The Day After Anaphylaxis

I can’t claim to know what it is like in other homes the day after anaphylaxis. But this is a snippet of what it is like in my home.

The day after an emergency run to the hospital is a strange day because it is such a contrast to the moment a food emergency is happening. When you are facing a severe food allergy reaction, everything happens fast – and must. You must inject epinephrine. You must get 911 on the line. You must get the ER. You must keep a close eye on any emerging or continuing symptoms of anaphylaxis. You can’t forget to record the time everything started happening.  You must keep a second auto-injector nearby.  Everyone’s adrenaline is pumping. And in all this, you must remain calm and focused. There is no time for doubt or waiting around.

Once our son was on his way to the hospital, the exposure needed to be completely cleaned up. In this case, that meant cleaning every surface in our kitchen, completely cleaning two refrigerators, washing pot holders and linens at the sink, and packing up and moving out a whole bunch of cross contaminated vegetables. We did all this after getting home from the ER, which meant it was a very late night for the parents in our house. We also continued to check on our son to make sure that he was staying stable and give him meds throughout the night.  Sleep did not come easily.

By contrast, the day after anaphylaxis at our home moves slowly. It is a strange day – a day in which we are all acutely aware that live an almost normal life. Eating is hard for all us. We look at food and wonder: what will this do to the one we love?  (more…)