Three weeks ago, I handed Miles a piece of Easter candy and breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness we haven’t had to worry about food allergies.
No more than 6 hours later, I am on my way to the Emergency Room to meet my husband + son who are going to be arriving in an ambulance after a severe allergic reaction at dinner time.
We ate an early dinner that night because MacKenna and I were going to see Beauty and the Beast at the Dollar Show. Miles has been on a huge peanut butter kick – anything to get some protein in that kid. So, I decided to change things up at dinner and gave him some pretzels with cashew butter with some blueberries on the side. Miles was saying he was hungry so I went ahead and let him start eating while Matt was getting Kenna ready for the movie. As I sat down next to Miles to start eating, he started coughing – so much so that he ended up throwing up. We just assumed that he had choked on something, and didn’t think much of it.
Half way through the movie, Matt texted me and told me Miles threw up again and was covered in hives. I told him to take him to Urgent Care and racked my brain for everything I had fed him. Oh my goodness, I gave him CASHEW BUTTER instead of peanut butter. Matt texted and said they had given him some benadryl and were just going to monitor him for a little while. Phew. We dodged a bullet.
MacKenna and I were able to finish the movie and were on I way home, when Matt called with the thing no parent ever wants to hear. They had to give Miles and epipen and were calling an ambulance. I immediately broke down in tears and called my mom. I drove back to their house to drop MacKenna off and made my way out to the hospital to greet my boys who were arriving in the ambulance.
Three hours in the ER to be told that he most likely had an allergic reaction to the cashew butter and they were going to prescribe us an epipen.
We’ve spent the last few weeks overly cautious (I mean, we’re admittedly helicopter parents anyway), having to tell my sweet boy no to things he has been used to eating. But, we really wanted to get some answers and had to wait until we talked to the allergist about what exactly he was allergic to.
So, last week, we finally were able to get in to see the allergist. She agreed that it was most likely the cashew butter, but wanted to test to make sure that he wasn’t allergic to any other tree nuts. Miles was given the nut panel allergy test – which he was SO amazing with and didn’t cry until we took his game away to leave. The test came back positive to cashew nuts ONLY, which was a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, because tree nuts are typically cross contaminated, we have to avoid ANYTHING with tree nuts or processed in a facility that processes tree nuts.
Our life has been turned upside down a little bit. Thankfully, we’ve had some experience with this since Matt has nut-related migraines, so we’ve been avoiding a lot of peanuts and tree nuts already. But, now that we have a little guy who can’t read and doesn’t understand WHY he can’t have certain things, we are trying to rid ourselves of ALL tree nut items in our house. Honestly, it’s probably been a lot harder on ME – the peanut butter addict – than for anyone else. But, it definitely is a new lifestyle for us and something we are going to have to learn + practice adapting to. Asking about foods + oils in restaurants. Letting other adults who are around him know about his allergy and what to look for on labels (you’d be surprised the things that contain tree nuts). Learning to make sure we have an epipen or 2 with us at all times. Following through on his “action plan” and making sure our babysitter, his teachers, our parents all know what to do if he does have a reaction.
So, we now have a kid with a severe allergy. Expect my anxiety to be high anytime I am not with him…