Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The String Cheese Incident

Noah and I went over to Chris and Mindy's place to help them out with their network wiring in their new basement. Noah had a great time playing with his cousins.

But that all quickly changed when the girls decided to share. I came upstairs for a break and to check on Noah and noticed that his lips were a bit swollen and his face was red. I noticed that Gracie was holding some string cheese and knew that some sharing must have occurred. I gave him a dose of Benedryl as the welts and hives were becoming much more noticeable.

After a few minutes we packed up our stuff and I gave him another one of the Benedryl doses as we headed out the door to the Hospital. I sat in the parking lot wondering if the Benedryl was going to do the trick, how much did he actually eat, how is his breathing, should I go in or wait and see...

After several minutes he was looking quite good. His breathing was fine and the hives were gone. Even though Noah was emphatically telling me he wanted out of the car and to go "Right There" as he thrust his pointer finger toward the entrance, I decided to drive the short distance home and further evaluate him there.

When we got inside he was still looking good but that did not last long. Jill came home shortly after and we both looked him over. He was becoming more flush throughout his body and he was starting to grunt more with each breath, much like he does when he is sick. We loaded back up and headed back to Kid's Care.

While Jill was getting us checked in, Noah and I were standing in the waiting area watching a movie when he decided that it was time to expel some of what he ate, all over himself, me, and waiting room floor! I just kneeled down to minimize the spread and waited for some rescuing wipes as Jill took him back with the doctor. It is amazing how vomit always invokes an accelerated response. By the way, I now knew that he ate a whole lot more than a couple of pieces that we had original thought.

So the doctor went into panic mode - OK maybe not panic - maybe heightened concern. She administered an EpiPen Jr (Noah's first), steroid, albuterol breathing treatment and oxygen. Then called for an ambulance ride up to Primary Children's Hospital. It all happened quit quickly. By this time he was looking quite good.

The trip to Primary Children's Hospital was for at least three reasons:
  1. The EpiPen was administered and that ALWAYS should be followed up by a visit to the ER.
  2. The possibility of secondary and tertiary reactions occurring is high, and often more severe than the original reaction.
  3. Primary Children's is the best place to be, with the best trained kids doctors in the region
  4. Bonus - As for the need of the $1000 ambulance ride? Airway closure is a huge risk. I don't want to think about would be the outcome if he stopped breathing part way into our ~25 minute drive to the hospital.

While Jill and Noah headed to the hospital, I ran home and grabbed a few essentials. He did great on the ride and was doing quite well. When they got him into one of the evaluation rooms he started getting flush again and was grunting as he breathed. So this was his tertiary reaction. The docs and nurses went into action administering more Zantac, more Benedryl, more oxygen and more albuterol. Everything was getting under control and he was starting to relax on mom's chest when I arrived.

Eventually we were told that he would be staying overnight for observation and they moved us into the RTU (Rapid Treatment Unit). It was a long night for all three of us. More medicine every few hours, being connected to machines, not so comfy accommodations...

I called Mindy to give her the updates and she went over to our house to check on Toby.

They released us in the morning with a regiment of continued medication for a few more days.

Noah is such an amazing kid. I'm not sure what else to say about that. He takes all of this 'attention' in stride. We are working on trying to teach him all the foods he can't eat, but that is going to take awhile!

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