Anyone who has a child suffering from asthma and severe allergies knows what Tichina Arnold is going through. The proud mother of one shares her experience as a parent who had to learn the hard way about her child’s allergies and severe asthma.
“I breast fed Alijah for the first four months as she thrived and grew into a healthy child … so I thought. However, I was a single mom and it was time to get back to work so I decided it was time to wean her to the bottle,” explains the star. “Thus, I started my baby on almond milk. To my dismay and surprise, I was feeding her the almond milk not knowing that she was highly allergic to nuts of any kind! Her face, arms, neck and back broke out with a horrible rash, and as tiny as she was, she was scratching fervidly. She literally looked like a monster!”
After switching formulas, Tichina thought that the nightmare was over. She was wrong. “When she was 8 months old I was feeding her from my plate that happen to have shrimp on it. Just like mother birds feeding their young, I would chew pieces of different foods and feed them to Alijah as her taste buds grew. All of a sudden, I look down at Alijah only to see her eyes watering and her scratching at her neck while she grasped for air. I quickly picked her up and forced her to regurgitate the remains of the food. Truly, I did not know what was happening this was my first! You can only imagine my fear and panic at that moment. After much testing, I was informed that my baby had ‘severe allergies’ and was suffering with eczema and asthma in its severest form. Our lives immediately changed forever.”
Although some days are more of a challenge than others, Tichina deals with Alijah’s medical issues by having a morning regimen that includes ointments and pills. “Our daily morning regiment consists of her taking 1 pink pill (singular a.k.a Mounklast); 1 puffs of Advair in the morning, another puff at 5pm, 1 Zyrtec (preferable taken at night because it leaves her a bit groggy) and the applying of Desonide, Protopic, Elidel, vitamin E oil and a breathing treatment on her nebulizer containing Albuteral.” The star adds, “I do my best to encourage Alijah by instilling in her that we must be cognizant of everything we put in and on our bodies. Oddly enough, her having eczema and asthma has forced us to be aware of living healthier lives.”
Alijah is Tichina’s only child with Carvin Haggins. She will celebrate her tenth birthday on March 16, 2004.