It's been over a month since our first experience with an Anaphylaxis emergency so there's been a bit of time to digest it all. Since then, our son has returned to Childcare, but after 3 weeks, we had another milder incident where he started wheezing quite badly, sounding like an asthmatic. The worst part of this was not his illness, since he was actually chatting non-stop through it all, showing he couldn't have been that distressed. The worst part was that my husband and I had finally planned to both take a day off while our son was in care... this was our first "date" in a year! We were just about to go out on our lunch date when we got the call... I nearly cried.
So off to the GP we went. We think it was another allergic reaction, but again there was no identifiable cause. It took the Zyrtec a little while to kick in, so we still got the asthma medication as a back up. Plus the silicone mask, plus the chamber they recommend for young kids. Oh yeah, better get two of everything, one for us, one for childcare... the costs are crazy!
This second reaction was quite different from anything we've had before. The only thing I've narrowed it down to is that the childcare had recently got a gold fish and our son's friend had fed the fish that morning, by tipping the container. The fish food has Krill in it... I'm guessing that if our son is allergic to prawns, he's probably allergic to krill... so there you go, our son can't feed fish either, and all the kids have to wash their hands immediately after.
Anyway, I'd better get down to business. Here are the things we've now added to our emergency bags. We have an emergency bag in each of our cars, in addition to whatever we might carry on a normal outing.
- a full change of clothes - as soon as our son has a reaction, we will change him completely in case any more contaminant remains on his clothes.
- a plentiful supply of wet wipes - while we were waiting in hospital for over 4 hours after the adrenaline injection, you wouldn't believe how many times we had to wipe his hands, or our hands, or the furniture around us.
- long life food - 4 hours is a long time and although we could survive on vending machine food, it's not an option for a highly allergic kid. We have an unopened pack of Chang's crunchy noodles ready at all times now. In our recent time at hospital, it was fortunate that my husband and I were both present. My husband stayed with our son in hospital while I made the mad dash to the nearby shops for food for our son's dinner. The area wasn't familiar, so my only option ended up being the fruit shop. I bought nearly every fruit and veg our son could eat without cooking, a bottle of water, some extra wet wipes, and a little bit of food for ourselves. My husband had actually been interstate just a few days before. So if the timing wasn't as perfect, I would have been the only person to keep my son company... and a trip to the shops would not have been an option. You see? All these things you just don't think of! Up till now of course. The other option is putting a hiatus on long trips for my husband... that's in place too... at least for a little while.
- my normal outing bag now also contains a small bottle of antihistimine Zyrtec, next to the Epipen. I realised that if we started to have a mild reaction, it's better to start off with the Zyrtec, rather than having to go to the Epipen straight away. I didn't realise they have a concentrated serum - much more convenient to carry.
- a copy of our safe foods list, along with all doctor's information. I still have to put a copy of this on the blog - I'm really quite proud of it, especially after getting such praise from the medical staff when it came with our son in the ambulance. I promise I'll get to this soon - I just have to hop on the right computer to download it.
So that's it so far, all the extra things that make all the difference. In the end though, the timing was as good as it possibly could be, given the situation. For that I am always grateful... plus the fact that our son recovered just fine of course. A mother's only wish.