Today was Katrina's pediatric allergist appointment.
The doc said the hives episode probably wasn't food-related, especially since the suspect food (yogurt) has since been re-introduced with no incident, and also given the length of the episode and how it gradually declined across that 3-1/2 weeks. Hives are an immune response to something, and we'll probably never know what -- just some random viral infection.
Actually, I'd concluded that the rash she had the day before I gave her the first yogurt was unrelated, but now it seems the rash supports the random-infection theory, and the yogurt was the red herring.
But since we were there, we tested her for dairy and peanut reactions. She got 4 pricks on her back, for control (C), histamine (H), peanut (8) and dairy (12). (I am very, very glad her brothers weren't there to see the nurse write on her back -- that'd have give my Magic Marker Monsters all sorts of ideas!!)
And, to my great dismay, she reacted to the peanut, as you can see from the puffy area next to the 8.
The allergist said this doesn't mean she's allergic, but she is predisposed (I wish I could remember his exact words). So, when she's a year old, we'll take her for a blood test, and depending on the outcome of that, we might introduce a "peanut challenge" in the office, if the blood test indicates a high risk of a bad reaction.
Meantime, there's no reason for me not to have peanut butter. He said that small bits of exposure could actually help her desensitize to it, and I recall my sister trying something like that with my food-allergic nephew (though time ultimately was the best solution, to some things). Katrina certainly has had minor contact with peanuts, mostly from peanut-butter-face-finger-smeared brothers giving her kisses when I had the nerve to turn my head. But, other sources say that allergies develop from exposure, rather than immune response developing from exposure. Obviously it's much more complex than that, and not one-size-fits-all. I'm lost.
Katrina was charming as ever, delighting every information-booth staffer, receptionist, nurse and medical technician we talked to. At least two people mistook her for a boy today (blue pants I guess?), so it's not just the girl factor. People just like being smiled at by babies. Actually, people just like being smiled at -- but only babies smile at any random person for no apparent reason.
Even though Katrina was ready for a nap by the time the back-pricking started, she didn't cry. Then I had to entertain her for 15 minutes sitting on the table, without being able to pick her up. Not easy! But, it was. A game of peek-a-boo had her in giggle fits, and the tissue paper covering the table was crinkly and breezy and great to bat at and chew on.
Predictably, she fell asleep in the car on the way to Tonya's, and woke up when I pulled her out of the car at Tonya's, but went right back to sleep in the pack'n'play at Tonya's. Such a darling baby.
I just realized today that our summer schedule doesn't leave me time alone with any of the three. I've really enjoyed the schedule transition that left me alone with Gabriel in the afternoons, actually, and I really wish I had time alone with Katrina. During her naps, I'll have some time alone with Julian on Wednesdays, but that's not quite the same thing. Still, self-centered as I am, what matters the most to me is time alone with just me, which is what our summer schedule is actually centered around. I don't really need all day though...sometime around 2-3pm, I'm ready to see them. I'm really going to like school days.
Betsy put it very well today, regarding having 3 kids: it's not the oldest one, and it's not the baby -- "It's the three-year-old!" Oh man, I hear it! I feel it! I live it! And it hurts!