Our son, Rex, is anaphylaxic to sesame. In the past, he has needed an Epi-pen® Jr. injection after accidentally eating some sesame chips. This past weekend, James and I cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids. We have bought the same hot dog buns for months. This weekend, we were in a frenzy due to a busy schedule and the fact that I am still tired and not quite up to 100% health yet.
We ate hot dogs Saturday night, and again Sunday afternoon. Immediately after eating, we drove Rex and Ruby out to their grandparents’ home for a sleepover. We noticed upon arrival that Rex had quite a few red marks on his neck. He commented that they were bug bites from the bonfire we were at the night before.
We dismissed it, since he was exuberant and giddy. We made plans for the two kids to stay in with an extra cell phone while grandma and grandpa went out for a bit, just around the corner. We hugged our goodbyes and left for home. 20 minutes later, James picked up the hot dog bun bag and yelled, “Gracie! The buns list sesame as an ingredient now!” I bolted over to him to inspect the bag as David said, “Mom! Maybe those weren’t bug bites!”
I picked up my phone and frantically dialed the number for the cell phone that the kids had. No answer…three times. I texted. No response.
I texted my mom, and told her to call immediately.
She left her husband’s side to call me, and took off for home without even telling him what happened.
I asked if we needed to call an ambulance or not. She said she would call back when she saw Rex.
Meanwhile, I called the allergist, who called the Emergency Room at the hospital.
Mom called back and spoke to James while I spoke to the Dr.
After I hung up, James and I hopped in our vehicle and took off for the hospital. We packed caffeine as we assumed that we would be there for a long time.
We were at the hospital first, and I preregistered Rex before pacing and watching for the car that had my son in it.
They arrived, I rushed out and swooped him into a wheelchair, and marveled at the way he was giggling.
We pulled up to registration, and the nurse asked how many hot dog buns Rex had eaten.
I leaned over and asked him.
“None, mommy! I didn’t eat any hot dogs. I had hamburgers! A little voice in my head told me NOT to eat any hot dogs, so I didn’t. Not yesterday either!”
We stared incredulously. Thank God that this little man listened to that voice of warning!
The doctor checked him over just to be certain that the secondhand exposure hadn’t triggered his asthma, and he passed with flying colors.
James started laughing first, then Ruby snickered, my mom chortled, Rex giggled, and I shook my head as I laughed at our failure to ask the most obvious of questions.
The doctor assured us that we did the right thing, and that we could rest assured knowing that we knew what to do if there had been an actual reaction. He did join us in snickering over the craziness of our Sunday.
We hugged our two kids goodbye again, and mom said, “Oh, shoot! I never told my husband where I was going or that I was leaving!”
I quickly sent a text message of explanation so that once he walked home, he could retrieve the phone which he had left for the kids.
James shook his head and snickered every half hour for the rest of the night, as we sat up watching movies (we both had downed more than our share of caffeine!)
So we forgot to ask a crucial question, and made an assumption, and drove in two separate frenzies to the hospital…but at the end of the day, we laughed.
We laughed because Rex is alive. We laughed because we care so much about him that we would not hesitate to do it all again to keep him safe. We laughed because perfection is not a prerequisite for parenting. We laughed because we were together, flaws and all…and we.are.loved.