Tuesday, July 16, 2013

That Nasty Tide!!!

Ugh!  I messed up!!

Before we left CA I did a load of laundry and put about a TBSP of Tide in the water.  I knew Hannah’s system didn’t like Tide but figured such a little bit in a large load would be okay.

I was wrong!!

Thursday night I put her in the pjs that had been part of that load as we made Monkey Munch for the cottage.  IMG_2424

She woke up in the middle of the night scratching like crazy and when I turned on the light she was covered in hives everywhere under the pjs.  Oh no!  I immediately gave her Benadryl and covered her with Benadryl gel.  Within minutes all signs of the hives were gone.  A quick change and all was well.

The following morning we were off to the cottage to visit with my parents for a few days.  I’m pretty sure the shorts I put on her must have been the only other item in that load that I hadn’t rewashed.  Ugh!  When we got to the cottage her little legs were itchy under the shorts so once again I changed her and vowed to be more careful.

Little did I know that later that day she would wrap herself in a blanket at the cottage – that had been washed in Tide.  By now her little body was in attack mode and her system went crazy!  It was quickly evident that Benadryl wasn’t going to touch it this time and we were off to a local ER.  In the 15 minutes it took to drive there she quickly went from bad IMG_2465 - Copy

to much worse!!  Her entire body from head to toe looked like this!IMG_2467

As we sat in the ER waiting room praying they would call us soon she got so bad that others in the room were telling us to go in front of them and she was screaming in pain and begging me to get her medicine.  It was beyond itchy and she was clawing at herself to try and get some relief.  We were both in tears as I went to find her some help.  Thankfully they jumped us to the front and took her right in.  It was a blessing that my sweet baby girl fell asleep waiting for the doctor to come see her.


We were all keeping a close eye on her airway and thankfully even though her face was affected her airway was never jeopardized. Thanking God for that!


They gave her a combination of 3 different medications – Benadryl, Steroids and something else I can’t remember and that worked.  She drifted off to sleep again and rested peacefully for the 3 hours it took for the mediations to take away every hive on her little body.  Even though her airway was not affected I can tell from this picture just how swollen her face was.  Poor lamb!!IMG_2472

At one point she just had one little spot on her face but they were not even considering releasing her until that was gone too.  In the end we were there close to 6 hours before she was well enough to be released shortly after 4AM.  The doctor sent us home with 2 prescriptions to fill in the morning and instructions to return to the ER if the hives came back.  They classified her as a ‘Rare Paediatric Emergency’ for this area and something they don’t see often.  That says a lot when we are in prime vacation country and there are a lot of children’s camps around too.  I cannot say enough about the hospital in Huntsville!  They were wonderful with her from start to finish!!

It was a short night for my little trooper but Saturday morning she showed little signs of the trauma other than a slightly swollen face and hospital bracelet on her ankle.  IMG_2475.

We headed back in to town to fill the prescriptions and wash everything in the cottage with the ‘Hannah safe’ detergent we use at home.  Grandma took up residence in the Laundromat while Bec Bec, Tor, Hannah and I did a little running around.



Early in the afternoon Hannah began to ask for her back to be scratched and I soon realized we’d be headed back to the ER based on the doctors instructions.  As had happened the day before, she quickly broke out again.  Poor little sweetie!  Once again I used electronics to try and divert her attention a little from the scratching until the doctor could see her. 


This time by the time the doctor came, the meds I had given her a little more than an hour earlier had begun to take affect.  He reviewed her case, changed up her doses a bit and added one new prescription to hopefully avoid any further outbreaks until her body could get regulated again.  We’re hoping with her medicine cocktails that she’s taking a variety of 4 times a day for the next 4 days, will hopefully help us avoid any further outbreaks.  IMG_2507

This picture was taken only 3 hours after the one above.  What a wonderful difference!IMG_2500

As I write this it’s now Monday evening and Praise God Hannah has been hive free since Saturday afternoon!!!  We’re being super cautious around people and not really touching others.  It’s hard but Tide is so common that we need to be careful until her little body is regulated again.  I was able to extend my vacation by 2 additional days so we’re still visiting my parents at the cottage they rent each July.  A wonderful place to recuperate from the weekend. 

I need to call our family doctor when we get home and have him refer us to an allergy specialist again.  This time I’m going to ask him to test her for a Tide allergy specifically as I’m 99% sure that’s what’s causing this.  My theory is based on the location of the hives always starting under clothing that has been washed in Tide and also that I can’t really think of anything else we’ve changed.  Time will tell and I’ll keep you posted.

Until then, thanks to all who were aware of what was happening and were praying for my sweet baby girl.  Your prayers were answered and she’s had a great couple of days!


  1. Aw, poor Hannah and Mommy! I hope she keeps feeling better and hive free.

  2. Oh my!!!! I am so sorry that Hannah had to go thru all that!!!! Emerg is no fun!!!! And we always are at our worst there!!!!! I am so very happy that all is well now!

    It reminds me of a time when my oldest was about 3 or 4. We got a bag of handmedowns washed in, you guessed it, Tide! Ack. I put a t-shirt on her, without washing it in Ivory first. I must have forgotten. The shirt burned an imprint of itself onto her body. It took me a few minutes to figure it out. I ripped that shirt off her so fast. It was days before the mark went away, but luckily, there weren't any other consequences. The hives stayed to the t-shirt area. And 8 years later, she still has to have her clothes washed in Ivory. I have an adult friend that still requires her clothes to be washed in Ivory and I'm thinking that might be my daughter's future too.

    My youngest is fine with Tide!! Go figure.

  3. Poor poor baby! I'm so glad she's feeling better.

  4. Oh my goodness! How scary for both of you! So glad that Miss Hannah is doing much better! She is so adorable. I love reading your blog about you and your girl.

  5. Yeesh! Those hives look just awful. So glad they could get them under control, and that her breathing wasn't affected. Sending huge hugs, and hoping the local allergist does the test and targets it as Tide. Having a pinpoint diagnosis would make life so much easier... (All of the hand-me-downs from my house are Tide-washed, by the way, so pop all of those in the washing machine as soon as you unpack them.)

    1. Thanks so much friend! That's a really good reminder! I'll wash them all before adding them to her dresser and packing away the winter ones.

  6. WOW!!! Scary! My heart goes out to the two of you! Hate to say it, but what does that tell us about the products we use to wash our clothes?!?! Yikes! Glad Hannah is on the mend!

  7. I have been following your blog since you have started and never really written anything, we have a daughter from China that came home shortly after your sweet Hannah did and we may have "met" in a yahoo group. I just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you and Hannah as that is very scary and am glad that Hannah is on the mend. Many prayers that you find out what is causing these hives and allergic reactions.

  8. Oh, the poor little mite. Those hives look awful. We're all too familiar with the site of hives--they are pretty scary. Glad the hospital was so helpful. We had a similar incident a couple of summers ago while I was on jury duty and Charlotte and Daddy were at the cottage. The small town hospital was so much more help and sympathetic to Charlotte's discomfort than our system once we returned home. The doctor's didn't seem to be as concerned about Charlotte's condition as we were. Now we're dealing with a possible allergic reaction to mosquito mites--I think it's going to be a looooong summer.

  9. Oh, the poor little thing! What an ordeal! I hope she is back to normal. That's too crazy!

  10. Wow, poor girl. I am glad she got quality medical care. Hopefully they can determine the cause. (I wonder if they can find out what the ingredient in Tide is that causes her to break out).

    Years ago I was having severe allergy attacks coupled with severe mosquito bites. I was advised NOT to use topical and oral Diphenhydramine at the same time. I don`t remember the specifics but you might want to double check with her allergist.

  11. other thoughts.

    If clothes are not super dirty I sometimes skip the detergent. Vinegar often works just as well. When you double wash the hand me downs you might add vinegar to the wash, it helps break up soap residue.

    If it turns out she is allergic to tide you might ask her allergist if dryer fumes are a concern if she is around a dryer vent from a home that uses tide. I know I can smell the fresh scent of drying laundry when I walk. It sounds like this might cause a scary reaction.

  12. Allergies are so scary. I once got a rash across my stomach from a new detergent I used and could not throw it out fast enough and rewash all of my clothes.

  13. Wow - your poor little sweetie! She looked horrible with all those hives all over her body! So glad you got a handle on it!!!

  14. Horrible! Poor baby. We love you Hannah!

  15. Oh my goodness, how scary. My son broke out in hives twice before. It's a terrible experience. Thank GOD for medicine. So glad your sweet girl is feeling better.

  16. So glad she's doing better! Does she react to the regular Tide or the dye and perfume free one? (I switched over all my laundry stuff to dye and perfume free in adoption anticipation but still have Tide brand so was just curious)

    1. I believe she reacts this way to a varity of forms & scents of Tide. I used to use Tide Free liquid until she had her first reactions back in January of 2012. I used regular powder I believe in CA and I'm not sure what mom uses. We're staying away from all forms just to be safe.

    2. Wow! Good to know. I think I'll switch to a different brand just to be safe. Good luck with the allergy testing! And thanks for your blog---- helps to have another single mama's journey (with great outcome) to follow. :) And, if you want a flashback to the waiting time, my blog is www.furballsandonesies.blogspot.com

  17. Oh yikes! I almost had a heart attack looking at the pictures of the poor lamb, I can hardly imagine how hard that must have been! My youngest got meningitis a few years back, and that emerge trip was the scariest of my life. We ended up waiting in a hospital in Saint-Jean for around two hours before her nausea and headache were unbearable, so we drove the hour to the montreal childrens hospital. We were admitted with spinal taps being done within 45 min! So glad your trip went smoothly, and that Hannah is recovering. We'll think of you in our prayers, and hope that the allergist can shed some light on the situation.


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