Saturday, August 15, 2009

Inen's first emergency room visit

Okay, okay... so I know I have a lot of content to post still, and plenty of catching up to do. I'm still editing videos and uploading content, so June and July updates will be forthcoming. I realized, though, that does not mean I can't post about what's currently happening. (Yes, I'm a bit obsessive compulsive, feeling that if I'm going to post it, I must post it in chronological order.)

So what is happening?

Well, last night Inen had his first trip to the emergency room. Yay! ("Yay" that he's back, not that he went.) Here's the story:

I was making vegan mac and cheese for dinner, the "cheese" for which has myriad ingredients - potatoes, carrots, earth balance margarine, nutritional yeast, raw cashews, tahini, miso, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. The "cheese" goes over rotini and broccoli, and is then baked with bread crumbs on top. Yum yum!

Korie wondered about giving Inen that for dinner, to save me work and see if he might like something more to chew on. I thought this was a good idea, briefly going down the list of ingredients in my head for any of the things Inen is allergic to: milk, eggs, peanuts. The dish is vegan, and we don't even keep peanuts in the house because of his allergy, so my mental once-over produced no red flags. (I just realized I haven't posted anything about Inen's medical history, including his allergies, of which we know only the three aforementioned. Mental note: I'll have to do another post on that.)

So we put some on his tray and he grabbed up noodles with both hands, greedily shoving them into his mouth, and promptly coughed and hacked on them (I'm reluctant to say "choked" - he didn't aspirate) due to his eagerness. Korie removed the food from his mouth, and we were about to resume feeding in a more controlled manner when Korie noticed Inen's neck turning red and swelling up with hives. We immediately gave him benadryl, but he was looking pretty swolen so Korie announced, "We are going to the emergency room."

We packed him up and headed for the ER. By the time we got there he was a little better, but still red with hives. He was admitted, we told the story, and they said, "You did the right thing, he's not having trouble breathing, we'll just observe him for a bit." Korie had called our parents on the way down, for prayer support and because it's and unwritten rule that you let parents in on emergencies like this (because they need more to worry about, and they'll kill you if you don't share the anxiety). So Korie's parents came down, and we played in the hospital for a while. I ran home and got him dinner that isn't life-threatening. After an hour, we paid our $100 copay and went home with a prescription for an EpiPen. ("Just because his reaction is so severe, and just in case. Only use it if he turns blue.")

Inen was back to normal within 45 minutes of giving him benadryl. He's just fine and dandy. The best that anyone can figure is that one or two ingredients were "processed in a facility that also processes peanuts, etc." Given that it would be such a minuscule trace amount (a little bit of peanut got on a little bit of a minor ingredient in a sauce for a dish that he only tasted one noodle of...), it gave us some perspective on what the label "Highly Allergic" really means. We had a good scare, are thankful he's okay, and are now really pondering the future for our child in terms of his peanut allergy.


  1. stop trying to off your munchkin! i am soooo kidding. food allergies can be pretty scary sometimes. way to be a good papa bear and get the wee one to the ER. i really enjoy your little updates. one day, i swear, josh and i will be out to meet your little lad.

  2. "Only use it if he turns blue." Well. I'm glad that they were so . . . yeah. Saying that to a parent is like saying, "Stick with Band-Aids until his arm actually FALLS OFF; then use this gauze dressing and give us a call."