Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fire Drill

I was awakened at 4 am on Wednesday morning by Boy #1 at my bedside complaining of a stomach ache. In my haze I rushed him into the bathroom thinking that we were going to have a second sighting of dinner. We didn't thankfully, but he was in our bed for the remainder of the sleeping hours.
When the time came for us to leave for school I had convinced him to give school a shot. His class was doing a project that I had planned on going in to help with and promised him we could come home if he still didn't feel well.

I joined the class about 30 minutes later and listened to the instructions for their project. #1 seemed fine, if a little tired until I got a little closer to him. He was scratching at his neck, and not suspecting anything, I glanced at his neck. He had a rash that he thought was bug bites. Um, that would be no. A bright red rash was all over his torso in addition to his neck, and what I didn't know then was that it was creeping downward into his groin area as well.

As soon as he had finished his project we left the school and called the doctor. I called Headless Dad to let him know what was up and he was the one that remembered what we had for dinner the night before: shrimp and scallops. While we've had shrimp before, we don't typically have scallops and they were mixed in with the pasta. #1 didn't eat any but apparently the damage was done. Thank goodness he didn't actually eat them!

A dose of Benadryl and an hour later we were in the doctor's office, (God, I love our pediatrician!), left with a prescription for prednizone and an epi-pen, and then off to get a blood allergy panel. Of course, that didn't go well either, with him getting dizzy and pale after they took his blood.

Amazingly, that was the worst of it. (Unless you count the sticker shock of the epi-pen. Holy cow! I knew they were expensive, but even with insurance it was waaay more than I expected.) #1 felt better through the evening and was completely clear by the next morning. While we're still waiting on the allergy panel and then the referral to the allergist, we're fairly certain that it was only the scallops, which are pretty easy to avoid.

One mistake I made in all of this was to tell him more than he could handle. He's a smart kid, and I thought that he would be able to understand everything. Oops. By bedtime he was in tears thinking that he was going to die or something. While, yes, food allergies can be scary and dangerous, we are lucky to have good insurance, a fantastic doctor, and I have good friends that I can call on with questions when we get all of the tests back. I will be diligent, yes, but no, it's not the end of the world. Millions of people live with food allergies every day and if it's more or worse than what I suspect then we'll deal with it.

The prednizone though? It's of the devil.
Headless Mom


Anna See said...

ooh! i am so glad you figured this out and that he's on the mend!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That was a good catch by Headless Dad. I didn't even know that #1 had allergy issues. Hopefully that it all it is and it can easily be avoided in the future.

Gee, maybe that's why I'm a bitch so often being the I take prednisone often!!!

Rocks In The Wash said...

SO scary! With our 1st Aid and CPR training for school, they had to train us on using the Epi Pens; what a lifesaver they can be!

I do suggest you have on at home AND one in his backpack for school. The schools are supposed to keep one on hand, but for the time it takes to get to the office and back to him in the classroom.. you might as well keep it in his backpack and let the teacher & office know in case an emergency happens.

Candy said...

Oh man! So scary. I have a shellfish allergy as well. And yes, prednisone really is a nasty, nasty drug. Does it's job, but it's nasty.

As for the Epipen, be sure to register it on their website, that way they'll send you a reminder email when it's about to expire. You might also want to check out FAAN ( if you haven't already. They are awesome and have lots of resources.

Explaining about food allergies is tough. You either run the risk of giving too much info & being scary or not giving enough & risking them not taking it seriously. Luckily, a shellfish allergy is a lot easier to avoid than some of the other food allergies out there.

Good luck with it.

Karen said...

Wow, I am glad all is o.k. and that you realized it was an allergy. I bet that was scary!

kyooty said...

How scary but you reacted very very well. One of my boys is going for testing Wednesday for what we think is environmental allergies. He's also like your son and would have probably gone from "information" to Tears! hugs!

Busy Mom said...

How scary, I'm glad you discovered the problem.

As for the prednisone, oh yeah, it's evil.

Issas Crazy World said...

Oh that is scary. I'm sorry. Sigh. Yes, the prednisone is EVIL!

Hope he's feeling better soon.

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

Whoa, totally missed this one. Crazy stuff and the blood-letting (because, you know, my kids insist that they NEVER give blood, but gonna have to TAKE it) blech, I woulda joined him. Prednisone is eeeevil!!!