On Saturday Megan ate a peanut-butter chip or two as we baked.
A few moments later Megan threw up a peanut-butter chip or two. Then she emptied her stomach some more and sported a nice set of big red splotches all over her stomach and chest.
She got a special ride with Mommy to the doctor's office where they handed down the diagnosis: potential allergic reaction.
Today we got the referral. We called the allergist. We saw the allergist.
It *is* a peanut allergy.
Frankly, I would have preferred she had simply picked up the stomach virus her uncle and grandmother seem to be sharing lately.
I know that *we* can manage this. I know we can read labels and watch what we give her. I'm actually quite ok with that. I'm even ok with managing her non-allergic brother's disappointment in the asbsence of some of his old stand-bys. For the time being, anyway, he seems to understand the severity of it. I have every confidence that her grandparents will cooperate fully with the list of restrictions - the obvious and not so obvious. They've already begun to clear out certain potential threats.
It is, let me be honest, the other people I worry about. It's the relatives and aquaintences that are caviler and don't quite 'get' that "may contain peanuts" is as a bad as "Get your 100% nothing but peanut here." It's the other kids she'll run into when she's entering school. It's the young teacher she'll have beginning this week in Sunday School. It's the meal I didn't prepare.
There is a chance she could outgrow it. I'm not clinging to that possibility since it's a statisically low one. There's also a chance a future reaction from some potential accidental ingestion requires use of the EpiPen that now sits in my purse. There is that chance that we'll be rushing to the ER after I've stabbed her leg with that thing. That doesn't scare me for some reason. What scares me is that she'll have that reaction and someone that doesn't think fast enough to give her the injection will be there not reacting in time.
Shortly after picking Logan up at Grandma's I began to explain to him what Megan had to cope with.
He first said to me, "But pollen bothers me."
"Yes it does Logan, but the worst that happens is you get a runny nose and maybe you get a cold that medicine makes better."
He remembered Megan vomiting all over this weekend. He asked if peanuts made her belly sick. I told him it did but it might also make her throat swell up and make it hard to breathe. He thought a moment and then said very seriously, "But if she can’t breathe she could die."
I agreed with him. "Yes she could, but that's why we're going to get her some very special medicine to help her if she ever reacts that badly." We talked about all the things that could cause her problems. He nodded in earnest as he agreed to give up certain occasional treats and limit particular stables (the boy could LIVE on nothing but PB without the J sandwiches!)
When we walked into the pharmacy to pick up the Epi-pens, he walked a wide berth around the candy aisle. An older woman was at the register as we waited on line. She was buying these store brand bags of candy – buy one get one free. She asked Logan if he was getting any candy. He told her no. She said something about the sale and how he should.
He glared at her and said a bit more polietly that I wanted to at that moment, "I am not getting candy because I want to help my sister. She is allergic to peanuts and so I am helping her not want candy. Please don’t tell her about it."
I love that kid. I really do.