There is no doubt about it - Kaylen does everything in a BIG way and sending out her fifth year was no different.
Yesterday morning I had taken her to the doctor for a bad infection on her finger that I couldn't get under control with soaking and antibiotic cream. The doctor prescribed Keflex and I gave her the first dose at 10:00am and then took her back to school. I alerted her teacher and the front desk that she was taking an antibiotic and the possible reactions to look for and then I went home. I picked her up at 12:30 (Wednesdays are early release days)and noticed a couple little zit like bumps on her chin and cheek. I casually posted on Facebook, wondering if she was having a mild reaction. 2:00 came and I gave her the second dose and she worked on craft projects and at 3, we ran over to Target. While there, I had a gut feeling I should pick up some benedryl just to have on hand. I used to have a bottle but tossed it when it expired and never got another bottle. The kids each picked out a candy bar and we were on our way. We live 4 minutes from Target. By the time I was almost home, Kaylen complained that her candy hurt her tongue. I told her I would check her tongue when we got home. I pulled into the garage and after she got out of the car, I had her stick out her tongue.
She tongue was bright red, swollen and had hives all over it.
CRAP. This is what I was told would happen if she had an anaphylatic reaction.
I raced into the house and tore open the benedryl box and gave her a dose while I started dialing Kaiser. I was connected with the emergency on-call nurse who advised I take her to the ER and that if, on the way, she started having trouble breathing, call 911. *GULP*
I ushered the kids out the door and into the car as I called Dakota and told her we were on our way to the hospital. It was 4:00. I reached the ER at 4:08 and they tagged Kaylen and raced us back and into a pediatric room. Her voice was starting to get really hoarse. We changed her in to hospital wear and I was settling her in. Kelton was a big help and did what I asked him - which was awesome! I asked Kaylen how she was feeling. She said "Not good. I only have a little hole in my throat to breathe through." CRAP CRAP CRAP. I went out and got a nurse who came in and checked all her stats (she had been hooked up to a monitor) and then went to find a doctor. The doc came in and checked her over and ordered an IV and three different drugs.
Dakota arrived as they were getting ready to start the IV.
They got the drugs into Kaylen and she was a trooper! Not a peep. Not a whimper. She told us later she didn't even feel the IV go in.
The IV benedryl made her very sleepy (she was already sleepy from the stuff I gave her at home and then they doubled that dose through the IV) so we sent Dakota and Kelton off to see Grandpa, who was admitted to the hospital just a bit earlier. (When we walked through the ER doors, we ran into Dakota's mom. That was surreal!) After that they hit the gift shop for a present for Kaylen and then they had dinner in the cafeteria.
Kaylen, meanwhile, listened to a couple books I found to read to her and then she drifted off to sleep. The doc had checked her and said to settle in, we'd be there a while. At 6:45 we shook her awake she he could check her again. She was soooo out of it! We kept her awake for a few minutes so she could tell us how her throat felt. She said "Much better." The doc looked in and said "I agree with you! It is MUCH better!" PHEW!!!
He said he would start working on her prescriptions to go home and we could take her home. From here on, she should continue to improve and then he went on to explain how if she starts to get worse again, we are to call 911 and have her brought in immediately.
Kaylen started whining that she wanted to go home. I can't blame her - she felt awful and was incredibly drugged. I sent Dakota a text to let her know the status and they started their way back to us. Just as they came in, the nurse was bringing in the discharge papers. It was 7:10pm. Seriously? That a looooong three hours that flew by. I know that doesn't make sense but that's how it felt. How could it have been three hours but holy crap - all the stress of what could have happened was intense.
Dakota took the kids home while I took the scripts to a pharmacy....or five. The first one didn't have all the medication. The second one didn't take her insurance (Kaiser is primary and the state is secondary). The third was closed. The fourth had two of the meds and then they sent me back to pharmacy #1. It took me an hour, and many miles, to get them filled. I was so thankful I hadn't had to lug the kiddos with me. Poor Kaylen would have been a mess and Kelton would have spun completely out of control.
I came home and Dakota was reading stories and settling them in for bed. Because Kaylen had napped in the ER, she wasn't ready for sleep so I let her get up and cuddle with me on the couch. We said goodbye to Dakota and watched the end of The Great Fairy Rescue and then she told me she was ready to sleep.
I put her in my bed and crawled in next to her. It was 10pm and we were both exhausted. I couldn't sleep but she drifted off easily. When I finally did sleep, I had horrible dreams. I'd wake often and check on her. It was a long night.
This morning we woke up to Kelton saying "Happy Birthday, Kaylen!" Yes, it's true. Today is Kaylen's SIXTH birthday! She opened her gift from me and then I gave her the once over. She proclaimed she was feeling "great!" and I can confirm that her bumps on her face are gone and her tongue is back to its regular color and size. A few hives remain but she says "It's much more smooth than yesterday."
*breathing a HUGE sigh of relief*
Dakota and I talked and we opted to not give her the new antibiotic (we were instructed to know how to use the Epi Pen on her before we gave it to her...or any new drug from now on) and go back to soaking and creams. This morning even her finger looks better so I will keep a close eye on it and hopefully we can skip the antibiotic route.
She is on steroids for 4 days to keep the internal swelling down and she will forever more need an Epi Pen on hand and we need to tell everyone that she has a life-threatening allergy to cephalosporin antibiotics. I have to tell you, I have not been as terrified for the life of one of my children as I was last night except for that fateful day when Kaylen first stopped breathing. And while this was especially terrifying, at least she was able to answer my questions and participate in her care. At 11 months, that didn't happen so I was left guessing about what was happening and how she felt.
Dakota has a unique skill of being able to not go to the bad place of all the bad things that could have happened. I asked last night, away from the kids, how she could be so calm and she said "It's over now. She is fine." I am unable to do that. I replay it over and over and see all the places it could have gone terribly, horribly wrong. I think "Today could have been very different. Instead of celebrating her birthday, we could be planning her funeral." Yes - we are very, very lucky (I had a friend, when we were 17, who died from an anaplyatic reaction to medication.) and blessed. We definitely had someone watching over us. Picking up the liquid benedryl saved us big. Otherwise, we probably would have been calling 911. It gave us enough time to get to the hospital before things got scary and it helped keep her airway open enough for her to breathe.
Yesterday will be a day I will never, ever, ever forget every detail of. Just like the day when she was 11 months old.
But today? Today is a GREAT day and today, at 12:10pm, my amazing baby girl turns six years old. Happy Birthday, Kaylen! What do you say about having an uneventful year? :) I love you!!!!!