We already knew that CJ is allergic to wheat, and we hoped that would be the end of his allergic reaction to foods, but apparently we were wrong.
Last week we finally made the move and changed pediatricians and tried out a new office in Forest Hills that came highly recommended from various friends. We were quite pleased with the large waiting room, numerous toys, updated measuring tools and techniques, and by the overall quality of the doctor. He was very amiable to both of us and to CJ, and we appreciated that he took the time to explain many things. At ten months, he said that we can start feeding CJ eggs.
So this past Saturday the wife was scheduled to work, so I cooked a large breakfast for the family that included scrambled eggs, potatoes, french toast, and turkey bacon. We shared a very small amount of eggs with CJ who initially didn’t like it much, but still ate a few pieces. The wife drove off to work and I stayed home with CJ, watching to see if he developed any hives from the eggs. From our experience with his allergic reaction to wheat, he normally can develop hives within two to three hours after exposure. This was not the case and was even more aggressive than the former.
Within an hour, CJ started to cough and have a runny nose. I immediately got worried as I figured his airways may be compromised. I gave it a few minutes and I noticed that he was breathing a little more heavily than normal. I got out the children’s benadryl and called the wife in which she told me to give him 5 ml’s. Of course he didn’t get magically better on the spot, but unfortunately when I put his mouth to my ears I could hear him wheezing a bit. I told my wife and we agreed that it be best that I take him to the hospital while she was on her way back.
Now, the wife took the car to work, but thankfully we live two blocks from North Shore LIJ Forest Hills. I quickly got dressed, put on CJ’s clothes, got his diaper bag, medical records, and my insurance card, and ran with him in my arms. I briefly debated if I should have taken the stroller instead, but it’s forward facing and I didn’t want him to get more stressed as he’s still getting used to sitting in that position. I also wanted to comfort him and keep tabs on his breathing. So yeah, I ran with him. For two blocks. Uphill. I knew I should have paced myself, but the kid is heavy and I wasn’t in the mood to take my sweet time.
I ran into the emergency walk-in lobby, informed the clerk that my son was having an allergic reaction and that he was having slight difficulty breathing, and they led me to a bed in the emergency room. I told the nurses and doctor about the egg, the benedryl that I gave him, and that he has a wheat allergy. By that time CJ’s face had become very red with hives all over, much more faster and severe than the two times we gave him wheat. They listened to CJ’s chest, connected him to a heart monitor via his big toe, and gave him a shot of steroids as an anti-inflamation agent and epinephrine that’s a powerful histamine blocker.
Of course, CJ was going to be fine, but it was good to see that the staff was so attentative and accommodating as it’s a relatively small hospital and it was early Saturday morning, so not much was going on for them anyway. Throughout this ten minute ordeal, CJ was crying hysterically due to the commotion rather than not feeling well, and a nurse came up to me and said that she thought I was the patient because I was so nervous and sweating profusely But the big guy hung in there and eventually calmed down once the staff left us alone, and was extremely happy to be held by mommy once she arrived shortly thereafter.
Within 20 minutes, most of the hives were gone and he took a nice long nap on mommy. Since we live so close, I went back home to get CJ’s food and a pile of math reports that I had to grade. We ended up staying for five hours to give time for his skin to heal and to see if the allergic reaction would somehow rebound, which thankfully it did not. The doctor was very kind and told us that it was good that I gave the liquid children’s benadryl beforehand as he alluded to the fact that they only have it in pill form and the body absorb’s liquids quicker. He did add that upon our arrival, CJ’s oxygen levels were fine, but I know what I heard and saw and I’m glad we made the right call by coming.
We’re very thankful that CJ is fine, and he was back to himself that afternoon, but this was the second most scariest moment of my life, the first being when CJ’s breathing was compromised by his umbilical cord right before delivery. But I’m blessed to have a wise and loving wife, a healthy son, and a God who is infinitely gracious and merciful.
Well, now we can cross off
wheat and eggs from CJ’s menu. It’s going to be a long time before we introduce something new to his taste buds, and hopefully he’ll grow out of both allergic reactions soon enough. Ironically though, CJ is able to eat chicken without any complications, and isn’t chicken a form of eggs? Weird.