Showing posts with label eczema. Show all posts

Of Doctor Visits and Delays

Yesterday was our Honeybee’s 9-month well baby visit.  FatherWinter took her to the doctor’s office and was met by Honeybee’s social worker, Ms. Care.  We wanted to make sure that Ms. Care received all of the medical documentation.  We’ve found that sometimes the doctor’s office forgets to forward it on to Ms. Care and we need it to build for Honeybee’s court file.  We weren’t really expecting anything at the visit.  Honeybee has been all smiles and coos lately, with the exception of a couple of flares.

Imagine my surprise to receive a phone call after the visit to inform me that Honeybee has not one, but TWO ear infections!!!  My poor baby!  She hadn’t been pulling her ears or complaining or anything.  We had no idea.  My poor, poor Honeybee!!  The NP suggested that the culprit could be the cold that Honeybee has been fighting all week long.  Honeybee was prescribed an antibiotic.  They did the measuring and found out she is 13 lbs, 2.5 ounces and has only gained 1 pound 7 ounces since her last visit.  I was a bit concerned about that, but since her appetite is so voracious (Honeybee can EAT), there wasn’t much concern from the office staff.

There were, however, items requiring observation.  Honeybee has a slight developmental delay with her fine and gross motor skills.  She will put food in her mouth, but can’t use her thumb and forefinger.  She tries to feed herself with her entire fist.  She pulls herself up to her knees, but not to her legs consistently as the doctors said she should.  She also doesn’t wave or respond to bye-bye.  Sigh.  When Ms. Care told me that, I was a bit worried that we’d done something to fail Honeybee.  I was assured that we had not.  Honeybee’s delays are slight and could be simply a biological development. 

She reminded me that our Honeybee is a mobile machine.  She gets everywhere she wants as fast as she wants.  She is more than inquisitive and has learned to vocalize to get her point across.  While the delays were something to be aware of, there was no need to panic.  We would just govern ourselves according to the need.  I appreciated the assurance, but made sure to immediately start seeking developmental toys that could help in her development delays and games she and I could play that would encourage the same.
Our Honeybee is a mobile machine!

 Then, there was our friend, the dreaded ECZEMA.  Ugh….I thought we’d slain this beast (or at the very least knocked his butt out).  It turns out the weather change has been doing a number on Honeybee’s skin.  While last week it was smooth, yesterday Honeybee’s back, ankles, inner thigh, and side were all alligator like and ridiculously dry DESPITE the momentasone and tons of SheaMoisture Shea Butter Eczema cream that I grease her down with every morning and night.  (Not paid as a promotion or anything, but my personal opinion is this stuff is AWESOME!)

The NP, with the doctor’s approval, has now given us a new lotion prescription that we are to use daily, as well as orders for a very specific brand of soap that is not inexpensive.  SIGH.  I’d noticed 
the skin fluctuations, but thought I could get it back in line without the harsh products minus her cream of course.  Hopefully, we will be able to find something soon.  Honeybee hasn’t really been complaining, but she hasn’t really been sleeping as peacefully as summer months either.  Occasionally, the itching keeps her up until 10 and awakens her at 2. Maybe the new additions will help.

Overall, the visit may not have gone as great as I would have liked it to have gone, but I have no complaints.  Honeybee is a happy, babbling, energetic, and loving baby girl who is so loved, it is ridiculous!  I am still looking forward to exposing her to some great new experiences whether she remembers them or not.  With a less itchy belly and finer motor skills, the experience can only enhanced!  Stay tuned to see what’s coming next!


Of Flare Ups and Social Media

Recently, Honeybee's little cousin had a birthday.  He turned a ripe young age of four.  It was a wonderful birthday.  Tons of relatives all gathered around in their best green donning their Turtle attire for a TMNT Birthday.  It was a party of legends.  The kids ran around my brother and sister-in-law's home while three infants rested contentedly in their mothers arms and two toddlers ran around the floor.

Have I mentioned we're a rather large family?  The brothers (or uncles as was the case for the birthday boy) lounged around the kitchen table talking sports.  The sisters (aunts, mothers, grandmothers, etc.) held down the living room talking all things motherhood and femininity.  As the guests began to get hungry, one remembered the theme of the party and grabbed a slice of the Turtles'favorite food...PIZZA.

We had the standard pepperoni or cheese decision.  I debated and grabbed the cheese.  I'm a cheese girl at heart and love it on EVERYTHING.  Honeybee has recently become a lover of all things edible.  I do mean all things.  She will eat whatever you allow her to try.  She'll be 9 months next week and, despite her size, she can EAT.  Well, she is sitting in my lap surveying my pizza and decides to deftly grab a bit and put it into her mouth.  I pull it back and watch as she smacks her lips and gives the audible for 'more'.  Because we know that Honeybee has eczema and has had a history of flare ups after new foods were introduced, I hesitated and distracted her for a while to see if she had any flares.  After five minutes, there was nothing.  Remembering that she eats lasagna (Gerber baby lasagna) and spaghetti (Gerber) with no issue, I decided to give her very small pieces of the cheese on the pizza.  She loved it and enjoyed one small slice like this.

The party wound down and pretty soon it was time to go.  Honeybee had received her final bottle and was ready to go to sleep.  We wrapped her securely as it was very blustery and drove home.  We got home, gave her the evening medicine, and as she was super tired, we laid her down in her crib and turned ourselves to sleep.  Ten minutes later came the cry of irritation.  It's a cry we haven't heard in a while.  Not since the doctors have found a new medicine that works well with our little one.  This was the cry of "ugh, I can't sleep".  I went into the nursery and turned on the light.  There I saw it.  The underside of her chin, the back of her neck, and the side of her face were full on flare.  A bright red and welt flare.  I knew immediately that it was the cheese from the pizza.  She'd had nothing new to eat that day except the pizza cheese.  I immediately grabbed her cream especially for flares and put it on the affected areas.  I waited the usual 15 minutes, saw some of the redder spots were slowly fading to a pink, and sighed a bit with relief.  Another 30 more minutes, Honeybee closed her eyes and drifted into sleep.  She slept her regular schedule.

I was pretty annoyed with myself for not being more vigilant, for not simply denying her the cheese in the first place.  I had other alternatives available for me.  I chose to give her the cheese.  Almost as quickly, I realized that I was being too hard on myself.  We've had allergy testing done.  She was not allergic to milk.  I have tried some dairy before (baby yogurt).  She didn't flare.  There was no way of knowing she would this time.  Still, I remained pretty annoyed as I laid my head to pillow.

The next morning, my cell phone alarm went off and I, out of habit for my job, hit the social media page to see if there were any updates that I would need to be aware of for the day.  In my newsfeed, I saw my brother in law's post celebrating the birth day of his son.  He'd chosen to post a collage of events from the party.  On one of the pictures there I was actively conversing with another party goer while holding Honeybee face forward in my arms.  Immediately buzzers go off in my head.  I look to see how many people have "liked" the picture.  None.  How long had the picture been posted?  Only 3 minutes.  Immediately, I send a text to him (he rarely answers the phone) and my sister-in-law to remind them of the faux pas and ask that they quickly remove the photo.  Seconds pass.  Ten...fifteen...and then a response.  It was being done right then.  Forty-five seconds later, I refreshed the page and the entire post was gone.  A minute later, the post was there and the picture including I and Honeybee was not.  I received a deeply apologetic post from my brother-in-law and I assured him there was no harm.  He'd forgotten.  I understood completely.

Our Honeybee has been with us since she was 1.5 weeks old.  She is family.  She has been here for birthdays, programs, promotions, college farewells, and the family dynamic that is us.  Again, she is family.  It's hard to remember sometimes that there are still rules associated with her.

Someone asked if we were going to pierce her ears.  I hadn't even thought about it. For one, I'd rather she make the decision about having a hole in her ear (though mine were done when I was 10 weeks old).  For two, she's not our legal daughter.  It would require permission from her parent or guardian.  We are her prospective adoptive family who has physical custody of her.  She has a guardian ad litem and a legal custodian; neither of whom are FatherWinter or I.  If we were so inclined to have her ears pierced, we wouldn't be able to make that decision. Someone else would.

Our family takes photos throughout the year and up to the holidays.  I then create a beautiful Christmas card to distribute to friends and family worldwide.  They look forward to this picture.  we actually have people who frame them and keep them in their homes.  This year, the photo will be a bit different.  Honeybee is not allowed to be photographed in any way that will allow her to be recognized (no front shots).  So, our options are taking a picture in front of the camera, but holding her back towards it.  We can also take a picture of her feet or some other non identifying feature and use that.  I have some very cute ideas for the card as I would love the tradition to continue, but I have to admit, it's frustrating not to be able to share her in the family way yet.  So, I wasn't upset with my brother-in-law.  I wouldn't let him be upset with himself.  He quickly removed and no harm was done.  That being said, we are placing a limited photo rule during the massive Thanksgiving celebration that is being planned at our house this year.  Cameras will be allowed, but Honeybee's back will be in all or she won't be in them at all (unless by FatherWinter and myself).  It's extreme, we know.  But we aren't willing to take chances.  Too much could happen and we prefer that none of the "too much" occur at all.


Of Eczema and Medication

Today was our Honeybee's 6 month check-up.  So far, so good.  She is progressing well in height and weight.  She is healthy.  She is happy.  The only thing that isn't doing so well is her eczema.  Yes, the evil skin ailment has once again reared its ugly head and caused unpleasant nights and days for our Honeybee.
Our pediatrician has made no secret of the fact that Bee's eczema is one of the worst cases she has ever seen.  We have tried several natural ways of keeping the ailment at bay.  Shea Butter, diluted apple cider vinegar, massages, wet PJ wraps.  You name it.  We have tried it.  Finally, after a particularly bad episode of itching and crying and hair pulling, we were forced to cut Honeybee's hair (See A Hairless Honeybee) and our pediatrician was forced to try medication.

It worked...for a while.  It relieved the itching, allowed Honeybee a chance to sleep at night, and kept her disposition sunny.  But recently, she has had more itchy days than not.  At today's visit, our pediatrician noticed that despite our best efforts, the skin had started to weep.  :(  It was time to prescribe new medications.

So, that's what we are currently doing.  Today, Honeybee is one three medications.  Their dosage is spaced apart and one is to be used only for a couple of weeks, but hopefully they will work and we can get finally find something that works!

In other news, Honeybee has started trying to hold her own bottle at 6 months and is giving indications that she is looking forward to being mobile soon.  I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet.  I kind of like having her hold on to me a

A Hairless Honeybee

Well, after lengthy attempts at saving it, our household had to cut off all of Honeybee’s hair.  Yep.  We didn’t want to, but it had to be done.  Honeybee has eczema-very, very bad eczema from head to toe.  Some days, it is great and doesn’t bother her at all.  Other days, it is very uncomfortable for her and she itches incessantly.  One of the worst spots for her is her head.  Because her head sweats and she couldn’t reach the itch, she opted to pull out great plugs of her in her journey to stop the itch.  Our doctor told us we would probably have to cut her hair, but we continued to try and save it.  Alas, the comb overs weren’t doing it.  The standard Aveenos don’t work as she is highly sensitive to anything remotely related to oatmeal.  Shea butter is a friend, but only for a while.  Prescriptions  can work, but when they wear off, her itch seems to be intensified.  Plus, we aren’t fans of long term steroid use for infants…neither is our pediatrician.

So, finally, on a Saturday morning, after the haircut for SuperBug (aka Doodle who has decided recently that he would rather not be Doodle anymore), FatherWinter cut her hair.  I was downstairs as I didn’t want to see the thick tightly curled afro disappear.  When I came upstairs after it was done….I smiled J  It was cute.  Her features suit her new low cut perfectly. She is gorgeous, but she could be in a brown paper bag and be gorgeous to me.  The important thing is she is very happy, slightly less itchy at night, and still the bright eyed and bushy-tailed Honeybee we know and love. 

This weekend, after her daring cut, I had a really cool moment.  I was holding my daughter.  She was resting comfortably in my arms.  She wasn’t sleeping; her dark eyes were quietly observing everything around her.  She was lying comfortably against my chest and I was simply staring at her.  We didn’t say a word to each other.  There was no babble speech from her, no cheery or sing song words from me.  We just sat there in complete silence—together.  We were both enjoying the moment.  Every once in a while she would look up at me and smile.  I would return the same and we would return to our previous positions enjoying each other in the solitude and stillness of the night. 

These are the moments that I look forward to when the adoption is complete.  I look forward to tea parties and bedtime stories.  I look forward to holding my daughter in my lap, my son at my side, reading bedtime stories, and building memories as a family. 

Let’s hope that becomes our reality sooner than later.