Mysterious Hives!

6 Sep
© Photos by Ardith Ibañez Nishii

(06 September 2012) Clockwise from top left: Right leg, Right calf, Right thigh (with semi-circular dark outlines), Left inner thigh

Today, Cedro woke up with HUGE hives all over his legs and arms!  I had no idea until I changed his diaper and clothes to get him ready for school.  He had woken up happy and playful and almost hyper despite what should probably be an uncomfortable skin condition covering his body!  I was amazed by the size of the welts and they were slightly warm to the touch.  We were worried that it might be ringworm since the welts had dark red outlines.

Luckily, Berkeley Pediatrics nearby could squeeze him in right away!  Cedro was very comfortable with Dr. Grace So who was very warm and personable.  One look and she immediately identified Cedro’s condition as a classic textbook case of hives (NOT ringworm).  She assured us that they are very common among children his age and neither serious nor contagious.  Since we couldn’t identify anything new or unusual in his diet or soaps and detergents from the past few days, she explained that it could really be anything.  It might even be the result of a low-grade cold.  She explained that the same virus that causes a cold could cause the hives.  The hives might last a few days in waves.  We should just pay attention to what he’s eating if/when the next outbreak happens.  She recommended that we give him half a teaspoon of Benadryl every 6 hours as needed, if Cedro seemed uncomfortable.  Sure enough, as soon as we left the office, Cedro started scratching the huge welt on his right shin and ankle.  Good thing there was a Walgreens half a block away!  Benadryl to the rescue!

We were able to drop him off at school before lunch.  He wasn’t thrilled about leaving us, but didn’t put too much of a fight.  He was happy that it was playground time and he was greeted warmly by his classmates and teachers.

Days like this remind me that being a first-time mom of a toddler is a constant rollercoaster.  Just when I think I have found my groove and routine, I get thrown a curve ball!  No rest for the weary.  Have to be on my toes!  I am so thankful that both Brian and I have pretty flexible schedules to be able to deal with these unexpected mini-emergencies together.

NOTE TO SELF:  Here’s what Cedro has eaten in the past 24 hours.

  • this morning: kashi cereal, 1% Horizon Organic milk, raisins, banana
  • middle of night: pesto noodles (pine nuts, grapeseed oil, parmesan, garlic, basil)
  • last night: Annie’s mac-n-cheese w/ bacon, mushrooms and peas (same as previous night)
  • afternoon snack: こつぶっこ japanese rice crackers and grapes
  • at school yesterday: fritatta with vegetables and hash browns; oatmeal

Sometimes I wonder whether or not Cedro has a sense for the death of my aunt, Loleng — a distant cousin of my mom’s.  She had a heart attack yesterday and didn’t make it.  She was a very important person in my life.  She and her husband have known me since I was a baby when my parents and I immigrated from the Philippines.  She especially took care of me while I was in college and was always making home-cooked meals for me and often attended my Pilipino-American Student Union events since they lived close to campus.  She was like a younger version of Nanay, my mom’s mom — very goofy and giggly…  I know it’s a stretch, but I do wonder whether or not Cedro senses her passing through the vibes I’m giving.  About 10 years ago, I myself had a mysterious hive outbreak which put me in the emergency room.  Have you seen Will Smith in the movie, Hitch?  That was me.  I never figured out what caused the hives.  I can only blame stress.  Hmmm… did I pass on some mystery allergy to Cedro?

He seems fine now and shows every sign that he will continue to be a strong and healthy boy.  Thank goodness!

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