Thursday, June 28, 2012

It’s not always peaches and cream

I’ve noticed that lately my posts have been towards the upbeat – I don’t talk much anymore about the negative in our lives, as if I’ve completely wiped that part out of my mind and figure you don’t need or want to know about it.  But last night was significant and I feel compelled to share.  It also reminds me that this blog is about our lives and not just about all of the happy things that happen.

For days now I’ve been planning to take the girls to the bakery in Arvada to buy them marshmallows on a stick – it’s a silly story, but anytime we go through Starbucks they always ask for cake balls on a stick and I’ve learned not to buy them those – very messy.  But the girls always thought they were marshmallows on a stick and I knew the local bakery had them and considering how many times I said, “Next time”, I figured I owed them.

So after picking up the girls yesterday we went to the bakery and I let them pick out marshmallows on a stick.  I also decided to pick up a few other treats considering my father- and brother-in-law were in town.

Being a mom who experiences guilt, I guess that’s where the mistake was.  I bought treats with nuts on them – what was I thinking?  Julia has had a peanut allergy that has gotten progressively worse since we first found out about it since she was 15 months old, but never bad enough to the point that we needed to consider removing peanuts from our house altogether.  And I’m not saying we need to do that now, but we do need to be more careful.

Julia, who normally is very cautious about all nuts (and jelly – she won’t eat jelly because it goes with peanut butter and peanut butter “makes [her] sick”), but she couldn’t pass up a bite of carrot cake last night.  The carrot cake seemed to only have crushed walnuts so it didn’t trigger a red flag.  Unfortunately within minutes of eating it, her lips started to swell up.  Within 15 minutes, she was having a hard time breathing and hives were breaking out.

I decided we needed to go to urgent care so my father-in-law (who graciously offered to come with me) and I headed to the one about three miles north of where we lives.  The mention of nut allergy immediately brought out a nurse and doctor who, after checking Julia over for about five minutes, said she needed to go to the emergency room.  Back in the van and now we were driving to three miles south of where we live to the nearest hospital.  The urgent care doctor said he would call ahead, and thanks to our quick thoughts to give her children’s allergy medicine before we left, he decided she didn’t need an ambulance.  And thankfully that allergy medicine was starting to lessen Julia’s difficulty breathing.

After we arrived at the emergency room, we were quickly escorted to a room after Julia’s vitals were taken and she was assessed and given Prednisone (steroid).  Then it was a lesson in patience as we waited for the swelling and hives to go down. After discussion with the doctor, it was determined that most likely Julia is allergic to more than just peanuts, and so our new mantra is, “No nuts, PERIOD”.

Unfortunately two hours after she had the Prednisone, Julia threw it up, and so we had to wait longer to see if all of the swelling and hives would get worse again.  Thankfully they didn’t, so about 4.5 hours after we started our adventure last night, we were finally home and I tucked Julia in bed at 10:45 pm.

My father-in-law was a super big help in keeping both Julia and I entertained (he is a RIOT!) and also in helping me clean up the puke (thank you, Ron!).  Julia was such a trooper and only shed a few tears after her blanket was “dirty” (puked on) and she was tired and wanted to go home.  She didn’t like having to trade her dress for a super big-for-her t-shirt, and she really wanted to go home.  But, you know, we started talking about poop, and she cheered right up.

I’m not even kidding a little bit.

The doctor sent us home with prescriptions for Prednisone and an Epipen.  (Yay, as Adam had told me not to bother coming home without one!)  We now have Epipens for both home and school and tomorrow we go back to the doctor for a checkup and also to get a note for Julia’s school about the allergy and the need for the Epipen.  Our daycare isn’t peanut-free, so we have to  be mindful even more so than before.

When Julia’s allergy first presented itself, it was very mild.  Our doctor then said that it would either go away as she grew or it would get worse – I guess we know now for sure which way it is headed.  It was really scary to listen to her breathe and to act and be super quiet as she struggled to breathe, and at the same time that Mom Mode took over and I kept fairly calm as we drove for what seemed like miles (which was only 12 total for the whole night).  We’re so very very thankful for the urgent care doctor who assessed her so quickly and called ahead, and so thankful for the great nurse and doctor at the emergency room.  We have so much to be thankful for, but really, we are just so thankful that Julia is okay and that the reaction happened at home and not when she was at school or somewhere else.

So sometimes bad things happen.  It’s not always peaches and cream around here.  But, that doesn’t leave us any less blessed… you just have a more rounded view of our life here.


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