Saturday, April 6, 2013

And Now, Fun With Amoxicillin Allergy!

Argh, we have not had the best of weeks.  I post the following as a PSA, because I found other mothers' blog posts on the same topic helpful.  So if you are reading this at some point in the future, I hope that you, too find it helpful. :)

Miss M (age 3) has been sick. . .well, for like three months.  It always ALMOST went away, but there was this lingering little cough that never quite resolved.  Then she got snottier again (as did I, as did SB, who is 1) , and we decided that enough was enough, and we went to the doctor.   They checked her for strep, but it was negative, but the doctor nonetheless prescribed Benadryl and a 10 day course of amoxicillin.  All was initially well, and the damn infection finally went away after about 5 days of the antibiotic.

On the afternoon of day 9, Miss M came home from school and took off her socks.  "Mommy," she said, "this really hurts.  It's bothering me."  She showed me her foot.  I took one look at it and stripped her naked.  What the hell??!!  She had these crazy spots all over her feet, including on the bottom.  They looked exactly like mosquito bites, and there were tons of them, all touching.  They were huge on her feet, but got smaller as they went up her legs.  On her upper thighs, she had some tiny little pin-prick red dots that had white circles surrounding them.  There was nothing on her torso.  I found some spots on the back of one arm, near her armpit, but her arms were otherwise free of the spots.

I immediately called the doctor's office and left a message on their "if you have an urgent need to talk to someone" line (it was 5 minutes of 4, of course).  The nurse called me back a while later, clearly in a hurry.  I explained the rash.  She told me that it was most likely bites from a sand bug from playing in the sandbox at the park, and that they were getting tons of calls.  When I questioned this, and the fact that there were spots higher on her legs, she told me that the bugs were really aggressive, and they had simply crawled up her pants.

NOTE:  This is where I erred.  I didn't tell her that she was on medication, and she obviously had not pulled the chart.

So of course, we gave her another dose of the amoxicillin.  Now, I have allergies myself, and when I first had a reaction, my torso broke out in spots.  It never occurred to me that a drug allergy would start with spots on the feet.  I feel horribly guilty about not catching this.  Because you know what happened next, right?  And we are damn lucky it wasn't worse. . .

I covered Miss M's spots in cortisone cream and put her to bed.  She woke me up at about 2:30, complaining that she was really, REALLY itchy.  I stripped her down again, and discovered that the spots were worse--all over her torso, arms and legs now.  I woke up my husband, and he informed me that we'd put her in the same pajamas she'd had on the night before.  I thought maybe there were sandbox bugs in the pajamas (I know, I'm an idiot, but it was the middle of the night), so I gave her a bath and put on clean pajamas, then put her in bed with me.  I noticed that she was wheezing a bit, but she fell back to sleep.

The next morning (Thursday, about 18 hours after first discovering the rash), it was all even worse.  What had been tiny red pin pricks on her thighs, surrounded by white cirles, had turned into big round raised red bumps that looked like mosquito bites.  Her ankles were looking red and angry.  And the rash had spread everywhere--it had even started up her face.  It was like the rash was working its way from the bottom of her body to the top, getting worse on the bottom parts as it spread north.  The rash literally started at her jawline, and gradually moved up her cheeks.  

At this point, we realized something was really, really wrong, and we decided not to give her any more medication.  We decided that she needed to be seen by a doctor that day, but that it wasn't so bad that we needed to go to the ER (after our horrible UT infection with SB a while back, I would MUCH prefer our lovely doctor to the horrible ER's here).  I had to go to work, and told T. that I would make an appointment for him to take Miss M to the doctors as soon as they opened.  

This is where men and women are different.  After T and the girls dropped me off at work, he apparently drove over to the doctors' office and sat there until they unlocked the doors, then he took them inside and told them he needed to see someone immediately.  And, they saw him immediately.  Our own doctor, in fact.  He said she was having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin (or possibly to penicillin, because apparently you can be allergic to one and not the other).  He said we could do a test in a few weeks to determine what was going on.  For the time being, to resolve the rash, he prescribed a three day course of prednisone and Benadryl three times a day.

When I talked to T at 8:50am Thursday, he was all like "hey, the doctor said," and I was like "what do you mean?  I just made the appointment."  It cracked me up.  But I digress.

On Friday, she didn't look any better, but she didn't look any worse.  She didn't develop any new rash, or at least I didn't see anything new.  Then today, the appearance of the rash changed.  It had been solid pink.  But today, less than 48 hours after appearing, the edges of the rash look dark red and the middle has faded to a lighter pink.  I tried calling the doctor's office, but they didn't return my call today (even though they were open).  T said her behavior was normal (he has her off doing something today, and I'm working), and he thinks her spots actually look lighter and are fading (especially on the top part of her body, where they were lighter to start)

However, I'm a little worried.  This is what it looks like now.  Horrible, isn't it?  
Anyway, I will be sure to update on her progress.  Ojala, she'll be better tomorrow.


Kate said...

Holy moly, that is some seriously scary stuff lady-- I am so sorry! WOW. My sweetie has a multitude of allergies and sometimes he will casually say, wow, my lips felt funny for a while, but they are better now and I freak out, knowing full well that while he is waiting to see what happens, BAD THINGS could happen and I would not have a heads up. OY. Anyway. I wanted to answer the curvy text question since I am thrilled by it... in illustrator (Adobe) you draw something. The order/direction you draw will be the direction the text goes. Then, click on the text tool, click on the object you just drew where you want the text to begin, and VOILA, as you type it will follow your curve. I have not explored more fully, the one on my blog was my first and only. I am just really happy to figure it out at all.
warm wishes to you for a much much much less dramatic week. Kate

Michele said...

I'm allergic to penicillian (and any -illian) and have been since I was a kid. Because of that, Bobby and Maya have never ever had it. When they are older, we'll do an allergy test for it (since the other antibiotics are a bit stronger) but since we rarely have to even discuss antibiotics, we arent keen to do the testing right away. We just ask that they have it listed as a probable allergy and go at that.

Hope Miss M is feeling better!!!