C’mon Kids, its 3.30pm, get your Jui Jitsu gees on! No, you can’t have cereal before we leave… Surely you can’t be hungry again, you have been eating all day! Oh ok, you can have one bowl, but don’t complain to me if you feel sick later. Got the mouth guards, water bottle, now where is his Epi bag? oh here it is, cool. One, two, three… Got three in here. Hmm maybe i’ll leave one on the kitchen bench. I said get in the car! Great, doing good time, oh look a car spot out front, perfect!
“Mum, I’m going to be sick, I’ve eaten too much food.”
Oh no, is he vomiting back there? Oh that sounds and smells bad, I knew he ate too much food today! Where are baby wipes when you need them? Andy, rush into Jui Jitsu and I’ll clean Dean up and come back soon. Ok, if I get home by 4.30, I can be back by 4.45 and he won’t have missed much. I know he ate too much, my fault I should have regulated it more. Ok Dean, come inside sweetie and we will clean you up. How you feeling? ok ok I know you are fine, just making sure kitten.
“Mum, I’m going to vomit again.”
Phew! made it to the bathroom sink… He really must have had a lot of cereal to vomit so much. Maybe I should look him over in better light. Hmmmmm, he seems a little red, is that red or am I just imagining it? His eyes look a little glazed. Yes sweetie, you can lie down on the couch, let me get you clean clothes. Hmmmmmm, I wonder…. Hmmmmmm…
Let me just check that cereal packet one more time to see if I missed something. Surely it isn’t… He has had this so many times before…. O.K pick up the box, yep says Gluten Free… look inside. Heart stops… Why are there two clear bags inside the box? Oh don’t tell me… Oh dear god no..
Yes he is definitely red now and sneezing with mucous coming out of his nose. Ok… is this Anaphylaxis? Let me think. Think Joanne..Think… Vomit tick, red and hives tick, recent asthma tick, sneezing and blocked nose tick… known allergen ingested tick… Where is his bag?… Oh shit.. I’ve left it in the car, I was only going to be a second.. $%&#!p;!!… Oh that pen.. I left one on the bench…
Call an ambulance Joanne. Stay calm. Work fingers work, stop trembling. Stay calm, call and administer the pen while you are speaking. I can multi task surely. Ok baby, I need to give you the epi-pen. It’s your friend, don’t cry honey, it will be ok. Ok here we go, into thigh, blue to sky. Count to ten and rub for 10.
Call building manager, they will need to get my other epi from the car, or do I send them to look for the ambulance?? What to do? what to do?.. Please hurry, he still looks really red, yes he is alert. Yes he is breathing but he is now shaking uncontrollably he has hives all over. That’s right, lie him down and elevate his feet. Oh good they are here. That was quick.. 6 minutes.
Stay calm, scream on the inside. Gosh he is so brave. Ok, they want to give him another injection. Ok Dean, stay brave! Good boy! Grab his favourite toy and charger. Call husband, do I call him now? He will be with a patient? Yes call. O.K he has literally run out of his surgery and coming here. Will he make it to see Dean? Call Petar, ask him to drive Andy home from Jui Jitsu. Phew, Andy wasn’t here to see this, he has seen too much in the past. Mental note: allergy siblings are so amazing…
O.k in Ambulance, the paramedics seem calm, should I be calm or are they doing this for my benefit? What’s that beeping? blood pressure? is that bad? I think so, oh god why don’t people move out of the way of an Ambulance. Mooooove you idiots mooooooove! O.K 5 minutes away, let’s just get there.
OMG this kids is so cute, he is winking at me as he is wheeled into Emergency. Don’t think the worst, don’t think the worst. Doctors and nurses are now in control, do they think I did the right thing? Yes I did, I know I did. Better to be safe.
What are they saying… I.V? Can’t make out what they are saying. Stay back Joanne, stop crowding them… Hey honey, how are you. You are so brave… Good boy! What Beanie Boo would you like when we get out? (oh god please let us get out). Doctors prepare I.V in case. In case. I hate those words. Ok here we go.. one more injection… this better work.. Ok Dean, we are up to 3 beanie boos! Lucky you! Stay brave..
Corticosteroids, anti-histamines administered. Three injections is more than last time, oh why is he still red?… here we go, another vomit. That’s good right? Get it out? But what about biphasic reactions? he has had that before. Yes, I will sit in the corner, thank you.. sorry. What to do… what to do… Feel so helpless, need to do something. Need to get reinforcements. Post on the page, maybe positive vibes will help. I’ll take anything at this point.
Pacing Pacing, tick tock, tick tock. Yes I know you cant give me assurances but I just want to know… not knowing is killing me. Everyone moving so slow compared to my mind… please please please…
Tic toc… how much time has past? I’ve lost concept of time. 3, 4 hours? Yes I gave him the wrong cereal… No, he couldn’t taste the difference. Still red, maybe pink now. Stabilising? Not as many beeping noises. Exhale slowly…. Is that optimism creeping in? I think it is. I think he will be o.k, I think I see some light.
Follow Up Notes: Dean was kept overnight for observation and discharged in the morning. I am very thankful for the support of this network. His reaction was a result of consuming Wheat. The GLUTEN cereal (Milo) bag was placed inside the GLUTEN FREE (coco bombs) box by someone in our family. Who, I do not know. It doesn’t matter. Naturally I take full responsibility and have made some changes to our pantry. Like many allergy parents, the guilt and trauma is huge. This is a roller coaster ride and we ride it nearly every day. Every meal, our minds are switched on. We are constantly thinking and planning. Most days are fine, great in fact. But every now and then (almost yearly for us) we experience that heart stopping moment, that fight or flight response, and it is a lot for a family to endure. Education saves, please share. Thank you.
Please note this blog is an account of my experiences. The content of this blog is not meant to substitute for a doctor-patient relationship nor does it constitute for medical advice of any kind. Please seek your own medical advice.