The first time, my first time, was unplanned, awkward and ended with a trip to the emergency room. I realize most Epipen uses ARE unplanned, that’s the whole point of always having it with you, but I really didn’t see it coming and when it came to the moment, I didn’t feel ready and I didn’t think G would be so young when I had to use it. It wasn’t how I imagined my first time to be. I thought I would be calm and in control. I knew what to do, I had seen the demo, I had tried the trainer, heck I OWN a trainer. Should be straight forward when the time comes…
We were at a friend’s house for a play date, kids in the living room playing and mums in the kitchen sipping a much needed coffee. My eldest son came in to the kitchen very concerned and said that G had spilled his ‘soy juice’. Ummmm… G didn’t have any ‘soy juice’. We raced into the living room and found G holding a sippy cup with milk in it. Had he drunk any? Apparently he had as his lips began to swell slightly and his nose began to run. I was still so unsure. I was looking at him and thinking ‘does he normally look like this? was he wheezing like this before? does he have a cold?’ Seems weird, but these thoughts were racing through my mind. I had never actually used a real Epipen and I was so full of uncertainty. I picked up G and held the Epipen. I looked at my friend and said ‘I think I have to use this’. She nodded ‘Ya me too’. Having her confirmation was enough and I pushed the pen into G’s thigh. He let out a huge scream, but immediately the medicine began to work. Now I was annoyed with myself for hesitating. Why was I questioning whether or not to use it? I vowed never to do THAT again. When in doubt, use the Epipen! Like I said, I had never done this before and I didn’t realize how long the needle is. G was never a chubby baby and I wouldn’t be surprised if the point of the needle went all the way to his bone. As I had been stabbing, my friend had called 911 and the hunky first responder firemen arrived very quickly. A short trip via ambulance to the hospital for observation and all was back to normal by the end of the day.
G has no recollection of this day. Good because being jabbed by your mother with a giant needle is probably not a pleasant childhood memory, but bad because the reality of his allergies is something he should not forget (especially as he enters the teenage invincibility stage!). Me, I’ll never forget that day. I’ve done it again since, but like with most things, I’ll never forget my first time.
Organized sports for children, I think my boys have tried most of the ones available in our area except the ones that involve body checking (although they did try basketball). Now, for food allergic kids on sports teams, the things to avoid seem obvious – shared water bottles, celebratory snacks, but we quickly discovered there are a whole host of surprisingly risky things lurking in the gym bag.
T-ball began in kindergarten. What a hilarious sport! Kids try to hit a baseball off a high tee and then parents try (often unsuccessfully) to direct their budding Major Leaguer to first base. Left handed batters often end up running to third and some poor souls make a beeline for the pitcher’s mound. With about 12 kids out on the field corralled by 24 parents, the game is more of a batting, yelling free-for-all; a perfect way to start a baseball career. After outfitting G in the supplied polyester uniform and required jockstrap and cup (which, by the way makes them all walk around like bow legged cowboys) he was ready to take to the field and try all the positions. Now in t-ball the only interesting position is catcher because you get to actually touch the ball by picking it up and placing it back on the tee. This is quite a skill for these 5 year olds and all of them want a turn at showing off their ball placing skills. When it was G’s turn he eagerly put on the complicated catcher’s gear (sorry, equipment) and got ready to pick up the ball when it was knocked off by the batter’s body on follow through. The leg armour was strapped on and the chest protector clipped into place; he donned the helmet and face mask and “click”, “click” went the camera – wow he really looked like a Baseball Player! Alas, it was a short career for G in the coveted position as catcher. He probably survived 5 minutes in the face cage. He was wiggling the cage saying my face is itchy. Sure enough, when we whipped off the head gear, his face was covered in hives where the mask had touched his skin.
He did play baseball for a few more years, but those beginner years of little league can be quite painful (I mean from a boredom point of view) so I was not sad to see it go. His Spring sport has become field hockey which suits me just fine as a spectator. He’ll never be in goal though because of the shared face mask thing. This also suits me just fine – it’s not pleasant to watch your child have hockey balls drilled at them, even if they are wearing a cup that fits …
A boy with braces on his teeth brings a paring knife to school to help him eat his apple. Is the knife a weapon? The boy threatens another child with the knife poking it at his face and taunting him. Is the knife a weapon? Should the boy be reprimanded? If so, how?
A boy brings a peanut butter sandwich to school for lunch. Is the sandwich a weapon? The boy threatens a peanut allergic child with the sandwich, poking it at his face and taunting him. Is the sandwich a weapon? Should the boy be reprimanded? If so, how?
The results in both scenarios could be dangerous or even life threatening, but does the sandwich scenario sound silly? Unfortunately, I know this has happened and it is very serious. People have strong opinions about how to handle situations like this.
What do you think?