What an odd day I had yesterday. It started by bringing awareness to allergies. And, ended with an anxiety filled food allergy night.
Comcast has a show called Comcast Newsmakers and they wanted to interview UFAN. This was a big honor and a great way for us to gain some publicity. Since I'm on the board of directors and am over PR the president asked that I do the interview. I was excited and a bit nervous because I value UFAN so much and wanted to accurately portray it. It's times like these that I'm super grateful I majored in broadcast journalism so that being on camera doesn't seem intimidating--just saying something stupid does. :)
Comcast is going to wait to air it until May, since that is when the national food allergy awareness week is. I'm really grateful they chose us. My goal for being on the show is to promote education and help people understand a little more about allergies. I also hope maybe it will reach newly diagnosed patients who haven't heard of us that could use our support and resources.
The interview was at the stake capitol which was a pain since legislation is not only in session, but it was some sort of visit-the-capital-for-every-elementary-school and so parking was a nightmare. It's about a 45 minute drive for me, so I had to get a babysitter and make the trek.
I think the interview went OK. They wanted to film it in one shot, which meant no editing, no re-do, no pausing...just straight shooting from the hip. I think I stumbled a little, but it was OK. If it's not too embarrassing, I'll post it when we get a copy.
Then, fast forward to later that evening. We went to get our taxes done. Our church was doing a free tax filing for anyone who made under a certain amount. We had signed up for the 6pm slot, but they were running an hour behind. We took both the boys, since we both had to be there, and they'd already had a sitter that morning for like three hours for my interview.
They typically go to bed around 7, so they were getting super antsy. We were in a small room, and Claudy decided to set Calvin down so he could crawl and get some wiggles out. He checked the floor to see if there was anything on it he might be tempted to put in his mouth and didn't see anything. I hadn't seen anything either.
Just a few minutes later I saw Calvin chewing on something. I took it out and low and behold it was a PEANUT.
Now, what's interesting is that a new study just came out saying that you can decrease your chances of a peanut allergy by up to 70% by having your baby eat peanut butter (best ages are between 4-11 months). We had been debating if we should give some peanut butter to Calvin. He had been tested back when he was 6 months and had a small/borderline reaction to peanut. But, baby skin prick tests are super unreliable, so I had called his allergist and we were waiting to hear back.
Because everything was so inconclusive, I wasn't sure if I should give him an epi-pen (we always have one on us in our diaper bag). I told Claudy and we both were totally unsure of what to do. He hadn't swallowed or chewed any off, he had only sucked on it. And, only for maybe less than a minute. We decided to just watch him. Almost immediately he began making this funny noise with his tongue. I think it was probably due to his tongue or throat itching. He also starting getting a red hive on his chin. As soon as that happened, we decided to give him Benadryl.
Honestly, protocol states that if you've had your allergen, that an epi-pen should be administered. So, don't follow my example. I've never given an epi-pen before and I just couldn't bring myself to jab a needle into my 9 month olds' thigh. I probably should have, even just for my anxiety's sake. But, if you give an epi-pen you have to call an ambulance too and I was worried I'd do that and cause all that commotion for nothing. Silly reasons not to, I know, but it's the truth.
We sat and watched him like a hawk. We didn't even notice that the guy was finishing our taxes. My nerves were steel and I just sat and prayed thinking "please don't go into anaphylaxis" over and over.
The hive went away, the clicking sound with his tongue went away and he ended up being fine. We do know now that he cannot have peanuts. If just sucking on one for a tiny bit caused that fast of a reaction, he'd definitely be in trouble eating some. I keep wondering if maybe it was a silver lining that we had this happen so that we didn't give him actual peanut butter, as I'm sure that would have been a much worse reaction.
So much for hoping Calvin wouldn't have any allergies. I've eaten peanut butter almost every day I was pregnant with him, and every day since he's been born since I nurse him.
I seriously hate food allergies. I couldn't sleep last night, and had him sleep in our room for the first part of the night. I was imagining the worst and was so afraid he might get a reaction again once the Benadryl wore off and that he'd stop breathing and I'd go in to find him dead in the morning.
It was an awful night and I still feel my stomach and nerves are just shot.
It's so ironic that I was being interviewed for food allergies (and they even asked about the peanut butter study) that morning and was dealing with a child's peanut reaction later that night.
I seriously hope that's the last reaction I ever have to deal with. It's so hard at this age where Calvin wants to find everything that's on the floor and plop it in his mouth. Part of me wants to never leave our house, but I will fight that urge as I know it's not healthy. It's just so unfun to be on guard anytime you do you leave your house.
I so hope and pray they find a cure. It's just idiotic that eating something could potentially take your life.