Last night, post dinner festivities, I noticed that my daughter was breaking out in hives. She had complained that her ear was itching earlier in the day, and I should have known something was up when she kept asking to have her back scratched. I tried not to freak out, but failed miserably. We tried to identify a food source that may have caused it, but couldn't. I did what any rational (read: irrational) mother would do, and I plopped her in the shower. I then covered her head to toe with Eucerin calming cream and hydrocortisone. I gave her Benadryl, and then I started to worry.
She got freaked out because I was freaked out and we debated taking her to the hospital. I was worried because the hives were centered around her eyes, her ears and neck and were starting to trail down her torso. I finally called the doctor. The on-call doc thought she would be fine, ordered another dose of Benadryl and to keep her cool.
I only checked on her 2-3 times during the night, of which I am proud.
When my daughter got up this morning, the hives were worse. Her other eye was almost swollen shut and she looked like she had gone a few rounds with Mohammed Ali. The hives were all over her body, right down to her hands and feet. I got her in with the doctor and then waited around for the appointment. Of course, I dosed her with Benadryl in the meantime.
The diagnosis is not hives, but Erythemia Multiforme. It is an immune hyperresponse, probably to the cold she had over the weekend. There is no treatment and the red spots can last weeks.
As a female, this is where I start to get concerned. How do I take her out in public like that? How do I send her to school? What if the other kids make fun of her?
She was concerned about it too. We had a conversation about it:
"Mom, will I still have these spots when I go back to school?"
"You probably will."
"What if my teacher won't let me stay in class and sends me to the nurse?"
I told her I would let the nurse know and she seemed content with that. She is not contagious, it's just her body over-reacting (I know, it's a shock that my kid would over-react about something).
As the afternoon progressed, the "hives" on her face are getting worse and worse. Her spirits are fine and she's a little trooper. Then, came the moment of truth: she looked in the mirror. I was afraid she was going to be upset.
"O! M! G!"
I waited, my heart ready to break.
"I am soooo cute!"
I hope someday to be as confident as my six year-old.