Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peanut Butter & The ER

Blood work can be wrong. That's the moral of this post...

My oldest son, Tyler, has been plagued with food allergies his entire life. We were told he would never outgrow his most serious food allergy: peanuts. But his blood work showed differently a few months ago. They encouraged me to give him some peanuts at home. I refused, asking if I could bring him in for doctor's supervision for this process. Peanuts, after all, are the most deadly food allergy there is.

Yesterday was that day. I was understandably nervous. The doctor assured me everything would be fine. The moment arrived and she gave my little man a small amount, equivalent to the size of half of a pea.

Almost immediately I knew something was wrong. A mother can read the look in her child's eyes better than any medical professional. The doctor examined him and told me he was fine. A minute or two later our worst fears were confirmed. He made a sound and then began violently vomiting. Everything kicked into high gear with shots, blood pressure monitoring, and medical personnel standing over him. He was screaming. Unfortunately I began to feel as if I might faint and was forced to sit down. I cannot tell you how scary this was for both of us.

Once I regained my composure, an ambulance arrived and he was whisked away to the hospital. I was able to ride in the front seat and a very kind woman comforted him in the back.

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, his spunky little self reemerged. When he requested to watch the TV that was in his room, I knew we were on the road to recovery. As a precaution, they kept him for observation for five hours.

In the last month, both of my children have been in the hospital (Dylan had eye surgery). I always say these guys are the best teachers I ever had. They teach me so much about bravery and the blind trust they place in me as a parent. My only hospital experiences are from their births. But somehow, by watching them, I know I can handle whatever life throws at me. If I ever question, I need to only look at their sweet faces.

In the end, the doctor said this allergy is life long and life threatening. He will be forced to carry shots with him for the rest of his life. He will never be able to eat food that the ingredients are not read first. It's amazing how many things are just processed in a facility with peanuts. Those are off limits, as well.

This situation requires him to get "jewelry." He will be required to wear a bracelet that identifies the fact that he has a life threatening allergy. But, to me, that little band will signify something else: he is my hero.



12 comments:

Ariel said...

Wow, how scary!! I recently discovered myself that I have a mild peanut allergy. Thankfully nowhere near as severe as Tyler's. I'm so glad to hear everything turned out okay. It will certainly be an interesting road but you're not alone. Prayers headed your way.

Gab said...

Smart mom not 'testing' out peanut butter at home! My daughter's blood work came back 'negative' for peanuts, but a skin test in the office (right before an oral challenge) proved otherwise. We're still on this road. I post at http://peanutfree.blogspot.com if you're interested.

Allergy Mom said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I'm glad you trusted your gut and requested a food challenge under medical supervision. My four year old with multiple food allergies (including peanut) loves his "bracelet" and he frequently recites the information on it. (We have a soft sports band for him.) Good luck, Libby

Heather said...

Oh Robyn! I'm so glad you trusted your mommy intuition and were at the doctor's office for this test.

Laurie Ann said...

Praise God he is okay! I can only imagine your concern for him. A mother's intuition...I'm so grateful ya'll weren't at home for this. Poor little guy! Prayers are going up for Tyler.

sobeit said...

What an eventful experiment! I can't imagine! I had a student in my class that was allergic to milk products. One day he got a sandwich and didn't know it had cheese on it. I noticed after one bite and immediately called his mom. (It was so small that the reaction would be mild, and he had medicine.) He was so calm during the whole thing....I was the nervous wreck! He smiled and said that he would just be a little sick to his stomach, but he would make it! Gotta love their perspective!

Jane Anne said...

Oh my goodness, your story gave me chills. I ended up here b/c of my "Peanut Allergy" google alert. My son is allergic to peanuts, too. It is such a frightening thing. I am so thankful that your son is okay! Thank you for writing about your story. It is a good reminder that we can never been too careful.

MomEee said...

Thank you so much for the info. about trying it out at the Dr's office. My baby is very allergic to peanuts too--his initial skin test was a lot like your story. How old is your son? Mine is only 11 months and I was wondering when you get "jewelry" for them. I'm always nervous when I put him in a new nursery situation that they won't know what I told them about how serious his allergy is really. I'm so glad your son is okay.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Oh my word. That had to be frightening, but I can see why he's your hero.

lori said...

You know I'm still praying....I know how MUCH this scared you!

I wish I was there to give you a big ol' hug....

:)
lori

Modern Allergy Mom said...

What a frightening experience. Thank goodness that you did the challange in the doctors office and that he was ok. I am also getting ready to place orders for medic alert bracletts before school starts.

Jen C. said...

This story made me cry! Our allergist said he'd give him my son a little when he turned 7 or 8 (he's almost 3), so this story prepares me for what might happen! Ugh. I'm so glad your son is ok.