Sunday, May 22, 2011

ER Visit

We celebrated our wedding anniversary in April with..............wait for it..............a trip to the ER with Bee!  It is an anniversary we will never forget, and for all the wrong reasons.

This anniversary was reminiscent of Mother's Day last year.  Pineapple in her smoothie gave Bee an all-over rash and she began to have difficulty breathing.  The fire truck and ambulance arrived, and Bee and I headed to the hospital.  The paramedics were wonderful and actually listened to me; the ER doctor did not.  I'm not his biggest fan...........he refused to believe that pineapple caused her reaction and he probably still thinks I'm crazy!  However, allergy tests from our allergist have shown that there is a pineapple allergy going on.  Take that!

So, I guess the ER visits are going to be a holiday tradition; although, I hope this was our last one that we will ever have but that's probably not realistic...........

Here's our story:
Prince Charming bought some dairy alternative rice cheese that actually, unbeknownst to him, contained milk.  If you read through the ingredients, this cheese listed casein as one of them.  However, there was no warning on the back that the cheese contained milk.  It's "dairy alternative" rice cheese right?  Safe!  No!  (more on that later in another post....)

Bee ate a little bit with her lunch on the day of our anniversary.  Daddy came home for lunch and made lunch for everyone while I fed Ladybug.  After she was done, Bee came in to the bedroom and crawled on the bed.  I noticed her face seemed red.  Her face kept getting more rashy so I asked Prince Charming what she was eating.  He told me and I took the bag and read the ingredients.  I immediately realized that the cheese contained casein which is a milk protein.

We quickly gave Bee some medicine and decided to watch her for a while.  She seemed a little better and the rash looked like it had stopped spreading.  Prince Charming went back to work and I decided to keep her with us for the afternoon while we did school.  I was not comfortable putting her down for a nap in her room.  I settled her in a bean bag chair with her blankies and animals so I could keep an eye on her.  As we were reading some books, Bee started coughing.  She coughed several times and then I knew.  She wasn't going to be ok.  Coughing is one of her signs that her airways are starting to constrict.  We had to leave now.

I called Prince Charming and told him the plan.  I was going to head to the fire station to have her oxygen checked and have them listen to her breathing.  Tiger and Curly grabbed their shoes and Bee's shoes while I grabbed the diaper bag and Ladybug.  We were out the door in record time.  In two minutes we were at our fire station.  We rang the bell and the firemen opened the door.  They immediately recognized us as the "allergy family" and let us in while one grabbed his kit.  All the firemen crowded around Bee while they checked her oxygen levels and listened to her breathing.  Her oxygen levels were fine but my fears were confirmed, she was beginning to wheeze.  They recommended that we take her to the ER and offered to call an ambulance.  I decided against the ambulance and chose to take her in myself.

We walked outside to find Prince Charming who loaded us in the van and we followed him to the hospital.  We made the decision to take her to the other hospital in town after our less than satisfactory experience at the hospital the year before.  Bee did well during the ride to the hospital but her breathing was becoming more labored and she was incredibly itchy and her rash began to spread again.

Once we reached the ER I rushed Bee inside and signed her in.  Our allergist told us to always use the words "anaphylactic shock" when we arrive at the ER.  Those are the magic words to get us back right away.  Two seconds later we were called back to triage.  After just a couple minutes in triage, we were taken to a room.  By this time Daddy and the rest of the crew came in.  As soon as we were all in the room we were surrounded by four nurses and one doctor.  They quickly put in an IV line in Bee's arm and started some benadryl and steroids.  Bee did very well with the IV and didn't even cry, and I have to admit the nurse was great and got everything working on the first try.  After Bee's arm was placed in a little splint to keep it straight for the IV line, she began to fuss and her itching was uncontrollable.  I wrapped her in a gown and held her.  We climbed into the hospital bed together and we spent the next several hours like this, watching Kipper on my IPhone and holding her as she would doze intermittently.

As soon as the doctor had decided an IV would be necessary, I sent Daddy home with the little crew so they would not have to watch.  His instructions were to pack a bag for Bee with new jammies, blankies, animals, water bottle, and snacks.  He drove everyone home, found a friend to come stay with the kids, and brought Ladybug back to the hospital with a bag packed for Bee.  We took turns holding Bee and Ladybug until he went home to feed everyone dinner.

After two rounds of Benadryl, two rounds of steroids, and one injection of epinephrine, Bee was beginning to look and act like her normal self.  Her swelling was down, she was no longer wheezing, and she wasn't trying to itch anymore.  Four and a half hours after we were admitted, we were able to take Bee home.  We spent the next week watching her for any signs of a rebound reaction but thankfully there was none.

When you look at Bee you would never think there was anything wrong.  She looks and acts normal, and of course, she is normal-except for those allergies.  We have to always remember that things at our house will be different and we can never be too careful.

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