I'll Take Medical Mysteries for $1000, Alex...

*****It's the Daily Double!!*****

Please remember to phrase your answer in the form of a question.


If you actually read my Mother's Day poem, you might have picked up on the fact that Toad is having another episode of hives - pretty much exactly like what we saw in the Fall when we thought it was a reaction to the Risperdal. They cover him from head to toe, are massive, itchy, and given that he is not ON Risperdal, appear to be entirely random. And they last for weeks. He is 4 weeks in to this now and is still having flares.

And when I say head to toe, I'm not exaggerating...






This, is my poor little Toadie-face at the height of this out-break about a week and a half ago.


 Needless to say, it hasn't been very nice for him.                                                                                                                       


Round the clock Benadryl would help the itching a bit, but it wasn't having any effect on the hives themselves. I was at a complete loss - couldn't think of anything new in the house or in his diet that would have coincided with this.

We had him tested (well, his poop, if we're being accurate... ) for parasites. EW, gross...  But since Toadie still puts everything in his mouth, and apparently they can cause hives like this, we had to check. Negative, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, for that.

But then what? He needed to see an allergist. This made me exceedingly nervous because Zach has a very long list of food allergies, some of which didn't show up until he was older. One of those allergies, is to potato. POTATO. You know, what FRIES are made of. THAT potato.

I couldn't even go there.

But he needed to go of course, so off we went. Little man had to be off all antihistamine for 72 hrs before his appt. So for three days he was just a giant itch-fest, I was lotioning (editing program doesn't like it when you make your own verbs. Editing program can bite me.) him up with Calamine multiple times a day. I have to tell you, that given how miserable this has to have been for him, he really has done a remarkable job of taking it all in stride.

Allergist took a good look at him, got the history, and immediately ruled out a med or food allergy - YAY!! Two things that are good about that, 1. he doesn't lose the food that essentially sustains him 2. we can try Risperdal again if needed in the future. Which is nice to know.

But then what IS it??? She also didn't think it was airborn or environmental/contact. Basically, we were left with some not too common auto-immune issues, or, this is just something Toad's body does sometimes. Hmm. So he had to get blood work done to check for the auto-immune markers. Between Toad's dad, me, and the lab lady, we managed to hold him and get what was needed. Lab lady was very good. This helped a lot. Still, took 2 full grown adults to hold him still enough to get it done. Here's the interesting part though - most kids are afraid of needles, right? The automatic thought is that was what Toad didn't like. Nope. He actually does pretty well with shots. It was the tourniquet that had to go around his arm before she could draw the blood. Tight rubber tube around the arm is not on Toad's list of acceptable sensory experiences.

Allergist lady prescribed an antihistamine regimen for hivey-Toad - 3 different meds, for morning and evening. The kid is a walking pharmacy these days (given the meds he's already on). But, within about 24 hours of starting them the hives reduced significantly.

The blood work has all come back fine, so we will not be adding Juvenile RA to his diagnoses, thank goodness. So basically we're left with Idiopathic Auto-immune Urticaria, or, Toad gets hives. For no reason. Just does. FANTASTIC. But at least the med regimen she gave us helps a lot, so if/when it happens again, I know we can at least lessen the misery for him and, I don't have to freak out because I know there's nothing really wrong.

The day after Toadie's allergy appt, I was at home and got a call from Zach's principal at school. "Zach is having problems with his vision, I think you should talk to him". Okaaaaaaaaay....

Zach gets on the phone. I ask him what's going on. He tells me that while working on his math that morning, suddenly things started "disappearing" from the page he was working on. He was just losing things from his field of vision. Um, ok, that's probably not good...  is it still happening? Yes. How long has this been going on? About an hour or so. Oh yes and he's dizzy too. His left eye is worse than his right. Oy. Does your head hurt? (Zach gets migraines) No. Are you sure? Yes. Ok sit tight.

So after a long run of e-mails/phone calls between me, Zach's dad (who is a pediatrician), Zach's pediatrician's office, and Zach's school, it was determined that he needed to be seen, but his own Dr couldn't get him in that day. So instead of waiting in Urgent Care for who knows how long, his dad saw him. By the time we got there Zach's head was hurting and his vision was improving a bit, and his neuro exam was fine. So more than likely an aura to his migraine or, an ocular migraine...

OR a not-so-great side effect of the Growth Hormone injections. Sometimes it can cause intracranial hypertension which causes headaches and vision distubances, dizziness, nausea... all things Zach has complained of. 

So today, Zach is having his eyes dilated at the eye doctor so that they can look to see if there is swelling. If so, he'll need to stop the growth hormone for a while, which will be a shame because he has really responded well to it. If his eyes are fine, then I guess we're back to the migraine theory.