“I… can’t…. breath…. mom!” Slowly, were the words coming out of my 5-year-old little girls mouth just a few Fridays ago and then suddenly she fell to the floor gasping for air and holding her throat! Those were The Longest 10 Minutes of My Life!
April 10th, 2015 was such a normal day. Dress rehearsal for our oldest daughters theater play and then show time at 6:00 pm. I even took our daughter to a special early dinner with one of her cast mates and close friends of ours.
Dinner was fun and the kids did an amazing job on their At the Band Stand 50’s musical! My little girl did amazing and I can tell she had so much fun doing so!
After the show we said bye to friends and headed home. I knew the girls were going to want a snack, so while I put costumes and tidied up around the house my husband gave the girls snacks and we allowed them to watch the television in the living room while they ate.
I remember being in my room when I heard my daughters chair slam down hard, I thought maybe she fell or was having an argument with her little sister, but when I walked into the living room she was hitting her chest and trying to catch air!
I grabbed her to check on her…
“What’s wrong?” I screamed!
“Are you choking?” I screamed again! Then I yelled for my husband who came running in from the kitchen.
We gave her water and seemed to be okay. I decided it was time for a bath and bed.
As my girls are ready to jump into the shower, Kaelyn again starts hitting her chest and grabbing her throat! This time she goes down on the floor and I catch her midair! Yelling at her if she was okay!
She seemed to be able to breathe, but with difficulty. I remember yelling at my husband “I don’t see anything in her throat!” My husband then says “Is she having a reaction? I’m getting the Benadryl!” Within seconds we are giving her the medicine.
That’s when it got worse! Her breathing was getting worse and all I remember was grabbing her running to our bedroom and dressing her while I called 911!
As I write this tears stream down my face…. because all I can remember is the look on my 5-year-old daughters precious face waiting for her mom to do something to help her with arms out into the air and all I could do was hold her!
This happened a few times as I’m on the phone with the 911 operator and my daughter is clenched on my side. She would be okay for a few seconds and then her eye would get wide and she would begin to hold her throat! I don’t remember how long it was until her breathing began to improve, but by the time the paramedics arrived she was almost breathing normally! Her vitals were checked and all seemed fine!
I remember thinking when the paramedics left, what just happened? Was my daughter choking? Was she having an allergic reaction?
The paramedics confirmed that she didn’t have anything lodged in her throat and said that she might have been having a mild allergic reaction and when we gave her the Benadryl it might have helped stop what was going on.
Almost two weeks later my daughter barely eats, unless it’s something soft and it comes from home. She has had a traumatic experience and now sees food as a thing that could hurt her.
I feel like such a failure as a mom! I should have seen the signs! I should know what to do and when to do it! I am her mom and I should be able to protect her! Why didn’t I think of the EPI Pen? Why did we give her those chips and dip?
The reason I am sharing this story with other parents is because I don’t want you to go through what I did! It was scary and it still haunts me daily. I replay that night in my head over and over again. What if?…. What if?…
I want to tell you to stay calm and that ll parents should be CPR trained and EPI Pen trained if their child has food allergies! BUT, I am all those things! I am CPR trained and I know how to use the EPI Pen if it ever came to it, but I FROZE and I was distressed! As a parent I was not able to do the necessary actions because I honestly was not calm! I thank my husband for being there and being our calm who got us through that night and I thank God that my little girl is sleeping in the next room as I share this story with all of you!
My goal this summer is to get retrained in CPR training, take some extra emergency classes, and to get EPI Pen training once again from her allergist! Those were the longest 10 minutes ever and I don’t want that to happen again!
Have you ever been through a scary experience with your child?