As if Hallowe’en with an allergic kid isn’t stressful enough…

November 1, 2009

Olivia went to Halifax for her H1N1 vaccination today.

Obviously, it went well.  I didn’t realize how stressed out about it I was until I started to discuss it with her allergist.  I felt the tears sting my eyes and had the lump in my throat after he had explained to me that there was virtually no detectable egg in the vaccination ( the company that made it found 20 nanograms per part and Health Canada could find none) and that there had been no problems at all in the clinics they’d given to egg allergic kids so far.

As Olivia’s mom, I was able to find my voice and heard myself say, “It’s just that her worst reaction – the one where I held her lifeless body while five people scurried to find a vein they could get an IV in because her blood pressure was so low and her veins had collapsed – is burned into my brain…  I trust you, but…”

He was quick to reassure me.  He told me he knew.  (He has children that are allergic as well; actually he has life-threatening food allergies himself!)   He said that he wouldn’t suggest it if he didn’t think she would be perfectly safe, and that he would give it to his own daughters in the same situation.  How could I have any reservations after that?  I teased him about having a clinic for this on the most stressful day of the year for a parent of a child with food allergies!

He skin-prick tested her to the vaccine first, and after a fifteen minute wait to see what would happen, nothing did!  Her allergist talked to us some more and answered all my questions (and I had lots!).  We decided together that based on her SPT, we would give her the whole (half) dose at one time instead of doing it gradually.  The nurse came in and gave her the needle, to which she didn’t even flinch.  When it was over, she asked, “Where’s my chocolate milk?” since the last time we were there, in August, was for a dairy challenge!  We all had a great laugh over that and I promised we would go for some chocolate milk as soon as we were allowed to leave.

She had to wait in the office for an hour to make sure she didn’t have a reaction.  I won’t say it was fun, but it was certainly eye-opening to be in a room with that many other parents of egg-allergic kids.  Normally, we all keep to ourselves in the waiting room, but today people were talking about what other allergies they were dealing with.  Two boys had mustard allergies – glad we don’t have to deal with that!

When we were given the okay to go, we headed out to McDonald’s to get her some french fries & chocolate milk and then headed to Costco for a few things.

Meanwhile, Sarah was with her grandmother, creating her pumpkin which was a great likeness!

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Pumpkin Sarah

The three boys, meanwhile, raked the leaves on the church property with the Cubs.

Halloween3AlexI arrived home mid-afternoon and helped Alex bake a cake for Olivia and while it was in the oven, we went to get some dark shoes for his first boys’ choir performance tomorrow.  Then I dropped him back at home to carve his pumpkin while I went to get a few things for Olivia’s birthday tomorrow.  It was one of those crazy days where, we were all doing different things at different times; I set out cheese, ham, fruit & veggies for them to eat for supper.

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We had our first trick-or-treater at about 4:30; he was about two years old.  My parents came down at 6:30 so that we could all go out together as a family.  I can’t help but think this might have been our last year to do that since Evan will be in Junior High next year.  Although it was a Saturday night, the streets were fairly quiet; the boys’ principal, who is a neighbour surmised that it might be due to H1N1.

The girls & I did the block and D’Arcy took the boys a bit further.  When they got home, we sorted through the candy and took out anything deemed “unsafe for Olivia.”  They were all in bed before too long, but then D’Arcy & I had to switch gears and I started getting ready for Olivia’s birthday and D’Arcy tried to get some marking done but keeps falling asleep.

I should take Auntie Ruth’s advice and “not worry until there’s something to worry about” as today went far more smoothly than I expected!

Dare I say it, we even had fun!!

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Cousins & friends

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Halloween7 Wivvy

Halloween8 W&A

Last day as a two-year old!

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