Sunday, 21 October 2012


It's perhaps indicative of my state of mind why I didn't put two and two together to make the answer to why Pops has had a bad tummy and skin complaints... It was, in fact, only when I stumbled across a post in a forum of mine that I discovered that peppermint tea can sometimes cause diarrhea  and skin irritation in nursing babies. Peppermint tea is what I've started drinking by the bucketload for the past few weeks.

Head, meet desk.

How on earth it didn't enter my head that there may be a connection when her brother has an allergic reaction to mint I don't know, but since I stopped the tea her problems have begin to, er, dry up. I'm sure it wasn't the cause as the timing's wrong but early indicators show that there's a link. Unfortunately, that leaves me without a hot drink of choice!

ETA: I've reintroduced a couple of peppermint teas into my diet and so far so ok. On second thoughts I don't think it was that after all, but I'm not taking chances!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dermatographic urticaria, or, why my child is weird

Poppet is in week four of a bout of diarrhoea (woo, spelled right the first time, get me!). Tests show she doesn't have a bug, so it's probably some sort of viral thing. It's not pleasant, but she's fine. What's interesting to note is that the last few days she's been really reactive to touch. If you pick her up, or hold her, or she knocks herself, or anything really she gets bright red marks. It rather looks as though she has dermatographic urticaria - a small scratch to her arm flared up in a big welt. The font of knowledge wikipedia says it can occur post virally. Am I meant to notify the doctor of this?

Good grief, but can none of my children be normal in the health stakes?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Play Assessment

I'm on a roll tonight ;) Actually, I've just been reminded that Pixie has got a bit further down the line with his SALT (speech and language therapy) assessment. He had his play assessment (which is literally someone assessing him while playing!) and we now have a professional opinion of what we're facing.

He does have a stammer and he does have dysfluency and lack of coherence in his speech. The therapist is unsure whether the lack of coherence is down to the massive amount of tongue action he does (seriously, it's all over the place, hanging out like a dog, flapping around his mouth.... It reminds me that I remember thinking that my tongue used to feel like it was too big for my mouth a lot. I don't now, so it could actually be that he needs to grow into his tongue and all of that will be fine, but otoh it could be something else). She wants us to concentrate on dealing with the stammer first as that will give his head to grow around his tongue if that's what's needed.

In all honesty we've not been great at putting into practice all the strategies we've been taught. In fact, I'd go as far as saying we're reacting worse to the stammer than we ever have done. At least, I certainly am. I've found myself finishing his sentence or quickly getting my side of the conversation in before he has a chance to speak as I can't face listening to him trying to get his words out. Not good. At least writing it down here makes me accountable to making changes. That, and we've got another appointment series starting this week.

Start of the Road

I'm meant to be editing some photos of our recent holiday but a slight technical issue (flat camera battery, whoops!) means I can't get them on to the computer so I thought as I'm here I'd update about the salicylic acid intolerance testing we're doing with Pixie. (I also want to stay online to stat check as I've just taken the decision to de-anonymise this blog with real life people and have put a link on my facebook page. Eek! So hi, those of you who are looking ;) )

We'd made the decision to cut out salicylic acid from Pixie's diet without discussing it with a medical professional first. Firstly, because we didn't think it would do any harm, and secondly because it can take two to three weeks to get a non-urgent appointment with my surgery and frankly I'm not that patient. We thought we saw some success and I think my last post on this subject saw a link between eating a 'moderate' food and a worsening of his symptoms. Since then we got to a stage where his symptoms were still there in varying degrees even when we were very strictly sticking to 'low' and 'negligible' level foods (for the list we've been working off, see here) but if we gave him something he wasn't used to he'd have terrible urticaria (hives, to you and me) around his face and terribly itchy, dark eyes. Every time we thought about giving up the low salicylic acid diet (Christ, I'm not keep typing that out, LSA diet from now on I think!) because we couldn't see any reason why his symptoms were flaring, we'd accidentally let our guard down and have a horrendous reaction to tend to. This isn't the best picture as it was taken on my phone (and please excuse the dinner down his top, which I've just noticed!), but the redness is lots and lots of hives:

While this was going on, we were referred to a paediatrician regarding chicken pox vaccines, so we took the opportunity to discuss this with the doctor. Unfortunately he confirmed that there are no tests we can do for this particular allergy but we can test for individual foods. We're working on a list of things we're pretty sure cause a reaction in Pixie; we know that mangos, flavoured crisps, anything tinned and mint cause a problem. Because the  list of potentials is so big I think we may have to do staggered testing as we want to get moving on it and we can't overload his poor body with things that may cause a reaction. His body needs time to get over the responses he has (or doesn't) but I don't want to wait indefinitely for testing.

To be honest I'm not sure where we go from here. Even if it's not the salicylic acid, there's definitely a pretty major list of allergies/intolerances he's got. I don't know how he can avoid even the ones we know cause a problem for the rest of his life - cleaning teeth is a problem, eating anything but home made food is a problem, having a varied diet is a problem.... Unfortunately, I think getting a solid answer is going to be a problem too :( Having said that, one thing that isn't a problem is Pixie's response to it all. He has been totally amazing at picking up that he must ask if he's allowed to eat any food offered to him by anyone other than me or his dad. He knows quite a few things that he's not allowed and will stop someone giving him it if necessary. He also saves me any of the sweeties he's given but can't eat - excellent!

PS - hello to the FIFTY EIGHT people who have just checked this blog in the last hour!

New Beginnings

Oh my, I didn't realise it had been so long since I posted. What's been happening? We've had a pre-school starter, salicylate acid intolerance updates, we've had sleeping, we've had no sleeping....

So yes, Pixie has started at his pre-school and boy does he love it. Every day we hear "is it a pre-school day today?" and he's been very excited about doing his 'homework' - he gets to pick a book from their own library whenever he wants. This is him on his first day:

It's a difficult task to get him out of his uniform at the end of the day! As good as I find his school so far, I wish it came with an instruction book. I think it's assumed that parents know what they're doing but I don't have a clue! As evidenced by my complete failure to pay his snack fee most weeks and reply to his first birthday party invite until it it was too late and the spaces had been filled. Whoops!

Of course, taking photos is a laborious job with many unusable results....