Monday, December 21, 2009

Itchy Itchy, Sratchy Scratchy

Since Witt's milk challenge last Thursday, we've been slowly introducing dairy.

One night I made homemade beef stroganoff and the next day he had his first two bites of homemade macaroni and cheese. I noticed (like any paranoid mama would) that he would start scratching his tummy, sides, and upper back about 2- 3 hours after having dairy. :(

Granted this could just be his eczema flaring up because he'd been off his daily Zyrtec for about 7 -10 days before the scratch test. (The allergist said to keep him off for 3 days, but I wanted to be on the safe side and kept him off longer.) The morning we went for the scratch test he had mild eczema and was scratching his sides, too; so it's not something completely new that came after the introduction of dairy.

BUT... I'm a paranoid mama when it comes to these allergies.

Last night I got out the steroid creme (which I hate to use) and applied to to his torso and back hoping to calm the eczema. This morning the eczema is gone, he has not had dairy since yesterday afternoon, and he's not been scratching.

My plan for the next few days is to be a stickler regarding his Zyrtec schedule to keep the eczema at bay and also keep him off dairy. Then I will introduce some dairy, keep a food log, and watch for scratching.

Even though there is a possibility that the dairy could be causing excessive itchiness, I can deal with that. Just knowing that milk is no longer life threatening is HUGE! It no longer produces hives... HUGE!

If dairy does in fact appear to cause more itchiness for him, I will probably begin to cook his meals and the rest of ours separately, allowing dairy for the rest of the family. One of the main reasons we chose to be a dairy free family was because the allergy was life threatening. But I don't want to get ahead of myself quite yet! There is still a good possibility that the itches were only from the eczema which was from being off his Zyrtec for so long.

So, anyway, after a couple of days I'll start keeping a food log and watching for the "itchies".

I'm hoping I'm just being paranoid. It's hard turning off the allergy mom "switch". The thoughts and concerns don't just disappear over night and although it's a good transition, it's a hard transition.

Oh, and by a sneaky little accident, Witt had half a cookie last night with baked in egg in it. No noticeable reaction! That's not to say more egg or straight egg won't produce a reaction, but hey... I'm taking what I can get!

Please continue to pray for us during this time. Like I said, although it's wonderful... it's still a hard transition to make.


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UPDATE: Followup HERE.


Jessica said...

Well, I'm glad that the reast of the family gets to have dairy for now. I hope you can resolve the itchiness issues! We're dealing with some bad eczema here too :(

Your post has me thinking about whether or not to become dairy free in our house. Up until this point it was fine for Adam and I to have dairy, because we could control what Gabe was eating. Now that David is getting older and there is the possibility of sippy cups getting exchanged or meals getting accidentally switched/stolen off plates I'm thinking we may need to make both boys dairy free (we haven't introduced milk to David yet).

I guess that's the difference between just having one child with allergies and having more than one. I had never thought about it until this post. Hmmmm......

Andrea said...

I can't stand that my oldest gets to eat anything while the younger 3 are so much more restricted. I feel like the other ones really notice, even if he keeps his 'treats' a secret when he gets home.
I need to take out ALL dairy but am waiting until after the holidays to buckle down since it's a sensitivity & not life threatening. I still want to deal with it though so they can have the stuff later in life!
Keep your eyes open and just be a good detective! You have a great plan of attack....

Shobana Jayaraman Srikumar said...

An improvement no matter how small is certainly very good. It only goes for saying that Witt is in the process of being able tolerate milk from a level of almost zero tolerance. That is great. My son has also moved from the point of life threatening and it sure is HUGE and a BIG relief.

Deanna said...

Becky, it IS a hard transition! We've been given the all clear for the reintroduction of eggs and fish. We did eggs in homemade pancakes and cookies for 3 days and K's skin got super rough and itchy, so we backed off. I'll try again in a few months. I haven't tried the fish yet. All indications are that his allergy to milk is not life threatening, yet the allergist is confused as to why the blood test shows such a benign reaction but K will get super duper bad eczema if there's anything cross contaminated with a milk product. Frustrating, but also a blessing to know that it can be controlled.