This past Sunday evening (March 20,2011) ended up being a fairly crazy evening. The girls and I were just relaxing at home having a pajama day when around three o'clock in the afternoon, Addison started whining to go play with her friends. She is only 3 and still doesn't quite comprehend that we can't play on Sunday. That we need to be as a family as much as possible on that day. After I told her that she couldn't play with friends, she then asked to go to Papa's house. I told her no again. I told her that we just needed to stay home and be as a family. Immediately, she ran to the phone and said "I want to call Papa, but I don't know what numbers to push to talk to him." I laughed. As soon as she said that, the phone rang. Guess who it was? Papa. He was calling to invite Addison to come to his house to play with him, Grandma and her cousins Brooklyn & Sierra. I had to think about it. I really just wanted to stay home and not do much of anything. But Papa said that he would come and pick up the little stinker and take her to his house. I finally relented.
After being at Papa's house for about 30 minutes, I get this phone call from my dad saying that Addison ate half a cashew and now her lips were swollen like she had a bad lip injection and that she was having a hard time breathing. (Remember this reaction?) I told him to calm down. I said if you guys relax a little, she will relax and be able to breathe. I told him to give her some ice to suck on and that should help her swelling. But I also said that I would wake the baby up from her nap and come over to his house.
When I got to their house, I gave Addison some Benadryl and it seemed that the swelling in her lips were going down and that her hives that she had developed weren't worsening. I left my kids to run to the store and get some Benadryl for my own house and to find out from the pharmacist exactly what dosage to give her. (The box says not to give to children under 6 unless directed by a physician - so I kind of guessed at how much to give her.)
As I was heading to the check out line, I got another phone call from my dad saying that she is starting to throw up. I immediately shove my items to be purchased on a random shelf and RUN out the door. I run into my parents house, swoop my poor, sweet little Chica up and run right back out the door to the emergency room.
It seems that emergency rooms take nut allergies quite seriously since we were only in the waiting room, after I had registered, for about a minute and a half. Once we were back in the room, the nurse checked Addison's breathing. Gave her some Zantac - They said that even though Zantac is an Antacid, it was a histamine blocker and works well in conjunction with the Benadryl that I had already given Addison. At this point, I really wished I had some paper to write this whole ordeal down, because I was trying to pay attention to what was going on and also pay attention to my screaming, crying, scratching, coughing child.
About 5 to 10 minutes later, Addison started coughing a lot more and I noticed that the hives on her body were worsening and more were coming on. I thought this might have something to do with the Zantac that they had just given her, but the doctor assured me that it wasn't. He said that even though she had thrown up, the oils from the nut can still be in her body. (I hope I am remembering correctly.)
After her coughing worsened, they put Addison on oxygen. At one point, there were FIVE people in line to listen to Addison's breathing. The oxygen wasn't working like they had hoped so they had Addi do a breathing treatment with some sort of medication in it, because she was having bronchial spasms in her lungs.
Somewhere after taking the Zantac and getting her breathing treatment, they had to administer an epinephrine shot to Addison to get her hives and breathing under control. This absolutely broke my heart because as I was heading to the hospital with Addi she asked me if she had to get a shot and I told her no. I thought that since she had taken the Benadryl, they wouldn't have to or be able to. So as they were giving Addison the shot, she was looking at me, crying and saying "You promised me I wouldn't have to get a shot! You promised me!" I felt like the absolute worst mother in the whole wide world!
After the breathing treatment, Addison's oxygen levels started to look better, but her hives weren't. She was stable, but they had us stay for another hour and half or so just to keep an eye on her. About 9:30-10:00, Addison was begging them to let her go home. Every time someone new came into the room, she would just look at them and plead to go home. Broke my heart.
Finally the doctor came in and said that they would like to keep Addi longer for observation, but that she should also be alright to go home. Addison heard "go home" and was already getting off of the table. I had to pull her back up with me and sit a bit longer while the doctor wrote up discharge papers.
I was really impressed with how well the hospital/emergency room handled the situation. They tried not to scare my daughter all the while taking the situation very seriously. They also brought in a TV and DVD player with movies for Addison to watch and kept bringing her Popsicles.
I am not sure how bad Addison's allergies to nuts are, but you can believe me when I say that we are making an appointment with an allergist to find out. I feel bad that she is going to have to be the weird kid with the epi pen (or as she likes to say "yucky pen") in her backpack for the rest of her life. Although, we have been doing a little studying on Immunotherapy and think that might be something worth looking into.
Addison had to take a few days worth of medicines but is doing great now. She knows not to eat nuts anymore. I am a little afraid that this incident will keep her from trying new things again. She has been doing really good at that lately and in fact, was trying something new at Grandma's house.
Sorry for the long post but I figured that if I didn't write this down somewhere, I was going to forget what happened. I will try and post pictures later when I get them from Grandma. In all the panic and commotion, I forgot to pull my camera out. But I am glad that my mom was there to capture Addison's little sausage lips! :)