Just before bed the reaction started. Instead of laying on my lap, Little Cub wanted to lay on the floor. She started saying her legs hurt. Then, she asked to go lay down in our big bed and snuggle, but as she got up to go she was limping, and saying “ouch, ouch, ouch.” My heart sunk. I knew what this meant. A reaction. My mind raced what could she be reacting to this time? I reviewed all of the food she had eaten that day, all of the things she had done. Nothing. Nothing stood out as a known trigger. Then my mind whirled to could I do anything to stop this reaction? I quickly grabbed her cup and put in a dose of her antihistamines. “Drink down your juice, honey” I asked, probably with more than a hint of desperation in my voice. Sometimes, just sometimes, if we can get the dose of antihistamine in her a reaction will stop or be less severe.
She lay in bed she kept begging for an ice pack. The first few times I told her no, it was ok, just lay down and mama would rub her legs. But it wasn’t enough. She kept begging. I worried that an ice pack wouldn’t help and would actually throw her over the edge histamine wise, since she reacts to cold with hives. However, it is hard to say no to a toddler in pain, so I went and grabbed an ice pack and wrapped it up in a receiving blanket. She made a small sigh of relief when her legs hit it. A few minutes later she said, “I have poopies mommy,” my heart sank more. Little Cub only goes poop every 3 to 4 days normally and then has to concentrate very hard to get poop to come. It is a process and at the end of each time we cheer for her and the “poopies.” For her to go poop without any straining or even any indication that she had to go… it only cemented the fact that a reaction was happening. I picked her up and went and changed her. Then we went back to the ice pack. It still wasn’t enough to make her truly comfortable but after about 45 minutes of her moving her legs and feet back and forth on the ice pack, me rubbing her legs, cuddling her, giving her space- whatever she needed at that moment. She moved the ice pack away from her legs and clutched it to her chest. Sighed again and was asleep.
My brain wouldn’t let me go to sleep as I kept thinking, what changed did we have? What new food? What old food that we thought was safe but might not be safe anymore? I cooked with our cast iron pan tonight- maybe that was it? Finally, I dragged myself to sleep. Only to have Little Cub wake up crying out two hours later. She was nearly inconsolable, mumbling and not making sense. Last time this happened, I wrapped her feet in wet paper towels and that helped some. This time, I tried to find wash clothes but since I didn’t have any luck (dang giant pile of clean clothes yet to be sorted), I grabbed a small towel and another bigger towel. I soaked the small towel in cool water and squeezed out the excess. I rushed back to Little Cub’s bed with her crying and moaning, tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position. I put down the big dry towel and then grabbed both of her feet and legs and wrapped them in the damp towel. She sighed “that good, that good mama,” tears still making their way down her cheeks but no longer activity crying. After a minute or two I asked if she wanted to lay down. “Yes, yes. Ok” And she laid down her body finally releasing some of the tension. Within moments she had fallen back to sleep. I got another clean towel and placed it over her legs so the damp towel wouldn’t get her covers all wet and then covered her up.
A couple hours later she woke up moaning again, this time all I needed to do was go over and tell her I was there, and remove the sodden mess of towels.
That was a very mild reaction. Yet, it was exhausting none the less. I wasn’t sure if we were going to have a mild reaction or if it would escalate to something more. I am never sure.
The next day, we are often hit with the behavioral reaction, today is not any different – a hummingbird that loses her temper at the drop of the hat, that cries equally quickly, that runs into things, that hits or hurts others not realizing that she is hurting people, that runs around in circles laughing a sort of manic laugh, who’s eyes never quite seem like they can focus on anything, just to name a few of the things that happen. Again, that is the “good” version of behavioral reactions.
I am the mother two wonderful and Rare children and am honored to be the step mama to two awesome teenagers.