I’m sure I could be easily classified as the “nervous-mother” type, and the only thing saving me from the loony bin for overprotective moms is that my little one has had relatively few health issues or illnesses so far. The one recurring malady we’ve had to deal with is eczema. My baby has extra sensitive skin, and we have been buying free-and-clear detergents and making sure all her clothes are cotton and putting lotion on twice a day since she was about two months old.
Seemingly related but maybe not, every once in a while she will break out in hives. She appears to be having quite the allergy attack, and this is when I dive headfirst into nervous mother mode. I have on more than one occasion rushed her to the doctor’s office only to have the hives disappear before anyone gets around to see her. This happened again today.
The eczema has subsided to a dull roar but when it was at its peak I was always looking for a particular culprit. I wanted her to be having a reaction to something so I could simply remove the something and cure her. I am also on the lookout for a hives culprit, and today the culprit seemed to be peanut butter.
We hadn’t given her peanut butter yet but were looking for something to add protein to her lunch. A half an hour later she broke out in hives and, though they looked familiar to me and she did not seem to be in any distress, I couldn’t risk missing a peanut allergy. I decided to call for medical advice. Say hives and peanut butter in the same sentence to a medical professional and boy do they get amped up. To my non-surprise, they recommend a visit to urgent care. We went to a same-day appointment clinic and by the time we were seen, there was nary a hive for the medical professional (I use this term because he was not a doctor) to inspect.
In fact, the only thing there was to inspect was a particularly stubborn patch of eczema on her back that’s been lingering for at least four months. It’s been inspected a lot by the medical professionals and doctors lately and it has been upgraded from stubborn eczema to ringworm to, today, a staph infection that is caused by eczema.
The sequence of the events that led to this diagnosis went something like this. Nurse at weight check notices patch, thinks it’s ringworm, calls in doctor. Doctor emphatically declares that patch is not ringworm, tells me to stop treating it with the eczema cream to see what happens. At follow-up appointment two weeks later, doctor emphatically declares patch is ringworm and prescribes anti-fungal. (My question at this appointment about how it’s possible that she has ringworm and I don’t is answered but not very well.) Anti-fungal is taking longer than expected to work, but the spot looks different and starts to scab so for a while I think that means it’s working. Two days ago I begin to have (further) doubts about ringworm diagnosis. Consider calling office but decide to wait. Patch is looked at by medical professional today after a routine question of what meds she is on. He says ringworm won’t have scabs and thinks it’s staph. Wants to put her on antibiotics. Further questions by me lead him to offer to have a sample tested and I agree. He prescribes an antibiotic and says if it works, it was staph, if it doesn’t, it’s ringworm or eczema, and they’ll let me know the test results in about ten days, the same amount of time the antibiotic takes to work.
Look, my daughter is not on an episode of House and I am not keen on playing an elimination game with a bunch of pharmaceuticals. I’ve decided to wait for the test results to start antibiotics. The patch has been there for months, we can wait a few more days to find out how to accurately treat it.
So all of the aforementioned events that happened have made this a rather annoying day. Not because I had to seek treatment for my daughter or because we have a mystery patch that every medical assistant in a ten mile radius wants to solve, but because I can’t help but feel that my bringing her in at all just adds more fuel to the nervous-mother fire. I knew those spots were going to go away. I contemplated leaving when she was hive-free and running around the waiting room making friends with actual sick people who were probably emanating communicable diseases in her direction. But I couldn’t leave. I had to know she was okay and if that somehow makes me more crazy than less, that’s a medicine I’m going to have to take.
Oh also, after all that, we still have no idea if she actually has a peanut allergy.