much ado about (pea)nuttin’.

Britney has done it again, and by Britney, I of course mean me. We had Chinese take-out on Saturday night, and instantly Miss Bea started getting finicky and itchy. Within 5 minutes she was covered in a horrible rash and had welts and hives all down one side of her face and up her neck. Wondering what the hell was going on but knowing it was some sort of food reaction, I gave her 5mg of antihistamine and kept an eye on her. Suddenly I clicked; Chinese cooking more often that not uses peanut oil, and Bea is horribly allergic to peanuts. Britney does it again; I poisoned my own kid! We drew her a bath to get all traces of the possible oil off her skin, and this did not appear to help any. Poor Bea’s eyes were closing up, swelling up, she was sneezing, spluttering and her breathing was becoming labored. The eczema situation was flaring because of the heat of the bath, so I quickly brought it to an end and wrapped her in a towel on the lounge room floor for a cuddle. She sat clinging to me, a definite sign that she was distressed and something was fairly wrong. The puffing and panting began around this time, a definite sign of possible oncoming anaphylactic shock. I didn’t want to be the one to make the call on when to stick her with an adrenalin shot, so we hightailed it to the nearest hospital, only to be kept under obs for 3 hours while Bea enjoyed the extensive range of hospital toys in fairly cheerful spirits. We were sent home with orders to keep her close and watch for further signs. I put her to bed around midnight and slept horribly, trying to keep one ear open for noises of small person falling into some sort of peanut induced coma. When we got up Sunday morning, her eyes were bloodshot, puffy and scabby and she didn’t look 100% cured like I had hoped. By midday she had hives all over her face, her eyes were pouring yellow goo and she could barely see out of her slitty puffed up eyes. Her face was so welted, red and puffy that she was unrecognizable as Beatrix, but looked more like the kind of kid that had a few chromosomes missing (you know, that kid in movies that always sits in the back of class and gets teased for wetting his pants). I decided to take action and get her to the Royal Children’s Hospital in the city. By the time we arrived, Miss Bea was hysterical, partly from the itching, and partly because the pedal car in the waiting room was tempting her and the nurse was busy trying to take her temperature. We arrived at the hospital at lunchtime and got home just in time for dinner. Miss Bea had fallen asleep in the car from her doses of varying drugs, and was put straight to bed only to wake up 3 hours later ready to play. After hanging around until 1AM, Miss Puffy finally made it to her cot with open arms, probably hugely glad to put an end to a horrific weekend. On the cards for today is a follow-up trip to our family doctor to assess how she’s doing and perhaps put forth a plan of action and run some more extensive allergy tests.
At least I can say I didn’t stay home all weekend.