I don’t know what made me think of this recently (talking with another mom about antibiotics, maybe?), but I’m wondering if any of you have ever experienced severe allergic reactions in your kids (or yourself) before. ‘Cause we certainly have around here. And because I like to document significant Diehl family history, I thought I should take the time to write this down!
As far as I know, I’m not allergic to anything. Matt one time broke out in hives really badly shortly before Luke was born; I’d just started using OxiClean on our whites at that time, so I stopped that promptly and he’s never had a reaction like that since.
When Luke was nearly six months old, he had already had an ear infection or two, and was on his second round of amoxicillin to try to clear it up (he would later get tubes. Two sets, actually.). On a Friday afternoon, he looked like he had a few bug bites, but I wasn’t too concerned; it was spring and we’d been outside. However, when he woke up on Saturday morning, he looked like this and it was obvious that he was not all that comfortable:
And that was just the beginning.
Later in the day, he looked like this, which necessitated a trip to the ER if I remember correctly. We were kind of freaked out.
And because this was pre-digital-camera days, I didn’t take many pictures of him, but it got worse. He was definitely itchy, and I felt so bad for him!
This kind of reaction is called erythema multiforme minor (or EM minor; EM major is also called Stevens-Johnson syndrome and is very serious). Because it’s not your run-of-the-mill reaction to a drug, my boys will never get anything from the penicillin family again. Oftentimes people think that their child is allergic to a medication because they get a fine, red rash over their body when they are sick and on an antibiotic, and while that can be an allergic reaction, we’ve learned that that’s often just a virus causing that kind of reaction. Clearly, that’s not the case here!
Fast-forward almost 3 years to right after Bennett’s 1st birthday, when he had his second need for an antibiotic (I don’t remember for sure, but he probably also had an ear infection. He had very few so I’m not clear on that.). And a very familiar-looking rash started developing all over his chubby body…you can imagine the dread I felt when I saw those spots! Look at how swollen his eye was!
After a bath later that same day. Look at the spot around his belly button!
And here he is at the height of his reaction. His was far worse than Luke’s had been. If you look closely at his legs, you can see spots where his skin is almost a purple-grey color.
When I was pregnant with Jack Henry, I discussed the other boys’ reactions with our pediatrician and we decided that we’d just act as if Jack Henry is also allergic to the penicillin family and not risk it. I’m so thankful that she was with us through the first two boys’ reactions so that she knew I wasn’t overreacting to what had happened with them!
Have any of you ever experienced anything like this? And if not, wasn’t that educational? Now when your kid has a few red spots, you’ll be freaking out. You’re welcome.