Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thor and his eczema

I have been in some semi-delusional state recently. Thor is still up every hour or so at night. And before, during and after feeding, he is flailing. Arms circle around, smacking mamas and himself.  There's more windmilling than a seventh grade fight around here. It appears that he of little limb control is trying to scratch himself. I guess I figured that out after he woke up one morning looking as though he were attacked by badgers in the middle of the night. (Must. Trim. Nails.)

Apparently, his up and downedness at night seems to have to do with the fact that the once little patches of eczema have turned into a full blown eczema flareup. Bright red splotches all over his face, arms and legs. It is thick and crusty. So beyond the middle of the night puke puddle, he is also itchy as all hell. It's beginning to affect me. I stared at Beezus today and said, "Come on, Sam, pick up your flip-flops please."  I watched the dog rolling in the grass the other day and began laughing. Hysterically. Of course, forgetting that that particular action inevitably means there is something dead he is grinding into his fur. I posted the wrong blog entry on the wrong blog the other day. It was madness.

The husband has been greasing Thor up for weeks. Covering his skin with this oily vaseline-like crap that ends up rubbed off on all my clothes and making me feel oooogey. It is like New Jersey is on every inch of my skin. Yuck. There is lint and feathers stuck to my arms. It is unnerving and not helping, apparently. The baby, to be fair, has had a runny nose since he was born, and eczema too. He didn't much complain about it, much like he barely complains of anything, but it has gotten worse. And this nighttime thing is starting to get old. Not to mention that happy Little Buddha has been replaced by Baby Crankcakes for the past couple of days.

"How's my little man? Hi, Thor. Hi. Hi."
"Smiles for Mama, Thor. Smiles for Mama."
"How about some kicks, little man?"

One lone squawk. Something needs to be done for the kid.

It could be a few things, I suppose. Obviously, he has inherited my shitty hyper-allergic immune system. I had asthma as a kid. I am allergic to air for about nine months out of the year, and the stuffiness of winter the other three. There is not much to do about that, because pediatricians will tell you that babies do not have allergies until they are two, or some horse crap. Of that which we will not speak speak is Jack the dog. But first, before getting rid of the dog, I have decided that I need to start looking at my diet.


Last year, at about this time, I went on a raw food fast because I was convinced I was dealing with some hidden food allergy. I was always tired, bloated, not losing weight, bags under my eyes and  which at the time as a vegetarian, meant that I could basically eat lettuce. I lost some weight and felt better. Later I found out I had Hashimoto's disease. It sucks ass, having a thyroid disease, but it is manageable. And it also means that I can still chow the pizza. Apparently the raw food diet just made me deliriously goofy from lack of nutrients, so that is why I felt so dang good.

I am looking down the barrel of a similar full elimination diet to the raw food bullshit. This means in all the breastfeeding/torture manuals I have read exactly this:
  • no dairy  (Sniffle, Cheese, you were my only friend.)
  • no soy (Tofu, you can kiss my lard ass. You will not be missed.)
  • no wheat (Bread, remember that year time that I ate a whole loaf of you with pesto and fontinella and red wine for dinner. Good times.)
  • no eggs (Hard Boiled Egg, I am so sad, Incredible Edible You.)
  • no strawberries (Strawberry, you complete me.)
  • no tomatoes (It is fucking summer, Universe.)
  • no seafood (Sushi, sayonara, my love.)
  • no nuts (Peanut, poker will not be the same without you, bro.) 
  • no wine/beer (Fucking hell, this is just cruel, now.)
It has been two days now and I have been in a state of perpetual hunger mixed with hate. As much as I am loathe to admit,  Thor is mostly back to his Buddha-like demeanor and his facial eczema is already cleared up.It happened very quickly. Another few weeks and his arms and legs should clear up too.

Yes, another few weeks of this. Salad already was on my shit list. I have been eating nothing but salad for dinner for months, or possibly years, now. I hate being forced to eat something, even if I would have eaten it anyway. So salad can suck it all over again. Like a depressed cow, I chew my greens over and over and over again, staring into space, pretending it is wine. On the up side, I am daydreaming of early August when I can reintroduce strawberries, or cheese and see if he goes all Grumplestiltskin again.

Someone please tell me bourbon is hypo-allergenic.


  1. Ooh, that sucks. Elizabeth had some eczema, but it wasn't that bad and vaseline took care of it. (Which, by the way, if you keep smearing stuff on Thor, may I recommend getting a paintbrush to do the smearing with? Good coverage and keeps your hands clean.)

    You ought to be safe with vegetarian sushi, right? The kind of stuff that fish haters like me eat. I was craving some nice avocado rolls tonight.

  2. I know nothing about any of this. Not an ounce of helpfulness for you. I'll be thinking of you though, and hoping Thor's Buddha-ness comes back, and some sleep comes for the both of you :)

  3. That does suck, though with a baby that had colic for four months, I would have rather given up oxygen than wine.
    We're vegan already, so I recommend this with a grain of salt (unless there is an allergy to salt ;-) but Daiya cheese is soy and dairy free and melts and is WAY too cheesy for my tastes, if you're dying for cheese and ever come across it.
    Also, eat avocados, the goodly fats can help with bad skin stuff. (If I wasn't lazy and cheap I would eat theme every day instead of taking fat pills for my itchy skin.)

  4. ooof. that totally blows. but can you still eat chocolate?? i second the avocado - it feels decadent but is v. healthy. also, a friend of mine just started putting coconut milk in her tea/coffee and says it is a decent substitute for milk/cream. again, good fats. also, i am a fan of mung bean noodles. yeah, i know, lame. there's another name for them in restaurants but they come in packs of 6 or so for 3 bucks and cook up in about 4 minutes and are kind of chewy but not as starchy as real pasta. they are an ok sub when i am on a wheat break. and hey, they are not salad! big hug! xo

  5. Ugh. I'm sorry that the salad is back in such full force, though I'm glad Thor is less crusty & that it wasn't Jack. Are potatoes on the no list? Because if not, maybe you could have a little vodka...

  6. oh honey. i'm sorry about the salad diet. hoping you can find something tasty to eat and that you can get some more sleep soon. i am glad that Thor is back to his buddha self.
    sending you all love

  7. I had to do the same thing with Cason after his "incident"(read near death experience after 4 month vaccine) and the blood tests showed all sorts of allergies. I have lots/some good suggestions on how to manage without all the goodies. E me if you want/need it.
    Also, just so the horizon stays in your line of sight, as Cason got older and was eating more solids, although I continued to BF, I was able to reintroduce everything into my diet, including dairy which he tested off the cgarts for allergy wise, and it didn't bother him at all.
    At 19 months, he eats wheat and eggs(products with them anyway)but we still avoid nuts, which you would anyway, and dairy, although we try it every couple of months to see how he reacts.
    My assvice about any pediatrician who poo=poos the notion of allergies in babies is to kick the doc to the curb. Any doctor up to date in current medical data will readily acknowledge the existence of them and what you can do to treat them. My pedi was the first to tell me, before the awful shot day, to start taking things out of my diet to see if it helped with Casons 'rash'/allergy. And yet, I still hear stories from newer moms about doctors telling them to stop BF'ing b/c the baby is 'allergic' to breastmilk. Idiots.
    Hang in there Angie, this is only temporary. I'll send you a big ole bottle of something yummy when you get the green light to consume:)

  8. I keep meaning to tell you that Thor sounds *exactly* like Bella. Never cried, never slept, very serious minded baby. Turned into the most affable, outwardly, and naturally happy child. Hang in there, because she made me want to through myself in front of a bus by 6m, and I often feel as though I really f'd up her first year by being so frustrated. Not *at* her really, but at all the books and chatter that said she should be sleeping when she wasn't. Made me feel like an utter failure, and I tried way way too hard and wasted a lot of time walking in circles and reading books that turned out to be worthless. My only assvice is to simply throw up your hands and not even though you're exhausted, try not to take it personally.

    As for the rest: I cut dairy back at 5w due to what I thought was reflux, but now I"m pretty sure even if it was, was some developmental thing that has passed. Anyway, apparently babies are sensitive in degrees to these things (e.g., some can handle small amounts of dairy, some can handle the protein when it's cooked; some can't handle it at all) so my assvice here is to cut everything, stay that way for a week, and then slowly start introducing things back in starting with WHAT IT IS YOU WANT TO EAT. Because as my husband said, it's fucking torture to take a sleep-deprived woman recovering from childbirth and then put her on a diet of bread and water.

    Oh, and try a beer occasionally. Helps supply and is strangely without a lot of problem additives.

    Sleep little dude. Occasionally. Please.

  9. Poor Thor - and poor Angie. I have NO useful advice at all, just sympathy.


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