And those 24 hours of hell have apparently decided to go down fighting.
"Why Heather!" I hear you exclaim. "Didn't you go to bed hours ago, as soon as The Amazing Race ended, as per usual?"
Well, yes, I did plan to go to bed after watching one of my two favorite teams get Philiminated. I was in my jammies, in the bathroom, brushing my teeth and I heard Kiddo's door open.
Oh heck, thought I, PLEASE tell me she hasn't thrown up again.
Nope. Not barf.
"Mommy, my feet and ankles are SO itchy that I can't sleep and I can't stop scratching them!" says my poor, beleaguered child.
Indeed. I turned on the light in the hallway and I could instantly see the problem quite clearly.
LOTS of hives.
EVERYWHERE from the top of her head to the soles of her feet.
Angry, red, worsening-by-the-second hives.
I immediately dove into the very-well-organized-now,-thanks-to-the-house-showing-thing medicine chest and pulled out a bottle of Benadryl. Uh-oh, not much left in this one. Poured her a teaspoon from the dregs of the bottle and gave it to her and then settled her back into bed and went downstairs to check the package insert info for the antibiotic Kiddo's been taking since Friday night. You know, the antibiotic for the sinus infection that was gooing up her eyes (so they'd crust shut - like the worst pinkeye you've ever seen, but not pinkeye) and her nose and face that were generally a disgusting mess... An antibiotic she's taken once before with no bad reactions. So, I pulled out the info sheet and whaddya know, hives could constitute a "severe allergic reaction" to this med.
I called up the after-hours answering service at 9:51. Well, *most* adults are still awake at this point, right? I mean, this isn't like I'm calling at 2 in the morning... Yes, I am rationalizing the decision to call the doctor to myself, don't ask me why. That's what they're there for, right? I explained the situation to the lady and she said "Oh YES, that is something the doctor will call you back for IMMEDIATELY!" Hmmm. I tried not to panic as I waited for the doctor to call back.
In doctor terms, as it turns out, "IMMEDIATELY!" equates to roughly 13 minutes. Not that I was counting. I used the meantime to go back upstairs and check on the hives situation. Still NOT good - even Kiddo's eyelids are hived over. I asked her questions to see if this is getting anaphylactic but she didn't report any itching in her mouth or throat and her tongue and lips weren't swelling. Finally, finally, the phone rings back.
It's Doctor Crotchety McGrump, he of the infamous Splinter Removal incident. Excellent. From the sounds of it, he went to bed as soon as Andy Rooney signed off, though maybe it's just that he always sounds that grouchy or maybe he remembers Kiddo, her volume level and her fierce kicking skillz. I didn't know and I didn't care. I gave him the rundown and he confirmed that yes, in fact, this does sound like a "severe allergic reaction" to the amoxicillin, even though Kiddo's been taking it for 2 days now. He tells me the hives could very well continue for another 3 to 4 days (!!) and she might also experience some swelling in her ankles, knees and any other joints (!!!) and I am to discontinue the antibiotic immediately (duh) and call the office in the morning for a new scrip. Oh, and I might have to add a second antihistamine to the Benadryl, too. I mused aloud about her returning to school tomorrow after hearing about all this and got an earful from Doc McGrump about how "Well, if she's itchy and uncomfortable, is she really going to LEARN anything?" Yeah, thanks for your two cents there, Doctor Spock. He does go on to suggest keeping her cool and lightly dressed and to use cool compresses as needed to help minimize the discomfort.
I hung up the phone and changed Kiddo out of her fleece jammies into a pair from last summer that were wedged at the way back of her pajama drawer. They're a little on the small side but not too tight, so we went with them. I got Kiddo re-settled into bed again (and by now the hives were abating a bit - at least her face was looking less red) and did a more thorough check of the medicine cabinet. Nope, those three drops are all we have left. I preceded to wake Hubby up to explain the situation, some of which he'd gathered from hearing the phone ring and my end of the conversation, and though he was dubious about an allergic reaction setting in two days later, he agreed to keep an ear out for Kiddo as I headed over to Walmart for another bottle of Benadryl.
Let me just pause in my tale of woe here for a brief moment to point out that even in my not-really-suited-for-going-out-in-public attire (stretched out, raggedy old yoga pants, a holey, oversized t-shirt that comes down almost to my knees, with a paint-spattered sweatshirt thrown over for decency's sake, blue crew socks I grabbed off the floor, beat up brown leather clogs and a sage green barn jacket to complete the ensemble), I was not the strangest dressed person at our local Walmart at 10:20 this evening. I didn't even rate a second look. Wow.
Anyhow, I grabbed a bottle of Benadryl and the other antihistamine too, since I was there. Of course I'll be back at a pharmacy tomorrow for Kiddo's new antibiotic, but whatever.
And here I am, home again, home again, jiggety jig. I'm totally wired now, and want to wait until it is time to give Kiddo her next breathing treatment with the inhaler (Doc McGrump said to continue that every 4 hours and that it might help with the hives, too) so I turned my computer back on and plunked myself down to whinge away on my blog.
In summary, OY!! Can this 24 hours PLEASE end SOON? I can't believe I'm looking forward to it being MONDAY. Bleargh! I just really, really hope that this reaction isn't indicative of a penicillin allergy, and instead was just because she's on a really strong dose (which was prescribed so she'd only need to take it twice a day, instead of a lesser dose 3 or 4 times a day). Penicillin allergies are a pain in the neck - I was allergic to penicillin as a kid but outgrew it, myself. So, fingers crossed this was an isolated incident and Kiddo is feeling much less itchy in the morning!!