Living in Fear
You know when you talk to a 2-year-old and you aren't really sure if they are talking about cars or the circus but you just nod your head and smile?
Well, when your child has life-threatening tree nut allergies and you aren't sure if he said, "I just ate a nut" or "That clown has a big butt" things get a little dicey.
Communicating with a toddler isn't always easy. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have been seconds away from calling 911 before realizing he was legit just talking about a clown's butt.
I live in constant fear. It's been getting better as Fletcher gets older. He is actually pretty aware of his allergies now, he's actually almost proud of them. He points to nuts in the grocery store and tells anyone that can hear him that he's allergic.
A few weeks after his initial nut diagnosis Fletcher and I went to the movies. We brought our own snacks, including homemade popcorn, hidden in my gigantic purse. On our drive home after the movie was finished, halfway home, Fletcher says to me, "I ate a nut and my tongue is itchy."
I looked back at him and he was smiling. Besides saying that he ate the nut and saying his tongue was itchy there were no other signs that he was having an allergic reaction. Still, my heart started racing. Should I pull over and administer the epipen? Should I call 911? Do I drive home?
I drove home. I asked him questions as we drove. He seemed completely fine. After much prying, I found out that he actually ate a popcorn kernel. I get it, it's hard like a nut. At 2.5, he certainly wasn't a rocket scientist. The itchy tongue though, I think that was because I told him if he ate a nut he might get an itchy tongue. Or maybe a shell from the popcorn was stuck to his tongue. Who knows.
The whole situation made me feel like I was going into anaphylaxis shock.
I also almost called 911 once when Fletcher had a horrible poo pain. He basically just needed to fart. The fear is just always there. It's like the normal fear of parenting but amplified by a nutty amount. Get it? Nutty.