Allergies suck.

I was going to write about our lovely trip to Coney Island this weekend, but instead I need to get something else off my chest.

Arthur had a nut challenge this morning. He’s had two in the past, for peanuts and hazelnut, and he’s passed them both with flying colors. In fact, he’s never had a severe reaction to any sort of nut or sesame since he was a baby and his skin would break out from drinking breastmilk. We’ve avoided everything successfully so far, other than a few occasions where he came into contact with cross-contaminated food.

Today we tried cashews, because his blood levels indicated a very low risk. We left the house at 7:30am, Julian, Arthur, and I. By 8:30am Arthur had his first half of a cashew, and a few minutes later he had hives. They gave him Zyrtec right away.

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He continued to scratch, and the hives spread. Then his nose started running, and he started coughing. That’s when they gave him an EPI pen.

Arthur was mad as all hell. He was pretty inconsolable.

We had a brief period when we thought he was better, but then he got worse. More coughing, wheezing, trouble breezing. They had to give him another EPI pen. Then steroids. It was pretty much the most terrifying moment of my parenting to date, but I don’t think the boys ever knew I was scared at all. Julian was very sweet and kissed and hugged his brother.

Here is Arthur three hours later. He looks like he got into a fist fight.

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Today I am thankful that we were in a hospital when we gave Arthur these nuts. I’m thankful for his doctors who were very good with everything that happened. And I’m thankful for his brother, who sat silently and patiently for hours until it was time to go home. Also, I’m thankful for the holy power of the TV. Thank you, TV. Without you I would have been nothing today.

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Seven hours later, and we’re home.

Today was a harsh reminder of the severity of Arthur’s allergies. I’m always pretty cool about it, or have been in the past. And this was one of the nuts he tested the lowest for (other than almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts which he is ok to eat). For comparison’s sake, the number of the blood level for walnuts is more than 88 times higher than the cashew levels. 88 times higher. Like I don’t even want him to look at walnuts.

For today, we are ok. But I’ll be holding my baby a lot closer today.

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