Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Jenna's Hives

Jenna woke up from her nap on Monday covered in hives. I've never had a child with hives before, so it was quite frightening.

She had smaller ones on her face and eyelids, making her face look puffy. She also had them on her neck, stomach, and upper arms. She had a giant one on each thigh, almost the entire size of her leg.

I immediately called Kaiser and they advised giving her Zyrtec. Her hives went away within 45 minutes, which was a huge relief. In my mind, hives mean allergic reaction, which can lead to a restricted airway. So when the medicine helped right away I relaxed a little. But I still wanted to know what had caused them.
A couple hours later the areas where her hives had been, started getting red again, making her look like she had a sunburn. By this time our doctor's office was closed, so the advice nurse suggested we take her to the ER to get checked out. We went, but the doctor was totally useless. He basically said he didn't know why she had hives, and to just give her more medicine if they came back. I asked him a bunch of questions but he gave me very vague answers. It was quite frustrating.
 That night Jenna slept in our bed and looked fine. About half an hour after she woke up Tuesday, I noticed a new hive forming on her other eyelid. I booked an appointment that morning to see her doctor. By the time we got there, the hive had almost disappeared. Jenna's doctor was so much more helpful. He explained that it was likely a viral reaction to the cold she has had this week. (I've never seen kids get hives from colds, but apparently it is quite common this time of year?) We tried to brainstorm anything new she had been exposed to. The only thing I could think of was cinnamon. In the past Jenna's skin has had a contact rash around her mouth after eating it. On Monday before her nap she had a cinnamon altoid. So we did a blood test to check for a cinnamon allergy. It's rare, but it's the only thing I could think of to test for. I should know the results soon.

We were advised to continue giving zirtec each night for the rest of the week. So I gave her some last night, and although she was fussy, she eventually slept okay. Then this morning Jenna woke up with new hives on her arm.
It's quite frustrating not knowing what is causing all of this! I have friends with kids who have severe food allergies, and my heart goes out to them. It's really scary seeing your child covered in swollen hives. I want them to go away, and I want to know their cause, so I can prevent them from returning!


  1. So sorry Jenna had to go through that--that YOU had to go through that. Doctors who aren't helpful make it worse, too. Cinnamon -- goodness, I hope she's not allergic! Never heard of hives from a cold either, but who knows. I hope that's the cause and that it runs its course soon!

  2. Thanks Rachel. I know you know how scary hives are. Cinnamon allergy is negative, but she keeps breaking out in hives!