Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Sneeze and Wait Game

It is spring here in North East America, and that means only one thing: find your tissue box. Oaks and birches in our backyard have started releasing their pollen, and our life has been pretty interesting these last few weeks. And that wouldn’t have been that much of the problem, if it wasn’t unexpected.

Let me start from the beginning. My issues with allergies started when I moved to New York City, some 15 years ago. I just woke up one day and every little patch of grass I walked by, and they are very little, made me sneeze. After few years of suffering, I went to the doctor and complained about this perpetual “cold” I was having. Well, apparently, it wasn’t a cold. It was hay fever. I was medicated into oblivion and sent home. My morning routine was 30 minutes longer from that day on, simply because I couldn’t leave the house without ingesting or applying the various medications I received.

But, then something magical happened. When I got pregnant for the first time, as the spring rolled around, I kept waiting for the sneezing to begin. I already stocked the medicine cabinet with every natural option for fighting allergies, and then they simply never showed up. One pregnancy, second pregnancy, breastfeeding, nothing. Until now.

Several weeks ago I woke up with the headache. Then my throat started to hurt. Then I started sneezing. And then the nose started to run. I figured yet another bug kids brought from school. But, it wasn’t going away, and the symptoms never changed. And nobody else except my son displayed any symptoms. That’s when it dawned on me: we have allergies.

I felt really bad for the little guy, but there was no way to help him. Through my research I found out that children of parents with allergies are much more likely to develop allergies, no matter what you do, including spending a lot of time outdoors from the time they were born.

Well, unfortunately, the trouble didn’t end there. Last Monday night, just as I was getting ready for bed, I heard an unmistakable moan of pain coming from his room. I went to check on him, and he pointed to his ear. Oh, good. Another ear infection.

After a sleepless night, we visited the doctor. It turns out that because we didn’t treat the allergies, the liquids didn’t drain properly from his sinuses and his nose, causing the ear infection. Treatment would have been simple – a daily dose of over-the-counter antihistamines. Instead, we are on another round of antibiotics and pain killers. But, as my mom likes to point out, this is how children grow.

My advice to you: if you are suspecting allergic reaction, please take your child to the pediatrician immediately. It is a heck of a lot easier and simpler than waiting to see what happens. Now, off to catch up on my sleep.

*For additional information about seasonal allergies or hay fever in children, please consult your child’s pediatrician or visit Baby Center. Ms. Avdicevic is not a medical expert, just a parent, so if you suspect your child has developed seasonal allergies, please consult with licensed physician.

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