Welcome to Whit's World

Welcome to the randomness that is my life. You can usually find me wandering around somewhere in my head trying to figure it all out. I blog about the loves of my life, my two boys, our new homeschooling journey, and anything else that moves me. I find that writing is the best therapy. Thanks for stopping by, and Be Blessed!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Food Allergy Awareness

This week, May 13th-19th, is Food Allergy Awareness Week; but for families that live with such allergies, every week is awareness week.  We are one of those families, and here is how allergies, changed our life.

When J was a baby, he was sick, very sick...in fact you would never know by looking at him today, how many times he came way to near to death during his early years.  (I posted here about what a miracle both he, and his brother, are to us.)  After a long stay in the ICU and then the regular floor of the hospital (mainly spent under an oxygen tent), J and I took off to Austin, to get some help from my mother for a bit.  He was recovering well, and starting to return to his normal, happy go-lucky self.  We were preparing dinner, and gave him half a piece of toast with peanut butter to tide him over in the meantime.  Within moments, his lips and entire face began to swell like a balloon.  I had never seen such a thing, and had most certainly not heard of it either.  I panicked, but picked up the phone to make an emergency call to the pediatrician.  "CALL 911 NOW!," she said, "It's an allergic reaction."

I grabbed him and ran straight out of the apartment, through the parking lot, and down the tiny street, where a hospital was located...talk about a God thing!  I ran into the ER screaming that we needed help immediately.  They took him from my arms, he was almost 11 months at the time, and began taking vitals and what little action they surprisingly knew to take.  Some form of Benadryl was administered, and they made a call to the Children's Hospital, as I was watching him turn shades of blue. I picked him back up, when he started really looking bad, and he began to vomit all over me (I assure you, you do not care in the least bit in such a circumstance.)  They took him back, gave him a shot of Epinephrine, and then an EMT came in with an ambulance trolley to whisk us downtown.

It all happened so fast.  By the time we were in the ambulance, he started regaining color and his breathing began to get easier once again.  I remember looking out the windows of the ambulance, at what was then, such a large and foreign city to me, racing by.  It was all so overwhelming, intimidating, and down right scariest moment of my entire life.

Once inside the Children's Hospital, he was really beginning to look and act better.  His strength during the whole ordeal still amazes me as I recall the events.  They sent us home in the middle of the night, with a prescription for steroids and an Epi-Pen, and a more than exhausted baby.  I did not sleep one wink that night, as they warned me of the possibility of delayed reactions.  I stood over his bead, and watched his every breath that night.  The next morning, he awoke happy and ready to play.  God was more than good to us that night.

The horror of that night is something that I hope to never, ever live again.  We have had 3 close calls since then, 2 of which resulted in an ER trip, but nothing like the anaphylaxis we saw that night.  The most important, and immediate, thing I did was tons of research!  Not only must we stay away from peanut butter, but anything will any trace of any sort of nut in it.  Trust me, there are hundreds of things we must be cautious of, that I would have never imagined.  Jelly Belly Jelly beans is one on that long list of things J will never be able to try.

Now that J, is old enough, he is just as educated and aware of his allergy, than anyone else, and that makes me feel so much better.  Everyone around our family, must be aware of his allergy at all times.  It is the first thing I notify people of upon entering another environment.  I am so thankful, to be homeschooling this year, and not have that lingering fear, of the terrifying happening again while I am away.

Food allergies are serious and abundant these days.  I believe that everyone should inform their selves on the topic, because you never know when such an allergy could impact your life.

Be Blessed,