Saturday, October 23, 2010

Allergy Unknown

More than a week ago, Joseph suddenly developed red spots all over his body. I first noticed a red patch on his wrist during dinner time on Monday night.
Before he went to bed, I applied some hydrocortisone cream for him and realized there were more spots on his feet. As I applied, I found more and more spots further up his legs and his arms.

The spots started out rather small so I thought it could be chicken pox (assuming the fluid in vesicles formed later). So I sms-ed his teacher to ask if any kid in school had chicken pox recently and also to inform her that Joseph would be absent the next day.
Tuesday morning - We paid a visit to Dr Koe. She said that it was an allergic reaction and asked if he had eaten anything different. I couldn't recall him consuming anything out of the ordinary except for a pack of vegetable crackers during lunch on Monday. Dr Koe gave him a bottle of Zyrtec and that was it.

Wednesday morning - he developed fever at 4am. I thought it weird because allergies usually do not result in fever. I gave Dr Koe a call later in the morning and she said it was probably a viral fever coinciding with the allergy. She said to only bring him in again if the fever did not subside by Friday.
By then, the spots had spread out over a larger surface area and Joe looked pretty lethargic, complaining that his legs were weak and he couldn't walk.

Naturally, I was apprehensive as well, and Dr Koe's explanation wasn't too assuring. He also had the spots on both ears and a couple on his upper lip.
His right submandibular lymph nodes were very palpable and tender. By now, the sight of his arms and legs made my hair stand on ends! I was worried! So I called my clinic, packed all my morning patients into one hour - saw 4 patients (including one RCT and one upper wisdom tooth extraction) and came home by 11am to take Joe to Pantai Hospital.
We saw a Dr Chin - elderly man who looks old enough to be Joe's grandfather, who took one look and said it was allergy due to insect bite. He checked out the red spot on Joe's right wrist where I first spotted the redness and pointed out a punctum-like 'hole' and said that would have been the primary spot.

Though his explanation was a lot more convincing and assuring, the medication did little to fade the spots.

By Thursday, we decided to give Joseph one serving of Herbalife F1 shake each day. He doesn't like it. I've no idea why. Drinking it takes ages. So we pour it into his oats and spoon-feed.
He grumbled and grumbled but downed it anyway. Three days later, the spots looked much clearer. A lot less.

There's still some on the back of his thighs but certainly not bright red, and not itchy.

I also realize that his growth has not been at the same rate as previously. He's currently only at about the 70th percentile and looking rather skinny. 5.5 years old, 21.5kg, 113cm. So from now on, it's one serving of F1 every day with his breakfast of oats. I hope to see some improvement in the not too distant future.

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