Thursday, June 23, 2011

Peanut Allergy: Confirmed

We ended up taking the kids in to the ER last night. They were eating some chocolate chip muffins when Emma said she had something stuck in her throat. We thought she had a chocolate chip lodged in there. She was really upset about it and then threw up. I called the on-call pediatrician (it just happened to be their regular doctor) and left a message - turns out his battery died, but he called me back quickly. After awhile, she fell asleep and it seemed like things were ok. In the meantime, I got a bag together and got ready just in case.

But then, Hyrum threw up, too! That's about when their doctor called me back and we figured that since both kids threw up, it was some sort of virus and Emma had mistaken a sore throat for getting something stuck in it.

But while I was talking to their doctor, Emma woke up and had thrown up all over her bed and on the floor. I quickly got off the phone so we could take care of that and we started to draw up a bath for her. She still said she had something in her throat and started hyperventilating. She was SO upset and having such a hard time that we decided to take her to the ER.

John quickly cleaned her up and changed her clothes while I threw all the soiled bedding and clothing in the wash. We grabbed the bag and the kids and headed to the hospital. I called their doctor again on the way to let him know we were going in. He agreed that was best. He could hear her over the phone and said it sounded like either an allergic reaction or a lodged object. Either way, we needed to go in.

While we took care of all the paperwork, she started to break out into a red, splotchy rash on her face and neck. It definitely looked like an allergic reaction, but at the time we couldn't think of anything she'd eaten that could have caused it. She reacted to peanut butter back in August 2009 and we've always been super careful about avoiding anything with nuts in it. We were hoping she'd grow out of it since she was under 2 when it happened. Her cousins accidentally gave her a peanut butter cracker; they didn't realize she wasn't old enough to have it yet. We weren't going to let Hyrum try any until after he turned 2 as well.

The nurses took her vitals and she was NOT a fan of that. She fought the ER staff most of the time. The ER doc looked at her and got her a Benedryl shot and some zofran, then she got a chest x-ray to see if there was anything lodged in her throat. When Hyrum saw Emma get a hospital bracelet, he got mad because he wanted one, too. He was asleep by the time he got his.

While John took her to the x-ray, I noticed that Hyrum was breaking out with hives. He kept pointing to his diaper as if it needed changing, but he was dry. When we checked again, his diaper area was all red and irritated. He threw up 3 times while we were in the ER as well. Emma threw up twice in the ER. Both kids threw up 4 times each. Everything kept pointing to an allergic reaction, for both kids.

It was then that we remembered the brownie Emma got from her church class on Sunday. We didn't think it had anything in it, so we split it between the 4 of us. They ate the chocolate chip muffins at the same time. I called her teacher to ask about it since it was the only thing we could think of. Turns out it was a Reese's mix. Peanut butter.

We told the ER doctor right away. Once we knew what we were dealing with, we were able to get both kids the treatment they needed. They each got 2 shots: Benedryl and a steroid. Emma got zofran for the nausea and Hyrum got a breathing treatment.

We spent about 2 hours in the ER. We left just after midnight. The kids were soooo tired. They fell asleep in the ER but woke up during the transition from ER to car to home. This is where they slept last night:


John is such a sweetheart; he slept on the living room floor in case Hyrum fell off the couch. I tried to sleep, but I spent most of the night tossing and turning. The reality of what happened fully hit me after we got them home and settled down. Up until that point, we were in high adrenaline "let's take care of this" mode. It wasn't until after things settled down that the scariness factor truly hit me. It kept me up most of the night. I know it's no one's fault, but I still feel riddled with guilt. I know Emma has a peanut allergy. I unwittingly let her eat something she's allergic to. And now I know that Hyrum does, too. I am not mad at Emma's teacher at all; she didn't know. She feels bad enough as it is. But it's not her fault and I made sure she knows that. I can't expect everyone to keep track of my kids' allergies. That's my job. I have to be extremely aware of the foods around us.

My kids have obviously inherited my dad's peanut allergy. I've spent my entire life checking ingredients for nuts, so doing it with my own children isn't a new thing for me. The hardest part is checking every single treat at church activities, family gatherings, restaurants - everywhere that I'm not in charge of preparing or buying the food.

On the plus side, I've wondered for ages if this was something Emma had outgrown or if it was going to be a life-long allergy. We meant to get her tested but life kept getting in the way. Now I obviously have to assume it will be a life-long thing. I've also wondered if Hyrum would have the same issue or if he'd be able to eat peanuts. Last night gave me clarification on both - just not in the way I wanted it.

They are doing MUCH better today. A bit grumpy from being up so late, but that's to be expected. Aside from the grumpiness, you'd never know they spent 2 hours in the ER last night. That and the fact that Emma refuses to take off her hospital bracelet. Such a funny girl.

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! WHAT A SCARY THING!!! And it is totally not your fault. I know what you mean though because since you are the mom, but there will always be some things out of your control or some thing you might overlook... you cannot beat yourself up over the fact that you are only human and not superwoman!! And you just have to be extremely grateful that (a) there is a hospital as close as it is, (b) that you are in tune with your children enough to know before rashes occurred that they needed to go in, and (c) that there is modern medicine in the first place to help with things like this. Give those kids a big hug for me!! Oh and D.. that you have a wonderful husband to help out!! You are so great and you are such a great mother!!