A Tale of Two Christmases: Part 1.

This is the first of two posts I’m writing for the Christmas Blog Hop hosted over at Cooking for Oscar, a wonderful recipe blog for food intolerance.

TT finally asleep on Christmas morning 2010, after being awake all night. Socks to cover her bandages which cover her eczema.

Last Christmas was a long, long, time ago.  TT was just about to turn one.  She had been struggling with eczema and hives and reflux and her sleeping and general mood were terrible.  It was very slowly dawning on me that her constellation of symptoms might be indicative of some kind of reaction to food, except I didn’t yet know anything about food intolerance.  She was a very sick, very unhappy baby, and I was a frantic, desperate, confused, sad mummy.  As Christmas approached, things seemed to escalate into a horrendous nightmare.  I wrote about it in the aftermath.  Here’s some extracts from what I wrote then.

Christmas Eve. I tried to get phenergan at the chemist and they said no, not for under 2s without a script. So I popped into the doctor … short version, couldn’t see our doctor, saw a wanker, he didn’t “want to offer advice as TT’s case is too complex”, wouldn’t prescribe phenergan due to her having a history of apnoea (despite me promising to use her apnoea monitor), did prescribe these hard core antibiotics because he thought her eczema might be infected, also prescribed some new steroid ointment (which I promptly purchased and then put away with the groceries and forgot about).

Christmas Eve. Having given TT her new antibiotics, she started to shit and she didn’t stop until today [5th January]. She’s had the worst case of runny bum I’ve ever seen. It was the most vile, putrid, acidic and smelly shit you can imagine. She ended up with what her GP later described as “chemical burns” on her bottom, her external genitalia and up her belly and her back. Where her skin has been burned she now has eczema in places she never had it before. We’ve been doing double doses of probiotics but they haven’t helped.

Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day. Arrrrghhhh. Cooking a huge spread for 10 people, TT cried most of the day, no-one ate much as she was so distressed. I ate nothing. Meanwhile trying to get organised and packing for 3 nights away at a beach shack on the remote West Coast, miles from anywhere, a long-awaited holiday. Trying to remember EVERY SINGLE FUCKING THING you might need for a baby with eczema, reflux, runny bum, non-sleeping, non-eating, general irritability level EXTREME.

Boxing Day to 29th December. Tears tears tears. No sleep. No rest.  TT cried and shat and shat and cried and itched. Lovely view. Poor LJB escaped by sleeping and taking Cuddlepup for long walks on the beach. I nursed TT and watched the view of the river through the picture window. That part was ok. One day we drove 120kms return to Smithton and lied to the chemist to get phenergan OTC. It does absolutely nothing whatsoever to relieve her itch or help her sleep. I cry.

2nd January. I sit down and try to marshall my intellectual resources to think of a way to deal with the eczema. I make notes. I Google. I email. I read. I ponder. I come up with a plan. TT continues to shit, scratch, cry and not sleep.

3rd January. Project Eczema Elimination commences.

Part of Project Eczema Elimination was finally getting in to see the allergy specialist we’d be waiting months to see.  That happened later in January, and the rest is history.  Our whole world has changed since last Christmas, and Christmas 2011 is going to be a very different experience than Christmas 2010.  I’ll write about it in Part 2.

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