Yesterday was a bad day. It started out as a great day, but I’ve learned that things can change very quickly. Before I go on, I need to say that I honestly didn’t want to post about this as I feel very ashamed of myself. The story that I’m about to tell is about a lapse in judgment on my part and, as you can tell from the headline, a very hard lesson learned.
Yesterday was the scariest day of my life thus far (that I can remember).
So what happened?
Well, if you follow my blog, you know that Charlotte, my almost one-year old daughter, has a milk protein allergy. We had her tested back in March after she had some formula and had a reaction at daycare.
You can probably guess where this is going now, but here’s what happened yesterday afternoon.
It was a gorgeous day here and we decided to take a walk up to the local shopping center that’s about a half mile from our house and grab some drinks at the cafe. I packed some rice milk and snacks for Charlotte and we headed out.
We arrived at we ordered our drinks. An iced coffee for Jed and a smoothie for me.
I’ve worked really hard to always remember to ask about milk in things that I eat and obviously anything that Charlotte is going to eat, so I asked about the smoothie (since it was a veggie and fruit smoothie) if there was any dairy in it. They said “no”. So I ordered and while we were waiting, the waitress asked if I wanted the protein. I didn’t even think about it and said “yes”.
So we sit down at our table and enjoy our drinks. Charlotte is on my lap having her snack and rice milk. Then, without thinking, I see if she wants a sip of my smoothie. Of course she does, she’s been pointing at it! So I give her a small taste, and then another. That’s it.
We finish and start walking home.
On the way home she starts coughing. She’s had a bit of a cold/allergies the past couple of days with a runny nose and watery eyes, so we think it’s that.
When we get home I notice that she’s just not acting right and when I look at her face I see red splotchy patches. I start to freak out! I gave her some Benadryl as instructed on our sheet from the allergist. I think about it and the light bulb goes off. I called the cafe and asked if the “protein” they put in the smoothie is a protein powder. They said yes. Oh S&*t! Protein powder has whey in it, a milk product.
I start to freak out even more. My husband and I start watching her closely and try to figure out what to do next. Her face is a little red and she seems in discomfort, but those are the only symptoms so far. Then she vomits a little bit. Of course it’s also Sunday afternoon and we can’t take her in to her doctor’s (and most other offices are closed), so we debate between calling the emergency line for our doctor or just going to the ER. We have an EpiPen, but it doesn’t seem like we need to use that as her lips, and airways seem fine. Then she vomits again, but this time it’s a LOT!
Without hesitation we got her in the car and went to the ER. They were great about getting us in right away and they started checking her vitals. She had a little wheezing, but her airways were open and there wasn’t any swelling of the tongue. Her lip was a little swollen and she had hives on her skin where it had come in contact with where she had thrown up. Her face was getting better.
They ended up giving her a shot of epinephrine and a breathing treatment. They also gave her Benadryl and a steroid that we will continue to give her through tomorrow night, just for any possible delayed reactions. They monitored her for an hour and after everything she was evaluated and good to go home.
Amidst all the nurses that came in and out, taking her blood pressure, listening to her chest, giving her medicine and shots, she was a trooper. The hospital was so good with her and had someone on hand to help with babies in comforting them and giving them toys to play with. I am so appreciative of each and every one of them.
This was something that Jed and I knew was probably, eventually going to happen, but I still can’t believe it did. And even worse, I feel ashamed and terrible that I was the one that caused it. I had a lapse in judgment giving her a taste of my drink. To think that it was only a couple of sips mixed with a lot of other stuff that she’s not allergic to and she still had that bad of a reaction is scary. I didn’t do it on purpose, I just wasn’t thinking about the “protein” and what that was.
I am grateful that it happened with us and that we took her to the ER. There will never be any hesitation if this ever occurs again, which I pray it will not!
Even though I am ashamed of this situation, I wanted to share it because it’s a human error and I need to remind myself that we all make them. But it’s the scariest thing I’ve been through and it reminds me of how fragile and precious life is.
I am happy to report that Charlotte was back to her normal self when we got home and playing as usual. We will go in to her doctor later this week for a follow-up evaluation.