Raising children is incredibly difficult even under ideal, near-perfect conditions. That difficulty is exacerbated ten times over when the child has medical issues that nobody can quite figure out.
After countless hours trying to figure out what was wrong with her daughter, Ivy Lynn, one Minnesota mom finally has answers - but is no closer to her job as a mom getting any easier. In fact, it may have just gotten a lot harder. Mom, Brittany Angerman, took Ivy Lynn to specialist after specialist trying to figure out the cause of Ivy's rashes and hives until finally doctors figured it out.
Ivy Lynn Angerman, an 18 month old from Minnesota, is allergic to water. When we first read it, we were like:
Ivy doesn't have a reaction when she drinks water, but any water that touches her skin causes redness, swelling, blisters, welts, itching and pain. The reaction isn't always severe and using purified water helps some, but Ivy's allergy is bad enough that she reacts to her own sweat, her tears, her urine, and bath time. Run that down again mentally. If the child sweats or has a potty accident, she is allergic to that. But she's also allergic to the water you'd use to wash that sweat or urine away.
Look at her little feet after a quick step in the tub.
According to doctors, Ivy may be the youngest person ever diagnosed with a water allergy. Mom explains what that means in a realistic sense. Remember, Ivy is too young to really know what triggers to avoid and there's no way for her to articulate or avoid accidents just yet:
"We have to constantly be mindful of possible triggers for her. We must always be prepared for any kind of weather as she will have a reaction if she becomes overheated and starts to sweat or if we were to get caught out in the rain. On bath days we must be sure that she is taking her medication a few hours before her exposure to the water. She must not overheat when she naps and if she wets her diaper she just promptly be changed."
Her family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover medical and moving expenses.
Ivy's allergy is so severe that doctors recommend she move to a home that is newer construction with purified water and central air conditioning. To make her life livable, Ivy and her family must move.
While it's been overwhelming for mom, it's been downright confusing and devastating for Ivy Lynn. Mom explains:
Ivy loves to be in the water, absolutely loves it, so for her, it is devastating. She’s so young that she doesn’t understand why bath time has to be so short or why it hurts so bad and has to get out. It leaves her very confused about the whole thing. She went from taking baths daily to only being able to take two short baths per week and doesn’t understand why.
The situation is so unusual, many people don't believe it's actually possible.
Twitter shared their thoughts and experiences with water allergies and this story:
Allergies are not lethal but can ruin your life to the degree when you start having real suicidal thoughts— Rhys May (@realRhysMay) March 11, 2018
It's weird being allergic to water because my body will break out if I sweat too much but yet I can get into a super chlorinated pool and we're good— That Girl♿️ (@sicklybabe) March 12, 2018
OMFG, IT'S POSSIBLE TO HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION TO WATER. Itself.— Hack Saw (@MrTheSaw) March 12, 2018
Very rare (maybe 32 people in the world), though, and once water is absorbed there doesn't seem to be a problem.
The science says this is a mast cell problem, not a reaction to some hidden chemical or protein.