Friday, February 22, 2008

Adventures with Allergies

Ben has a severe peanut allergy. I found out last night that it means ALL nuts. I was having a delightful snack of pistachios and Ben came along and asked what I was eating. I told him what they were and how Papa likes to eat them too. Then I remembered that Ben had eaten pistachios before. So, I thought he would be okay to have one. I gave him one and asked how he was doing. He said he was fine, but his tongue was starting to itch. OH NO! Here we go. I gave him some Benadryl as his lips started to swell. Then he said his throat was bothering him and started frantically scratching at his ears and head. (This was at 5:00 pm. I gave him the Benadryl at about 5:15). So as I am watching him and dreading the worst he starts desparately scratching his throat. "My throat feels heavy!"

I sat and watched him for about 15 minutes then got out the dreaded epi-pen. I first took the sample pen (which has no needle - it's just to test how hard to SLAM it into the leg) and did it a few times on my leg just to see how hard I would have to thrust it into Ben's leg. I call his doc and ask if it is time to give the epi-pen and he said yes, then call 911.

So this is where the fun really begins. As soon as Ben sees the epi-pen he starts screaming (in terror) and yelling about how much he hates shots. I completely understand and frankly I wish I didn't have to give the shot. Also, I remember that he doesn't have any underwear on (he did a little pre-poop streak earlier and he refuses to wear them once that has happened). For some weird reason I am thinking he needs to have underwear on if he is going to the hospital. Strange, I know. I have to take his pants off anyway to give him the shot. Before I do anything (because I really don't want to do the shot and I am stalling) I call 911. Ben is screaming bloody murder and the 911 operator asks if that is Ben screaming in the background. Yes - he just doesn't want the shot (translation - I am not beating him nor is he screaming in pain - just anticipation of pain). The ambulance is on the way and I am wrestling with Ben to get his pants off. He is freakishly strong. I literally have him upside down and am holding by his pant legs as he is holding his pants on. The only way to get his pants off is to yank his hands away and tear his pants off (more humiliation and therapy).

Once his pants are off I manage to get him to stay still only by putting my entire body on top of him. I take a couple of deep breaths and basically stab Ben in the thigh and hold it for 10 seconds. Crazy! I also got him to put on underwear. Ben's reponse to all this is to accusingly say,"MOM YOU HURT ME! YOU STABBED ME!" This is all true.

The ambulance arrives about 10 seconds later and they check him out and say everything looks good. They ask me if I want him to go to the hospital. I said no, I would rather him be at home if he was ok. Then they tell me that the symptoms may return once the epi-pen wears off. WHAT? They tell us (Mike is home by now) to watch him and call if the symptoms resume. OK. 10 minutes after they leave, I kid you not, Ben starts frantically scratching his ears and head and I lift up his shirt and he has this angry red rash all over his back and tummy, really it is all over his body. He says his throat feels heavy again. So, I call 911 AGAIN! This time we are going to the hospital.

Ben had an exciting ride to the hospital - they used the flashing lights and sirens. Once in the hospital they gave him some sort of anti-allergy medication and after about an hour and a half of observation (which means that the nurse checks in about every 30 minutes) the rash died down and we were free to leave.

CRAZY! So, I promise I will never give Ben ANY nuts or anything that has been near a nut! Giving him the epi-pen was traumatic for the both of us and I don't want to repeat that!


  1. Wow! How scary! I am glad to hear Ben is doing better!

  2. I am allergic to peanuts too, but never had anything like that happen. Poor Ben and poor you for having to give him the shot. Now that Zach is 3 I can try peanuts with him, but am scared, and after reading this post am even more terrified to try it.