Do you think I should vent and excema question...

Posted on: Fri, 04/16/1999 - 1:30pm
Shan's picture
Joined: 04/05/1999 - 09:00

I had to take my 13 month old dd back to her ped today because she has an ear infection in both ears. We saw the lead ped at the practice because our regular ped wasn't there. Just a quick background-my dd had her first reaction to peanuts about three weeks ago. Anyway, the lead ped immediately noticed my dd's excema when she walked in (I was impressed with that) and I told her I had actually been in the office three times in the last few weeks due to a reaction to peanuts. (They have misplaced her records!)She asked if I knew I should have waited till she was older to give her peanut butter and I said well now I do because I have researched it, but actually her ped there had told me I could give it to her. She then quickly tried to dismiss the conversation. As I was driving home I started to think about what all had happened and I started getting really angry. I got home and called her but she had already left for a week vacation and I made an appointment to speak with her on the phone when she gets back. When I took my dd to her check up about a month ago I asked her ped if I could give her peanut butter because she would not eat meat and I was worried. She said yes but just to watch out for chocking. I asked should I worry about allergies (isn't that weird, it was like I knew something was going to happen) and she said no. After it happened I saw a nice ped other than her, but the next morning dd was swollen again in her eyes so I took her back and saw her. She blew us off big time and told me I was overreacting and that she would grow out of it and not to worry. I went home that day and called my insurance and switched to the ped we saw when the reaction happened the first day because I didn't like the way she handled it. I ended up going back in again, too! I quess my question is should I keep the phone appointment with the lead ped and tell her what happened? I want to make sure she doesn't think her ped I switched her to was the one that told us to go ahead with the peanut butter, too. I feel like our first ped needs to be educated more on food allergies. They are a very busy practice and I'm worried she will give bad advice again to someone else. If she would have known to wait I might could have prevented my dd's allergy, right? And even if not, she shouldn't have blown us off when we went back in. If I hadn't found this place I wouldn't have known how serious this could be. I'm really irritated. Are there that many peds that are this clueless? Should I inform the lead ped of what happened or am I going to make it worse on my dd when we go back there? (We have this new HMO and we have to use their peds and it is close to home, I do like our new ped, though, but it took a while to get a referral to an allergist.) Also, (sorry this is so long!) my dd hasn't had excema since she was a couple months old, but now all of the sudden she has it on her face and the inside of her elbows. For those of you that I have corresponded with , this is separate from her reaction to her MMR recently (my poor dd has had it rough lately!) Could her reaction to the peanuts provoke another food allergy to begin? I've been really keeping her away from any nuts so it has to be something else. I'm so overwhelmed right now! Thanks for reading this long one, I really appreciate it. Shan

[This message has been edited by Shan (edited April 16, 1999).]

Posted on: Sat, 04/17/1999 - 7:22am
Kelly Morse's picture
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

Shan - Our family is so in this with you! Our problem with the ped has not been so much with Spencer's peanut allergy (because I just by-passed him and called an allergist) but with our daughter and her kidneys. We had switched peds because the first one knew very little about her condition (hydronephrosis)and we found a ped who had four children (of his own) with the same condition so we felt he would be very understanding. During one particularly bad period the doctors child (newly born) and ours were at the hospital at the same time. We came in through the ER with a temp of 105 and severe pain. They called the ped away from his child to read the kidney ultrasound on ours (which we did not know). While I was standing there he said "Well that is not as bad as my son's...send them home." I swear I could have climbed over the table and choked the man. Instead I said "This is not your son, this is my daughter and I know we are in trouble here." Well, the long and short of it is he still sent us home and we returned within 2 hours and were admitted into the intensive care unit with an antibotic resistant infection for six days.
I guess my point is:
1. You never know what else is going on so it is always good to follow up to *remind* them what happen so they won't do it to any other parents (even if you decide to switch doctors). It is NEVER acceptable to blow-off a concerned parent and sick child.
2. Always follow that little voice inside. If you think those eyes are swollen then I am sure they are (Spencers do the same thing but it is only noticable (sometimes) to those who know what he usually looks like). Our daughters eyes are ALWAYS the first sign that we are about to have kidney problems. I swear that I do call the doctors office and say "Her eyes just don't look right..."
We recently decided that it was worth $100 of our savings to set an appointment with the ped (without the kids) and sit down and discuss the many health problems we are having concerning Madison and what our "Plan of Action" was. It was very helpful and restored our faith in the ped. He draw pictures, we were able to ask "How do you handle this with your kids?", possible options, etc.
We also did this with our allergist this week. Since we were getting Spencers test results we did not bring him. It was just us and the doc and our 38 pages from the website ("What questions to ask the Allergist"). Of, course you can't do this when your child is acutely sick but it is an option for when you get past this period.
Hang in there! Your child is VERY LUCKY to have you for a mom and you are doing an awesome job!
Take Care!

Posted on: Sat, 04/17/1999 - 12:31pm
Julia M's picture
Joined: 02/23/1999 - 09:00

I too was blown off by my original pediatrician. They said "keep her away from peanuts and give her benadryl." After I found this board and talked to an allergist I decided to switch pediatricians. Second one said that most kids outgrow food allergies and to try giving Kelsey some peanut butter in a few months. So...I guess I'm back with my original pediatrician. My allergist says he will send findings and recommendations to the pediatrician and that will help to educate her on the topic. I too am very worried there are others out there getting bad advice that might put their kid's life in danger. I'm going to post a message on the topic of pediatrician education. I think you should discuss what happened to you with the lead pediatrician. It has been my experience in general that a doctor will not say anything bad about another doctor to a patient. Be prepared for the lead ped to act like the bad advice you got was not a big deal. But she may privately straighten out the other ped. I'm glad you did get an appointment with an allergist. How did that go? You may have already posted that somewhere. My kids had that double whammy stomach flu and I haven't read the board for awhile!! I'll look for it. -Julia M

Posted on: Sun, 04/18/1999 - 2:26am
Shan's picture
Joined: 04/05/1999 - 09:00

Thanks Kelly and Julia. Kelly, that is awful about your experinece at the hospital. Sounds like he was too involved with his personal situation to work effectively. I'm glad you took her back, though. It seems like we all know better than the doctors at times! I'm taking the list of questions too to the allergist. That was a really helpful post. I've added more on there too since I've been reading up and I'll post my "findings" when I get back. It seems there is so much confusion on the weight and Epipen Jr. Julia, yikes on the stomach flu! I hate that! UGH. I go to the allergist on May 5th. That was the soonest I could get dd in. It seems they are really busy with the pollen this year. I think that is a good idea to post about ped's lack of knowledge in this area. Seems like I already know alot more in just a few weeks. I quess I should have posted my question differently. Oh well. Thanks again! Shan

Posted on: Sun, 04/18/1999 - 9:55am
Christine's picture
Joined: 02/03/1999 - 09:00

I'm certainly not taking up for your pediatrician; however, in the U.S. the American Academy of Pediatrics states that, at one year of age, children can be given peanut butter (heck, it might actually be 9 months old). So, your ped was not negligent in giving you this advice, nor anyone else for that matter. In Canada (those smarties up there), they have recently changed their guidelines to 3 years of age, which is the way to go.
Regarding the eczema, my son has had this since he was 2 days old and it has been non-stop. I've done a lot of research on this and I think in MOST cases it is not related to food. But it can be. I think it might be important for you to spend some time reviewing your child's diet to see if you can find a cause and effect of the eczema. If you cannot, then it most certainly is just a normal case of eczema--which is a very mysterious skin problem!

Posted on: Sun, 04/18/1999 - 10:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Christine and Shan,
The Food Allergy Network has a 12 page booklet on food allergy and eczema. It is a Q & A booklet and has tips for controlling it. I haven't reviewed it (luckily my son is no longer suffering with eczema), but it might be helpful for both of you, or anyone else, having to deal with it.
[This message has been edited by Connie (edited April 19, 1999).]

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 12:52pm
dhumphries's picture
Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Hi Connie,
I was just wondering at what age your son stopped having eczema? My son is 2-1/2 year old and is still having problems with it. I have not been able to pinpoint any food that it is associated with, and the allergist said it is more that likely a reaction from an airborne inhalant.
Stay Safe, Debbie and Matthew

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 9:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Debbie,
My son outgrew his eczema at about the age of 3 1/2. His Allergist prescibed a wonderful steriod cream--Elocon. We were told to bathe him every other day in pretty cool water - not too warm but not cold either. We were also told to only use Dove soap. (I'm glad he's back to a bath every night--he is a very active little boy -ha ha)!
I know what you and the others are going through. Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/1999 - 10:08pm
Kelly Morse's picture
Joined: 03/13/1999 - 09:00

Shan - I don't know if this will help but summer will be here soon and the sun (the vit. D) really seemed to improve things with Spencer. Granted he has only been alive for one summer, but for that whole warm weather season his skin problems cleared up.
Our eczema problems (in the fall and winter) seemed to be very text book, he eats eggs-his face swells and he gets the spots on his arms and legs. We have of course taken it out of his diet and things are also getting a lot better.
Unfortunately, like someone else in the post said, sometimes it just stumps you! Hang in there! I know it is very frustrating!
Thanks, Kelly

Posted on: Tue, 04/20/1999 - 12:46am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I forgot to mention that my husband (37) STILL has eczema. Not very badly, but you're right Kelly, it tends to flair up more in the winter time. (Too bad it isn't worse in the summer--only applies to my husband here--it might have kept him off the golf course)!!
Seriously though, eczema is usually outgrown so keep your chin up.

Posted on: Tue, 04/20/1999 - 1:37am
barb's picture
Joined: 03/11/1999 - 09:00

Hi all,
Couple of things: Eczema is part of the allergic picture. It can be associated with food alleriges or can be on its own.
What i think is of my importance with food anaphylactics and eczema is that it becomes more imperative to get control of the eczema. Especially if you have open, oozy lesions. The usual skin barrier is broken and provides easy access to become exposed to food allergens. In the home that may not be as much of a problem , as you can remove all peanut products, but as one attends school, I think this has some implications for heightened precautions. I think the first step is getting your allergist to have an aggressive eczema protocol to get the best control of eczema possible. then second thing is to try to decrease exposure to peanut by environmental control. Both probably easier said than done.
My daughter has only dry skin (but is on so many asthma meds it could be controlling some of the eczema condition). Who knows? But when her skin is even dry and looking like it could crack, we do Eucerin to keep the skin intact. I have enough problems with all this allergic stuff, that I have opted for some prevention measure. : ) good luck.
PS. for your pediatrician, I had a bad experience also. Switch. Then Call the ex-ped. and discuss the problem you had with them. So they can LEARN for the next child. Think of it as an opportunity to spare someone else what you are going through. What we WANT is to change PEDS behaviors regarding peanut allergy intstruction to families. And if they give you grief, write the head of the dept and explain your experience and dissatisfaction. Best of luck.



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