Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dropping All the Balls

I'm not sure how to break this to you, so I think I'll let this slightly modified transcript of an IM exchange I had with a friend tell my story for me:

ME: At this point, I feel like I'm dropping balls all over the place. I didn't get nearly as much done during break as I wanted. Plus, we almost killed Pink with peanuts. 
(She's fine). 
FRIEND: Oh geez! Peanuts that is. Plenty of time for the other stuff. What happened? 
ME: I preface by saying that Pink ALWAYS complains about dinner and almost always says stuff she doesn't like makes her feel funny. Add to that the fact that Ren has just recently started cooking again, so she's getting a lot of healthy food she doesn't like. And, she never hesitates to tell Ren she doesn't like his cooking. THIS is an ongoing battle with Pink. 
Yesterday, Ren put zucchini in the curry. She said it made her feel funny and refused to eat it. Happens All. The. Time. 
Then she said it stung her throat. Something about the way she described it made me check the ingredients list on the box. The curry we always use seems to have a new formula that now includes PEANUT BUTTER!!! 
For the love of God. Because now Ren's upset because Pink's constant complaining is impossible to read, and he's terrified that he's just done something that hurt her. 
And, we don't know whether to use the epipen or not because she's not really showing any signs of reaction, and she says she's feeling much better now that she knows she doesn't have to eat the zucchini. So, I give her Benadryl, grab her epipen, and put her in the car to go to the immediate care clinic (EDITOR'S NOTE: The immediate care clinic is 5-minutes away and is an ER-level walk-in clinic that is 20 minutes closer to our house than the nearest ER. Calling an ambulance would have taken A LOT longer). 
At the clinic, the nurse said Pink didn't look like she was having an allergic reaction but that I should keep an eye on her through the night because everyone metabolizes differently. So, I slept with her all night to make sure she was ok. 
She was. 
I hate food allergies. 
FRIEND: Geez. Maybe just use curry powder from now on. Holy hell.


Yeah, so, apparently Ren and I inadvertently gave Pink peanut butter just TWO days after our annual visit to the allergist who said we should be especially careful about her peanut allergy since her test results indicate a very severe allergy (despite the fact we've never seen a severe reaction--THANK GOODNESS). My friend was kind enough to say that we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves, but I have struggle with that. I don't think we could've forgiven ourselves if failure to double-check ingredients had caused Pink a serious reaction. It never even occurred to me that something we always eat could suddenly become dangerous.

We still don't really know whether she had a reaction to the curry or not, but we are sure we need to work even harder to help Pink see the importance of not being so hyperbolic. I mean, when a kid has asthma and severe food allergies, we need tom help her figure out other ways to talk about things she doesn't like without saying they make her feel funny. Yesterday, as soon as I told her she didn't have to eat dinner, Pink said she felt all better, even though I hadn't given her the Benadryl, yet. But, when I pressed her, she also said her throat felt like a combination of itchy and bruised (which sounds a lot like an allergic reaction to me). 

So, yeah, I feel like I learned nothing from this day in the life of a kid with food allergies. I mean, I don't know whether Pink ingested peanut butter or not. I don't know whether she had a reaction. I don't know whether I should've used the epi-pen "just to be safe," and I don't quite know how to interpret her hypochondriacal responses to foods she thinks she might not like. 

I do know, however, that I will be reading ingredient lists every dang time from now on.

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