Life Lessons: Living with a Special Needs Child Part 1

As a mom of a special needs kid, there are a few things you have to learn. Some you just learn to live with and others you hope and pray you never have to put to practical use. There are so many different things you could be faced with and every child is different. Here is one of the things I have been faced with.

 If you are a parent of a child with severe allergies to things, one of those things is how to use an EpiPen. EpiPen for those of you who are lucky enough not to have to have in your vocabulary is a device filled with a medication called epinephrine. There are several things this medication is used for. In PA’s case and so many other kids it’s for a sever allergy reaction that is life threating. Up until this past Sat. it was just another thing to keep on hand.

See PA has an allergy to anything peanut so I carry two of these around with me at all times and have since PA was about 16 months or so. However I have not had to use. You usually can avoid peanuts altogether by being diligent and not buying things that have them in the ingredient list. In her case be sure it is not even processed on the same assembly line as other foods that may contain nuts.
So far this is the only thing we have seen that she has a sever reaction to. Not to say this is her only allergy. This poor kid can be put into a clean well rinsed tub of just water for less than 5 minutes and break out in a bad case of hives. We keep Benadryl on hand at all times. She has been known to react to just about anything many of which we just don’t know what she is reacting to. Sat. was one of those times her reaction was of unknown origins.
She was sitting in a basket of clean folded towels eating a pealed apple I gave her watching one of her shows. She sneezed and started to rub her eyes and complain that her eyes hurt. I walked over to where she was and her poor eyes were almost swollen shut. I thought maybe she somehow got something in her eyes so I went for the Benadryl and took her into the bathroom to rinse her eyes. That did nothing so dried her off and took her back in and sat her on my lap to wait for the medicine to work.

After about 50 minutes she didn’t seem to be any better and in fact now was starting to wheeze and sounded really hoarse. I picked up the phone & called the advice nurse. PA was still breathing ok but I noticed her lips were starting to swell. I let the nurse know and she told me I needed to use the EpiPen and get her into the ER. Being I had never done this before I had her stay on the line with me and walk me through it. See it is one thing to have someone show you how to use this, but is another thing altogether too actually give the shot to a crying distressed child. She started to show improvement within a minute or so. By the time we got her to the ER her face was still swollen and red, but she was doing much better. They watched her for a while and she was well enough to go home with medication.

My hubby and I are still unsure what triggered the reaction. Nothing new has been introduced to the home. We are using all of the same soaps and eating all the same foods. I am very careful anytime I bring anything new into the house. Anyone who visits know not to wear perfumes and that this is a peanut free house. This is one thing I have been very diligent about.

Some things are just out of our control. It is all about the life lessons I was talking about. This was just one of many and I hope to cover in posts to come.


3 responses to “Life Lessons: Living with a Special Needs Child Part 1

  1. I can’t imagine the stress of worrying about allergies! Kudos to you. I get upset when the nurses at the doctors office don’t understand why Muffin won’t stand against the wall to get his height take or stand on the scale to get his weight checked. I know they just think he’s being an obstinate spoiled brat. I know different and I’ve learned not to care what they think…