Today I received the phone call all nut-allergic (or any allergy/ailment/illness) parents dread. It was just as nerve wracking as I thought it would be.
Rewind to this morning. I dropped Chloe off at school, like I always do on Wednesday mornings. Carter and I came home, did some yard work, had lunch and I put him down for a nap.
While I was in the middle of emptying the dishwasher, I received a call from Chloe’s school saying they gave her the epi pen, she had been in contact with an allergen and 911 had been called with paramedics on the way.
I’ve always imagined this phone call. But I never imagined what I would do next. The first thing that came to mind was, “I’ll be right there.”
I dropped the dishes I was putting away in the sink, sprinted up stairs, grabbed Carter out of bed, carried him down the steps and into the van. Buckled him in, ran back inside grabbed shoes and my purse and drove as quickly as I could to school, which is about 10 minutes away.
Once I was driving, I tried to calm myself and identify my feelings so I wasn’t a hot mess when I got there. A whole host of emotions suddenly came over me.
I was upset because I couldn’t seem to be getting to school as fast as I wanted to in order to hold her. I was angry because cross contamination happened in an environment we consider safe. I was anxious because I did not know the extent of the allergic reaction. I was sad becuase I felt helpless. I felt scared because someone had administered epi pen on my child, and I was not there to tell her it was going to be OK.
I got over it.
I needed to think logically and calmly and in order to do that, my breathing and heart rate would need to normalize. I calmed myself because Chloe needing me so much right now.
By the time I pulled into the parking lot, I prepared for whatever I was walking into.
First, Carter and I saw the fire truck and ambulance parked in front of the main entrance making parking difficult, but by the grace of God, the very first parking spot was open. I didn’t think that was a coincidence .
Chloe’s teacher met me at the door. He took Carter for me and directed me to the back office where Chloe was with the principal, staff, teachers and the EMS.
I honestly don’t remember what was discussed, just that Chloe was stable, epi pen effective and we needed to take the ambulance to the ER.
This is the part that makes me tear up. I’m so overly grateful for this school, these teachers and amazing staff. The teachers were alerted that Chloe was having a hard time after a snack. They knew about her allergy. They followed the action plan and the plan worked. This entire process worked the way it was designed to, keep the student safe. Everything was done correctly to keep Chloe safe. For that, I am forever grateful. There was no hesitation.
The executive director of the school so kindly offered to take Carter in my van and follow Chloe and I behind the ambulance. She also stayed the ENTIRE time we were in the ER for observation. Anyone who has kids and has been to the ER knows how crazy it is to keep them entertaines for HOURS on end. I am so appreciative of the extra hands so I could focus on helping Chloe and talking to the doctors and nurses.
Chloe was such a champion in the ambulance and in the ER. She perked up so much in the ER and we were discharged after a few hours.
My passion for writing is to spread awareness about food allergies. Awareness for dining out, awareness grocery shopping, awareness at school and so on. I hope that by sharing our experiences it helps shed some light on this issue. Maybe it’s not hour own child, maybe you’re at a soccer game and see the symptoms. Or maybe yourre at a grocery store using the car cart and decide not to serve a nut-based granola bar for fear of the next child sitting in the seat.
My writing is off tonight. My brain is tired. I’ll post tonight and edit tomorrow. I’m so so so thankful for epi pens and smart teachers. They saved my baby from what could have been a very serious situation.
So grateful. Hug the ones you love a little longer.