Every year we try to do something fun for our wedding anniversary (European Cruise, NYC, etc.) so this year we wanted to something to celebrate six years of marriage. We decided to take a short three hour drive to South Haven, MI for a weekend getaway, boy in tow. Life’s been super hectic these days, so we wanted to get away and just enjoy our family of three.
We drove up on a Friday morning, checked into our cute B&B, and hit the beach. Noah hadn’t been on the beach since our trip to Puerto Rico when he was 7 months. So, he was completely enthralled and intrigued with all of it. He was having such a great time, and we were loving watching him. After a little while, however, we noticed his fingers and toes were completely swollen. Poor sausage fingers. We still don’t know why – maybe there were bugs in the sand, maybe it was heat related or something else entirely, but it quickly caused the fear/panic/freakout that only an allergy mom can understand. We gave him a big dose of Benedryl, and quickly packed up and left the beach. Day #1 – derailed. But, at least we got some pics of our sweet boy enjoying the beach 🙂
The next day, we decided to walk around the town in the morning, and hit Clemetine’s for lunch, then we planned to drive up to Saugatuck to see what the artsy town had to offer. We had a great morning exploring South Haven, we enjoyed a morning coffee, found a cutsy kids store (which carried more Melissa & Doug products than I’ve ever seen- winning), and we drooled over everything in the Blueberry Store. Then, at 11 we hit Clementine’s to beat the lunch crowd. Normally if we go out to eat anywhere we always bring something allergy free for Noah (hot dog, Ian’s chicken nuggets, etc.) But, since we had been out all morning, we didn’t have a chance to get back to the B&B. After looking at the menu, we ordered Noah a plain burger, no cheese, no bun, and we stressed his allergies. I’m always nervous about restaurant food, but I figured a plain burger would be fine. He took a few bites, and seemed to enjoy it. Then, he started to gag a few times. Next, I noticed his lips seemed larger than normal and David noticed his tongue was also a bit swollen. But, he wasn’t vomiting, and his breathing was totally fine.
Up until this point, we’ve always just assumed that we would know when was the right time to administer an epi. We’ve assumed it would be just like the first time- vomiting, swollen face, difficulty breathing, etc. But, this time we questioned ourselves so much. We immediately gave him a large dose of benadryl – and watched him like a hawk. He actually seemed pretty unfazed, and just wanted to run around. I on the other hand was frantic. David is always my calming force and thankfully he was watching Noah with a level head. Ultimately, we decided to not give the epi, even though in hindsight we maybe should have? We still don’t know. This event reminded us how much more we have to learn about all of Noah’s allergies. The last month we had been feeling SO much better about things. “We got this” I kept thinking, and then BAM – something happens and it reminds us that eating at a restaurant, or feeding him something new could literally kill him. You can never be too confident.
Being an allergy mom, I automatically assume the worst. I think at any moment he’s going to go into anaphylactic shock. I think I’m going to have to administer an epi pen into his sweet thigh. I hold my breath when he takes a bite of anything – even something he’s had a hundred times. It’s so overwhelming and stressful. But, the more I educate myself the more I will be prepared (I hope). And as Noah gets older and can tell me his symptoms, it should (hopefully) make things significantly less scary. At least that’s what I keep telling myself! Despite a less than perfect weekend, we were together as a family, and that’s what matters most.