If there were an NBA draft for over-reactors, I would totally be the number one draft pick. The Heat would fight over me, the Lakers would want me, and everyone from Ohio would hate me because I would choose any other team but the CavS, Seriously, I am that good at over-reacting.
Luckily since being a parent, we have been blessed with wicked good insurance coverage, so that the midnight trips to the ER with a "weird rash" or "funny bump" are usually covered. Which doesn't make me feel that crazy when the Dr. reassures us that my kids are going to survive, and that kids are tough. Two kids down, and I am totally aware that I over-react, so in turn, I attempt to stay cool, while filling with guilt, all like what if something happened? What if this is the time that does us all in, then I'd be that mom with the Facebook page dedicated to my mistakes as a human, with full comment sections declaring "that women like her shouldn't be parents".
Frankly I fear under-reacting just as much as over-reacting, so basically it's a mental battle to the death...a serious crapshoot. So as many situations with my kids go, my irrational being takes over, quickly followed by my rational thinking, and as the wit's battle, I usually give in and head to the ER, knowing that I'm teeter tottering between total nutcase and parenting superhero. Is there no balance with this parenting stuff?
But this time was different. This time, well this time defied protocol, and threw me into mommy overdrive.
This time scared the living hell out of me.
Let me begin at the beginning.
It was a beautiful sunny, Sunday morning, the hubs was playing in his weekly summer softball league, while the boys and I were having breakfast, and enjoying each other's company. I was having the usual body challenge* dietary supplement shake while my boys were eating their vegan waffles, with bananas and grapes. Since I was drinking something that was un-allowed by the allergy standards, I chose to stand at the kitchen sink and drink my shake. Theo quickly escaped to the potty, and quickly summoned me to do the same, you know, the whole toddler wipe gig, so setting my shake on the windowsill (where I thought it would be safe), I followed him into the bathroom, leaving Elliot in his high chair happily munching on a waffle. Little did I know that in the 2 minutes that I was gone, Elliot had wriggled loose from his high chair seat and had pushed up a chair to the windowsill.
I arrived into the kitchen to find my little Elliot sucking down my shake and making "yummy" motions with sign language. I rushed over to him, checking the packaging for confirmation. And my stomach sank as I read that this shake mix contained Milk, Elliot's number one allergen.
Now before we go on, I know what you are thinking. Why would I even take the risk by having milk products in my house? And the answer is, up until this point we had been able to keep the egg allergy stuff away from Theo and the Milk allergy stuff away from Elliot. I thought that we had a pretty terrific separation plan going on. But I was wrong, and trust me I have been beating myself up about it ever since. Mind you Elliot had never had a reaction before this point, because we had him tested as a newborn. So we had no idea what the severity of his reactions would be and up until now, been careful enough not to know.
Immediately upon drinking the shake, Elliot's face began to swell and drool. He began coughing almost like a balloon was stuck in his throat. And I grabbed the syringe and filled it with the proper dose of Benadryl, stuck it into his mouth, and squeezed, which only prompted him to vomit.
All of this happened within seconds of his ingestion of the shake. I began to ran. I ran around our house like a lunatic, debating whether to cal 911 or to just drive myself. Throwing clothes on myself, Theo and Elliot, I decided that we couldn't wait. Elliot's entire body had begun to turn purple, and his lips and mouth could only muster the teeniest, most pitiful wail.
We jumped into the car, as I sped to the hospital, and after what seemed like an eternity 10 minutes, we were there, being rushed to the Trauma Bay of the hospital, surrounded by 20 nurses and doctors.
After a swarm of Epipens, IVs and medications, Elliot's heartbeat began to slow and his mouth and throat stopped swelling. Theo was whisked away with a Popsicle and a handful of dinosaurs, to keep him busy in the hallway until Elliot, became completely responsive again. As I told the story of what happened over and over, all I could think was that this was totally preventable. And to risk making the situation about myself, I felt like it was all my fault.
Now pediatric doctors and nurses are amazing human beings. They truly are. They are half superheros, half angels and half therapists. They are understanding and comforting and just plain amazing, and even though they made me feel better, their words kept echoing in my ears.
"you brought him in just in time".
No one wants their child to be just in time.
I couldn't imagine my life if I wouldn't have made it in time.
I'm a mom. And I've made mistakes, but I'm here to tell you that I don't regret over-reacting and just thinking about how this situation would have turned out had I under reacted, makes me sick to my stomach. Allergies are serious stuff, especially anaphylactic ones...so the next time you complain about your child not being able to sit at a certain lunch table with their dairy, or bring a certain food to school, think about how you would feel seeing your child lifeless and fighting to breathe on a hospital bed, all because of something that was unnecessary to life.
All because of a shake.
Now it's Tuesday, and Elliot is much better. He's back creating chaos, keeping up with his big brother and making tattoos with markers. As for me, I'm purging anything that would be a threat to our kids health. Especially those darn shakes. And I can tell you that for the first time in a long time,
I am not over-reacting. Not one little bit.
*Since I'm not angry at the dietary company, I chose not to divulge specifics of the brand, however I will tell you that this particular challenge is one of the only ones like it to contain milk products in their mixture. Subscription officially cancelled.