on the needles

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Very Scary Weekend

We had a very frightening weekend with our daughter. Most of you probably don't know (because I don't really blog about it) but both of my children have severe food allergies. I don't want to go into huge detail about it right now because I have no time and no energy but anyone who wants to find out more about food allergies (and I really encourage you to do so!) can start at the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.

We are extremely careful with our kids and have NEVER had to use the epi-pen on either of them. Knock on wood! We have been living with food allergies for eight years now so I think that's a pretty good record! Anyhow - on Friday my daughter started clearing her throat a lot. She said it didn't feel itchy. A few minutes later I was tickling her on her arm and she said it felt itchy. I didn't put two and two together because I had just been tickling her and because she said her throat wasn't itchy. Of course within about ten minutes she was totally covered from her neck and ears down to her knees in huge red hives. We gave her Benedryl, called the ambulance and watched her breathing in case she needed her epi-pen. I went with her in the ambulance to the hospital where they gave her some Prednisone. After about 3 and a half hours the hives had gone down to about 20% of what they had been and since her breathing was fine they told us to go home and give her two more doses of Benedryl through the night. We did and she was fine every time we looked at her but in the morning she was again covered in hives - this time also covering her face and arms and legs. Back to the doctor and more Prednisone. Now today she finally seems to be getting a bit better! (Crossing fingers!)

Her allergist said he didn't think it was a food related reaction - which in a way was good since she hadn't eaten anything she wasn't supposed to and it was driving us crazy trying to figure out what could have happened. So now we are left with something of a mystery as to what made this happen. The doctors (we've consulted and seen 4) don't have a real answer. I THINK I know what it was - probably parabens from sunscreen. It's a long story as to why I think it was likely this but - trust me - parents with food allergic kids are usually more knowledgeable about the whole area than the average doctor. We may never really have a definitive answer though - just more stuff on our already huge list of things we have to avoid.

Our food allergy lives began because we nearly lost our son when he went into anaphylactic shock. I really can't describe the way almost losing a child changes your life and how on edge and anxious you become living with food allergies. But that is our reality around here. If I were to blog about all of that stuff it would be pretty depressing reading. So, anyhow - a really stressful weekend.

As if to mirror our distress here - the O's slipped out of first place in their division for the first time in two months. **Note to David Newhan** My baseball mojo can get you back in the game but it can't make you any taller so you can catch that homerun. Sorry. We appreciate the run you scored though!


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