Whew...yesterday was a whirlwind! Charlie and I spent the night at Memorial Hospital due to concerns about a skin infection. Here's the story...
Charlie's skin has been pink below his belly button for the past 3 weeks or so. He never seemed to be bothered by it, so I was watching it and decided to change the laundry detergent we wash his diapers in as well as the soap we use to bathe him. I started experimenting with these things maybe a week or so ago. The redness didn't seem to be going away, but it also wasn't getting worse, so I felt like I wanted to keep watching it to see if it improved. Last Saturday my mom, Charlie, and I drove to Fresno for Denise's baby shower. This was the first time that I noticed that Charlie's diaper area was getting quite a bit more red and he was starting to get reddish bumps all over his skin (arms, legs, belly, back, and face). He wasn't bothered, so again, I watched him. Sunday was more of the same.
So...yesterday after looking at Charlie's skin with my mom we decided that I should call the doctor and get him in to have it looked at. I suspected eczema but what do I know? While changing Charlie on Monday I applied lots of diaper cream to the red areas to try and keep things moist and protected from the possible chaffing that might occur from the diaper. His skin, at this point, was starting to look more like a bad burn.
Our pediatrician squeezed us in and when she finally was able to come see us she took one look at Charlie's diaper area and immediately told me that I needed to take him to the hospital for an iv drip of antibiotics (His skin appeared to be peeling at this point). She suspected a staph infection and didn't want to waste any time with oral antibiotics since the redness and skin rash came on so suddenly. Apparently doctors don't mess around while dealing with 2-month olds. I'm glad. She agreed that the skin rash on the rest of his body looked like eczema.
So, after a few questions on my part (like..."Is he going to be ok?!") my doctor got on the phone with Memorial and secured him a bed and told us to scurry over as fast as possible. I was feeling like a pretty horrible mother at this point and pretty much on the verge of tears, but I kept myself together and managed to discuss things level-headedly with our pediatrician. I fed Charlie and tried to get a hold of all affected parties (my mom & dad who were watching Henry, my friend Wendy who had offered to bring us dinner since she knew John's first day back at work might be a tough one for me, and, of course, John!) My cell phone has the worst reception EVER, so I ended up sending lots of text messages while Charlie ate.
After we arrived at the hospital Charlie was weighed (18 lbs. 5 ozs.) and given his hospital tag. Funny note...the nurses had our room set up for us and left us with a package of size 1 diapers...Charlie wears a size 3 now :) Anyways, the nurse took one look at his rash and sort of gasped and said "What happened, mom?" Which of course made me feel like the worst mom ever (I actually really liked this nurse, but I was feeling a wee bit sensitive at this point). The doctor came into see him rather quickly and very soon realized that the peeling skin was probably not skin at all, but more of a flaking of the dried diaper cream that I had applied earlier in the day. He gave an initial diagnosis of a serious diaper rash that had turned into a skin infection and wanted to do blood work to make sure that the infection didn't enter his bloodstream. The doctor was pretty confident that it hadn't.
After the blood draw John arrived at the hospital with my dinner (thanks Wendy!) and a bag of clothes for me since we knew for sure we would have to spend the night. The results came back after an hour or two, and like the hospital doctor predicted all of his blood levels looked completely normal. The doctor suspected as much since Charlie was cooing and smiling at him while he was being examined! So...after the initial scare of the staph infection things calmed way down and we enjoyed a rather uneventful night at the hospital. Charlie was able to avoid an iv altogether since there was no infection in the bloodstream, and we were given 3 topical creams to apply instead (which seem to be working, thank goodness).
The doctor checked Charlie again this morning and ran some more blood tests and all looked great. We were released at about 11:15.
So...basically we still don't know why this happened. The doctor suggested the possibility of something in my breastmilk so I'm cutting out milk, cheese, and yogurt right now. The lactation specialist said these 3 tend to give women the most trouble, so we will start with those and move on from there. There is also a possibility of the detergent and soap causing him to have an allergic reaction, so we're changing those. The doctor said there is sometimes skin irritations that are caused by dust mites in the carpet. After Henry is a bit more potty-trained (we're working on that right now) then I plan to have the carpets cleaned. There is also a chance that he has an environmental allergy (like me) or just simply has sensitive skin. Who knows?!
So...for now, he's going to be our little science experiment. We'll be testing our hypothesis, isolating variables, and hoping to uncover some helpful results. These Wiebe boys have a thing for scaring me with their hospital visits...only to have them turn out to be no big deal. I'm just thankful this hospital stay is behind us and hopefully we can get everything figured out soon! I'll keep you posted if anything noteworthy transpires.