Since R1 was 15 months old I’ve known that exposure to peanuts could end his life. It’s been a hard road, trying to make people understand that this isn’t “just” a food allergy where he might start sneezing or get some hives. It’s been really hard for people (even our family) to wrap their minds around the fact that he could actually DIE from this. And a few of them still believe I’m overreacting or making it up.
I praise God every day that I have never had to use that Epi-pen on my child and I beg Him to give me the wisdom to know if I ever DO need to use it and that PLEASE GOD, let it work. Because, you see, it’s not a given that it will.
About a month ago the kids and I went to FL to visit my mom and go to the beach. Mom’s AC was out and I quickly realized that this hot-natured preggo would not survive. So friends of ours, who were out of town, let the kids and I spend a night in their home while the AC was repaired. We got there around noon and hung out and about 7:00 R1 said his back itched. I couldn’t really see anything but I rubbed it down with Benadryl cream. About 20 minutes later he said it was worse and when I pulled up his shirt there was this:
I immediately gave Benadryl and started grilling him about his breathing, tongue, etc. He hadn’t eaten anything that wasn’t safe but there was no way to know if there might be some peanut residue somewhere in the house he’d come in contact with. It wasn’t my house and I’ve not known these friends since I had kids so it’s not like they’d have been diligent to keep their kids at the table with peanut butter, etc, yk? I was thoroughly freaked out. I texted Mr. Fox and my BFF B. She reminded me that anti-acid meds are Histamine 2 blockers. R1 told me his stomach hurt and so we loaded up to head for the hospital. I was not taking any chances.
I talked to him in the car and realized he was really scared… which will make your stomach hurt. We went into town and bought Tagamet and he took one immediately. He was feeling ok and the hives weren’t spreading so we went across the street to Starbucks to hang out for a bit. I didn’t want to go to the ER if it wasn’t necessary but also wanted to be nearby in case it was. The hives still weren’t spreading and his breathing was fine, no other symptoms. It had been almost 2 hours at this point.
I got him a hot chocolate and called my nurse friend who agreed with me that if an anaphylactic were going to happen it would most likely have already happened. He was so scared, asked if we could just go sleep in the chairs in the ER just in case. I felt so bad for him. I explained to him that my mommy instincts were telling me he was ok and that if for one second I thought he was in danger we’d be in that ER before he could blink.
We headed back to the house and he took another dose of Benadryl and I asked my mom to sleep on the couch so he could sleep with me and I could keep an eye on him. We tried to sleep, he had such a hard time, he was so scared. I, of course, slept lightly and woke every 30 minutes to check on him.
He was fine in the morning but man, that was scary. And I have to say that had I heard about Natalie Giorgi before this night, I most likely would have hit him with that Epi-pen and headed for the ER. Would it have been an overreaction? Obviously. But I’d rather overreact than underreact and lose my son. And I think that is WHY this happened to us.
I’d become lax. 9 years with no reactions made me complacent. I allowed him to have food with a “may contain” warning every once in a while and wasn’t nearly as careful as I had been when he was younger. Not anymore. Never again.
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