Friday, November 16, 2012

A Hard Choice


Emily has always struggled with her allergies, ever since she was a baby.  She is allergic to so many things - foods, environmental allergies, and has other health issues as well.  But, she is an animal lover through and through. It doesn't matter what it is, she loves it.  And they love her too!

Back in July we acquired Otis and while I wasn't sure how it would go with her allergies, we tried it.  At first, everything seemed to be okay.  But as the months have worn on, Emily's allergies have escalated.  The worst of it is the excema.  Her skin is a mess - red, raw, and oozing.  She itches all the time to the point that she can't sleep at night.  The doctor has told us that her immune system is so revved up that she is now probably reacting to things that normally wouldn't bother her.

We came to the hard conclusion, and Emily actually reached it herself, that we had to give up the cat.  So last Saturday he went to a new home.  A friend's daughter took him and he has settled in very quickly of which I am glad.  Emily is sad but being surprisingly mature about the whole thing.  She is at the age when she'd rather be healthy than have a pet.

He's been gone a week but she is still struggling.  I've been vacuuming up a storm and I know it will take a while to get the cat dander out of the house.  Unfortunately, I may have to take more drastic measures and start removing some of the foods that she was previously allergic to if she doesn't start to get better.  The doctor was saying that it could be she's redeveloped a sensitivity to these things - namely, dairy and wheat.

Please keep her in your prayers.  Last night, she cried and said that she itches all the time and she can't get to sleep because of it.  I know many times I hear her up at 1 or 2 in the morning.  She's taking an antihistamine, as well as a prescription steroid cream which we don't want to use long term. 

I'd love to have my girl healthy again. 


  1. Hi Terri! I read your blog often, and always appreciate your insights. My daughter (also named Emily!), 16, has also suffered with skin and respiratory issues, although not as severe as your daughter has. A few years ago, her hands became severely chapped and cracked every winter--they looked as though she'd been scalded. We tried so many lotions and creams that I can't list them all. Most of them caused burning and worse problems because of the ingredients (even those that claimed to be fragrance free). She is a cellist and spends a couple of hours every single day in her orchestra rehearsals, and she really needed her hands to heal. Finally last winter we tried Vaseline Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy Body lotion. Every night in fall and winter, she puts it on at bedtime and then wears gloves during the night. Last year it made such an amazing difference in her skin,and she could tell a difference if she skipped a couple of nights. Maybe you could try this for your Emily. I know her itching comes from things she is ingesting, but maybe this will give her some relief on the outside so she can sleep. I hope it will help!

    1. Nita, I'm glad you commented and it's nice to meet you! Thank you so much for the recommendation. At this point I'll try anything. Many of the lotions we tried, end up making her feel like her skin is on fire and I have found that Vaseline cream is a good choice. I will try the particular Vaseline brand you mentioned though. Thank you!

  2. So sorry to hear Terri...praying for Emily!


  3. So sorry that poor Emily is going through such a bad time. I do hope the Vaseline helps, it is such a good product.

  4. So sorry to hear Emily has problems at the moment, my daughter had alot of excema and allergy problems so i do feel for Emily. My prayers are with Emily and you all.
    God bless sue

  5. Cat allergens are often found in the cat's saliva, as well as the dander. Cats will clean themselves with their tongues and then rub against just about everything, spreading the allergens generously throughout the home. It may be necessary to clean all the surfaces where the cat was rubbing - especially bedding (if the cat spent much time in Emily's room) or clothing.

    My dd, dh and I are all very allergic to cats. We are fond of them, but can never, ever have one as a pet.

  6. Reptiles or fish might be a safer pet choice.


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