Thursday, August 09, 2007

Allergic to my daughter?

Well, here's a post I never thought I'd need to make.

Last night, as many nights, I awoke to the sound of muffled footsteps stumbling into my room. The tiny voice whispering, "I had a bad dream," floated through my half conscious mind and as usual, I scootched myself over and folded back the covers. It may not be Dr Spock approved, but it sure helps everyone get enough sleep.

I wrapped my arm around her, and took a deep breath of freshly washed hair. Promptly, I felt my nose stuff up and throat itch. "Ugh," I thought to myself, "Thats some strong shampoo." But, I figured once I fell asleep again it really wouldn't bother me too much.

Then my ears starting feeling tight, painfully tight as if they needed to pop. Where my nose and cheek brushed the top of her already sleeping head, I began to itch.

I groaned and rolled over. My back started to itch. Slowly it spread, until I realized that it wasn't going to go away. I sat up and looked down on her serene face.

Then crawled out of bed and grabbed some Claritin-D12 (Its corn free) and navigated the tubes and wires of my husband's C-pap machine to sleep on the other side of him. Awoke with a mild rash on my face and neck, which faded as the day passed (with the help of Claritin-D12, an antihistamine. The only over the counter antihistamine I can find without any of my allergens in it.)

There are little things that you don't think of when dealing with allergies. Snuggling your baby in the middle of the night is definitely one of those little things that you don't want to miss out on. You also don't want to suffer for it later. I know that we have to take superhuman measures when we bake together. My littlest has had to wash her hands 7 times in the middle of one batch of muffins. There is no tasting and returning the spoon to the bowl, not because we might share germs but because we might share gluten. Or corn. Or dairy.

These steps we can all understand. But snuggling? I know that most people starting the journey, or the lucky ones who've never thought of traveling it will think cautions about snuggling someone with the wrong shampoo would think the one doing the cautioning was a bit paranoid. After all, you have to draw the line somewhere.

Where do you draw it? How far do you go to protect yourself? And how do you decide what is reasonable?

I won't be giving up snuggles. But I'll keep that Claritin on hand. Thank heavens there are still a few safe treatments out there.

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