On this gratitude Monday, I find myself grateful for health. Today I share the story of how we found out about the younger children’s allergies. A bit of our recent history – with food allergies in the last four years. See, just when we thought we knew what we were dealing with, we found ourselves right back at continuing education. Always learning. Isn’t that part of our job as parents? We knew about youngest boy’s egg and peanut allergies. But, we had no idea about youngest girl. The photo below, all smiles, was taken in the morning. I share what happened later that night, from the Hodgepodge archives…
This photo, from July 2009, will always remind me of a huge event. Besides being our annual first day of school photo, what I remember most when I see this photo is the events of that evening. Forever I will be reminded of how, just in an instant, a child can be in a very dangerous condition.
The youngest girl, sitting there smiling by the blue hydrangea blossom, had a terrible reaction to her dessert treat – the brownie topped with walnuts. She plopped down at the restaurant table. She scraped the chocolate icing off the top. Always one to get the biggest scoop of icing – complete with walnuts.
Lil’ Buddy was letting everyone know he was ready to go. We all went into quick departure mode and loaded into the van. Hodgepodgedad said later that she had immediately started coughing when she put those walnuts in her mouth. As we got to the stop light just yards from the restaurant, youngest girl said her throat didn’t feel right. She had hives around her mouth.
On my friend Carol’s advice, I always carry the melt-away Benadryl strips. We were able to get part of the last strip we had in her mouth with a sip of peach milkshake. By the time we got home she was itching terribly and showing all the signs of anaphylaxis. A teaspoon of liquid Benadryl later and still she was not well. I was ready to administer baby brother’s epipen.
After one more teaspoon of Benadryl and a phone call to the pediatrician on call – we headed to the closest ER.
We already carried a set of epipens for younger brother. We found out about Lil’ Buddy’s allergies the year before. He had experienced terrible skin rashes in the spring of 2008. After blood testing, when he was less than six months old, we discovered he was allergic to eggs and peanuts.
On the way to the emergency room, she started singing and her hives had subsided a bit. When she saw the fire trucks and flashing lights outside the hospital, she decided, “this is fun!” The Benadryl was doing its job. The ER pediatrician said we did exactly what we should have giving her the melt-away strip and liquid Benadryl. He agreed that if we were not already educated because of little brother, it could have been much different.
After a few days on Benadryl and parents settling into more continuing education, all was cool with Littlest Girl.
However, at a follow up visit with the pediatric allergist, the doctor said that any sort of respiratory reaction, like our daughter had experienced after eating the walnuts, immediately calls for administering an epipen. We were carrying an epipen for younger brother but had no idea our daughter was also allergic to tree nuts.
Prescribed: Benadryl every six hours for three days. One two-pack of Epipen Jr. Avoid all tree nuts and peanuts. Full allergy food panel revealed allergy to walnuts.
Diagnosis for family: Forever grateful
You gave me life and showed me Your unfailing love. My life was preserved by Your care. Job 10:12
We chronicle the trials and triumphs of toting epipens in allergy-friendly living.
Counting gifts 2931 – 2938. Plus…
- my Eldest Girl, back from Disciple Now weekend with a renewed passion and excitement for the Lord.
- organization, baskets, and a place for things.
- Littlest Girl’s lost front tooth.
Later this week, we will share triumphs with allergy-friendly living at a new site launched by $5 Dinner Mom, Erin Chase. Look for us at Food Allergies on a Budget. Be sure to stop by and read Erin’s story and check out all the wonderful resources available at this new site! Even if you don’t deal with allergies in your family, I hope you’ll find our frugal ways helpful.