A Hard Day’s Night

The worst six words I ever hear are, “I think I ate some peanut butter.”  I’ve hear them way more than a responsible mom should, but unfortunately, I heard them again yesterday.  
Ricky’s arm at the hospital last night
We gave Ricky the Epipen shot, even though his only symptom was a stomachache. I held Ricky tight, Ricky begging us not to give him the shot, The Captain holding Ricky’s thigh down to keep it still.  We hate giving him the Epipen because it’s such a strong drug and it makes his heart race.  The Captain took him to the ER, which seemed almost silly since Ricky’s symptoms abated as soon as he had the shot, but I’m really glad he did.
I was doing laundry at home and trying to get Deborah to bed when I got this text.  “We’ll probably be here late.  Past midnight.  He’s breaking out in hives, coughing and having trouble breathing.”  The breathing part is the scary part.  That’s how children with peanut allergies die.  Still, he was at the hospital, presumably in good hands, so I texted back asking if things were improving.  No response.  I called.  And texted.  And texted again.  And heard nothing.  
I called our home teachers to ask if they could go up to the hospital and give Ricky a blessing.  It took a few texts and calls to get a hold of them, but I finally did, and then I got in the van.  
I got a text from the captain as I was pulling out.  He told me that Ricky had thrown up and was feeling better.  They had also put in IV in him.  One of my older sons was having a frustrating night, so I took him with me to the hospital.  When we got there, Ricky was asleep.  Peaceful.
I felt so much relief to see our home teacher and our bishop there.  For those of you not familiar with the Mormon church, every faithful man in the church is assigned to home teach a couple of families and individuals in their ward (parish).  They visit their families once a month with a spiritual message, and they are always “on call” if the family has car troubles, an emergency, or needs a blessing.
I was so grateful to see two good men there, offering support to our family.  I was so grateful that my older son, who was having his own bad day, was there to see three men put their hands on my sleeping child’s head and bless him.  
It’s easy to beat myself up about these things.  As much as I love Ricky, I sometimes have to ask God why a forgetful mom like me would be given a son like him.  Seriously, shouldn’t they match these things up a little better?
I’m really paranoid about peanuts.  I had just called Ricky’s school teacher to see if she could take the Epipen with her on their field trip. I look at every single food item I buy to see if there might be traces of peanuts.  I train every babysitter on how to use the Epipen. I watch closely at every social gathering where there might be food with peanuts in it.  
And yet, on a day where I was trying to coordinate cute outfits at Gymboree, figure out their prices after all the discounts, call the Captain to see if he can start getting dinner on for the kids so we’d have time to go on a much needed date, and try to keep track of my two kids who are running around trick or treating at all the stores, I guess there was just too much going on.  (Believe me, if I had known the stores were handing out candy, I would have left the kids home.)  The peanut thing kind of trumps it all, you know? 
One little tiny piece of candy, and we didn’t end up going on our date, our ER bill wiped out all the great deals I got yesterday, and we kissed a good night’s sleep good-bye.  But guess what?  I’m glad Ricky’s chowing down in our kitchen right now, and believe me, HE’S NOT EATING PEANUT BUTTER.   
Not matter how much I try to have it all together, I don’t, and in the end, I just have to rely on grace.  I have to rely on a good husband and good doctors and good nurses and good home teachers and a good bishop and most of all, the Savior.  It’s good to know I’m covered.  
Our little church children’s program was today, and Ricky sung his heart out.  He was so loud, we could hear his voice on the back bench.  He even threw in some dramatic gestures which makes me think he’s up for Broadway.  Deborah was throwing her teddy bear up and down on the stage.  We missed her taking that up too.  But we’re covered, and that’s all that matters. 
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4 comments

  1. Oh man. This entry brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine having to be constantly on guard about such a simple food allergy that can have such dire consequences! Poor Ricky. I hope he can outgrow it! I read an article that said most people who die from food allergies are in their late teens/early adulthood because Mom isn't around to be monitoring them all the time… you'll have to teach him well. And on a lighter note, thanks for the bajillion comments you left on my blog. they were fun to read!!

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