Wow! Things have certainly changed since I first bought a medical alert bracelet for Son #2 at the local drug store. It was an inexpensive silver band that showed that he has asthma. Of course I also would meet with his teacher at the beginning of every school year, and also let any coach or scout leader know that he had asthma. They have some new styles of bracelets, necklaces, watches and shoe tags to alert people about allergies and asthma.
He has long outgrown his asthma alert bracelet, but of equal concern is his tree nut allergy. We have to watch for that everywhere we go. In fact, last week we were in the city looking at Christmas lights and stopped at a street vender who was sellling hot chocolate. We ordered hot chocolate for all of us, and then Son #2 spotted a bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. And did they look good! He asked for a bag, and I started to reach for it, then remembered that those same cookies had caused him to have a reaction a few years before.
We were at a band concert for older brother, Son #1 (he was right in the middle of his saxophone solo) when Son #2 started eating Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies from the vending machine. His throat started itching and he started feeling warm, we thought 'uh-oh!' We raced out to hall, had him spit out the cookies, rinse his mouth out with water and spit that out too. I had a Benadryl Strip in my purse, so he quickly stuck that on his tongue and started to melt that. We had the Epi Pen at the ready, and could also race home to use the nebulizer for a breathing treatment.
Whew. What an experience. It didn't up going into full blown anaphylaxis. We were lucky! We grabbed the cookie package and read the small print that said it was made in the same factory as products containing nuts. Oh great! Who would have thought chocolate chip cookies could contain tree nuts?! What would have happened if I wasn't there? Would anyone else have known what to do? Would they even know he was allergic to tree nuts and was having anaphylaxis?
We had a similar experience years before, when Son #1 had anaphylaxis after getting an allergy injection. It was truly life threatening, and I never want to see that happen again-to anyone.
If you or a loved one has an allergy, do you have anything that warns other people? I am constantly checking for tree nuts in anything we eat, but what if I'm not around? I think I'll be ordering a few things from the Medic Alert website today. Things have come a long way from the little inexpensive silver bracelets I used to buy at the pharmacy. I need to buy something he will actually wear, otherwise what's the use? Christmas is over, but Son #2 will be getting a little gift from his mom in the mail. And it could someday help save his life.