Sunday, May 17, 2009

an*a*phy*lax*is

Webster's Definition:
noun (also anaphylactic shock)
an extreme, often life threatening, allergic reaction to an antigen to which the body has become hypersensitive following an earlier exposure.

My Definition:
noun (also parents' worst nightmare)
a hysterical trip to the emergency room spent trying to keep your son conscious.

When Jay was first born I thought his hospital wristband was so cute and tiny. I loved to pick it up from time to time and let all the good memories come flooding back... how it felt to hear him cry the first time... holding him for the first time... spending that precious time together as a brand new family...

I certainly never thought that I would be looking at another one of those anytime soon and that it would actually be a symbol of the most terrifying experience I've ever had.
The story goes like this:
Today we unknowingly fed Jay some baby food with whey protein in it. (not even really milk and it was the last ingredient!) He only ate a few bites but a few minutes later he started throwing up a TON. We didn't realize until about twenty minutes later what was actually happening. It seemed like one minute he was just a little sick or even just gagging a bit (which he does all the time) and the next minute his face was bright red and his lips were turning blue. I got him out to the car while Joey grabbed a few things inside and by that time he was barely breathing. I was out of my mind scared, screaming for Joe to hurry. It was the longest car ride ever. His eyes kept rolling back and closing and I could count at least four seconds between each tiny gasp. All I could think to do was try and keep him awake by shaking him and calling his name. Joe told me to say a prayer but I couldn't even start without bursting into tears. We finally got to the emergency room (really only a two minute drive) and I ran inside to find NO ONE there. I banged on the glass and the lady inside said, "Oh is this the baby with the fever?" I couldn't really talk but I managed to say, "No! Look at him he's having a reaction!" Then she said, without really looking at him, "Oh well you'll have to sign in." (!!!) Just then another nurse looked over her shoulder, saw Jay and immediately opened the door. She grabbed the car seat from me and ran us back to a room. They stripped him down and started putting monitors all over him and giving him an IV. All the while they are trying to act calm and they keep asking me all the seemingly inappropriate questions like, "So are you still at the same house on Amity?" I understand these are necessary questions but at the time I wanted all of them to shut up and just make my son better. They pumped him full of benedryl and epinephrine and something else I probably can't pronounce. He was screaming and they had me climb in bed with him to calm him down. His head was clammy and he seemed so limp and helpless. Then his color changed from red and blue to white and he threw up even more! (from the medicine I guess) They put more fluids in his IV to keep him hydrated and after a few minutes he fell asleep. I was so grateful that he seemed to be doing better but I was terrified that it wasn't over and maybe he would just stop breathing. Once he woke up though, he was his normal wiggly little self (who did not appreciate all of the tubes and wires that were attached to him). Here's a few pictures of him after the reaction had cleared almost completely up.
Oh and the only gown they had was enormous on him so we tied it up the best we could!He looks like he has casts on because they had to wrap up his IV and O2 Monitor so he wouldn't pull them off. They kept him for three hours for observation and then gave us a prescription for an EpiPen. I don't know if I can picture myself ever stabbing my son in the leg but I hear that when it actually does come to that, you don't even hestitate or think about it. I'm sure that's true.

It was horrifying and honestly it changed me. I don't think you can ever go through an experience where you almost lose someone, or actually lose someone, without it affecting you. I can tell I'm going to be forever paranoid but also forever grateful for my cute little boy. We still have him and I hope I never take that for granted.

3 comments:

Shannon said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Stacy, I cried just reading this! How traumatic! I'll try calling you later. I'm glad he's okay.

Love you!

Becca said...

Oh my gosh...that is SO scary! I can't even imagine! I'm so sorry! That had to be really hard!

I'm VERY glad he's feeling better though..and I'm VERY glad the hospital is so close!

Kim Allen said...

Oh Stacy! I would have freaked out. I'm so glad that he is ok.