Yea…It’s been a crazy couple of weeks! I warn you, this will be long!
We knew that Malachi likely had allergies and possible food intolerances. We had been waiting for an allergist appointment ever since he was in hospital in May but we hadn’t gotten in yet. Last week, we finally found out what he was allergic to!
Last Monday morning I decided to make scrambled eggs for lunch. Now that Malachi finally has a couple of teeth (he’s my latest teether by far!) I decided to give him a couple of bites. I think I had tried in the past but he had gagged on them; I assumed because he couldn’t chew them but now I wonder if that reaction was part of his allergy.
I gave him only tiny pieces, barely big enough for him to chew. He ate 4 or 5 then started throwing them on the floor.
10 mins later, he was writhing and crying, clawing at his neck. Huge hives popped all around his mouth, under his chin, around his whole throat, and migrating down his chest a bit.
I freaked and gave him some benadryl and cuddled him in front of front of the window AC unit, hoping that the cold air would cool the itches a bit.
After a ten minutes or so the benadryl kicked in, Malachi started to calm down, and so did I. He slept for a short while and I started to be able to breathe again.
Then he woke up, and things started to happen fast. He was crying and crying. He threw up a couple of times but I’m not sure if that was from crying so hard and coughing (he was also getting over yet another looong drawn out chest cold thing) or from the reaction. The hives were down but the redness was coming back and spreading. He seemed like he was breathing hard but again, I wasn’t sure if that was part of the reaction or from his cold, since he’d had stretches of wheezing and retracting a bit in his throat for the last 2 weeks. But it steadily got worse. In the time it took me to take a quick video of him breathing to ask some mommy friends what they though, it went from “does this look worrisome?” to “KIDS! Get your shoes on and go the van NOW!”
The kids did great. Only Annie was dressed out of the lot of them. I grabbed their shoes and my purse and hospital bag and Malachi and met them at the front door. Tobi helped Gabe get pants on and he and Josiah put shirts on, while Annie came down right away. Everyone but Gabriel was able to do their car seat buckles (all of them are still in 5-point harnesses so sometimes even the older ones need help.) We were pulling out of the driveway within 5 minutes.
Malachi cried most of the way to the hospital, which is thankfully only about 10 minutes away. When he stopped crying I was asking Tobi if he could see him breathing. Once we got into town, Tobi was asking me if I was “driving as fast as we’re allowed to go?”
I told him I was going faster.
We parked, got inside, told the nurse what was going on and were ushered into the treatment area immediately. Nurses were taking Malachi’s sats, checking his breathing, getting a history from me, all at once. His oxygen was around the mid-80s. While the nurses assessed him I had a few seconds to text hubby and tell him just that Malachi’s reaction had turned bad, we were at the ER, and his oxygen was low. He left work immediately to come pick up the kids.
The staff was great. They had someone take the kids to an empty room to colour and play, and to not have to watch them give Malachi needles. Infants are hard pokes for IVs. They tried twice then called one of the nurses from the maternity ward to try. Thankfully, she got in first try. Ventolin and epinephrine and other meds that I can’t remember all happened pretty quickly. Louis arrived in about an hour and brought the kids home. The allergy meds worked quickly but Malachi needed a few nebulizer treatments to get the wheezes down, and then we needed to wait several hours to make sure the reaction didn’t come back (called biphasic anaphylaxis.)
Malachi perked up after a couple of hours. He managed to separate his IV at one point, sending a spray of blood across my face. The nurses had put loads of tape and gauze on but not enough for that monkey! Thankfully he hadn’t pulled it out. They use more, bigger, gauze and stickier tape, leaving just the port out this time…but he still managed to bite through it all and actually pull the IV out a couple of hours later. They kept up until mid-evening then sent us home with a prescription for Epipens just in time for me to be able to see the older kids before they went to bed. Louis had called the allergist to find out where we were on the waiting list while we were in hospital and when they found out he’d had a severe reaction they bumped us up and gave us an appointment for 2 days later.
At his appointment we discovered that he’s allergic to peanuts, cashews, eggs, and milk. I’m thankful that there aren’t more allergies on the list but I’m still a bit overwhelmed, realizing how many things eggs and milk are in, what names they can go by in ingredients lists, and getting into the habit of checking labels, etc. I haven’t had much time to focus on it all yet until a couple of days ago because on Friday we had another family medical emergency, but I’ll write about that one in another post for tomorrow I think.