Watching your child go through a medical condition that you most likely gave them through genetics is painful. The last two months have been really rough on Lily and Mike and I as parents…especially this last week.
For almost two months now Lily has been isolated from all children and the only interaction with people has been with my parents, Mike and myself. I have nicknamed this solitary confinement as “the island of misfit toys”. We were told she has Molluscum Contagium, a skin condition in the “pox” family that is a horrible stubborn wart (read about it here). Most of the molluscum areas can be covered, but since I can’t cover her chin I have to keep her away from her buddies that she likes to kiss and hug on. Ugh…just the name molluscum contagium gives me the creeps. I mean contagium….really? Makes me want to get a hazmat suit and tent the house!
This annoying condition is passed by skin to skin contact and by water, like pools. None of her buddies have it (thank goodness), so the only conclusion is it was from another kid at passing at the park or by a community pool. Eeh. Anyone who knows me is aware that I find public water areas fifthly. Just a big cesspool of urine and germs. Large community pools that are jam-packed with people make me gag inside. Especially resort pools, where you know tons of people are just wading in the water next to the swim up bar using it as a toilet. Public pools don’t gross me out as bad as water parks. The only way my kid is ever going to a water park is if her father takes her (sad I know). And now that the likelihood that she got this contagious condition from a pool…well I would rather fork up the $ for Disney World than go wading in a filthy water park.
Back to Lily…..so this molluscum is very stubborn. We have been told most of the time it goes away on its own, but it can take anywhere from a few months to years. YEARS! We thought Lily had two skin tags on her right side, but now we know that those were molluscum and those appeared after a trip to Puerto Rico where we spent our days in…you guessed it…the pool. Knowing that she has already had this for months and it has only gotten worse (on her arm, back and her chin) we went to a dermatologist for help.
There are three treatment plans:
1- A really expensive topical medication that is not guaranteed to work
2- Canthacur treatments that are applied in office and she comes back every 3 weeks for more
3- They can be burned off.
There is no way that I would subject my poor baby to the last painful solution. The topical medication scares me because her skin is so young and it’s known not to be successful. So we went with the canthacur. How it works: The doctor applies it to each spot and you leave it on the skin for 4-6 hours before you wash it off.
So far Lily has received two treatments and this last one was the hardest. When you wash off the treatment you can get blisters to the areas treated…and Lily got them. A small area was done the first round where the blistering wasn’t that bad. This second treatment was horrible. To help relieve the pressure we took a sterile needle and lightly popped each one (under direction of her doctor). The under part of her right arm and right side of her body were treated, along with more of her back and two spots on her hand. We have been dabbing apple cider vinegar to the spots on her chin (read somewhere online that it helps).
The day of treatment Mike had to leave for work so I had my mom come over to help. Oh the blisters were huge and she cried as I washed her body. My heart crumbled as I poured the water and she cried like it was acid. As I tried to pop the blisters my mom had to hold her. My poor baby just screamed in pain. Being so young she had no clue that we were only trying to help her.
Just like any boo-boo there is the healing process where they scab. Since I am allergic to Neosporin, I placed Aquaphor to the scabs. Everyone has had a scab before, and sometimes they can be itchy. Last Wednesday we noticed that Lily was developing a small rash over the healing scabs. Lily would take her arm and rub it back and forth over her side to itch herself because we had her in long sleeves to prevent her from getting to the scabs. This back and forth motion caused a rash.
After being stuck inside for two months my mom and I decided to take Lily to the Tampa Zoo. A place where she could have fun, but I could keep her from touching kids. It was the calm before the storm. After two hours of feeding giraffes and watching silly monkeys we took her to the car when we noticed the rash worsened. I called her dermatologist and we received a topical antibiotic (in lieu of Neosporin) and cortisone ointment (for the itch).
Now during all of this Lily had a few red spots under her eyes that appeared on Tuesday (the day before her rash on the treated area). I didn’t think much of it because Lily and I are plagued with really sensitive skin and allergies. The spots on her face became bigger after we came home from the zoo and on Thursday I knew she was having an allergic reaction to something…so off to her pediatrician we went. We got confirmation it was a reaction, to who knows. Lily was to take Benadryl every 6 hours. During the day on Friday it got worse and I called her doctor back. They said to remain on Benadryl and if she got a fever and it spread to call back. Saturday it became worse. Her whole right side of her face was covered in hives and the area under her eye became a little puffy. When I went to apply her ointment to her treated area I noticed the rash from her face spread to the top of her arms. Keep in mind that the rash over her scabs has gone completely down over the last few days from the new medication.
So with one rash disappearing and a new one getting worse my mommy gut feeling was that she needed to see a doctor. I grabbed a cheese stick and sippy cup and flew out the door. Oh did I look like a hot mess. I was wearing black stretchy pants (with sticky spots from my toddler) and an oversized grey v-neck shirt that has been stretched from Lily’s firm grasp when she’s on my hip. Inside one mother just looked at Lily as if she had leprosy…my insides burned with anger. Then a sweet family of four came through and showed compassion as the father asked what was wrong. When I said allergies he told me that his daughter (named Lily to!) has milk and other food allergies and he was so sorry that my daughter had it. I could go on a huge tangent about my trouble with allergies and that lady with the lack of compassion and empathy for Lily…but I will save that for another post. Doc gave us a prescription for prednisone and we were out the door and on our way to the drug store. With only 45 minutes until closing time I pleaded with the guy to help me out and he agreed. I was blessed to run into another person with kindness for this tired….worried…hot mess momma. And then it dawned on me that the cheese stick and gold fish wouldn’t cut it for dinner. Wendy’s was right next door. So drive through chicken nuggets and apple slices for the win while we waited for her prescription.
When I got home and took off her clothes for bath time her rash had spread to her legs. My mommy gut instinct was right and I’m so glad I went. That night I went to bed completely wiped out, but in high spirits that Lily was on the road to recovery. Again the calm before the storm.
Today (Sunday) Lily was in a true terrible two (yet she is only almost 19 months) mode. And then she went to the couch and just stood there with extreme concentration on her face. Parents know this as “poop time”. Usually Lily waves her hand in front of her face for “Stinky” = poop diaper. When I asked her if she did a stinky she just had this painful look as she barely waved her hand. When I went to scoop her she cried out in pain, keeping her legs locked straight. At the changing table I was shocked when I saw that she was struggling “to go” and was very constipated. Her stomach was rock hard and she was screaming in pain. TMI-but the largest “nugget” was trying to exit and then I saw a bit of blood. In shear panic I wrapped her diaper up, picked her up (legs still locked) and ran to my phone to call my mom (who only lives 5 minutes away) because Mike was still in his convention. I freaked and she said she was flying out the door. I put Lily down as I flung some pants on thinking we were off to urgent care yet again. And then she started to cry again and when I went to pick her up I could feel that she was able to finally poop a bit. I quickly looked and saw no blood so I dialed for my mom to stop at the drugstore and pick up some glycerin suppositories. By the time my mom came running through the door Lily was feeling a little better. Her lower abdomen was still rock hard so we gave her the suppository. Poor girl sat and cried. We placed her in the tub (in case it got messy) so she could stand (so gravity could help the process).
I ran to the kitchen to get her some water and then I heard my mom yell, “Eeeewww it came out, Amy it came out!” Running back I thought seriously when can this sweet girl catch a break.
When I walked in Lily stepped back and into a pile of her poop and then she freaked out. Lily hates weird textures on her feet…she has since she was a baby. My mom picked her up and she was having a meltdown flailing her legs around. With each kick her “dirty” feet almost tagged my mom and me. YUCK!
As I type this now a silly Lily is running around in just a shirt and diaper, Mike (finally home) tagged in for parent duty and is chasing her around. I feel mentally and physically drained. The last two months have been so hard watching Lily courageously battle the blister, scabbing and lack in social interaction with her buddies. The random rash and poop events were just two olives that topped this physically drained yet emotionally filled momma’s martini.
I hope and pray that this will pass quickly and that soon I can reunite her with her friends and other kids at the park. I have been crushed inside knowing that my daughter might have my horrible allergies. I have struggled with allergies, rash, hives, shots, pills, ointments and ice packs since 2008 and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
My girlfriends (and mommas to Lily’s buddies) have been so awesome. They send me texts and call to check on us. I have received so much love from readers and those following me on Instagram….Thank You so much! Over the last two weeks I got out for some much needed wine with McKay of Oatmeal Lace Designs, four days later another momma’s night out with McKay and Emily Ley, then a Tuesday evening to see Wicked with McKay, Emily (and her sweet assistant Gina), my friend Rachel and the very talented Gina Zeildler. The night after I went to dinner with some ladies to surprise a very pregnant friend with gifts before she gives birth. Oh how I needed those nights out to charge my battery for this crazy past week.
So Monday, as much as would like to to say BRING IT I kindly ask, can you just take it easy for me today? I need to re-charge my battery again while I love on my baby.