What I’ve Learned.

April 17, 2012 at 7:59 am | Posted in allergies, doctor | 9 Comments

A couple things about Sunday night I want to add, in the hopes that it’s helpful for someone else who maybe googles “allergies cashew four year old” someday:

1. Lucky did not have an asthmatic reaction to the cashew. Which is good. But he did have swelling, which is actually the reason why people die from an allergic reaction – the throat swells up and they CAN’T breathe through the thickness of the throat.

So just because he could take deep breaths didn’t mean that he was okay.

2. Epi pens will still work even if they are expired. This I actually learned from my best friend, who has been carrying expired epipens with her for years now.

And in REAL irony? Last night I was looking through our broom closet last night for ant traps.

And I discovered a box of epipen juniors. Two of them.

Expired in December 2011, but I took them out anyway. We have one in the upstairs medicine cabinet now, and I put one in my car’s glove box, again on my best friend’s suggestion.

3. The egg allergy is something he is likely to outgrow.

This cashew thing? Might be a life-long allergy.

We have spent a lot of time teaching Lucky about what might have egg in it and making sure he knows he should avoid it. Like, for example, he knows he can’t have cake and most types of cookies at a birthday party. His first question whenever he asks to have something and we say no is, Is there egg in it?

So yesterday morning, when I asked him what he wanted for breakfast, and he told me (peanut butter sandwich of course), he added at the end, And no egg, Mommy.

I told him, No cashews either. Never ever cashews.

His answer? Cashews make it so I can’t breathe.

Yeah. Life-threatening allergy now.

_______________

We have an appointment with his allergist next Monday, where I will have him tested for more allergies. Not just tree nuts now, but I also intend on asking about seafood and fish as well.

It might be an understatement to mention I never, ever want to learn about another allergy the same way again. Ever.

_______________

Charlie and I, on Sunday night, split a bottle of wine and began the process of sorting out the whole allergy/ER experience.

I feel really good by the decisions I made that night. I wasn’t upset with myself for not filling the script on the epipens last week. Because honestly, just knowing his reaction to eggs, he didn’t NEED the prescription. And I didn’t know about the cashew allergy at the time. Obviously now I feel very different.

And even though I was screaming with fear inside, I was as calm as I could be. I was matter of fact when I called Charlie to come home, I kept telling Lucky that it was going to be all right, we’d figure out how to make him feel better.

But feeling good about how we handled the whole thing is different than processing through the emotions about the night.

And when Charlie and I were talking last night, he told me that it was a little easier to process for him. Because by the time he walked in that night, the decision was clear to him. Lucky was going to the hospital. He was spared the process of watching the allergy progress and the wondering if we SHOULD go.

I have to say. I have never been as scared as I was on Sunday night. Watching my son get sicker in front of my eyes as quickly as he did, my instincts screaming at me, my brain trying to process the warning bells. The adrenaline, the fear, the terror that he might die before we got to the hospital.

Yesterday was a hot one here, and overnight we had the fan in Lucky’s room going. He was dressed in shorts and a tee shirt and I rolled down his comforter when I put him to bed. I woke up at 4 and had a bit of a chill myself, so I figured I’d check on him and if he were cold cover him up.

When I went in, he was balled up under his pillow – a sure sign he was cold. So I smoothed the comforter over him, and he relaxed under it, opened his eyes, and asked if I’d lay down with him.

And of course, I did. He rolled over and snuggled close and went right back to sleep. And I lay awake, watching him, my heart aching with love and fear and gratitude.

Times like that, it’s hard for me to even put into words how much I love him. He’s a part of my soul, my heart. I would do anything for him.

On Sunday night, Charlie said that he was thankful it wasn’t Civil War times, because Lucky probably would have died from eating that cashew.

And I responded, If it were Civil War times, he wouldn’t even BE here.

I never forget just how lucky we are to have him.

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9 Comments »

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  1. I’m so glad he’s ok.

  2. We so share the sentiment of gratitude and fierce desire to protect the miracles (and you know I am not religious) that are our sons.

    As I sit here, likely not pregnant and so consumed with worry about what next, I’m anticipating the patter of his feet coming in to greet me and start the day. It never gets old.

    I sometimes project, far into the future, when he is a young adult, and having conversations with him about how he perceived his childhood. I hope that he will remember the immense love that his daddy and I showered upon him and that, if he remembers little else, says, “I knew you were always there for me.”

    Many hugs to you and O.

  3. This post made me cry. So glad he is ok and that you have the epi pens ready – but hoping you never need them.

  4. I am just getting caught up now. What a terrible, frightening experience. I am so so so glad Lucky is ok. Sounds like you handled it all really well.

    xoxoxo
    T.

  5. I am the queen of allergies, my sea food allergie is very serious and I have had a few scares… I am so glad he is okay. I was holding my breath reading your previous post. You did such a wonderful job staying calm and acting quickly.

  6. Big hugs to you and O!! He’s got a great mom!

  7. I feel that way too, I NEVER forget how lucky I am. And when friends get so hung up about the fact that their kids weren’t conceived in bed in the heat of passion I just laugh to myself and think who cares … Who cares how they got here. They are here.

  8. Good thing to know about the epi-pens. I mean, I guess that eventually, they will lose all effectiveness — but they should have some power for some time after the date that’s on the label — that’s just a guideline. Better to have a slightly less effective shot than nothing at all, right? I know people whose kids have never been diagnosed with anything who still keep one around the house, just in case.

    A friend’s husband was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when he was a teenager. Believe it or not, last year, at age 37, he discovered he is no longer allergic to peanuts. He got a pile of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & the like in his Christmas stocking. ; ) It gives me hope that someday I will be able to eat tomatos again. I actually showed no reaction to tomatos when I was retested last year — but I wasn’t about to run out & order pasta with pomodoro sauce. Once bitten twice shy, etc. ; )

  9. I will never forget the terrible night when Mr S was ot of town, I was pregnant and sick, and J had a serious allergic reaction to dairy. I forced myself to stay up all night watching him breathe. Thank goodness for prednisone! I live in constant fear he will have another exposure.


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