"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." ~e e cummings

Monday, November 29, 2010

a balanced universe

The banner headline from today would read: Evan Passes Milk Challenge. The bi-line, however, would read: Max Has Bronchiolitis. I want to be celebrating that unbelievably wonderful and unexpected headline tonight with a family trip to Sweet Frog. Instead, I'm counting down the minutes until I can give my baby his next nebulizer treatment to help him breathe.

You know, Universe, I wouldn't mind a little *less* karmic balance sometimes.

So, Part 2 of Evan vs. The Cow was first thing this morning. We arrived at Dr. B's office well-equipped with Milk, Chocolate Syrup, plenty of distractions, and a complete change of clothes. We needed all of it. Evan first drank 1.5 ounces of chocolate milk and, after only a moderate display of obstinance, drank the additional 3 ounces. Almost immediately after finishing the last of the milk, Evan got really quiet and cuddled up on my lap in a little ball. His tummy was obviously hurting him. The nurse and Dr. B came in every few minutes to check him out and talk to him, and Evan tried really hard to put on a happy, brave face for them. At minute 54 of our one hour wait/period of observation, Evan puked. I was ready....the trash can was right beside us, but I wasn't quite fast enough. The extra clothes came in handy.

At this point, my heart just sank. We were thisclose to getting a pass, I thought. But....Dr. B came in with a huge smile on his face and a hearty, "CONGRATULATIONS!" for Evan. Yes, Evan threw up after ingesting milk, but No, he does not consider him to be allergic to milk. This, according to Dr. B, is an Intolerance. Sure, "stomach pains" and "vomitting" are often listed as symptoms of an allergic reaction, but that doesn't mean that Evan has to avoid all dairy as we had been doing. "So what does this mean as far as restricting his diet?" I asked. "It means that YOU don't restrict his diet at all. Evan will restrict his own diet. He'll self-limit his intake of dairy because at a certain point it will start to upset his stomach." So, if he wants a slice of pizza, I can give him a slice of pizza. If he starts to refuse it after eating half, that's my cue that he's had enough. Sure, occasionally he might overdo it and get a tummyache or even get sick. Who hasn't occasionally over-indulged?

The important thing: There was no allergic reaction. No wheezing, no swelling, not a single hive. These are the things that Dr. B was looking for. These are the symptoms we saw during Evan's severe reaction to milk as a baby. And these were the things that, in their absence, gave us the Pass. A good day, indeed.

And then we got home.

To our raspy, rattly, wheezy baby.

Our baby, whose ear infection was clearing and who, aside from a mild, pesky cough this weekend, enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. Our baby, who all of a sudden sounded so Sick, that his mommy called the pediatrician and took the next available appointment.

He tested negative for RSV and was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis, an inflammation of the bronchioles. The nurse practitioner gave him a nebulizer treatment on the spot. (Whoa, THAT was an experience. If you've never tried to hold a mask on the face of an angry, screaming, writhing baby....a mask that's connected to a tube that is rapidly wrapping itself around the writhing baby's kicking legs....a tube that's connected to a loud whirring machine....a machine that's right next to a 3-year old who is covering his ears and shouting, "THIS IS TOO LOUD. I DO NOT LIKE THIS NOISE"....a 3-year old who is also saying, "I think I'm going to throw up some more,"....and all of this is going on for TEN CONSECUTIVE MINUTES.....then you're really lucky and I'm really jealous.)

She also wrote a prescription for Albuterol so we can have this fun again every four hours until Thursday and then every six hours until next Monday.

Lesson Learned:

I haven't been this happy since the two times I found out I was pregnant. Truly. To outgrow three major allergies by three and a half is something to be celebrated.

And I haven't had a baby this sick since Evan's reaction to milk. It's like my life as an allergy mom came full circle in one hectic morning.

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