Sunday, June 29, 2008

Add Yet Another Member of My Family To The Epi Pen Club

Drum roll please . . .

Joining the ranks of Pop and Lala and Me (I don't have one but I probably should I have so many allergies) is Carmella.

But let me just start by saying today was not a good day in the world of Carmella.

Though, I'd like to think, most are good days in her little world. But today definitely wasn't.

That makes me sad.

Yesterday though was pretty good.

Yesterday after spending the night at Pop and Lala's she and Beau got to go to the nature center to see the reptile show. They also got to visit with their cousins Duncan and Miranda--who Carmella says is "perfectly adorable." Then she got to attend her swim banquet where she received the award for "Most likely to be an Ambercrombie and Fitch Model." Not that she owns anything from Ambercrombie but she definitely has that girl next door quirky prep thing going on.
Beau got voted "Most likely to be "George of the Jungle."

Yeah, that works too.
Today though I woke up sore in the arms and shoulders. Surprisingly the legs felt good. So today had to be a run today. Not a swim today. Ryan had work today at home so I took the kids to the Greenway Trail so I could run and they could ride their bikes.

Carmella was luke warm about the whole idea and then got further annoyed at me when I said they needed to go slow because Mommy had to run slow today. To that she said "What's the point in going?"

For exercise, to maintain, I said. I KNOW she rolled her eyes at me.

I know this because they blazed those first 2.2 miles in 15 minutes. I couldn't figure out why my legs felt like jelly until I checked the time at our designated break spot. Beau even took a picture of me all glistening.

After a brief break where I gulped Gatorade and tried to get my heart rate under control and again implored the kids to go slow, we were off.

I don't think they went slow and at the 3 mile mark Carmella was again annoyed with me when I said we were turning back. She argued and I told her all Mommy had was 6 miles today. Lame, she said and was off down the hill. Beau followed. I chased.

I yelled to her and Beau to slow down and wait for me at the bridge.

But it didn't matter. Carmella wiped out.

I didn't see until I rounded the curve.

She told me that people were coming around the curve on her side and she ran off the trail to avoid them and I guess over corrected and wrecked.

Her knee was, is, a mess. It really is quite an impressive road burn. I would be way proud if that were my knee. The one knee is skinned in 4 places and is now totally bruised. But the Mommy rule when your kid is injured is to NOT freakout and totally down play the injury.

Get back on your bike.

No, she said fighting back the tears.

We argued back and forth and I laid it out for her:

I explained that it has never been a matter of if you are going to wreck but rather when. And today is your when, I told her.

I told her to take a few deep breaths and then squirted water on her knee.

Get on your bike.

No, she said, now crying. I want to walk, she said.

Instantly I realized that she was fine but that she was now scared to ride her bike. She was scared because she has never fallen. In fact this was the first time she had hurt herself since she was probably a toddler. This was her first real injury.

I MADE her get on her bike. Plus, you know, I did want to finish my run. I won't lie. I always have my selfish motives. But nevertheless I would not be doing her any favors by letting her walk her bike for 2.75 miles. She would probably never ride her bike again.

So she got back on. Whimpering. And just as she was starting to get over herself who do we come up on the trail?


Grandma sympathy resulted into a tearful waterfall right there on the trail. Lala even suggested the walking of the bike. But luckily Carmella herself had realized the eternity that that would take and at that point she just wanted to be done.

So Carmella and I ditched Lala with Beau and finished our ride/run. Total time was 53 minutes. Not so bad for all those stops. I was dripping with sweat.

After we finished I was hoping that Carmella had a sense of humor about her fall but she totally did not.
Man. She. Was. Done.

So we waited for Beau and then left.

But (boy is hindsight ever 20/20) I HAD to go to the store. Carmella whined and cried and did not want to go. She begged me to drop her at home. And when I called Ryan to see if he would mind he told me that was totally ridiculous to drive right past the store and then have to go back. Waste of gas, he said. I reported this to Carmella who was upset but dealt.

At the store we got there at sample time. Kids, not to mention me, were starving. Kids had a cookie, sampled turkey and smores. Then they had roasted cashews and almonds out. I took some, of both. I offered some to the kids. Neither of my kids have ever eaten nuts. But I wasn't worried about allergies. Carmella was tested for all food allergies at 6 months old and showed allergic to nothing. Not to mention nuts are in tons of stuff. Beau has no allergies that I know of so I figured good to go.

Beau said no to the nuts but Carmella tried them. First a cashew, yum. Then an almond, disgusting. And then she complained about said almond and the "horrible" taste in her mouth. I rushed through the store getting what we needed in record time before complete blood sugar meltdowns all around resulted.

Unfortunately the pictures I had dropped off were still not ready so we had to wait a few more minutes.

Carmella started to complain that she felt very thirsty. I was instantly suspicious but again reassured myself that she could not be allergic. She tested negative for tree nuts, I told myself.

I pointed to the water fountain. Relieved, she ran a few feet away to get a sip. I continued to wait for my pictures.

She returned and than started to complain that her tummy hurt. She felt like she was going to throw up.

Uh oh.

Let me tell you.

I can count the number of times Carmella has throw up in her life and the very first time was at that very store, in my pocketbook no less. Immediatly I started to usher her to the bathroom. En route she threw up in her hands. She carried it in her hands and held it together until we made it to the rest room.

Soon as the door swung shut she started to lose it. I instructed her to first finish vomiting and then to wash her hands. She did and then informed me afterwards that she was" fine, perfect" and that we should go now.

All the while Beau is I have to pee! I don't have to throw up!

Upon exiting the restroom I instructed more water.

And happily our pictures were ready and we left.

I queried her on the way home: how is your tummy? Your throat sore? Can you breathe okay? Do you feel itchy? Fine,no, yes, no.

Well, actually Mommy, she said, my tummy doesn't feel great.

Okay, stomach bug maybe, I thought.

Fast forward to getting home.

Carmella assists me with the groceries but barely makes it inside where she proclaims that she needs to throw up. I rush her to the bathroom and she vomits and starts crying. Unlike Beau she is not so good with the throwing up or any bodily function for that matter. It all freaks her out.

Finally she stops vomiting but then she starts sneezing. She can't stop and I am in sort of in shock at how much sneezing there is. I strip her clothes and put her in an almost cold shower. I instruct Ryan to go immediately to the store for liquid Claritan and for coke--since I am not entirely sure it isn't a stomach bug. Though at this point I highly suspect an allergic reaction.

In retrospect I should have told him to get Benedrayl and I weighed it out but I didn't want her to be groggy and we use Claritan more than Benedrayl. But for the record, always go for the liquid Benedrayl in the case of an allergic reaction. It is best.

Oh, where is Beau during all this? Well he is being punished in his room. I can't remember now after all the day's drama what he did but I do know that he was being punished during all this.

By the time I get Carmella out of the shower, dressed, clean her knee and dress the wound Ryan is back. I settle Carmella on the couch, give her the Claritan, a bucket in case she needs to vomit and I elevate her knee and put an ice pack on it. About an hour has passed since she had the nuts. She seems to do be doing better for the moment. Still sneezing but not throwing up.

I go make everyone lunch. I release Beau from his incarceration and finally

sit down to eat.

20 minutes pass.

As soon as I finish my lunch Carmella comes upstairs. She says she needs help changing her shirt. It is covered in vomit. I noticed that her eyes are red and her face looks a little swollen. She is also itching herself. I pull her shirt off and she has hives.

I grab her a clean shirt and tell Ryan that we are going to the Urgent Care. He unracks the bikes from my car and I grab Carmella a glass of ice water. She is starting to cough and sound wheezy and is still sneezing like crazy. I instruct her to drink the water and I crank up the AC and roll down the windows and haul ass out of the neighborhood.

I drive like a mad woman the 7 miles to the Urgent Care.

We wait 10 minutes. I tried to up play her situation. Carmella tried to down play it to the receptionist. I guess she believed Carmella. I feel certain that if she had kept her mouth shut we would not have had to wait. I know how to work the ER by this point. So instead I had to sit next her and try not to panic as I watched her about scratch her face off.

It has now been about an hour and 45 minutes since she ate the nuts.

We are called back and I try to quickly explain what is going on. Carmella finally admits that her throat is indeed starting to hurt. The nurse hears her wheezing but her oxygenation level is still decent. I think it was 92. Her temperature was way low but I told them I had been making her drink ice water so they checked her auxiliary temp and it was normal.

I hear them discussing what to do. I can tell they are little panicked. I know that they just need to give her the steroids and antihistamines and am annoyed that they aren't sure what to do but I try to keep my mouth shut.

As it was it didn't matter because immediately they give her an epi shot and then a steroid shot for which it takes 3 of use to pin Carmella down for. Then she gets some Benedrayl and the doctor debates whether he is going to call an ambulance to take her to the ER or just observe her. I know that they will not need the ambulance. They bring Carmella more water and almost immediately her wheezing is gone. After about another hour the hives are gone and I am greatly entertained by the wired Carmella.

The nurses all seemed amazed at how "resilient" she is but I am like, duh, you just jacked her up on an epi pen and prednisone.

So we leave with a script for an inhaler, prednisone and an epi pen. Oh, and that liquid Benedrayl.

So yeah, today was not a good day in the life of Carmella but she was pretty cool about it.

And rest assured. We will be visiting an allergist to determine for certain exactly what she is allergic to.


  1. Jeez! Suspense in this post was amazing. I was SURE it was going to be a bee! Never suspected a nut...

    Glad all is ok. It makes the 100 miles seem like a cakewalk, huh?

  2. Hi I've been reading your blog for a few weeks and I really enjoy it. Found through another runner's blog. Just wanted to say way to go on being a great mom today. And your running/biking/swimming is so freakin inspirational. :)

    -grace b

  3. Wow! you burned 600 calories on your run and 6000 during the rest of the day! Your blog has always been a great read & very motivating, please keep it up!


  4. Oh dear. Poor Carmella! What a crappy day! Way to go on not freaking out when the allergy hit.

  5. Thats scary. Good to hear she is OK now. I have been lucky that none of my allergies are that bad

  6. Oh no! I suppose it was a good thing I didn't drop off Chase to bike with you guys at the trail. Last thing you needed was another kid that day. I hope Carmella is all better today! Poor baby!

  7. OMGoodness! I'm glad she's okay.

  8. Aunt Boo is very connected with a good allergy Dr. -you know, the one you saw in high school ?Check and see if Dr. Tanner is on your plan. He saw me and pop for our bee problems too. Those epi pens are scary. Lala

  9. Carmella and her mama are serious troopers. . . So glad it all turned out okay, and make sure you love on her for all of us today - she deserves a Princess day after all that. Also, tell her i think her knee looks totally tough!

  10. I loved the trials and tribulations of other people's children... up to the point she had the allergic reaction! That totally stinks, but I'm glad that you guys found out about it now, and it wasn't worse!!

  11. Carmella had one of those days she'll remember for the rest of her life! You taught her to be strong and not live in fear. By the way, what was written above her knee injury?

  12. Hey guys! Thanks. Carmella seems fine from her allergic reaction today but her knee is really bothering her. She is mobile (even walked 2 miles on a hike today) but she is limping. Hopefully it is just sore from being bruised and there isn't a fracture or something.

    We have an appointment for allergy testing next week. She has to go 7 days w/out antihistamines for the tests to be accurate.

    And Bruce, the writing was from Thursday's swim meet. I think that leg said 50 free. YOu have to write their events on them in sharpie. She was a total rock star at the meet with HUGE improvements on all her times. Kids are going to be eating her bubbles next year for sure.

  13. Re the writing on the kids with Sharpies: I (lala) went to Dick Blick to purchase Sharpies in colors of eagles and owls to draw on Beau for the Sat. outing at the nature center. The guy at Dick Blick was VERY CONCERNED that I intended to write on my grandchildren with a toxic marker that could be absorbed through their skin!! first I had heard of this.. does the swim team coach know of these risks? I purchased face paint to do the job, which of course, smeared and dissolved within an hour. The owl was unrecognizable. Any info on Sharpie poisoning out there?

  14. That was scary! I'm glad Carmella is ok. I was sure it would be a bee or yellow jacket, knowing Pop and LaLa's allergy. Nuts...who woulda thunk.