What the heck!?
Most days I feel pretty in control of Fletcher's allergies. I read labels, I cook most things from scratch. I know what I am doing at this point. But every once and a while I'm thrown a curveball.
Last week I made a delicious coconut curry cream chicken in my Instant Pot. I ate it on it's own, but for the rest of the family I threw in some rice to make a little bed for it to soak into.
I usually make quinoa instead of rice but this day I just forgot to start boiling the water. The kids were all STAAAAAARVING, so I reached deep into my pantry and pulled out one of those Uncle Ben ready in 90 seconds rice packs. We don't eat them very often, but man are they ever convenient when you need something in a jiffy!
So I serve up this seriously delicious meal and within seconds of having his first two bites, Fletcher is a lunatic. I mean not your regular Fletcher lunatic style behaviour. I don't even know how to describe it. Evil cartoon character mixed with an uncontrollable giggling baby mixed with Jack Nicholson in The Shining? That pretty much sums it up. He couldn't stop laughing, he was loud, his eyes were rolling around.
Something wasn't right.
This went on for a while, we ate and honestly we were getting slightly annoyed. It was VERY disruptive of our dinner (which was delicious, did I mention that?). Dinning at our house is always hectic though. Finley and Fletcher switch seats, or decide that sharing a seat is a good idea (it never is). Finley declares she's finished only to come back 5 minutes later saying she's starving. Ophelia squacks and flaps her arms like a starving seagull. This craziness was on a whole other level though. I looked at my husband and said, "I think something's wrong".
10 minutes or so later he had calmed down but he was rubbing his eyes and he told me his throat was itchy.
I told him we should probably Epi-Pen him. Then he said it wasn't that bad.
We go back and forth with the EpiPen. I know what the protocol is. If there's any sign of an allergic reaction, just do it.
I didn't. I just knew it wasn't that bad. I felt like I could probably just treat it with Benedryl, but I wanted to be safe and check in at the hospital. I know in the grand scheme of things I should have gave him the shot of epinephrine, but I didn't. Ok, I said it.
So I drive him to the hospital. Making him talk to me the whole way. His voice was sounding a little raspy. He said his throat was feeling tight. But then he said it was getting better, then he said it was really itchy, then he said it was tight, then he said it was better. It was a very stressful drive. Did I also mention that it was RibFest in downtown Burlington? We had to drive through it, so it wasn't as smooth and quick of a drive as I was expecting.
We get to the hospital and we saw a nurse followed by a doctor fairly quickly. Fletcher was given Benedryl and some steroids and we were told he needed to be monitored for 4 hours. By now it was already his bedtime, so I was just hoping we could get a bed somewhere for him.
The nurse set us up on a cool recliner chair thing with a nice warm blanket. All I could think was, 4 hours, NUTS, I wish I brought the book I just started. But I lucked out because there was a TV with a This is Us marathon on. Not too shabby. Fletcher was sad because he didn't have his teddy bear from home. The nurse overheard us talking about it and found him a special EMS dog stuffed animal. This little act of kindness from the lovely nurse ultimately saved the night. Fletcher fell asleep and I chilled and watched some decent television. The nurses came back to check his vitals several times and then after 4 hours we were sent home.
This wasn't a serious allergic reaction. I don't think. The doctors and nurses took it seriously, but I don't think his life was ever in jeopardy. But the thing with allergies is you never know. That is what is so hard. The unknown stuff. What the heck even caused this reaction? All the stuff that is out of our control, that is what really sucks. I can read labels, I can make nut-free, vegan cupcakes untill the cows come home; but days like this still happen. Now I'm left wondering. Was it the rice? Was it the coconut cream? I still am not sure. What I am sure though is that I won't be making that delicious meal ever again. That also sucks, because it was SO delicious, did I mention that?