Your child is sitting in the back of the speeding car as you again make a quick decision and run your second set of red lights. Your spouse is in the front passenger next to you, explaining to the 000 operator that your child is unable to breathe and that you’re on your way to the closest emergency unit. You wipe tears from your eyes as you try not to freak out and panic because your child’s wheezing is distracting your driving.
The emergency lights flashing on the dashboard remind you that you may be lucky that you didn’t wait for an ambulance, but at the same time you worry that cops could pull you over any time and could delay your quest of taking your child to where help is. To hell with the cops, my child can’t breathe.
The trip only takes about 5 minutes because you drove like a hoon. Your racing heart reminds you of how bad the whole thing had been. But you wipe tears away as you grab your child and rush into the hospital. You are in good hands, you hope. And you hope that those hands can get your child back to normal.
Three hours later, as they let you go home, all you can remember is that fear of losing your child and what could have happened.
As you drive home you now have flashes instead of fear. Flashes of your child sitting in the hospital bed , with doctors and nurses around him trying to determine what’s the best solution because it appears that the linings of your child’s lung airways have become inflamed and swollen, and the spasm of their muscles could be what’s blocking airflow to the lungs. In your flashes you see them force your child to drink a couple of cocktails and use an inhaler to help fix the lungs. The flashes show the look on your child’s face and in your head you hear their murmur of a few NOs from when you were asking them if they are OK.
Every so often since that night, you wake up at around 4am with tears in your eyes because you just had a nightmare about that night… about the fact that if you had simply said “My child is fine, the wheezing will stop” and if you had taken them to bed instead of the hospital… they could have died in their sleep from an allergic reaction to hazelnut!
At least those were the hidden words in the doctor’s comment, “You made the absolute best decision to bring him here.”
That night in December 2012 was the worst night of my life. My son accidentally picked the wrong chocolate at someone else’s house and it contained hazelnut. We are now waiting our turn to have him tested. He had a reaction to walnut in December 2011 but back then the doctor didn’t prescribe anything for emergency because it was the first time that it had happened. From what I read this week from some of the health websites, in many cases doctors only want to refer to a specialist after a repeat incident.
We have one more month to go on the waiting list! We decided to jump the extra long Children’s Hospital’s waiting list by going private. In the meantime, a DIY note has been sent to the school and vacation care program to let them know of his suspected nut allergy, together with instructions until we can get a formal action plan from the doctor.
Do you have anyone in your family who suffers from nut allergy? What happens at the appointment with the specialist?