Mom Up or Go Home

Making the Call; God Bless EMTs
February 22, 2011, 4:58 pm
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Boomba and I were celebrating at an Anti-Super Bowl Super Bowl party when I asked a little boy “Where is your milk?” That’s when little E turned and pointed to a shiny blue sippy, bottoms up against my son’s thirsting tongue. This has happened before. It’s easy to get lost in the sippies of a playdate. Toddlers don’t care whose cup is whose when all they want is a drink. I tried to calmly state “That’s not your cup, it’s E’s.” What I was thinking was “AHHHHHH!!!!!”

Boomba is severely allergic to casein, the protein found in milk. If he has food that has been processed in the same factory as something containing milk he has a reaction. We went to my mother in law’s house for Christmas this year and he reacted because the table must have touched something with milk earlier in the day. When he was a baby he would ride in those infant cart seats and react because at some point a milk-consuming-baby spit up or chewed on the strap that was snugly across his body.

After I removed the blue cup from my son’s death grip-pun intended, I checked him for signs of anaphylactic shock. I was confused to see he looked surprisingly fine. A little red around the mouth- but with milk in everything that’s a daily occurrence.  I darted to the diaper bag and administered benedryl to head off a possible flare. He seemed fine. Was he really growing out of this allergy? The Dr.’s said Casein is the #1 allergy grown out of by children. A swelling relief buzzed inside. I let Boomba play as he willed, watching him closely.  Just when I relaxed I heard a series of tight coughs. I didn’t know what else I could do so I grabbed him and stood in a hot shower room. How do you know when to call 911? He still looked relativity okay as far as a rash goes but I knew this reaction was different.  A few minutes later my friend asked if he needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t know. I didn’t want to over react, or go for no reason. My husband received a call at work moments later. I explained everything as quickly as I could and ended the story with “Should I take him in?”. Dear husband wasn’t there. He couldn’t assess the situation. Silence. The words of my friend “Go. Momma.” meant a lot.  “I’m gunna go, I’ve gotta go.” I said, hanging up the phone.

As I grabbed my diaper bag I saw my son who is normally happy and full of life exhibit half closed eyes and a shallow breath. I have never seen him like this and that was reason enough for me to make the jump. I remembered what I had been told about severe allergic reactions. They depend on EpiPens because there isn’t enough time to get an ambulance on site or to drive. “We need to call 911.” I said. “I think we need to call them”. My friend grabbed a phone and made the call. They were there so quickly I was shocked. We heard the sirens and my friend’s two sons E and C were watching out the window. “The important thing about emergencies is to stay calm and stay out of the way to let them do what needs to get done.” I said as if I were in a classroom presenting. The situation wouldn’t hit me for a while.

“Cover him with a blanket and take him into the ambulance.” a man said to me after asking for the specifics of the situation. The three technicians kept looking at charts and running numbers to decide what to do next. They settled on an additional dose of Benadryl. It was a faster acting, more potent version in a small syringe. Boomba was given two breathing treatments. I was relieved to hear him screaming. He can obviously breath if he’s screaming!

My husband found a replacement at work and called me on his way to the hospital to find out we were still in the ambulance on the street. He turned around and soon came walking into the little mobile medical room. We were sooner or later taken to the ER. When they wheeled that small boy out on the gurney I noticed he was red. Red from head to toe and back again. When I mentioned it, the EMT connected it to all of his crying. We stayed in the ER for over three hours.  Monitoring the reaction, shooting him up with a steroid and Epinephrine. The Dr. said it was a good thing we  called.  I asked the ER Dr about his redness and he said it was part of the reaction.

We hadn’t eaten well all day and in order to take care of ourselves we decided husband would go out in search of food. We didn’t know how long we would be staying and Boomba was stable. Ironically the only food they had available to us was Cheez-its “Enjoy the Real Casein Taste in Every Bite”. We were released to go home late that night.

Walking into our home stepping across all the the toys our dear son strewn across the floor earlier that day was bittersweet. All I could think is, if this had gone the other way we’d be walking home to these toys with out a sweet blessing of a child in our arms. A constant reminder of the tragedy that could have happened. I couldn’t imagine coming into a home to see only the remnants of a playing, lively child- our son. Now I understood why my Mom had warned against buying the clearanced baby snow suit when I was only a few weeks pregnant.

The next day I went to Walgreens and while waiting for the Rx of steroids that was to help with his extreme casein sensitivity in the next three days, I picked up a pink Ty Beanie Babies Valentine’s Day Hippo named Big Kiss. The silly little poem inside the tag said everything I was thinking.

I’m a hippo that’s red and pink

I look this way because  I think

Of only you each and every day

I love you more than words can say!

Silly. Irrational. Juvenile. Yes. Yes. Yes. But Boomba smiled and hugged that pink hippo of fluff. We didn’t necessarily have to money to “waste” but because I had a child I could still buy for, I DID.

The next few days were full of Dr.’s visits, nebulizer treatments every 4 hours, oral steroids, calls to the insurance company and searching for an allergist to prescribe an EpiPen. The first allergist we were referred to didn’t have an opening for over 2 months.  I could hardly stand the thought of  going another minute without an EpiPen or some sort of plan, let alone 2 months! The allergist we were next referred to is a sweet, compassionate woman who is very knowledgeable and practical. She was surprised we didn’t already have an EpiPen and gave us a Rx for TWO! She also found a restaurant that would be safe to take Boomba to! We can’t wait to eat in public with this little man!

Thank God for EMTs. Thank God for 911-calling friends. Thank God for my son’s life. Thank God.

“What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits to me.” -Psalm 116 v.12

Thank God.