During the last week of February, Lila seemed to be having some problems with seasonal allergies. Her eyes were a little irritated and she had a clear, runny nose. I was having seasonal allergy trouble, myself, so I didn't think much of it. On Saturday, after our bowling and park escapades, we stopped at the store for a few quick groceries. At the store, I noticed that Lila's eyes were looking a little swollen. They didn't look great, so I grabbed some infant's claritin and decided to give it a try. When we got home, Lila didn't really want to eat during dinner. Ryan and I decided that he would stay home from church with her the next day so she could rest. He asked her if she wanted to watch a princess movie and she was all kinds of excited.
When Lila woke up on Sunday morning (2/22/15), I could clearly see the claritin hadn't done much--or if it had, the effects had already worn off. Lila's eyes and cheeks were very red and swollen. We sat down to breakfast and she gagged on her first bite, then started throwing up mucous/snot. Into my hand. While I pounded her back. We called the doctor and as soon as she heard that Lila's face was swollen and she was choking on food, she told us to go to the ER--Lila's airway could be swollen and she needed to be checked to be sure her reaction wasn't progessing to an anaphylactic reaction. I hung up and started crying, but held it together enough to gather a bag of supplies (toys, snacks, diapers, wipes) and text my primary counselors to see if someone could cover sharing time while Ryan got everyone dressed, shoed, and into the car.
Lila was pretty mad on the way--she kept saying "pi-pe show!" (princess show), which she clearly remembered being promised the night before. Thankfully, there were toys to play with while we waited for the triage nurse and the wait was quite short. The nurse was super friendly and got Lila and I back into a room almost immediately.
Before too long, a nurse came to check Lila's vitals. She was soon followed by a doctor, who asked follow up questions and checked Lila again. And just a few minutes later, the nurse came back to give Lila medicine (benadryl and a steroid) and TWO cartons of juice. Lila was quite excited about the juice, and the juice was a blessed distraction from the heartrate/oxygen monitor strapped to her finer, which she was not a fan of.
Then the wait commenced. They didn't explain this at the time, but I think they kept us for so long so they could check Lila after the medicine had a chance to take effect. Lila got very bored. She kept trying to rip the monitor off her finger, and I tried to prevent her ripping efforts by showing her the light on the monitor, and how the monitor made Lila's finger light up, too. My methods weren't uber successful. Then Ryan stopped in with the boys and, thankfully, my phone. I was a nerd and forgot to bring my phone back, so I hadn't been able to update Ryan at all! They all stayed in the room with us for a little bit, which was a welcome break for Lila.
When the boys and Ryan left, Lila and I went back to distraction mode. She'd succeeded in getting the monitor off at this point, but I figured someone would come in and reconnect the monitor if it were super important (right?). We took pictures of her guys with her "minnie cheese" (camera), played with her purse, and sang songs. Finally, I opened the second carton of juice because I was losing her.
And then, finally, the doctor came back! Lila's swelling had gone down a lot, so he discharged us (phew) with a prescription for more steroids and direction to use benadryl, too. We were there for just over two hours, and were all ready to go home. Once we did get home, we settled in to Lila's first-ever princess movie: The Little Mermaid. She spent most of the movie playing, ha, but the rest of us enjoyed the movie. Then, after naps, we pulled out the playdough because I knew we needed something fun if we weren't going to be spending any time outside.
Lila's redness got a little better each day and, by Friday, she was basically back to normal. The doctor wasn't sure what caused the reaction, but thinks it was environmental and not food related. I wonder if it was related to spending time outside at a new park--it was windy that day, we were in an area we don't usually frequent, and maybe a different kind of pollen or something was blowing around? Her eyes remained sensitive for a while, and for the two weeks after the incident her eyes would get red and irritated if we spent too much time outside.
And because we're talking about allergies anyway...Remember when Lila had the surface reaction to peanut butter? The doctor told us to try peanut butter again around 18 months. A friend accidentally did for me when she was babysitting and forgot about Lila's allergy (which was totally my bad, because I hadn't reminded her). The second peanut butter experience was better than the first--no hives, just a little tummy trouble. The doctor told us that the improvement in reaction was a great sign, and to keep trying peanut butter every few months with benadryl nearby. About two weeks after Lila's reaction to something, when she was totally cleared up, I gave her about a teaspoon of peanut butter with some pretzels--the boys were dipping their pretzels and she wanted to dip, too. About a half an hour later, I noticed that her eyes were red and swollen. Noooooooo. We did a bath, steam, benadryl combo. At dinner, I watched her closely to be sure she was not gagging or having a hard time swallowing. Thankfully, she was fine, and the swelling was down a decent amount by bedtime. By the next afternoon she was back to normal. I don't love this allergy business.