I have never been too worried about allergies and my kids, until lately. I don't think I ever fully understood the concern parents had about allergies and their own kids until this summer.
Lucas has been stung by wasps, bees, yellow jackets, hornets ~ I'm not quite sure which has been the biggest offender but he has been stung often. And with every sting the reaction has gotten worse and worse. Knowing Zach would get pretty large hives after a sting, I learned to keep a close eye on things and always try to give benadryl as soon as a sting happens.
The first time Lucas was stung was in our car on the way home from hockey practice. He started screaming in the car as I was barreling down the road...time to brake and pull over. He whipped off his shirt and there was the wasp stinging him on his back. I had an empty wrapper from a Nutra-Grain bar in the car so I grabbed the nasty little sucker, killed it and threw it out the window. Not knowing how Lucas would react I circled the two stings on his back in pen and kept a close eye on them. He had a little reaction, the hives appeared quickly and went away just as quickly.
The next time he was stung was a couple of months later. He was enjoying pizza and fellowship at our friends' house when a yellow jacket (according to Lucas) came, landed on his finger and zapped him. I iced it, put baking soda on it and sent Lucas on his way...he didn't have much of a reaction the time before so I thought we were good to go. Not so fast...two days later his finger swells up like a sausage and develops a pretty mean looking blood blister. Well CRAP! Now what?
We head to the doctor for some good ol' fashioned tending to and come to find out he's probably allergic...let's talk epi-pens! DAMN! Not what I wanted to hear! The official diagnosis will come at the allergist's office. But for now, we'll play it safe with the epi-pens...not knowing if the next sting will cause breathing problems.
In the meantime, Lucas has a week at camp. So I take his epi-pens to his counselors and the nurses' office, making sure they know he reacts when stung. The counselors tell me they spray for those nasty little stinging creatures. I am relieved but somehow know Lucas will be stung while he is at camp.
Lucas ~ we'll have to keep and eye on this kid! Not that we haven't for the past 12 years...this is different. Epi-pens and allergies are far scarier than I imagined. I have the utmost respect for the parents who deal with extreme allergies every day. At this point, luckily, Lucas' reactions have been localized...extreme but localized. I can't imagine the parents who send their kids off to school worrying that this could be the day they are stung, get into peanuts or have a reaction to whatever allergens lurk out in this big, wide world of ours. We'll keep the benadryl and epi-pens nearby...for the love of Lucas!