dramatic enough. What's more, it's not like he hasn't been exposed to lavender before-- I've used it in his sensory therapy sessions in the past. He's always hated it, but it's never caused his face to start swelling before. This makes me wonder what exciting new allergies he'll potentially come up with as he gets older. I can't wait.

It also explains why the heck there didn't seem to be any pattern in when he'd break out in hives/eczema. I have very old lavender in two of my bathrooms, and when Loki gets a hold of it he rips pieces of it up and I've picked them up with my fingers and later touched him. The grocery store has bunches of fresh lavender in the flower section. It's a common ingredient in laundry detergent and cleaning solutions-- probably someone at school uses a bath or hygiene product that contains the stuff. It's everywhere. And he gets this reaction just from inhaling the scent of the stuff. Fantastic.

Well, at least we have some answers now! And darn it, I like the plant a lot-- I've got a big pot of it outside on our patio. Oh well. I'm just glad it wasn't the cats, because despite how neurotic they are, they're family so that would have been really hard.

Would anyone in Seattle like a potted lavender plant? I think it needs a new home.



leah said...

Oh, thank goodness you have found the cause of the hives! Lavender is in nearly everything these days- from baby shampoo to laundry detergent. Anyone who has clothes that have been washed in that type of detergent could cause the little guy to swell up- yikes! Thank goodness for epi pens.

Bronx Cataldo's said...

Glad to see you figured out his trigger. But now since they gave him and eip-pen you know you can bring him to an allergist and have him tested for allergies. My brother was only 2 when he got tested and that was 38 years ago. We got Eoghan tested and were shocked at all his allergies because of his digestive problem he also got tested for food allergies and boy was that an eye opener peas, eggs, soy, dairy, almonds, penuts. I just sat with my gob opened. Eoghan isn't affected like most with allergies they only effect his eyes and his tummy.
Hey look have a great time with your family and at the wedding.

terena said...

hooray you figured it out. Allergies are so tricky!

Anonymous said...

Tell me which plant it is and it will be gone by the time you get home. I'll start a search first thing in the morning for soaps and what-not. Love you both.

Mel said...

Hey Jessie! If you still need to get rid of the lavender plant, let me know. I can take it off your hands! :)

Hugs to you all,

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