Friday, April 8, 2016

Olivia's Allergic Reaction

A few weeks ago Madi and I made a cake for Jason's birthday. I let Madi lick the spatula and noticed she kissed Olivia with her chocolate lips. When I wiped the chocolate off the side of Olivia's head I noticed it was red and splotchy. I showed Jason and we hypothesized that perhaps Olivia had an egg allergy since we read online a true cocoa allergy is rare.

Fast forward to yesterday and I don't know what was going through my head when I decided to make meatballs for dinner. What do you use to make meatballs hold their shape? Egg and breadcrumbs. Was it the two grumpy and whiny babies that kept my brain from connecting the dots to the incident a few weeks ago? Was it the fact that I was "single parenting" since Monday with another two weeks and just a lot on my plate? Was it the fact that lately my brain is just swamped with packing details and logistics for our upcoming move? Whatever the reason I didn't think twice about making the meatballs and giving the girls finger-sized pieces to try.

I sat down for dinner last and as everyone began to eat I snapped a picture of the girls enjoying their spaghetti and meatballs. As you can see there is none in front of Liv because she tore into it and loved it. Evy was caught off guard and Madi posed for her picture.

Shortly after these pictures were taken I noticed that Liv was starting to fuss a little bit and rub her eyes a lot. "Oh great," I thought, "She's going to get meatball in her eyes." That's when I also noticed she was really red and getting more red. That was when I recalled that conversation a few weeks prior about the possibility of an egg allergy.

I grabbed the phone and called my friend Kristy whose daughter is allergic to eggs. She advised calling the legevakt immediately (the equivalent to urgent care). After spending five minutes with the phone ringing and no answer I hung up and called 113 (our equivalent to 911). I told them what I suspected was happening and wanted advice on what to look for in case I needed to be concerned and take her to the doctor. She got my address and said an ambulance was on the way. That's when I started to panic - realizing the weight of the situation. The operator told me to call her immediately if her breathing changed at all and to go ahead and call a friend to come watch the girls.

I tried our friend Sandy twice and when there was no answer called another friend Kemi. Kemi dropped everything and headed straight to the house beating the ambulance by just a few minutes. The ambulance had arrived in less than 15 min with four paramedics, including a doctor. Madi had seen me in tears and knew something was happening. She watched as the doctor checked Olivia and then gave her an anti histamine injection in her thigh.

The paramedic drove our car to the hospital so I would have it and the car seat while the doctor rode in the back of the van next to Olivia monitoring her. I was told I would most likely have to stay the night so I called Sandy back and asked if she would be able to come over and stay with the girls. Without hesitation she headed over and Kemi stayed and helped get everyone to bed.

After we arrived at the hospital they hooked Olivia up to a vitals monitor and checked her breathing and skin. She was already started to respond well to the medications, but they told me they wanted to observe her for the next five hours and then later told me they think it would be better to plan to stay the night. (And man am I glad they advised that!) They also did a blood sample.

Once we got a room and got settled I gave Olivia a bottle and put her to bed. I had to move the car to a different parking garage so I went and did that and got some dinner. My friend Liza joined me at the hospital to give me some company and laughs to take my mind off of things. It took Olivia while to settle down and fall asleep - after all she was in a new place and needed to look around. :-)

Around 3/330 am Olivia started stirring and I wasn't able to get her to take the pacifier and calm down. The nurse came in and I could tell she needed a diaper change so I started on that and we realized Olivia was super warm and red all over her legs and abdomen. The nurse went to get the doctor and they decided to start the oral anti histamine then rather than wait until later in the morning.

I held Olivia in the chair in our room after that and snuggled with her. I'm not sure how much sleep I got throughout the night, but it wasn't a lot. However, I got some Liv snuggles and those were priceless.

She woke up happy and smiling in my arms. We spent the morning hanging out and waiting for the doctor to come by. She also snuck in a short nap and my friend Dora who is a nurse in the hospital stopped by during her breaks to keep me company.

Finally the doctor came by around 10:30 to check on Olivia. She had read our file and knew we were moving to Baku. She gave me extra prescriptions for epi pens and medication to give if Olivia has another allergic reaction. She showed me how to use the epi pen and had me practice on myself with the demo pen. She also listened to Olivia's breathing and decided to do a breathing treatment and dosage of steroids before releasing us. She's typing up our notes in English so that we have all the information to show our doctor in Baku or wherever we find adequate healthcare (most likely Dubai). She also ordered additional blood tests next week so that we can find out if Olivia has any other allergies we should be aware of before we move.

I packed us up and got the prescriptions filled before heading home. Sandy and Kemi had swapped places to watch Evy and our friend Annie, the mom of Madi's bff Gabriel at barnehage had picked Madi up for school and also brought her home after school so I wouldn't have to wake Olivia to make the trip. My friend Hilary and her SIL Charlotte were able to make a grocery store run for me so I wouldn't have to get out to the store with the girls this weekend and my friend Joy dropped off my favorite American cheese dip. Amazing support and help surrounded me.

Both the girls were a bit grumpy this afternoon and evening, but we had a good dinner and bath time before getting them ready for bed. After I put them to bed I just held Madi and we watched a movie. I couldn't help buy cry and she turned to me and hugged me and said "What in you need Mommy?". I just needed that hug sweet girl.

I am in tears thinking about the amazing friendships that we have here in Norway and all of the love and help that's been poured out to us during this challenge. Kemi and Sandy dropped everything to come and watch the girls and help them. Annie helped get Madi to and from school and took her home to play with Gabriel to give me a break multiple times this week. Friends visited me in the hospital, offered to bring me anything I needed, ran to the grocery store for me, checked in on me, and have been praying for me. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so much support and I hope I've expressed to them how grateful I am for their friendship.

I am so thankful this happened in a country with a great medical system rather than after our move. I am so thankful that it wasn't more serious and that Olivia is doing so much better. I am so thankful that we know to be aware of what's in Olivia's food and are prepared in case another allergy arises in the future. I miss my husband terribly and would give anything to have him just hold me right now.

Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am, but all I feel is doubt that I can do these next couple of weeks without my husband. I mean it's not even been one week and I already tried to kill one of three. At this rate I'm likely to put each of them in the hospital before he comes back! :-p But seriously - thank you so much everyone who's supported me and reached out to me for assistance, near and far. I'm truly grateful and would appreciate your continued prayers that Olivia doesn't have a relapse and I can have the strength to get through the next couple of weeks!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...