An allergic reaction to food most likely, the doctor said. But what? She ate nothing out of the ordinary, or so I thought. I called my mom who took her to dinner last night to give me the run down of what she ate for dinner. Just pasta, spinach dip, applesauce, and some chicken. All normal stuff. Well, my mom called back a few hours later to say she remembered my grandmother feeding her pasta with clam and shrimp. So, we think it is a shellfish allergy! Poor baby--we've avoided shellfish up until now. Given that her daddy is allergic to all raw vegetables and fresh fruit (yes, you read that correctly--ALL fresh fruit and veggies are even worse), we are very cautious on trying new foods. Mom Mom feels terrible that something she gave Maggie caused her this problem. I am in no way mad at the situation, we were bound to find out at some point.
You know, you would think that by this point, Andrew and I would have gotten more comfortable with common childhood problems for Maggie. But, sadly, no we haven't. Instead, we get nervous every time. When will our time come when the floor falls out from under us again? We have a feeling of impending doom every time we go to the doctor for something other than a well visit for her. Poor Maggie--she's had her blood tested six times in the last year and a half! I need the results because I need to know she doesn't have cancer. I need to know that whatever is causing a random fever or rash isn't going to kill her in five months.
Morbid? Maybe, but after what we have been through, we can't help it. One week, our healthy happy baby had a sinus infection, five months later she died in my arms of a rare cancer. That kind of fear never leaves you. We can't look at a rash of hives and think allergic reaction. We look at it and make the leap to something much worse. We dread a doctor walking into a room and closing the door. If you have ever seen two pediatrician's enter a room and close the door, you know you're in for bad news.
I'm happy to report that a little benadryl made the hives go away and we now know that shellfish is the culprit. We are breathing a little easier than we were this morning to know she is ok. The fear and anxiety has subsided a bit, but we know it will flare up the next time she coughs, gets a little more tired, bruises, or especially has a fever. Maybe when she's twenty we'll stop testing her blood. Maybe.