This is not the way I was originally hoping our family would spend Sunday night.
Mason had a big, scary allergic reaction after (we think) eating some fish sticks at dinner, and we ended up in the ER.
This reaction was different than anything we’d seen before–he had the usual itching and redness and hives that he’s gotten several times before, but this time, he was also coughing a lot, and I noticed that he wasn’t acting quite himself. I gave him a dose of Benadryl and crossed my fingers–that was the furthest we’d ever had to go for treatment before.
This time, though, the Benadryl wasn’t helping. His body continued to redden and he was itching everywhere…and then he started wheezing. We’d never seen a respiratory reaction before, so I pictured his little throat closing up and started to panic.
I tried to call an on-call nurse, looking for advice on whether to give him the epi-pen, but halfway into the logistical crap that comes with trying to get medical help on the weekend (“is your address still…?”), I dropped the phone, made the executive decision, and gave him the injection.
It was terrifying, of course–especially since it was my first time. I was so, so thankful that we got the newer epi-pens that come with recorded voice instructions–there was no way I was going to remember how to use the thing in my state of panic, and it would have been horrible to have to fumble around with paper instructions.
He screamed at the shot, making me feel like the worst mom on the planet, but the results were almost immediate. Most importantly, his breathing went back to normal. But the skin reaction was still spreading and intensifying, and since we’d given him the epi, we loaded him into the car and headed to the hospital.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the epinephrine itself–there’s a huge list of potential side effects, including shakiness and vomiting, and our allergist had warned us that a lot of parents are surprised by what comes after the epi. But Mason was just kind of listless in the car, while I kept prompting him to say things to make sure he was breathing ok.
In the ER, his skin was still looking pretty bad (red and blotchy, all over his body) but he seemed comfortable enough. They gave him steroids on top of the epi and Benadryl already in his system (which I wasn’t excited about, but his body seemed to need all the help it could get) and sent us home in less than 2 hours.
Today, everything’s back to normal, but my confidence has been shattered. Up until now, we didn’t think we had a kid with anaphylactic-level reactions. Now I feel like I’m right back to where I was when he was initially diagnosed, with all the same fear, anger, and self-pity. Why us??
Most parents don’t realize how lucky they are to be able to feed their kids a simple glass of milk and a cookie. (Or insert a thousand other foods here.) They don’t have to ask the world to make special accommodations for their kids (and to deal with the world’s annoyance and lack of understanding). They don’t have to sit through multi-hour allergy appointments and carry epi-pens everywhere they go.
I know that things could be worse. And I know I’ll feel better tomorrow. But for today, I’m letting myself pout, and I’m saying that food allergies suck.
Before all the drama went down, we were having a really nice, low-key weekend.
It rained for most of the weekend, which I found relaxing and Mason found totally unacceptable.
I tried to distract him…
But he kept ending up here.
As for me, I finished writing and prepping a prenatal workout that I’ll be sharing later this week.
I also got the official go-ahead to start studying for my Fit for Birth pre/post-natal fitness training certification. More on that soon!