Last year, Rhiannon’s mum, Sarah, sent us extracts from the diary that she kept of Rhiannon’s first six years. Here is her update for 2006.
After a perfectly normal, breast-fed first three months, Rhiannon reacted violently (sick, swelling, eczema) to formula feeds, then banana, then parsnips and a whole long list of other foods.
By the age of two she was seriously underweight and refusing to eat even the limited range of foods that she could tolerate. An endoscope investigation showed severe reflux, a ridged and scarred oesophagus and shortened villi, so she was prescribed Rantinidine, Domperidone, vitamins, probiotics and, when she was still not gaining weight, artificial nutrition. (For more information on artificial nutrition click here.)
After disastrous experiments with naso-gastric tubes, she had a full gastric tube inserted to allow direct feeding into her intestines, after which she gained weight and started to be able to tolerate new foods.
Two years later (Rhiannon was now four) her feeding tube was removed. She continued to gain weight and she started at what Sarah calls a ‘fantastic, caring nursery school’ where she made good progress with no major reactions.
By early 2005 she had been able to halve the doses of reflux medicine but was getting tummy ache and diarrhoea when she ate wheat. When we last heard (end of March 2005) she was scheduled for a coeliac test in the summer. We have just received Sarah’s latest update...
Hello, Foods Matter !
It turned out she had helped herself to a slice of kiwi fruit, then gone up to the teacher with a faceful of hives and said calmly, ‘I think I need my medicine.’
She had had kiwi once as a baby and disliked it; I subsequently read how allergenic
it is and never offered it again, putting 'avoid as a precaution' on her nursery
notes which had been supplied to the school (but not then read). Fortunately
a dose of Piriton was enough, and served the useful purpose of making staff
take her allergies seriously
but not panic as prompt medication is (almost always) all that is needed.
And of lamb...
Anyway she had her first dose of Amoxy, woke feeling much better and asked to go to school and had her second dose. At 9.20 in came the call from school, the poor mite had had galloping diarrhoea, and was sick as I took her home. We saw our own GP that afternoon who said her ear was certainly still inflamed, and prescribed Erythromycin instead, but lo and behold after the second dose Rhi was being violently sick.
An out-of-hours doctor told me what I wanted to hear
- just leave the antibiotics and hope she gets better on her own. Thank goodness
she did, although she gave us a fright two days later saying her ear was sore
(after her dad went off at the deep end she decided it
was actually her stomach). She's now back to being a lively handful so hopefully
no more bugs
for a while.
I'd be eager to hear if anyone knows if there are other treatments available.
The doctor said one in 10 people react to antibiotics, so there ought to be alternatives!
First published in 2007