Saturday, May 2, 2009


Calling 911 for an allergic reaction to antibiotic #2 is not my idea of a fun Friday night, but clearly, I have no control over the script of my little medical soap opera. I have never had an allergic reaction where I couldn't breath and I always have Benadryl in the house...except for last night. So I ask you...Got Benadryl? It's the only reason I'm not in the ER right now. 

Possibly the only reason I'm alive.

About five minutes after I took the first dose, my tongue started to itch. Then I began clawing at my body, trying to rip off my clothes so I could scratch myself bloody. Recognizing it as an allergic reaction, I called the nurse line and asked what to do.

Since I was breathing okay and by then it had been twenty minutes, we figured we were safe sending my husband out to the drugstore for Benadryl. What we didn't know, and what the nurse failed to inform us, was that a severe allergic reaction can take up to 4 hours to manifest. It's not always immediate. Another thing that went unmentioned is hives on the face and chest almost always mean airway swelling will occur, although the severity is variable.

The nurse did tell me to take a bath in baking soda though. Every time I call the Kaiser Permanente nurse line they tell me to do something to my body with baking soda. It's like they have a fetish or own stock or something.

Anyway, while my husband was gone, I started having difficulty breathing. So I hung up on the nurse and called 911, somehow managing to simultaneously throw a DVD in for the babeola. This is probably the best metaphor for motherhood I can think of, you never again do anything without taking care of your kids, not even almost dying. You never come first again, even when maybe you should. (Not that I'm complaining, it's just the harderst part of the job to explain to non-moms.)

The babeola watched the DVD to the exclusion of all else. Paramedics invading my living room have nothing on Baby MacDonald. The husband got home with the Benadryl ahead of the ambulance so, thankfully, by the time EMS pulled into our driveway I was starting to breathe a little easier.

They checked me out. We debated if I should go to the hospital or not and settled on not. They left--the dvd had ended at this point so the babeola blew kisses and waved and was super cute.

Then my nasal airways promptly swelled shut.

But I still felt okay (surprisingly) and rolled with it, mouth breathing like a prank caller until midnight when I took another dose of Benadryl. By then, I could finally take a deep breath and breathe through my nose.

I had taken this antibiotic before with no problem. This really just hit out of the blue. 

Today I'm going to the store and stocking up on Benadryl, both the liquid and the pill. It's easier to swallow a liquid when your throat is swelling shut, you know?

So mommas back to the original question, got Benadryl? Because I'm living proof no home should be without.


Breeze said...

Scary! Glad you're ok. We've got Benadryl kids...maybe I should get a grown up sized one to have on hand.

I don't take medicine of any kind but I could see how that could be beneficial in an emergency!


Jenners said...

Holy Crap! This is scary ... and what a super mommy you are! I'm going out to buy some Benadryl now!

T Rex Mom said...

So glad you're alright. That must have been horrible and scary. Glad your little one was well taken care of thanks to your efforts and Baby McDonald.

Yes, we always have Benadryl as well as children's Benadryl on hand at all times. I have horrible allergies as does my son (in addition to asthma).

We also have an epi-pen (epinephrine) in case of such events. Have you ever considered talking to you doctor about it - might save a trip from the paramedics as well as save a life?

Mount Belly Mama said...

I am so sorry that happened to you! What a great case for liquid benedryl. They also have the kind strips that dissolve under your tongue.

I also just want to tell you thank for taking the time to comment on my post today. It was hard for me to write and even harder to publish it. I love and admire my friends so much (especially since I am SO picky about who my friends are) that this has been weighing on my mind for a while. And it certainly is taking away from the pregnancy experience and I can tell that it is stressing me out because for the first time since I've gotten pregnant, my IBS (irritable bowel) is acting up and my braxton hicks contractions are also bothering me more and becoming more concerning.

But it really helped me SOOOOO much to hear the loving support from others. In fact, after I read all the comments, my husband walked in the room and I burst into tears and had myself a really good cry while he held me. It was the first time this whole pregnancy that I've done that and it was much needed! Because of that, it will be so much easier to move forward and keep my eye on the finishing line.

Thank you so much....

Wolfsbane and Absinthe said...

Oh my gosh, M! That is frightening! I am sooo glad you're okay!

Anonymous said...

Aw, bless your heart. I'm glad you didn't die! I love the way your baby reacted. Without a care in th world!

Mount Belly Mama said...

Thank you again so much for your comment on my post "will you get an epidural?" I can't even begin to tell you how much all the comments I got meant to me. I posted another one today.

Thank you for being part of a life-changing experience...