I am sitting here watching my baby sleep. And I know I should feel lucky, but truthfully I just feel helpless. Helpless and really, really guilty.
We are lucky. Beyond lucky and I know it. Hudson was complaining of something being in his ears early in the afternoon. My mom was visiting and both of us checked his ears multiple times, and saw nothing in them and nothing around them. So we put the kiddos in the car to run an errand. That’s where I really feel the guilt. I know didn’t believe anything was going on other than typical 2 year old weirdness, but I can’t turn off the what ifs.
Sometime on the short trip to the post office, his face started selling and his arms started breaking out in hives. He still rear faces, and I couldn’t see him during the trip, but he mentioned 2-3 times his ears hurt. When we stopped, my mom said I should go back and check on him while she ran in. I did, and as soon as I saw him felt the fear as well as the guilt run through me.
I recognized what he was going through bc I had allergies as a child. At this point he was swelling, but not dramatically. I checked his breathing (the sweet little man that he is said yes he could breathe fine, but could he please watch a movie on my phone) and immediately called his pediatrician. He wasn’t wheezing, was in pretty good spirits considering he hadn’t had a nap yet, and complained only of his ears hurting. We were advised to bring him in right away, as our pediatrician’s office is attached to the children’s ER. My mom was driving us in that direction before I had ended the call.
I sat between Owen and Hudson the whole way there, but it wasn’t until we were in the office the swelling seemed to really pick up. He still was really happy, which reassured me some. When my mom walked up with the other two kids (she dropped us off at the door), Hudson took off running to the toys and yelled “its time to play, Owen”.
But when we went back to the room he became more lethargic and quickly. The drs and nurses all flying in and out of the room were fantastic. All in a few minutes he was administered a shot, checked multiple times by multiple doctors, staff from the children’s hospital visited, his blood was taken, I was given EpiPen instructions as well as a prescription for those and Auvi-Q. I needed to go home to clean out the pantry and fridge. Do I understand how serious food allergies could be?
It was hardly enough time to process what had just happened let alone ask all of the questions I had. I had so many questions. And not just the simple questions like when does he need his next dose of Benadryl or how long should he wait to eat? But questions like how can I ever let him out of my sight again? Can I let him go to school in a few years when I won’t be there to control everything he comes into contact with? Can I even count on myself to keep him safe? How will I ever trust myself again? And the one that keeps repeating itself most often - what if I hadn’t checked on him that one last time?
We are lucky. I am lucky. And I know I should be feeling it. Instead I am sitting here watching my baby sleep, hoping that one day much sooner than I can imagine, after I’m done feeling the fear and the guilt, I’ll feel lucky.