Paper is Poison, Or, Why My Weekend Included Bloody Diapers and Vomit

Friday morning, Mr. Happy had a diaper FILLED with blood.  

It was so acidic, it instantly  burned his butt, leaving blisters and raw, bleeding open wounds in it’s wake.

I seriously thought I was going to cry.

Which just proves that my son is far tougher than I am, because I wanted to cry just from seeing his butt, but he-who-had-to-live-with-his-butt was a smiling, happy baby as soon as I got him cleaned up and re-diapered.

The Geek came home from work right away; my voice still wasn’t doing well, and he felt pushed by this latest development for us to immediately get appointments with the specialists in Atlanta.

We managed to get an appointment with the allergist, but the GI needed a referral from our pediatrician and we weren’t able to get that squared away before they closed for the weekend, so we’ll book that on Monday.

Then we left to go to the doctor.  We had an appointment already booked for Mr. Happy’s 6 month well-baby checkup (more about that later), and his pediatrician gave us a script for an ointment to help heal his butt.

He didn’t have any more bloody diapers that day, but I was so frazzled I took to the message boards right away and started asking for help.  

Once again, the ladies came through.  Immediately following his bloody, acid diaper, I was trying to suss out what caused it.  Was it the soy/corn from the grass fed beef earlier in the month?  The ibuprofen?  The methyl cellulose? Or something else?

The ladies pointed out that it wasn’t likely to be the beef, because too much time had passed.  A reaction might last 3 weeks, but it wouldn’t start 3 weeks after the trigger encounter.  Their money was on the ibuprofen.  

That didn’t feel quite right, but it was a start at narrowing things down.  Without really answering the question, but feeling a lot calmer, bedtime came, and off to bed we went.

Saturday morning I woke up in a pool of vomit.

Mr. Happy had ended up in bed with us, and first thing in the morning he had vomited all over himself, me and the bed.

We did a quick shower, stripped the bed, got dressed, and no sooner had I sat down with him than he vomited all over us again.

Another clean up, another change of clothes, and back to the message boards I went.

One FPIES Mama remarked that Mr. Happy’s reaction sounded JUST like what her daughter did after eating a board book.


<flashback> Thursday evening, I found Mr. Happy happily gnawing away on one of Mr. Charm’s board books. I took it from him, but he’d had the chance to chew on it a bit first.

Friday at the doctors office, he managed to eat some of the paper they put on the exam table before I could stop him.  I took the whole sheet of paper off the table after that, but he’d already eaten some.

Thursday=eat a board book…Friday=bloody diaper.
Friday=eat exam table paper…Saturday=vomit all day.


Sure enough, the ladies confirmed what I already suspected: board books are full of corn and soy, and exam table paper has a water resistant coating on it made of – wait for it – corn!

One brilliant Mama posited that the Ibuprofen had gotten his gut good and irritated, and the book/paper eating just sent his system over the edge.  

Sounds about right to me.  

All told, on Saturday he vomited 5 times.  By the third vomit, he was vomiting to bile.  He stayed a happy, smiling baby through it all, though that third vomit started to make him wince a little when he puked.  Isn’t he amazing?

He started showing early signs of dehydration, but didn’t get bad enough that he needed the ER.  He was still peeing, but not as much as normal.  The pee was still nice and clear, though, and his skin was showing good responsiveness and he still wanted to nurse.

So, we dodged the hospital on Saturday, and that’s a good thing.

In case I haven’t mentioned it so far, I HATE FPIES.

Sunday morning, he vomited once, but then was completely vomit/bloody diaper-free for the rest of the day.

The Geek and I were so happy and relieved by this development that we felt comfortable enough leaving the kids inside during their naps to go attempt putting Christmas lights on our house.

Partway through that endeavor, some friends from church stopped by with our loveseat (that prior to remodeling the house we did not have room for, so it’s been ‘living’ in their house for the last three years; now we’ve remodeled, and have room, so they brought it back).

They hadn’t seen the remodel yet, so we were doing the grand tour and Mr. Charm woke up from his nap.  He started playing with their son, a young lad of 8 that Mr. Charm thinks is the sun, moon, stars, and just about his favoritest young friend on earth.

Not ten minutes after he woke up, while we were talking bathrooms, Mr. Charm’s young friend came running in: “He just threw up!”

We go running.  In his two and a half years on the planet, Mr. Charm has only thrown up once.  It seemed to offend him so much that I think he just told himself he was never going to do it again.  So, vomiting?  Kind of a big deal for him.

Sure enough, he threw up.  I cleaned his face, cleaned up the mess, held him for a minute, then he indicated he wanted down so he could play some more.  I put him down, and about a minute later, he puked again.  


All told, he vomited about every 15 minutes for the rest of the day.  He shortly had emptied his stomach, and was vomiting bile, and quickly moved on to dry heaves.

The poor little guy was just lethargic, crying out in pain, and puking all day.

With a 6 month old in residence that thinks the world ends if he’s not held enough, and a sick toddler, the Geek and I were trading off bathroom/eating/cooking/cleaning tasks all afternoon.  Fun times.

When it was the Geek’s turn to eat dinner, I took the kids in for bathtime.  Hydrotherapy works, and I figured both boys could use a little warm water on their tummies (even though Mr. Happy had been fine after his morning vomit).

We played in the tub, and both boys were giggling, splashing and acting like their normal selves.  When we got out of the tub, I nursed Mr. Happy, and put him to bed.  The Geek got Mr. Charm dressed for bed, and we laid both boys down in the middle of our king sized bed – with layers of towels underneath them!

I had started having a weird feeling around the time I ate dinner, but discarded it.  After the kids were in bed, though, I couldn’t excuse it any longer: whatever bug Mr. Charm had picked up, I had it too.  

So now, the only person who can function independently in the house is the Geek.  Mr. Happy doesn’t seem to have gotten our icky little bug, but he’s kind of helpless himself.  So we’re all depending on the Geek to keep us alive right now.  

I wrote most of this post on Saturday.  I usually do most of my post writing over the weekends, using my brief half hour a day blog time during weekdays to finalize, rearrange, and edit posts I’ve written the prior weekend.

Because of spending my weekend up to my nose in vomit and diarrhea and bloody, acid poop, this is just about all I’ve written.  And now that I feel so rotten, I’m not sure when I’ll feel up to sitting down and writing more.

So, if I can, I’ll post this week, and if I can’t, well, you know what I’ll be doing.  

Blogging is much more fun.


Update: the Geek got the bug, too.  Now the whole house is out for the count.  

Yip. Pee.  Ugh.  

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3 Responses to Paper is Poison, Or, Why My Weekend Included Bloody Diapers and Vomit

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