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Really, I just need to vent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> A light bulb has just gone off (nearly 6 years later) that my son (nearly 6) has an allergy, one that I've known is there and that I've done (almost) nothing about.<br><br>
Pretty much from birth, he has had almost constant:<br>
- runny nose<br>
- puffy eyes and "allergic shiners"<br>
- congested sinuses<br>
- distended belly<br>
- constipation<br><br>
He cried constantly and was diagnosed with "colic" as a baby. I didn't know any better, so I just accepted this and just tried to nurse and carry him more.<br><br>
At 2 he developed tiny bumps all over his skin, which remain today. Family doctor said "he'll outgrow them".<br><br>
At 3 he developed eczema patches all over his torso. Doc prescribed cream, which didn't work.<br><br>
At 3, we're pretty sure that it started to interfere with his hearing. He could not hear properly, and has always spoken very loudly.<br><br>
He's always exhibited mild behaviours that I would consider on the spectrum for autism, (not that interfere significantly in his daily living, but he's always lining things up, is a little obsessive-compulsive at times and MUST do things in a certain way/order, has some self-stimulating behaviours, had sensory issues, etc.).<br><br>
I'd had suspicions that he's had trouble hearing for a while, but it didn't really sink in until my second DS came along and I realized how much DS#2 CAN hear, (which clued me in to how much DS#1 CANNOT hear). I've always had this nagging feeling that DS#1 could not hear properly and that there was some kind of allergy involved, but it was one of those things that - I don't know why - I just didn't really take seriously. He was excelling academically, he had friends, he ate a "healthy" diet, he got exercise and fresh air regularly...I thought I was doing pretty well. But I could never figure out why he had a constant runny nose, puffy eyes with black circles under them, a distended belly, constipation, tummy aches...this had almost just become "his" normal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Well I finally had his hearing tested last week after noticing that he kept turning the tv louder and louder, (and DS#2 would complain), and then testing to see if he could hear me speak if I put a book in front of my mouth. He kept saying that if I moved the book he could hear me - he's become so adept at reading lips <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> And I was shocked by how much MORE DS#2 (age 2)could hear from so much further away. So I clued in and took DS#1 for his hearing test.<br><br>
It turns out he is operating at about a 40% hearing loss. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. Thinking back, he has probably had this for years. I've had suspicions for years, and now that it's been confirmed, I know it's been going on forever. And I feel. So. Guilty. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> It is apparently fluid build up in his middle ear that cannot drain. The good news is that it is likely not permanent and that his nerves and ear drum appear to work properly.<br><br>
So we are now doing a 4-week trial of eliminating dairy since that is the #1 culprit. If that doesn't work, we'll try wheat next. Our whole family is doing it together to support him, and since DH has asthma (and drinks rice milk anyway) I figure it can't hurt. DS#1 also has symptoms that make me suspect asthma so I'd like to get him off dairy if I can too. At least for a while.<br><br>
So that's my vent. I'm just feeling so sad for him that I didn't deal with this sooner, that he's had to learn to cope in this world without being able to hear properly. Now that I know, I see how many times DH yells at him for "not listening", or "not paying attention", how many times other kids talk to him and he seems to ignore them, but he just can't hear them, how many times his little brother says things to him that go unanswered/unheard, how he's had trouble with being bullied at school, and how he's had "discipline" problems at school for "not listening" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> (like the time he had to stand against the wall for the entire recess because he didn't stop doing something when the teacher told him, or the time the rest of the class got to sit in a circle and have cupcakes for someone's birthday, but he had to sit out by himself and wasn't allowed in the circle or to have a cupcake because the he "hadn't listened" to something the teacher said...<br><br>
I should have recognized that something was wrong. I see now how obvious it should have been, and I should have listened to my instincts, and I should have done something about this sooo long ago.<br><br>
And I'm just feeling bummed because it is HARD to be different, it's only been a weekend and already the in-laws think we are "making a mountain from a molehill", and can't he have just a little ice cream, and just one cookie...and trying to explain to him why he can't be part of "pizza day" at school.<br><br>
*sigh* I just hope this works so he can hear. Thanks for listening. I know it's actually not all that bad, but it's the guilt that's killing me.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
"When we know better, we do better." I think that for most parents of kids with allergies/intolerances, unless they figure it out themselves or with a doctor, their 'baseline' for their kids, all they've known, is what things are like while their little ones are reacting. I've had a lot of people tell me, "Oh, kids are just that way [eczema, frequent puking, unexplained runny nose, etc.]" -- because that's how their kid was (or is). Unaware that their kid had an allergy at the time (sometimes said kid has had the allergy diagnosed at an older age, even!).<br><br>
It is difficult to get family on board sometimes. They will come around as they see improvement in your little one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Have you had any allergy testing done? Never assume it could be an allergy until you know for sure. My youngest son (he is 29) had allergies, not to milk, it was all environmental, dust, ragweed, anything flowering, etc. Then he had a genetic trait, very short eustacheon tubes, every cold, allergy attack, and his ears could not drain properly. Thankfully with antihistamines, and his tubes caught up with his growth, the problem resolved itself. Now my grandson had the same problem, no dairy allergies, but he had lots of ear infections because of the short eustahoeon tubes, and he did experience a loss of hearing at 3, he got ear tubes, the best thing for him ever and his hearing was restored. His ears just could not drain properly. But we do know for a fact milk can make any cold or allergy worse because it does cause more mucous, and then should be avoided. I know a lot about this particular problem, because when I was 11 yrs. old, I had a severe ear infection, ear draining pus and bleeding, after a severe allergy attack, never taken to the dr. where a short course of antibiotics would have saved my hearing, (my stepmother just put garlic oil in it) I am deaf in one ear, Nothing can be done about it. I am 48 now. I am very passionate about hearing problems in little ones. Never ignore them, get their hearing checked as soon as possible, and if it is a true infection, even if you are against antibiotics, give your child a chance, and get allergy testing as soon as possible. There are all kinds to look out for, especially if you have to talk louder to your child, or if the tv is turned up, or if you make a loud noise and they don't react, then explore it right then and there. Not being able to hear fully is somethlng I would never want any one else to ever have. Thankfully my family knows how to put up with my disability, but having to lip read and meet strangers even now is daunting to me. Good luck to your little one.
 

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I know that's got to be hard on you mamma, try not to beat yourself up over it. You didn't know at the time....what matters most is what you do from here on out to help your son now that you know. Major hugs to you!!<br><br>
I would also suggest going to an allergy dr. and getting allergy tested. Your DS is old enough that it will be quite accurate and would be more efficient than grasping at straws trying to figure out what food is causing it. I agree that it could be partially environmental as well, although the distended tummy would probably indicate a food. Nevertheless, it could be more than one culprit.<br><br>
Goodluck Mamma and I hope you find a quick answer to get your son on the pathway to healing!
 

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Yes it could be allergies BUT if it's an intolerance, then she still has to eliminate foods to try them and dairy is the most likely culprit. So it may be good to get the allergy testing done while you're off milk anyway, just to get both done at the same time, and if anything further needs to be removed (besides milk), then you can do it all together (because is if it's milk AND something else vs. just milk, then just taking out milk might not do it).<br><br>
Everything is easier to see in hindsight. At least you know now, and you're doing something about it. A friend of mine has a 9 year old. He talks loud, has always had fluid in his ears. She still hasn't taken him off milk to try it even though she keeps saying she "should".<br><br>
The beginning is always the hardest. Keep a food journal (because it may be that milk is affecting his hearing but something else is causing the distended belly or the rash) and you may find other culprits as well. Once you have scientific evidence of cause and effect, family may come around more easily.
 

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it's also worth noting that no allergy test is 100% accurate. my allergist told me the story of a patient of his who's ana to shellfish but has never, not once yet, responded on any allergy test they've given her to any shellfish.<br>
just a reminder that food challenges are the gold standard regardless of the antibody involved. a case like that is not incredibly common, but it has happened.
 

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I know how you feel. My son is clearly struggling with health issues that I'm beginning to believe are allergy or intolerance related. His tests came up negative so the search continues. I just wanted to let you know that sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in guilt, too. It's so hard to be a Mom and want your kid to be happy and healthy and then not having that happen.<br><br>
I hope you get some answers soon. Hugs.
 
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