***DISCLAIMER: This is a long post. The relevance to food allergies is explained about halfway down.***
I have been a little slack in finishing and publishing posts this week. Not because of DR or anything relating to food allergies, but because of JN, my one year old, and a febrile seizure which caused him to be hospitalized.
We have joked for the past year that JN is our easy child since he has not been sick like DR was the first year of his life. In fact, JN has only had one other illness: a quickly passing stomach bug. Other than a low-grade fever from the stomach bug and some teething irritation, JN has never had the issues we were accustomed to…that is until this past Monday.
Both boys dealt with symptoms of what looked like the everyday cold over the weekend. They had some nasal congestion coupled with a (slightly alarming) barking cough. Neither of them spiked fevers or showed any other sign of malaise, so we took them to daycare on Monday morning. At daycare we were told that some of the teachers and other kids had the same thing, but it didn’t seem to be of concern; however, at 4:26pm I received a call from daycare saying that JN had a fever and needed to be picked up. While I tried to reach my husband, Justin, I received another call saying JN was having a seizure. At this point, I clocked out of work, and rushed to pick him up.
Due to crazy traffic patterns and trains, I was delayed and never made it to the daycare. Instead, they had to call for an ambulance and my baby was rushed to the hospital. By the time I was able to find him, he was still seizing with a team of 17 people working to correct the situation. When they were finally able to start an IV they administered two rounds of medications that finally stopped the seizure. This was 45 minutes after the seizure had started. At this point several nurses and doctors started explaining to me what was happening, concerns they had, and asking questions about previous medical histories. I tried to answer as best I could, but I was in a daze of panic and fear. I recall one of my first responses when I saw that he was not wearing a diaper that “I forgot to bring diapers.” As family members started to arrive even more questions bombarded me, and I didn’t know how to answer them all.
Finally, Justin arrived with DR, and the discussion transitioned to who was going to take DR and what he could eat. At this mention, I quickly snapped out of my panicked-mama funk, and started making a plan. These were questions I could answer and a situation I could control. I explained where he could eat and what he could have. There was already a plan in place at daycare to use extra foods we had dropped off for the days he couldn’t eat the school meal. We had plenty of foods at home that were all egg and peanut free. Our families have been trained in DR’s food allergy plan, and they were prepared.
Over the course of our two-day hospital stay I received many calls and updates on DR, and I was reassured of his meal and snack plans. Because of our months of preparation since his diagnoses, we now know that no matter which situations may take us from him, we have friends and family who love and care for DR so much that they are as focused on his food allergies and keeping safe.