We seem to be on the upswing, finally, from the virus that wiped us all out the last week and a half. The “sick fog” is lifting, and we are slowly getting back to routine.
Darrel caught it last, and he is still suffering worse than the rest of us, poor thing. The kids and I, though, just have some residual tiredness, messed up bedtimes, strange appetites and head congestion to deal with.
It was an educational week for us.
In addition to the essential oil balms I made, and the chicken soup I tried (in vain) to get Jed to eat, I used every trick I could think of to help relive symptoms and encourage the cooties to move on quickly.
One of those tricks was taking Epsom salt baths. My whole life I’ve been told to take Epsom salt baths when feeling icky, as they would help detox the body and make you feel better.
So all four of us took frequent showers and Epsom salt baths earlier last week.
The first day the boys took a salt soak, Zac had a hard time that night. He screamed at us for no discernible reason for hours. Finally he passed out and went to sleep, where he slept fitfully.
The second day the boys had a soak, he repeated his behavior from the night before. Screaming for no reason, poor sleep with frequent wake-ups, the works. In the middle of the night, he woke me up screaming again. I discovered he had a poopy diaper. Very unusual for him overnight.
When I changed him, his heinie was bright red and tender; an acidic diaper rash took up residence on his tushie from one poopy diaper.
The next morning, he had yet another acidic poop.
I held off on the Epsom salt baths because I worried the soak would hurt him horribly. I, however, was sick and had almost nothing that I could do to get better, so I took a long, hot Epsom salt soak and felt much more human afterwards.
I also didn’t shower after the soak.
Zac nursed after I soaked, of course (he basically stopped eating this week and went back to nursing 6-7 hours a day), and a few hours later had a coughing jag that led to a big nasty vomit.
Could he have been reacting to the Epsom salts?
To be safe, we all stopped the soaks. Immediately, the no-reason-screaming stopped, and within three days Zac’s diapers were back to normal.
Yesterday he seemed to regain his appetite, and chowed down on quinoa all day long.
So…is it possible he reacted to the Epsom salts? According to a few FPIES mama friends, yes, it is.
According to them, it’s rare and weird, but it’s possible. It’s happened to a couple of their kiddos.
Most also said that if he reacted to Epsom salts, it is likely he was reacting to the sulfate part of the salts. OTC Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate.
There’s a family history on my side of being allergic to sulfa drugs, so this isn’t too far-fetched.
And sulfa sensitivity is often linked to a methylation disorder.
So now we’re at a crossroads. Do we pay for the genetic testing to see if Zac (and Jed) have a methylation disorder? Or just ostrich the possibility and keep doing what we are doing?
I don’t know much about methylation disorders. This week wasn’t my sharpest mental week ever, what with being sick.
It’s time, now, for me to add some more reading and research to my plate to see what we might be up against…and if it even looks like a possibility that methylation disorder is complicating Zac’s FPIES in some way.
After all, just because sulfa sensitivity is often linked to methylation disorders doesn’t mean it is ALWAYS connected. This could just be a fluke.
Though, if he’s sensitive to sulfa in the salts, we may need to look up which foods are high in sulfates and try to avoid trialing those.
Time for more research into yet another little known disease.
For Heaven’s sake: must everything my kids experience be rare, little known, and unique??
In the meantime, Jed is very slowly regaining his appetite. All he wanted to eat this week was candy bars.
I learned a few months back that Jed is just as happy with my candy bars without any chocolate poured on top, and I started adding 1/2 cup of hemp hearts to the sunbutter/maple syrup mixture, so really, it was almost like feeding him bare-bones cereal/protein bars.
I could live with that.
But it’s time for him to return to the normal “3 squares a day” sort of eating. He’s resisting.
Fortunately, he slipped back into normal bedtime fairly quickly. Two nights in a row he’s been down at our usual bedtime without a fight.
Zac is still all over the map, sleep wise, but he’s getting there slowly.
It’s funny, though, because as I re-read some old blog entries I saw that December of 2012, we were hit with a stomach bug…immediately followed by infections.
I suppose every December I have to look forward to stomach bugs, and every January to various infections that wipe out the family.
So…what’d I miss last week? What’s new in your world?