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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Think anaphylaxis won't happen to you?

Ya, I had heard of anaphylaxis, a severe life threatening allergic reaction. But that would never happen to us, right? That will happen to someone else. 

I mean, we ALWAYS waited 30 minutes after allergy shots. You are supposed to wait 30 minutes so that if you have an allergic reaction, the doctor's office can spot it and treat you immediately.

All 3 kids had 5 year's worth of allergy shots, so we had a LOT of time sitting in Asthma Doc's office.

One day, Son #2 was in the hospital (again) with pneumonia. Hubby came to the hospital for his "shift", and I went home with the other two kids.

Son #1 needed his twice a week allergy shots, so we headed up to Asthma Doc's office. It was a Friday night, which meant pizza & video night at our house. So, we decided to get allergy shots, grab a pizza, and take it back to the hospital so we could have pizza & video night there. (The Pediatrics unit has a LOT of movies, games, arts and crafts,  etc for kids who are in the hospital.)

As Son #1 was getting his shots, I told Shot Nurse that Son #2 was in the hospital, so we weren't going to stay. We were just going to grab a pizza and head back to the hospital.

She said, "Ah, you guys will be fine. What are the odds that anything will happen?" 

Well, OUR odds. We have the worse luck in the world.


We left the office, and I was about a block away when I heard Son #1 coughing. He said, "Mom - I think something is wrong."

I looked in the rear view mirror and will never forget what I saw. His face and neck were bright red. His eyes were glassy and bulging, and the veins on his neck were sticking out.

I almost drove off the road. I flipped the car around and called Shot Nurse on speed dial. She was calm and said she would get the epinephrine ready, but to drive back carefully.

I was shaking so hard I could hardly hold the steering wheel! We made it back to Asthma Doc's office and burst through the door in a panic. She quickly took us to a treatment room and injected Son #1 with epinephrine. She also started a breathing treatment.

She explained that he was having anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. Yep, the ONE time we left early without waiting 30 minutes.

Shot Nurse stayed with us for 2 hours, watching Son #1 and making sure he was stable. She had Asthma Doc fill out a prescription for an epinephrine auto injector. 

She let us know that when you have anaphylaxis, you can have a "rebound" - another reaction later that day.

Meanwhile, Hubby is calling. "Hey, I thought you guys were just going to grab a pizza. Where are you?" I blurted out, "I can't talk - he's having anaphylaxis." Hubby could barely get in a "Wait. What?!" Before I hung up so I could concentrate on what Shot Nurse was saying.

After she felt he was stable, she sent us to the pharmacy. Daughter Kitty was following along, and was only 3 or 4 at the time, so she was pretty scared. And to top it all off, we left her favorite stuffed animal at the pharmacy. Great.

So, we show up at the hospital. No pizza. No stuffed animal. 

But feeling grateful that my son was still alive.

Back in Son #2's hospital room, I told Hubby what had happened. I think I was still in shock. Pediatric Floor Nurse came in and heard what had happened and assured us that if Son #1 had a "rebound", they could quickly get help for him in the hospital. 

We ended up ordering a pizza and having it delivered to the hospital.

So....don't even think about leaving allergy shots without waiting the 30 minutes (or however long your doctor's office asks you to wait.) 

It's not worth the risk. Bring a book (you know - they are made of paper and you turn the page.) Or scroll through your cell phone.

Anaphylaxis can and does happen. When you least expect it.

Don't take a chance. 



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