Saturday, February 20, 2010
Illness and the Food Allergic child
For most Moms it's nerve wracking enough when your child runs a high fever, has a bad cold, or is generally ill but for the mother of a food allergic child it is especially stressful. Alexa is recovering from pneumonia which started as a fever, coughing, and general malaise but progressed one day into vomiting. You're probably thinking, "yeah, sounds normal-what's the big deal?". Well, when you have a child with food anaphylaxis, vomiting can be a sign of a severe allergic reaction headed to anaphylaxis, so it is especially stressful when she starts to vomit within half an hour of eating and seems to gasp for breath in between heaves. In that moment you think, "is this just the illness or was it something she ate? What did I just feed her?" You have to consider whether or not to give her Benadryl, her Epi Pen, or just wait it out. It's all in your hands and your interpretation, so you just pray you make the right call. We've had several experiences where her vomiting was so severe and scary that I almost administered her Epi Pen. In that moment you do not want to make the wrong call. You don't want to miss a reaction and not give her the medicine, which can result in death, but you also do not want to "freak out" and stab her with a needle because you panicked. We have been fortunate enough to not need her Epi Pen in the past 3 years but I'm always on the fence in these moments. I just pray that if the moment ever comes when she does need her Epi Pen that I know what it looks like and make the right call. There are many days that I wish this was not my burden to carry but I am unbelievably thankful for my beautiful little girl.