Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm bouncing Turkey on my legs while she lays on her stomach; she's limp as can be, with her long legs and arms hanging down, but every time I try to lay her on her back in the cradle she cries.  Cry-it-out doesn't seem to work as well for her as it did with Ladybug; she only escalates.

Since I can't sew one-handed, which means I still can't mend the Mechanic's pants, I figured I'd take the chance to get some thoughts out, albeit one-handed.  

It's been a difficult 36 hours.  I gave Ladybug her first peanut butter sandwich yesterday. She liked it, but it didn't go over well with her immune system.  Thank you IgE.  Hives, swelling, itching... she was a miserable kid.  I feel like I handled things about as well as I could have.  Okay, so I called the wrong doctor's office and then wondered why everyone at our doctor's office seemed clueless as to why we were there.  Oops.  But hey, if that's the worst thing I did I think I did pretty good!  We'll see if I got tagged by any of the speed or red light cameras.  I'm thankful for my nursing experience in times like that; it takes over and keeps me from panicking and freezing up.  Yes, I was frightened, but I kept my emotions in check and put the fright to use in speed for getting everyone buckled up and bringing pacifiers.  I did forgot the diaper bag... Thankfully no one pooped.  I'd have even managed without waking the Mechanic up if Turkey hadn't been screaming for food right as Ladybug had her second reaction. 

It was after Ladybug went to bed last night and I had a chance to sit down that things started to sink in.  My mind started whirling... no ChickfilA, no fish fries or deep fried turkeys at the Mechanic's parents', no Reese's cups... (I've since found out ChickfilA and the deep fried stuff will probably be okay) I started reading the labels of things I had lying around and realized the animal crackers "might contain peanuts."  Church dinners... nursery... babysitters... school... All that thinking sent me into a migraine today.  Only the second migraine I've ever had.  Not fun trying to care for two children, both with very high pitched screams, running on 4 hours sleep with a migraine. 

I feel I've been promoted to being a "real mom."  I'm not saying that moms whose kids don't have food allergies aren't real moms.  But having a child with health problems of any sort takes motherhood to another level.  It's another thing to worry about.  It's something to research and educate others about.  It brings out another level of protectiveness, and yet also makes you realize how much of a blessing your child's life is.  Because, you can't protect them enough.  

When Ladybug was diagnosed with craniostenosis, I cried.  But then we picked up and moved on.  We went to the doctors, got the scans, and made follow-up appointments.  And life went on.  Cranio doesn't affect me on a daily basis now.  I think about it when I give Ladybug a bath and see the huge dip she's developed in her skull.  I keep thinking late at night that I need to make her eye doctor appointment.  But, in general, it's not a worry that is in the front of my mind every day.  This peanut allergy is.  Every meal I'm thinking about it, checking labels, wondering if there might still be peanut butter on the high chair straps that she'll react to.  In between meals I keep thinking of foods she won't be able to eat, places that might cause exposure, wondering how long it would take us to get to the hospital from the Mechanic's parents' house.  I'm searching for ways of reminding other caretakers of the allergy, and worried that a simple "no peanut" bracelet or shirt might not prevent them from giving her a cookie or something else that you don't immediately think "this could have peanuts."  I'm wondering how long I should wait before seeing if she reacts to an open jar of peanut butter on the table while she eats.  I worry about what the next reaction is going to be like.  I wonder if there are other things she's allergic to, other nuts.  What if she crawls over and tries to eat a pistachio shell that's dropped from her Grandpa's chair?  What if she plays with a child who had a peanut butter cracker before coming to the park and they touch her or hold her hand, which she then puts in her mouth?  

You get my gist.  I'm in overdrive. See why I had a migraine today?  

I hope that this will be like the cranio, but I know it really can't be.  It's not like you have to change the way you function daily just because your child has cranio.  I guess I can just hope that this becomes routine, our normal... packing her own snacks and meals, reading labels, asking restaurants about cross-contamination... And I can hope and pray she never has a stronger reaction than hives and swollen ears. 

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