November 30, 2011

peanut butter the enemy....

yesterday was my hubby's birthday
our celebrations are usually simple, yet fun. a dinner out, cookies by design instead of a cake with candles and a few gifts with lots of laughs.
so last night the kids joined us at our favorite tapas restaurant after they were finished with work and school. we were about halfway through our evening, when all of sudden, our son looked at me and said i don't feel good. something is wrong. something i ate had peanuts.
you see, our son has had a peanut allergy all his life. we confirmed this with testing way back when he was 5 and in kindergarten and they made peanut butter covered pinecones with bird seed to hang outside. our son had made one {even after he had protested not to} rubbed his eye in the process and by the time i got to school, his eye looked like something out of an alien movie. a quick emergency room visit {i don't really remember what they did} and we were back home and he was fine. follow up testing said he was deathly allergic to peanuts {something you don't want to hear} and dust mites and various trees.
so for the past 15 years, i have read the back of every package of anything he has ever eaten, while he himself has been able to sniff out "peanut anything" from miles away. can you believe as a child he hated the smell of peanut butter and had never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in his tiny 5 years prior to the allergy discovery. i think it was his own body's natural way to protect him.
well last night i screwed up. the chicken skewers i have eaten regularly at our favorite restaurant are described as "chicken satay with a peanut glaze" and because our son doesn't normally join us there, i overlooked this, until he looked at me with those eyes, that are still the same eyes i remember looking at me when he was 2 {and many other numerous ages} when i rushed him to the emergency room for a severe asthma attack when he couldn't breathe. i grabbed the menu, saw the hateful word peanut and the two of us ran out of the restaurant leaving the hubby and my daughter behind.
we were only 3 minutes from urgent care and with my son's pleading and telling me i had a really good excuse, i ran three red lights. 
they saw him immediately and fortunately it wasn't an anaphylactic reaction
{which thank god he has never had} 
and they were able to treat his swollen lip and mouth with good old benedryl and they also gave him something for his nausea. 
i think it was his body's natural reaction to want to "get rid" of what he had eaten.

before they would let me go back with him, i sat in the kids waiting room and documented the time


our epi-pen prescriptions have been renewed {one for the house, one for his car}
and after we were all home, he was as good as new. 
good enough actually, to pull an all nighter and write an 8 page paper that is due today.
you see, he's kind of a procrastinator. 
well, he's also a slob and wears his jeans too low and looks like a gangsta with his ball cap on, but it's funny how all of that really doesn't matter after an emergency.
so i'll give me a week 
before i remind him to pull his pants up and clean his room


  1. Oh Beth, I am so glad he's OK. What a scare! This is a birthday your hubby will remember, no doubt :-)

  2. oh, that was scary! so glad he's okay...

  3. Oy! Scary!

    I have another friend whose son always said he hated peanut butter because the smell made him feel sick. He never ate it. It was later confirmed that he was allergic as well. Their bodies seem to know.

    Glad you guys caught it!

  4. Wow that must have been so scary. Glad he is ok!

  5. Oh gosh... seems like everything has peanuts in it these days. Running red lights, not cool... but I probably would have done the same thing.

  6. Yikes!!!!
    Thank God you know just what to do.
    Good job, Momma. That's enough excitement for 2011!
    Hugs to you!

  7. Beth that must have been so scary, glad you were so close to the hospital. happy birthday to your husband...your right about how things don't matter just that he is okay. hugs to you.

  8. Aw, poor guy. Damn that peanut butter. Jeez, if I had that allergy I'd starve on the boat, love the stuff. Glad he's ok now. And look at you, with your camera at the ready at all times ( I phone?), love the waiting room documentary.And happy belated b-day to your husband.

  9. I'm so glad he's ok. Give him an extra hug today - I bet he won't mind!

  10. Super scary but glad it all ended well. Happy Birthday to your hubby.

  11. Ugh.. I'm so glad he's okay. These severe allergies are so scary. Hugs to you.

  12. So scarey! We like to think those kids emergency days are behind us..but then - they never really are..are they? Glad to hear he's alright!

  13. for the love of Beth...
    How are you today?

    and the photos are actually so cool.

  14. I was holding my breath as I read this. How scary for you all. Glad things worked out and your cute gangsta son is okay.

    And happy b-day to your hubby. This is one he won't soon forget.

    xo jj

  15. I still think you and I are related, beth. My son, Drew, is deathly allergic topeanuts and I live in fear every day that he will accidentally eat some. I discovered his allergy when he was ten months old. He was in his high chair with mini Ritz peanut butter cracker sandwiches, rubbing his eyes. I thought he was tired, but when I looked closely, his eyes were swollen shut and his face was resembling a football, in a matter of seconds. D you think you and I have read one million labels? I always wondered what an anaphylactic response would feel like, and what an epi pen dose would feel like. Then about four years ago, I ate a mango like any other bazillion times, and turned magenta (no exaggeration). My eyes swelled, my tongue and throat felt odd, my breathing was strained. Then my fingers turned black from lack of oxygen I guess. I went from feeling horrendous, to feeling fantastic within two minutes after IV epi pen stuff. Weird. My son is stubborn about carrying an epi pen, diligent about reading, but will carry a benedryl sheet in his wallet. Boys. We love them! I am so so reliecved your darling son is okay...and that he wrote his paper on time!! A birthday party to remember, huh? Hugs, kath

  16. alive to mess up his room another day! ha! certainly made for an memorable birthday celebration.

  17. sheeeeesh.....breathing a huge sigh
    of relief with you
    and grateful for urgent cares
    and benadryl
    and all those gadgets that get us
    from gaaaaahhhh-can't-breathe
    to okay again.
    Glad your guy is good again:)

  18. So scary. My twin sons have a scallop allergy - we discovered it at age 3 when they both became violently ill at the same time. They never partake of "fish soup" just in case a scallop has slipped in there! (They're in their 40's now.)

  19. Oh to the ER with a sick kid is soooo horrible! YAY for him being fine.. :)

  20. OH my goodness, what a scare! I can't imagine living with this fear all of his life. Just awful!
    So glad it all turned out okay ... and even with the gansta look, he's pretty darn handsome!

  21. oh goodness! how scary!!! it is amazing how our bodies work to protect us....

    thankful this was a happy ending with only urgent care and not hospital!!!

  22. I so know what you went through! (I am allergic to bee stings and my son is allergic to ginger.) I still read labels even thought he is a grown man with a family of his own. Many a night in the ER with him...I know how scared you must have been...and then relieved. I did have to laugh at the part about his room and pants...such the mother. And the the way you documented the experience. So glad it had a happy ending.

  23. What a horrifying experience that must've been. Your poor boy. I'd be afraid to let him out of my sight. But sounds like he's pretty good at sniffing out the enemy. Glad it didn't turn into something worse!

  24. Oh, Beth, my youngest has had a lifelong allergy to peanuts - carries an epi-pen and I'll never forget having to jab that thing in her thigh when she was three and couldn't breathe. Thank God for whoever invented those. She's always on the lookout as well. My heart is beating fast now for you in sympathy - I know that feeling so well. Glad it turned out okay! P.S. Gangsta or not, he's a cutie! And happy birthday to your George Clooney lookalike husband!

  25. Oh dear, I am glad he is OK now too. Sometimes we just have to choose our battles and let some things ride. Take care!

  26. Well, first of all, I'm glad in the endgame it came out all right. That had to be terrifying. And don't blame yourself.

    I'm glad you had your camera with you -- that time just waiting can be excruciating. To have it as a slight distraction. Well, a quiet blessing.

    A birthday you'll never forget. Send wishes from me.

  27. Beth,

    I totally relate to the fear, the worry, the reading of labels, constant hand washing before eating, and always reminding my daughter to take her EpI pen.

    She also has life-threatening food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, seeds, beans, and shell fish.

    She was 2 when diagnosed and is 11 now. My new fear is “the first kiss” and every one there after.

    I have done (and still do) a lot of work around releasing the fear. SHe actually when to camp in Maine for 4 weeks last summer (we live in Chicago) and will be going for 7 weeks this summer. Yes, I am BRAVE.

    And so are you. I’m so glad that his reaction was somewhat minor. It’s such a scary, every day thing to deal with. I’m right there with you.

    Lots of love to you and you family.

    I loved your Xmas posting.

  28. As a nurse I have to speak up and tell you epi pens can't be left in the car. They are very temperature sensitive and extreme heat or cold can render the medication unstable. Please read the package close and look at the guidelines, check out the food allergy network for other ideas and encourage him to carry benadryl. A medical alert necklace would be a great idea but try to win the battle of the epi pen storage first. Good luck

  29. I'm just so relieved this had a happy ending ~ hope the hubby's birthday did, too

  30. :)
    so glad it all worked out fine in the end.
    we love them, no matter what. we have to, it's our job.

  31. A peanut allergy is so frightening! They are everywhere!


**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth