Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Parent of the Year

The award for awesome parenting at our house this week definitely goes to Ren. And given how spacey I am and how often I blow it, this is saying something. Ren earned this esteemed award because in one brief instant, he brought the reality of the epipen to life for all three kids. And for that, I will be eternally grateful. And, by "eternally grateful," I mean "WTH, Ren?!?"

We've had an epipen for awhile, and, peripherally anyway, Pink P knows we might have to use it if she ingests any peanuts. But, until yesterday, she didn't really grasp how an epipen works. This was intentional, of course. The last thing I want if Pink P experiences anaphylaxis is for her to panic about getting a shot. You try explaining to a five-year old that the shot will be a lot better than, oh, I don't know, DEATH.

We've always talked about it in only the vaguest terms: "If you accidentally eat a peanut and can't breathe, we'll use this to make you feel better while we take you to the hospital." Or, "We have to take this with us everywhere we go so we can to keep you safe." And I have to say, the whole peanut allergy/epipen thing was going pretty well. Pink P was aware of the need to avoid peanuts at all cost, but she wasn't scared about anything.

That is until Ren inadvertently injected himself.

And then screamed.

To his credit, he tried to regain control of the situation by a) claiming it didn't hurt (really, Pink P, it didn't hurt, not at all) and b) by being super silly and enacting an overly dramatic death.

But, neither kid was fooled. Not one bit. Probably because it clearly hurt. And also because before he claimed it didn't hurt and before he enacted his dramatic death he called out to me in a slightly panicked voice (see what happens when I leave the room to go to the bathroom?). And, we all know I'm not the calm, rational one in this relationship.

In case you're wondering, accidental epipen injections into fingers and toes are more common that you might expect. Ren "shot himself" (as Pink P puts it) when he was throwing away an old one and trying to properly dispose of the medicine inside. (I suppose that's one way to get rid of it). In 3% of the cases, the injection can cause blood vessels to constrict and stop blood flow to the digit (Thanks interwebs, I didn't have enough to worry about, what with the back and the shoulder--have I told you guys about Ren's shoulder? It will probably need to be replaced in the next year, so, yeah, I'd prefer Ren didn't also lose a finger).

My initial internet search indicated we needed to go to the ER ASAP. But, a certain Japanese man I know is not going to the ER no way, no how. Of course, it was a holiday, and no doctor was in, so I called the pharmacy. Fortunately, the pharmacist didn't say anything about lost fingers, but he did point out the risk of soft tissue infection and suggest we go to the ER to get a strong antibiotic. Awesome (see earlier sentence about Ren and ERs).

In the end, we did nothing.*** Ren spent most of the day staring at/feeling his thumb, mesmerized by how it felt. And, after about 24 hours, it seems back to normal.

Pink P, on the other hand, is traumatized for life.

***We do not, however, condone you doing nothing. You should probably make better choices than we do. If this isn't evident to you by now, you obviously haven't been reading my blog posts very closely.


Shelley said...

When I was getting a local at the dentist once, some of the epinephrine mixed with the local got into a blood vessel and all of a sudden my heart was pounding super fast and I felt tingly. The dentist was all laid back because it happens occasionally, but I got all panicky until I knew what it was - very weird feeling!

Stinks that she has to worry about peanuts *and* getting a shot.

Tenntrace said...

I used to use an old orange to empty our expired pens. It was also howi was trained how it would feel if I ever had to use it on dd2. We had them sorted all over the place - home, diaper bag, church, daycare, etc so when they expired we had tons to use to train people with. Lol