At the age of 3 1/2, Bryn was diagnosed with severe food allergies to dairy, eggs, peanuts & tree nuts. I had thought she had an intolerance to these things since she was an infant, but didn't realize the severity of it until she was old enough to have a full allergy test & was then told that we should always carry Benadryl & an Epipen. And if we ever had to use the Epipen due to wheezing or trouble breathing, that she needed to immediately get to the ER.
I cried the whole way home from that doctor visit. That scared me.
Who knew this was life threatening?
Why & how did she end up with this, when neither side of the family had any history of food allergies?
How do I protect her from the wrong things?
To be honest, I decided to get smart real quick about reading ingredient labels. I've never made her feel scared about her condition, but definitely aware. I've never wanted her to feel like she had to live in a bubble. We've traveled the world with her... even going to many foreign countries... but always knowing how to converse with people in their language to make them aware of her allergies.
I've never been a mom to throw it in anyone's face that she needed to be treated differently than any other kid. For birthday parties she attended, I just always made sure she had the same thing the other kids were having. I always made sure to bring what she could eat so she wasn't left out... although I know during these teen years that she's embarrassed by it & is left out quite a bit on being able to eat what the other kids are eating.
She deals with it pretty well though. It is all she's ever known her whole life.
Since the day she was diagnosed, she's had allergic reactions, but thankfully we've been able to handle them with the Benadryl. That is, until last night, when she accidentally ingested dairy AND peanuts.
I'm not even sure if accidental is correct or if just not paying attention & rushing is more accurate.
Bryn wanted to make protein balls with my AdvoCare meal replacement shake. I had a box in the pantry of the Dark Chocolate Vegetarian... the only flavor she can eat because the rest have dairy.
Why she bypassed that box in the front of the pantry & reached in back to a plastic container that I'd filled with random shake flavors, I'm not sure. But fast forward to mixing it up & eating a couple bites of it, starting to react... I went to the trash can to see what she'd used & it was the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor... a double whammy of allergens for her (dairy & peanuts).
After some major coughing upstairs & vomiting, her lips swollen to 3X's their normal size, along with her face swelling... I said we needed to go to the ER, things seemed worse than other times.
On our way there, I had to pull the car over so she could continue to vomit on the side of the road. This started a chain reaction of at least 20 sneezes. Another thing I've not seen happen during a reaction.
As I started driving again a couple more minutes & her breathing didn't sound right, I said "We need to use the Epipen. I'm pulling over." She didn't want to, but reluctantly agreed as she knew she wasn't breathing right.
So pulled over again for the 2nd time... I administered the Epipen in her thigh, right through her jeans, just as I'd learned over 11 years ago.
The ER people took care of her right away. I'm so happy about that because we were pretty frazzled by this point.
They gave her a breathing treatment of Albuterol & another dosage of Benadryl. They also gave her a steroid. Since the Albuterol wasn't helping with her breathing, they decided to give her another dose of the Epipen.
They also said it was great that we used her Epipen on her... because they see a lot of people avoiding it & it saves lives.
We were finally released after midnight. They monitored her for over 3 hrs just in case she rebounded.
As he was handing us prescriptions, the doctor said, "Ok now, promise no more protein drinks."
Sheesh. Ok. He must think we're idiots. LOL
Didn't have long to sleep before she wanted to go to school today & get this finals week over with.
I somehow managed to teach 2 classes this morning on fumes. Going to sleep well tonight!
All I can say is that I see pokes on social media quite often about how much of a pain in the ass it is for people to deal with other kid's food allergies.
Why can't my little Bobby take peanut butter & jelly to school because little Mary might have a reaction to it?
That's not fair that I have to buy store bought cupcakes, instead of making my own.
I never respond to it, but to be honest I don't think you can fully understand what it's like to watch your child have an allergic reaction until you actually are faced with it.
You are lucky if you don't deal with it.
It's actually made me more aware of what I put into my own body, by learning to be so aware of what's gone into hers all these years.
So it's been a blessing too.
I've always said there are worse things in life to deal with & this is at least manageable... because EVERYONE deals with something.
Something that makes them feel different, alone, left out, annoyed, frustrated, etc.
Thank God for Epipens.
Thank God we live in an area that's close to a hospital.
Thank God for giving me the intuition I needed to save my child's life...