Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Allergic Reaction

WARNING:  These pictures are pretty sad/graphic of Colby's allergic reaction progression.  

After the room makeover, Colby came down with a nasty cold that turned into an ear infection.  His doctor prescribed Amoxicillin which we were religious in giving him twice daily, for eight days.  He had taken it once before for an ear infection so we didn't think much of it... until day eight.  On day eight he woke up with a strange rash that kind of looked like roseola (the last time he took amoxicillin he broke out with the same small rash at the end of the ten days and his doctor said that it was probably roseola since he had broken a fever and his body was healing - apparently it was not).  The rash started that morning as a few dots at the top of his legs and by the time we left the doctor's office at 1 pm, it had spread clear up past his armpits.  It didn't bother him too much yet.  His pediatrician confirmed that it was an allergic reaction, stated that his ear infection had not healed, gave us a different medication for him, and told me to take him into the ER if he started wheezing, having trouble breathing, or looking disoriented.  Awesome.

As the rash progressed, it got more itchy and more annoying for Colby.  The rash took its form in this order:  started with small spots, eventually the spots got larger until they pretty much formed one giant spot (that was beginning to take place in the picture above), then target lesions (pictured just below), the target lesions would swell and then turn purple in the middle, and then clear up.  This would move from one area of his body to the next until every inch of his body had its turn.  

You can see his swollen ears in the picture below.  It was so sad... he would scratch his ears and they were so swollen that they would just flop back and forth.  His feet and his hands were really swollen, so much that he wouldn't walk at all.  If I put him down, he would start to cry and his body would start to shake involuntarily because his feet were in so much pain due to the swelling.  It was SO SAD. He was still battling a fever and an ear infection on top of the allergic reaction.  Needless to say, we watched a lot of shows that week.    

The rash moved to his head last.  Spencer had gone to school already by the time Colby woke up, and when I walked in to get him from his crib, I saw this boy... with my baby's voice.  IT WAS THE CRAZIEST MOMENT.  I could have sworn to you that someone had swapped my baby out for another.  I couldn't even recognize him!  He hadn't been wheezing, but he had been choking on his food a little bit that day and it made me nervous knowing that his airways could close up, especially since his entire face was swollen.  I made an appointment for that day to make sure his airways looked fine.  Everything looked ok and I went home feeling a little better.

It took four to five days for the rash to finish its course - and thank heavens it did!  It left us with our healthy child again and I am so thankful!

For my memory's sake:  
The doctor explained that the reaction probably didn't show itself for 8 days because it was still building up in his body.  Unfortunately by then he had already taken an entire bottle of Amoxicillin.  Also, often an allergy doesn't manifest itself until the second time a person has had contact with the said allergy.  That would explain why he didn't have an allergic reaction the first time we gave him the medication.

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