Dealing With Food Allergy Reactions
Last week I went to Whole Foods with the kids in tow (always fun!). We desperately needed produce and a few ingredients to make some gluten- free bread in the bread machine. Before going, I looked through my son’s food list (foods he can and cannot eat) and realized there are some seeds and nuts he can eat that we haven’t had before. We have kind of slipped a little and have repeated the same foods too much. Fearing that he may become allergic to some of the repeating foods I went to the guidebook (his food plan and test results) to find some alternatives we could add to his diet. He has been eating way too many almonds, rice, and corn!! While at Whole Foods I picked up some nori (roasted seaweed) snacks and a bag of pecans in the bulk area.
Trying New Food
After dinner that evening my son said what he says often, “I’m still hungry.” I never know whether he really needs to eat more or if he has heard the b-word (bedtime) and is stretching out his time. Usually when he says this it is right after I say, “O.k. time to put on pjs.” Hmmm….see the pattern? Anyway, I offered him a taste of the nori 1st and after tasting it he gave me a sour face. I tried some myself and tried to be happy about it. Finally I gave up since I wasn’t too much of a fan either. I then gave him a pecan. One pecan. “Mmm, mommy, this is good!” I was happy to hear he liked it. If I wasn’t distracted by his little sister who was demanding attention, I would have given him more. Thankfully, I didn’t. He then said, “My mouth is spicy.” If anyone has food allergies or knows of someone with them they know that this isn’t a good sign. I looked in his mouth, looked around his mouth for a rash, (a sign of an immediate reaction he has had to sesame seeds, peanuts, and walnuts) and monitored his breathing. He kept poking his finger up to the roof of his mouth. I gave him a drink of water, he brushed his teeth, and he seemed to be o.k. My husband stayed with him in his room reading him books and talked with him for awhile before saying prayers and tucking him in. We both agreed he was fine, moved on with our night and checked on him before we went to bed. Everything seemed fine.
Around 1ish he came into our bed to lay down. He breathing was a little wheezy and he coughed every 10 or so seconds. My husband and I looked at each other and said, “breathing treatment.” I went to gather all of the pieces for the nebulizer. We gave him a breathing treatment while he watched some Mario Bros. Afterwards his breathing was back to normal and we put him back to bed. From 1:30- 3:30 he kept coming back to our room; once saying his tummy hurt, the other times saying he wanted to sleep in our bed. We encouraged him to go back to his room, gave him a drink, put music on for him, prayed with him, etc. This whole time I had not fallen back asleep.
Finally at 3:45 or so I fell asleep for a few minutes, at least enough to dream. I dreamed the most vivid dream. My son was eating cereal in the kitchen and he had a big rash on his chest that was coming out of his pajamas. Around 4 I woke up to my daughter crying. I went in to check on her. While there I heard my son stirring and told him to come to me. He was scratching his nose. It was dark and only the hall light was on. I told him to come over to where I was sitting and unzipped his footie pjs to check for a rash (just in case my dream was prophetic). Sure enough, big ol’ welt looking hives all over his chest, belly, back, and neck — just like I was shown in my dream. Oh my word! His belly looked like a malnourished child since it was distended. It was scary looking. I yelled for my husband who came quickly. Since his breathing was normal I didn’t think we needed an epipen but called the dr. since the rash was so intense looking. In the meantime I looked around for the Benadryl which was mysteriously missing. AHHH! The dr. on call told me to give him Benadryl and monitor him. Since we couldn’t find it we all piled in the car at 4:15 am and drove to the nearest 24 hr. store. I ran in, bought 4 boxes of children’s Benadryl (so we never had this same problem). We quickly opened it up to give him a dose. After we got home we brought him to our bed to monitor him and we finally all fell asleep.
I am so thankful that God spoke to me in my dream to show us that our little guy needed our attention. Since he had footie pajamas on we couldn’t see the rash and we were looking more at his face since this is where his rash usually appears first. This was definitely an experience we could learn from.
What We Learned:
- Even food that has been tested as safe still may not be safe.
- Each food reaction is different and could either be immediate, delayed, or a little bit of both.
- Having a designated spot, an allergy kit in the form of a portable box/ container, for any allergy related “stuff” such as Benadryl, epi-pen, dr. information etc. is essential. It is also important to check to make sure it is updated every month or so.
- Do not try a new food at night. Try a new food during the day when you as the parent can be there to monitor for any reactions. Reactions can occur immediately to 48 hrs+ later.
It looks as if I will be organizing an allergy kit this week. I will share with you what I come up with.