Well, this is pretty embarrassing. It’s been 10 days since our last post. To be fair, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind and K and I are both doing our best to hang in there.
K is sick and it came on really quickly. I think he has a sinus infection turned bronchitis. His poor cough sounds pitiful and none of the pregnancy-approved medications seem to be much help. We’re headed to see the OB today and I’m hopeful she’ll have some suggestions.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to steadily check tasks off of our to-do list. I’ve made a deal with myself, as a hopeful barrier to exhaustion, that I will only do one home management task (laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) and one baby-related task (hanging artwork in the nursery, assembling the laundry bin, setting up the new touch-free garbage bin with wet bag for dirty dipes, etc.) each week day. It’s worked out quite well, though I am pooped and am very much looking forward to the weekend.
As a follow-up to my allergy freak out post, I visited my allergist this week to try to strategize about the recent realization that my major allergen is an ingredient in every formula on the market. My doctor didn’t do a very great job at listening to my concern before immediately chiming in to try to solve a concern that I didn’t even have. It took one of the medical students who crammed into the room with me to relay my concerns to him. He admitted that he’d never considered my concern as a possibility for his patients, so once again, I’ve left him scratching his head (he’s never found anyone with my allergy before, either).
The truly horrible news is that my only option is avoidance of the allergen, as there are no medical interventions that can treat or prevent this allergic reaction. His suggestion was to mix up a small batch of each of the formula brand samples I have at home and give myself a makeshift patch test. He said that I might not have as strong of a reaction to one type as I do to another, and that different formulations of tocopherol might impact me differently. I mixed up four different formulas and applied them to my arm with labeled bandages. One of them immediately made me start itching, but I’m telling myself that it’s a psychosomatic response, as my allergy usually flares about 24 hours after I encounter it. This isn’t the most scientific of tests, as I know which brands are located where and I inherently have my own biases against each (this one’s cheapest, this one’s website doesn’t list nutritional information, this one’s company gives out TONS of coupons!), but it’ll have to do. Here’s my lovely test:
The patch test needs to stay on for two days and cannot get wet, which led to a hysterical contraption I created to try to keep my arm dry in the shower: a wet bag with prefold on top, both wrapped tightly around my arm and held together with three Snappis. I figured Falco wouldn’t mind me borrowing these items.
I’m really hopeful that I can find a solution with these commercially available formulas. I’ve decided that I’m too nervous about creating my own formula and milk banks (very rightfully) prioritize incredibly sick babies due to limited supply. I’m also hopeful that some of my fears were perhaps premature. One of my largest fears about becoming a parent was that I would be emotionally distant and cold like my parents were, and I’m petrified that a medical barrier like this sort of allergy will leave me both emotionally and physically distant from Falco, or worse, that I will resent Falco for an approximate year’s worth of itchy, burning misery. Envision this, which is an actual photo of my neck when I was having a pre-diagnosis reaction to tocopherol:
Please keep your fingers crossed!