Friday, March 19, 2010

Oat vs. Wheat: A Tour of the ER


Please note that oat flour does contain oat-gluten and it is often made in the same processing centers as wheat-gluten.  Therefore when you read the actual box, it says "contains some wheat".

With the exception of Friday, everyday this week had a scheduled medical event.  Ellie had surgery, vaccines, and blood drawn this week.  She still has the marks of two venous blood draws and 2 combination vaccines.  My daughter is a trooper.  All week I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Friday--Pajama day.  A day of no schedule, lots of fun, and hopefully naps. . .

We spent half of the afternoon in the ER on Friday.

Let's start at the beginning.

Ellie Bear has been loving her rice cereal for over a week now and yesterday I thought it was time to start something new.  Oatmeal!  She loved it, but was super cranky all day yesterday.  I figured it was from the vaccines because she is usually cranky afterwards.  Looking back on it, I may have been wrong.  Today the Bear had oatmeal at lunch and some formula.  This is Gerber iron-fortified infant single-grain oatmeal that does contain traces of wheat. Apparently, most infant oatmeal cereals contain some wheat. Within 20 minutes of eating, Ellie had hives on her neck and chin with a rash spreading down her trunk.

Cue maternal panic. Followed by thoughts of being overly paranoid over a rash and then a repeat of panic that you might have just started an anaphylactic reaction in child.  Is she breathing?  Yup, she is blowing raspberries.  Are her lips swollen?  Nope.  Okay, we are not in distress.

I think, antihistamine!  

Uh, where is my pediatric dosage drug book?

I call the pediatrician's office to get the milligram dosage for benadryl for a 6.9kg baby and got chewed out by the nurse for not having the liquid form on hand.  First, she is wasting valuable time with her lecture & she is pissing me off.  Second, children's benadryl is for children over the age of 2 and Ellie is 6 months, hence why I do not own it.  Third, I DO have the pill form in which I can crush and make into a suspension liquid-form like I used to do in the PICU.  I told the nurse that her lecture was really not helping my daughter at the minute and if she could just tell me the dosage.  The nurse disagreed with me and said to drive to the nearest Walgreens and buy children's benadryl.  She said to give a 1/2 tsp.  She never told me how many milligrams.  I now know after buying benadryl and an oral syringe that 1/2 tsp = 6.25mg.  Oh and the bottle of benadryl includes a medicine cup only and lists the dosage for 2+years.

Let me back up just a bit for I would like to point out that my neighbors are getting a new driveway.  Yesterday I was trapped at the house because the construction crew had their trucks parked in the middle of the road and a large collection of chicken-wire was in the front portion of MY driveway.  This morning I was smart enough to park at my neighbor's house seeing as the front end of the cement truck was in both my yard and driveway.  Unbeknownst to me, Max returned from his trip and parked behind my truck seeing as it was his driveway I was poaching on.  I come out the side door running across his lawn with a baby carrier and Sophie barking from the backyard.  He probably thought I was in crazy mode.  Anyway, he moved his truck  (yes, this is Texas, we all have trucks) out of the way and off Ellie and I went to CVS.  Now wouldn't you know that I hit every single light and one of them I had to sit through twice.  Being a paranoid parent and concerned that Ellie would develop respiratory distress, I got out of the truck to peek in on Ellie in the back seat while stopped in traffic.  Real safe, I know. Also, Megan, I really need to install that mirror.

The benadryl made Ellie drowsy and did eliminate the hives, but the rash started to spread down the trunk and up into her hair line.  She sounded raspy-hoarse.  Like croup.  Like tracheal swelling.  So I grabbed my neighbor Pat and we high tail it to the ER.  This is after leaving in Max's driveway a stroller, two towels, a lumbar support pillow, and multiple pieces of PVC piping so that Pat could fit into the car.

By the time we got to the ER, Ellie's lower lip was swollen and she was becoming Miss Cranky Pants.  Fortunately, she was still not in respiratory distress, her lungs sounded pretty good, and her oxygen saturation was at 98%.  The raspy cry was the result of allergen-induced irritation of vocal cords and trachea.  Ellie received yet another shot this week--a steroid shot.  She cried uncontrollably for the 2.5 hours we were there except for during her breathing treatment.  She tried to eat the tube that was blowing racemic epinephrine for her to inhale.  That part was rather humorous.  Leave it to my kid to try and eat an inhaled medication.  She then blew a big raspberry at the respiratory therapist.

The Bear is doing much better now.  She sounds normal.  The hives are still gone and now the rash is gone. What is left?  The horrible side effects of these meds--fatigue and a fast heart rate.  Ellie is now a very irritable, fatigued little girl with a racing heart that feels funny.  And I thought surgery would be the big stressor this week. . .

Until a much later date, we are avoiding oat and wheat products.

So let's see so far this week we have been to a hospital OR, a doctor's office, a chiropractor's office (that was me), and an ER.   I guess Urgent Care is the only one left---okay I should not joke.  Knock on wood that we all stay healthy and happy for a while.


  1. Wow!!! So scary! I'm glad she is doing better now. Keep us udpated on her progress. Hope you get some rest and down time this weekend.

  2. ohmigoodness.
    Glad to hear she's doing better.


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