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Archive for February, 2012

I know better than to give Elliott foods without checking the list of ingredients – with the many allergies that he has (and that I have), it’s becoming rather automatic. But it only takes one moment of carelessness to remind you of the importance of checking these lists every single time…

Jon had prepared tomato soup for just the two of us while Elliott ate a sandwich for lunch. After Jon left for work, I gave Elliott a few spoonfuls of the soup and didn’t think twice about it. I nursed Elliott for a short while and once we were done, I almost immediately noticed that his breathing sounded congested. His face became very red and I knew something was wrong. I found the discarded soup container and as I had feared in those brief seconds, the package said “contains milk”. I tried to give him a dose of Benadryl but with his dislike for that medicine and the mucous that was covering his mouth and throat, it was nearly impossible for me to give it to him successfully. I looked at our food action plan posted on the fridge and called 911.

Dialing 911 and knowing that I was most likely going to have to administer the Epipen Jr was so frightening. Elliott was gagging, trying hard to get a air in and out of his lungs. I thought he would vomit but instead, a large amount of thick mucous came pouring from his little mouth. The moment I told the 911 operator what had happened, that Elliott’s breathing was beginning to be compromised, she confirmed what I already knew – Elliott was experiencing Anaphylactic shock – I had to inject my little guy with his Epipen.

I laid him in between my legs on the floor, removed the Epipen from it’s plastic case and took out the blue safety-release cap. I was crying at this point, everything was happening so quickly and with such urgency. And while I’ve practiced with the dummy injector numerous times before and knew exactly how to use it,  I was concerned that I would somehow miss his little thigh muscle. With the operator in my ear, giving me the much needed support to save my baby, I injected the epinephrine into Elliott with one quick and strong motion. I held it there for at least 20 seconds while he cried to be released…

We were brought to the hospital by ambulance and during the next 10 minutes after giving him the shot, Elliott’s color returned and his breathing improved dramatically. Jon met us in the ER just seconds after we arrived. Once they observed him for the 4 hours, we were able to be discharged with orders to continue giving him daily doses of steroids and Benadryl during the next 3 days.

Elliott is sleeping soundly right now. Everyone tells me I did exactly what needed to be done. And though it kills me to know I could have prevented this entire situation, I feel comfort in knowing that I reacted with clarity and without hesitation as soon as it all began.

Even if it’s the 10th, 100th or 1000th time I’ve read the same ingredient list of any product, I will be reminded of this situation and will read it for the 1001st time…

Elliott will be wearing these AllerMates awareness bracelets as soon as they will fit onto his little wrists (around 2 years of age).

AllerMates Bracelets Bring Attention To Your Child's Allergies

 

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