Every day that we eat something that wasn't made and grown here in my house we take a risk. Today Janey made a terrific birthday cake for me. It was in the shape of a Power T (for Tennessee). She let the boys scrape the bowl afterwards. David ate a little and decided that he didn't want anymore. That in itself should have been a HUGE red flag! What kid doesn't want to lick the bowl?!?!?
David, as some know, is allergic to peanuts. But there was no allergy warning on this box of cake mix, so there is NO way that there are peanuts in it.
Then his throat felt itchy. And it hurt. And his lips swelled up. And he got hives around his mouth. And his throat felt like something was stuck in it. And he got real tired pretty quickly. Welcome to the world of anaphylaxis.
David's body experienced what I hope is his first and last anaphylaxis reaction.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis are related to the action of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and other anaphylatoxins, which act to release histamine and other mediator substances from mast cells (degranulation). In addition to other effects, histamine induces vasodilation of arterioles and constriction of bronchioles in the lungs, also known as bronchospasm (constriction of the airways).
Tissues in different parts of the body release histamine and other substances. This causes constriction of the airways, resulting in wheezing, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Histamine causes the blood vessels to dilate (which lowers blood pressure) and fluid to leak from the bloodstream into the tissues (which lowers the blood volume). These effects result in shock. Fluid can leak into the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs, causing pulmonary edema.
He's fine now. We did not give him his epipen. We should have. Although he was not in danger because we were watching him so closely and would have administered the epipen if things had worsened, I wish we had given him the epipen. I won't hesitate next time.
As the doctor pointed out, you can't leave you child inside your house and eat only what you grow. Each time you feed him something made outside your house, you are taking a risk. What a wonderful challenge for parents- to decide how much a risk you are willing to take with your children's lives. I despise this.