Last Thursday I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life when my sweet 7 year old, Joshua, unexpectedly went into anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction) and was transported by ambulance to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment.
It all happened so fast. I was on my way to help my friend Cyndi because she had just arrived home from vacation to find her home completely flooded with water. As I pulled into her driveway, Joshua started complaining about his stomach hurting. I told him to go stand outside by the grass just in case he throw up and that I would be there in a minute cause I needed to unload the twins. In a just a few short minutes he was crying saying that his stomach hurt and that he was itchy. He had small hives around is underwear lines, stomach and thighs. I took him inside to give him some cream to help the itching. We walked into the house and he threw up several times on the kitchen floor then ran to the bathroom with diarrhea. I left him alone for a few minutes while cleaning up the kitchen floor and getting the babies out of the pools of water throughout the house. We I got to the bathroom he was crying and desperately scratching everywhere. I had him lean forward so that I could rub some antihistamine cream on his backside that was now completely covered in small hives. When he sat back up his eyes started to roll into the back of his head. Panic set in as I called for Cyndi and helped him off the toilet. He took two steps out of the bathroom and collapsed to the floor. Cyndi called 911 as I rocked him in my arms and told him over and over to keep his eyes open and stay awake. I felt so helpless. He was able to open his eyes every time I told him to, but it was so hard for him. By know his skin was a pale green and his lips were blue. All that I just described to you happened in about 10-15 minutes. The ambulance got stopped at a rail road crossing and it seems liked forever for them to arrive. I ran Josh out to the ambulance in my arms and handed him to the paramedics. They wasted no time in getting him hooked up to IV's, oxygen and to whatever that machine is called that shocks their heart if necessary. Jared pulled up behind them.
In the ambulance Josh still struggled to stay wake, but was able to answer all the doctors questions, which we were all encouraged by. His blood pressure had bottomed out and they could barely get a ready. He then went from a pale green to beat red from head to toe and was very puffy and swollen looking, but was more alert.
At the ER they gave him several allergy meds through is IV and the redness started to fade. My parents (who I had called from the ambulance) arrived and Jared and my Dad gave him a blessing and by the time they admitted him to his own room for 24 observation he almost seemed back to himself.
We still don't know what caused the reaction or what he is allergic to. In the car on the way to Cyndi's he had eaten a gummy Easter candy that would have had GELATIN in it. He also got hives last November after receive the H1N1 vaccine, which also has GELATIN in it. So until we can see an allergy specialist (in about two weeks) we are staying away from anything that may have GELATIN in it. I have an Epi pen that I take everywhere and have put the school on high alert.
I am emotional writing about the experience. There is nothing more horrifying then seeing your child in such a desperate situation and feeling so helpless to save him. I believe I was surrounded by little miracles that day.
If this had happened at my house I would have been by myself with four kids (none of my neighbors were home and Jared was still 45 minutes away)
My phone was dead or dying and it would not have lasted a call with 911(I was going to charge it in the car on the way to Cyndi's house)
My parents were home and able to come right away.
Cyndi's neighbors came running when the saw the ambulance and fire trucks at her home. They all stayed and helped clear out her flooded basement and their young women came over to help watch my kids.
Josh is alive.
In the last 8 weeks we have had 4 of us in the hospital for overnight stays. I am so grateful for our friends and family who drop everything they are doing to come and help and support us. Today I feel extremely fortunate and blessed. Thank you for you prayers in our behalf as well.