At the end of October, we will walk for awareness for food allergies.
Here is our story:
At age 4 she was diagnosed with anaphylaxis to tree nuts.
Jade was staying with my mom while hubby and I went on a fishing date. We didn’t go far, less than 10 minutes away. My mom wanted to feed Jade some yogurt while we were away. No big deal. A kid has to eat and why not make it healthy. So, my mom fixed yogurt with crushed walnuts and mixed it and gave it to Jade. Jade immediately ran to the bathroom spitting out the grit of walnuts into the toilet. She was scrapping her tongue with her teeth, she was doing everything in her power to get rid of whatever was in her mouth. Jade then started telling her Nana she needed a hospital. Now, understand this is a 4-year-old. She was pointing out the front door saying, “I need a doctor. I need the hospital.” At this point my mom calls me to let me know something might be wrong. Hubby and I load up to head to my mom’s.
We walk in to my daughter still in a panic kind of state. She wasn’t swelling, no visual signs of anything wrong, so I told my mom to give her some Benadryl and I would take her home to watch her through the night. We load up, takes about 20 minutes to get back to our house. It is dark out, I carry Jade inside.
Once inside, I put Jade on the floor and tell her to go see her Dad, he was in the Kitchen seeing if we had more Benadryl for later. I noticed something not right with her legs and told him to look at her.
He raised her shirt, her short legs and noticed blanket hives, thick looking hives all over her skin where her clothes touched her body. He looked dead at me to say, “We need to go NOW. No waiting. Hives mean Now.”
We loaded up in his little truck. We lived 20 minutes from the hospital. I remember it was lightning, it was dark, we were going as fast as we could. Jade was trying to pass out on us. I had to think quickly. I then remembered she loved the ABC song, so we started singing. I would have to nudge her every 3 to 4 letters in, her eyes were getting droopy. It could have been the Benadryl, but I wasn’t chancing her going to sleep on me! I wasn’t wanting my little girl passing out on the way. I did everything I could to keep her awake. Once we got to the ER, I remember balancing her on my hip. I knew if she got sick she needed to face away from me. She wasn’t moving a lot; she was so still. We get to the window, I sign in, we then find a seat. Something in my gut told me to pull her around to look at her. I did. The front of her shirt was so wet, she had been drooling the whole way, her tongue not really moving, her face looking different than before. I tried to get her to talk, but then I noticed her tongue was swollen. I went back to the window, “I can’t wait. She needs to be seen now. I think she has a food allergy, her shirt is soaking wet, her tongue is swollen, she can’t speak correctly.” The lady nodded and ran to get help.
We get to a room, 2 doctors came in, 2 or 3 nurses came after. One doctor gave Epi, another doctor looked her over, the nurses started hooking up cords to watch her heart beats.
“Your child is anaphylactic to whatever she ate. You will need to see an allergist, and her regular doctor. Do not feed her anything she ate prior to this accident”; those were the words we heard.
I never thought about food allergies being so serious. I knew they were, but I was so uneducated on everything! Boy, I didn’t know anything.
We get a diagnoses after blood work, and through eliminating, because her blood tests never really showed she was anaphylactic to tree nuts. Her blood tests really never told us anything. The first doctor we went to didn’t even tell us how to administer Epipen, we didn’t know how to read labels. I was just told to sign up to foodallergy.org
With not a lot of answers, we found another doctor. We found a doctor in Atlanta who took us under his wing. He assured us that he would take care of us, he taught me a lot. He helped with questions, even through an email. He really saved us.
Here it is 4 years later, and we only had one known anaphylactic reaction, without intent. We had other reactions, once a year we do food allergy challenges since it doesn’t show in blood work or skin tests, and I want to know if she outgrows. I want to know her threshold. I want to know everything I possibly can to keep her alive. So, we walk… we walk for a cure. We walk for awareness. We walk so she knows she isn’t alone. If you want to donate, please do. Help us reach our goal.
Donate Here: Food Allergy Walk Atlanta