Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Never a dull moment...

Tonight has been interesting. Oldest son started the antibiotic and decongestant that the doctor prescribed earlier today. It was to be given at bedtime, so I gave him all of his medicine at 9 pm. We were watching a movie, but that is the normal bedtime schedule around here and will work as we finish up the medicine next week when school is back in session. Or at least that was the plan.

About an hour after he took the medicine, he began to scratch himself. In and of itself, that's not too unusual for an aspie, sometimes they do odd things and pick at themselves, etc. But, it continued to get worse. When hubby and I took him in front of bright lights and checked him, he was beginning to be covered in some of the worst hives that I have ever seen--and I've seen some doozies!

So, I call the pediatrician's voicemail and wait for the on-call nurse to call me back. The whole while, we are sitting him in a cool tub with baking soda and trying to monitor him closely. Fortunately, we knew he was breathing, because he was so agitated that we couldn't have actually been able to pay him to be quiet.

It seemed to take forever for the phone to ring. We were helpless, watching his skin turn pink, then get grainy looking just under the surface, then changing to red with half dollar sized swollen welts. Then it just kept getting redder and angrier looking as it kept spreading. It went up the back of his neck and over his head. Hubby was helping him and by this time, I was reading the patient leaflet that came with his new meds and checking the internet for any additional information that I may need. Because of the medicine he normally takes and the new decongestant, I couldn't just dose him up with benadryl because he was already taking 2 products with antihistamines in them. I was also intermittently praying that he would not go into full blown anaphylactic shock and be unable to breathe.

After what wasn't very long (but seemed like an eternity) the nurse called back and walked me through an exam. Then the doctor called to give us a safe dosing amount of benadryl that could be taken with the other medicines. We will change meds tomorrow.

The scariest part is that I realize that hubby and I made a conscious effort to live off of the beaten path and we enjoy that. However, we can't just run to the nearest hospital quickly. The two closest ones are both in other counties and 25 minutes (or more) away at best case scenario. A broken arm can handle it. A kid that can't breathe is another issue. Plus, what if I had been home alone with the kiddos? I am on a heavy narcotic cough medicine currently. I am afraid that I am a special kind of road hazard right now. Waiting for an ambulance to even find us could put that hospital run into the hour or more range. Scary.

This is why we keep benadryl on hand. This is also why we have our own nebulizer for asthma meds. Younger son needs preventative treatments daily, but we also can deliver treatments quickly. If the attack is severe enough, a good treatment at home can buy us time to get to the hospital.

Being prepared is one thing. By the time we were able to dose with benadryl tonight, my kid was completely swollen and covered with hives--except, get this, his nose, mouth, and windpipe. Prayers are answered. Imagine what could have happened without prayers and the fact that he received the offending medication without being accompanied by TWO, count 'em two antihistamines. I feel like I should learn to do a home trachaeotomy, just in case.

I just checked on him. He is sleeping fitfully, totally zonked from the benadryl. It looks like the swelling is all gone and the hives have abated. He is breathing clearly.

It's 1:45 am. I am way too scared to sleep. Sigh--it's Mommy time.


Nancy said...

This is really scary. So glad you were able to dose him and get the hives to go away.

You have mentioned an Aspie kid a few times in your blog. Is that for Asperger's?

Jan Hatchett said...

Thankfully, kiddo is much better this morning. Yes, aspie is short for Asperger's syndrome.

Thanks for reading the blog. I really thought that only my Mom and a couple of friends ever read it :-)