E just got over an awful stomach flu that lasted for five days and landed us in urgent care. Twice.
Good thing yesterday was National Donut Day because this mama is a stress eater and a boat-sized donut is just what I needed.
So finally E has been feeling much better and acting like herself for the past three days. Her appetite is still a bit wonky–she eats like a horse but it’s all carbs, she has no interest in meat or veggies. But we’re past all the diarrhea and the vomit and the dehydration.
Then after we got home from day care yesterday she threw up while playing with a puzzle in her bedroom. I immediately went into panic mode. Did she get another bug? Was it the same bug rearing its ugly head yet again? Was it something worse? She was acting fine, so B said we shouldn’t worry. Okay fine, I pretended not to worry.
Not too long after, I changed her diaper. When I pulled down her pants I noticed her legs were dotted with big, angry hives. I lifted her shirt and they were on her chest and her abdomen, too. The pieces started to come together. Hives. Vomit. She was having a reaction to something she’d ingested.
But what? She hadn’t eaten anything new. Allergy moms know full well though that a child can develop a food allergy at any time. I called out to B that I needed a syringe of Benadryl stat, all the while thinking of the allergy action plan on our fridge that states full-body hives and vomiting together warrant the use of the EpiPen. Technically, according to our action plan, this was a probable anaphylactic reaction. But she was breathing okay. But she was also crying for no apparent reason that could also just be an indication that she was tired. So many what-ifs. WHAT THE HELL SHOULD I DO?!?!
Seriously guys, if I’m going to be an allergy mom I’m going to need a truckload of Xanax.
I gave the Benadryl and watched her, all the while trying to figure out what caused the reaction. While I was giving her a bath, it clicked. When we left day care, the teacher handed E a pacifier. It was the same brand we use, but from across the room it didn’t quite look familiar to me. I got distracted and scooped E up and took her out to the car, and only later did I determine that pacifier was in fact not ours. No big deal, right? We were already home, it was the weekend, and the babies swap pacifiers at day care all the time. It’s kind of hard to prevent it. We’d just take it back on Monday. I didn’t think anything of it.
Until that vomit episode and that rash and no solid explanation for it. I immediately jumped on to Facebook and posed the question in the allergy mom support group I’m in. Was it possible? Could some other kid have had that pacifier in his/her mouth after eating peanut butter, and now it was causing E to react?
I’ll never know for certain but the support group seemed to think so. All of the advice I got was to “epi,” the pseudo-verb used to describe using the EpiPen, and take E to the ER. By this time the Benadryl had kicked in and E was asleep, and I was having an anxiety attack wondering if I shouldn’t have second-guessed the Epi.
Luckily E was okay. I watched the video monitor like a hawk until I went to bed, and I checked it the numerous times I woke during the night. E still has pink spots where the hives had been, but the vomiting has subsided and she’s acting A-OK.
As if food allergy moms don’t have enough to worry about, now I have to worry about her grabbing the other babies’ pacifiers at day care. The teachers can keep an eye out but this one is really hard to avoid and even I can understand that. I suppose all I can do is ask for extra precautions to be taken, and thank my lucky stars we have the EpiPen just in case.