Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MRSA-- like a sourdough starter

An item to emerge from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology meeting in Phoenix this week: if someone has an extreme food allergy, you can give them a reaction just by kissing them.

Bizarre, but makes sense, and highlights how sensitive our immune systems can be. If tiny amounts of allergen can cause such severe trouble, it seems more plausible to me that the broken skin of eczema can expose young children to allergens that might sensitize the body for life.

I've read through The Advocate once now (get this-- that picture of the torn-up foot on page 5-- I read that page while I was eating dinner, that's how DEsensitized I am to eczema) and, once again, I appreciated it on several levels.
  1. I feel better by comparison, because some people out there evidently have it much worse than me and my daughter
  2. I feel like I belong to a wider community facing the same challenges we do
  3. I'm interested to hear advice from leading scientists in the field on day-to-day therapy and some of the more advanced/extreme options
My god, the poor kid, Joanna Hamilton's son Jonah, with MRSA. I can relate to him about the food (my mom says at one point she was only feeding me carrots and bananas, and my nose turned orange) and the scratching (my own feet and Voov's have at times looked like that photo) but not the MRSA. That is some bad shit. From what I've heard, the more you can stay out of the hospital, the better chance you have of avoiding it. But what about the doctor's office? When you have a young child, you are in the doctor's office virtually every week getting some rash or cough or weird eye tic checked out. Is MRSA in the doctor's office too? I'd appreciate knowing.

Earlier this year, Voov had some terrible staph all over her hands. She was crying all the time and her hands were all blistered and bloody and crusty and you couldn't even see a spot of decent skin. Naturally, we were on vacation. We got back home and Voov went on some antibiotics and her skin cleared up all over her body. Then, bingo, I suddenly developed a staph infection, a lovely one on the back of my head. It cleared up by itself, fortunately. In these six-kid families that have multiple members with eczema, they must pass an infection around for months, keeping it alive like a sourdough starter.

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