OK, so maybe there's more to this allergy thing than meets the eye. I made the switch from rice cereal to oatmeal on Sunday, thinking that would fix the problem. And then yesterday I gave Cal a bottle of breast milk.
(Why, you may ask, am I feeding him from a bottle when I'm home? Milk line rotation, friends. Milk line rotation. See, I have something like 75 ounces chilling in the fridge from last week's efforts--roughly equivalent to a 3-day supply if I don't have any overnight call--and if I don't feed these to him and pump this week during my normal work hours, the fridge milk will all spoil and Cal will have nothing to eat when I go back to work. He'll have nothing, nothing, NOTHING...if he don't...have....youuuuuu. Hence, bottlefeeding and pumping during the day to keep things moving.)
I have not been witness to this as much as Georgia or Joe have, since I rarely bottlefeed him when I'm home, but Cal has gotten pretty cool in the past month or so with holding his own bottle. He just grabs for it and jams it in his mouth and goes. But sometimes he misses, and gets the nipple in his cheek, or his chin, or his eyeball. Yesterday was not an exception. But you can imagine my dismay when, near the end of the feeding, I took away the bottle and saw this:
It's the exact same type of skin reaction I saw when I gave him the rice cereal on Sunday. And given that the only commonality that I could pinpoint between the two feedings was a.) the dish soap that we use to wash his feeding stuff, and b.) the breast milk, I felt we had something of a problem on our hands.
(I took that picture so the other licensed MD of the household could see when he got home, by the way, not for the express interest of posting pictures of my child's skin eruptions on Ye Olde Internet. Not that it stopped me from posting the picture anyway. CHILD EXPLOITATION.)
So when Joe got home, we did what we med folks like to call a provocative test--we put a dot of dishsoap on a band-aid and stuck it on Cal's leg to see if that would incite the reaction. Then we thought, oh, how cute, Sesame Street band-aids, let's put one on Cal's forehead to see if he can recognize himself in the mirror and have enough self-awareness to try and take it off. (Long story short: he didn't. Other long story short, he didn't react to the dish soap either. So.)
Could it be the breast milk, then? I mean, THAT'S CRAZY TALK. Right? Right? I mean, he's been taking breast milk for six and a half months straight with no problem. And anyway, HOW COULD YOU BE ALLERGIC TO BREAST MILK? That's just straight up DSM IV criteria INSANE. La Leche League is going to hunt me down with a bow and arrow just for thinking it. However, upon contemplating the situation some more, I realized that the batch of milk I used to mix up his rice cereal and the milk that I bottle fed him were both pumped on the same day. Maybe it's something I ate? But what did I eat that was different than usual? And am I actually supposed to remember what I ate for lunch a week ago? It was some kind of food that I had to put in my mouth and chew--that's the closest I can come.
So, still unclear. The mystery continues, call the Bloodhound Gang. (If you've got the crime, they've got the time.) But, the upshot of all this is that Cal may not actually be allergic to rice. Which means that he can still stay in the family.
* * *
Do you want to see the scariest guy in the scariest apartment in the world? Of course you do.
Of course, it may not be a guy, it could be a lady. But here's why he's scary:
- Totally bare living room, even though he's been living there for a long time.
- Only one light fixture, one super-bright bare bulb in a table lamp with no shade. Seriously, it is SO BRIGHT--it hurts my eyes to look at it, and I'm across the street.
- He just sits there next to the bulb facing the TV and he does...not...move.
I guess he's not really scary so much as sad. Why don't you move, scary man? Why don't you turn off your light? Where's your lampshade? Somebody needs a hug! But you have to admit, when it's midnight and you're looking out your window at the building across the street and all you see is THAT ROOM and THAT LIGHT and THAT SILHOUETTE it's a little bit creepy. Like either he's a serial killer, or he died weeks ago but he doesn't know it yet, like Bruce Willis in "The Sixth Sense". (Sorry, did I just ruin that movie for you? Oh come on, everybody knows that plot twist already. HE WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME! Shriek!)
Currently reading: "My Friend Leonard." It's readable.
Currently watching: "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet 2." Well, this weekend anyway. Why can't I stop myself from watching these things? Why? And why does Beth suck so bad?