(Subtitle: ... and I am an IDIOT!)
Preface: There is no one to blame here. I am responsible for the safety of my children. I do not think ill of ANYONE involved in what I am going to talk about here. There is no blame. None.)
Well. I have talked a lot about Politics on this blog lately. I may as well go into the other "taboo topic of conversation" -- Religion!
I believe in God. No. Strike that. I know for sure there is a God. Period.
Why? Read on.
Janie has a SEVERE allergy to the class of drugs that is called NSAIDS. The primary drugs included in this class are ibuprofen and asprin. There is a VERY long list of drugs that are NSAIDS. We only give Janie Tylenol products and Benedryl. And, it is SO VERY HARD for me to even give those to her. I would prefer it if she never had to have ANY medicine.
How do we know she has this SEVERE allergy? In February of 2006, when we had Janie home from China for just under two months, and she was not even 2.5 years of age, she had a cold. When I put her to bed, I gave her a TINY amount (1/4 teaspoon - a teeny amount) of children's cold and cough syrup - containing ibuprofen. Yes, it was in the NSAIDS class of drugs.
45 minutes later, we were in the Emergency Room with her. She had a SEVERE anaphylactic (sp??) reaction.
At that point in time, our rural area did not have good emergency service. Things have improved since then! But, at that time the best thing to do was drive like a bat out of He// and get her to the ER. I drove and Chris sat in the back seat between May and Jane's carseats. He was trained as an EMT years ago, and so I trust his judgment on medical emergencies. He encouraged me to drive FAST as he watched Janie's condition worsen.
The guy who was in charge of Triage at the ER (Dave) pulled me aside after Janie had been treated for a while (they rushed us right in IMMEDIATELY when we arrived at the ER) and told me that this was a TRUE emergency and we had done the exact right thing in getting her treatment. He was so serious and stone-faced. I imagine he sees everything from A to Z. Being the Triage guy, he knows how to sort out the true emergencies. Janie was admitted to the hospital and kept over night (I stayed with her). She had IVs and various monitors and was in one of those giant metal cribs that hospitals have. It was terrifying. The scariest event I have ever experienced. We got a prescription for an Epi-Pen, and we have carried one with us everywhere Janie is ever since that time.
ANYWAY -- so, in February of 2006 we learned that Janie is allergic to NSAIDS. (She underwent a series of allergy testing right after that, just in case she had any other allergies. She had a moderate allergy to tomatoes and also to corn. She hates both of these, and so avoiding them is easy. Except for all the corn products added to ... well ... EVERYTHING ... but, that allergy has lessened with time.)
Flash to tonight. The girls all went to a birthday party. It was close to our house, so I sent them alone. Once it got dark, I walked over to the party so they wouldn't have to walk home alone in the dark. The party was still in full swing, and so I pitched in on the craft/project. We built little rocket ships out of construction paper, glue, and empty film cannisters. No biggie, right?
We took them to the garage and the driveway and had a BLAST putting water and a half a tablet of Alka Selzer in the film cannisters and watching the construction paper tops ZOOM off once the fizzing made the cap pop off the film cannister. We did this OVER and OVER and OVER. It was a lot of fun!!
Wait a minute. Back that bus up.
ALKA SELZER. On the NSAIDS list.
This is God --right here -- Janie is pretty timid. I am constantly working with her to get her to be more daring and brave. But, I also give in and cover for her when I can see she is extra worried. She seemed very leary about the little rockets, and so I helped her with hers and I placed the half an Alka Selzer into her rocket and put it down to explode. She stood far away from it. That was the only one she wanted to do. I went on to help several of the other kids do their rockets over and over. Both May and Irene set theirs off several times each. May, Irene and I handled the Alka Selzer many times, but Janie never touched it.
THAT is God.
Once the party was over and we got home, the girls were putting on their PJs. Janie was scratching her hip/rear end and I took a look and saw that she had hives. This is not too unusual for Janie. She used to get HORRIBLE hives any time she felt shy, and still occasionally does.
But, then it popped into my IDIOT head -- ALKA SELZER! NSAIDS!
By that time, Janie had a large patch of bright red and super-itchy hives under her chin -- all along her jaw line from ear to ear. I was already putting hydrocortizone (sp??) creme on her hip/rear and so I put a lot on her neck/jaw, too. I also gave her a dose of Benedryl and got an Epi-Pen handy (meaning RIGHT BY ME). I spoke calmly to May and Irene about how if I said to get shoes and coats and get in the car, they were to do it immediately.
May clearly remembers when we all went to the ER with Janie in 2006. So, she KNEW this was serious.
I took all our clothes, jackets, shoes, etc. and got them into the wash. May, Irene and I washed every surface (including ourselves) that we thought had been around the fizzing Alka Selzer. I vacuumed.
I put Janie on the couch beside me and I read books to May and Irene. Jane was fast asleep from the Benedryl by that time. May and Irene headed to bed and I stood (stand) watch beside Jane.
She is FINE. (That is also God.) The hives on her neck/jaw are nearly gone now. There is NO swelling of her lips/face/jaw/neck (the sign of anaphylactic -sp??-shock).
Both May and I prayed our THANKS to God for Jane's safety and timidity. Both May and I prayed for Janie to stay well.
So far, so good.
But, I know I will not sleep tonight until all that laundry is done and all traces of NSAIDS are gone again.
Even though I have washed my face three times, I keep imagining the salty taste of Alka Selzer when I lick my lips. I know it is not really there. But, my worried-Mama brain says it is there. I have not kept any Alka Selzer in my home since February of 2006. The ONLY NSAID class drug I keep is the ibuprofen I use for my knees. And, it is kept in a child-proof bottle out of Janie's reach. Oh - I have a small tube of teething jell that I sometimes use on May's cankor (sp???) sores. That is an NSAID, too. It is kept on the top shelf of the pantry - far out of Janie's access.
Janie knows of her allergy and KNOWS that she is NEVER EVER to take medicine unless Mom or Dad give it to her. Period. You can test her on this. She will NOT take medicine from anyone.
Why am I writing this out to you all? I am not sure. I know that when the event of February 2006 happened and I wrote it all out, it helped to save at least two other children who had similar anaphylactic (I really should learn how to spell that, since I write to this blog with NO spell check!) attacks. Perhaps my writing today is just to say, "Stay alert!" Maybe it is YOU who needs to hear this? Keep it in the back of your mind.
I am looking over at my beloved angel Janie right now. She is sleeping soundly and with full health. I am so beyond grateful. Thank you, God.