On High Alert

November 20, 2009

Earlier this week, I was talking with our pharmacist, who is also our friend, about Olivia’s epi-pens.  One of the ones we keep in her epi-pen bag had expired at the end of September and she wanted to know if I wanted a new one now, or did I want to wait until January when our health plan will cover them again. (We’re covered for two per calendar year and any additional ones we pay $120 for.)   I actually paused and thought about it then told her that it is only six weeks until the new year…  When it’s been so long since she’s had an anaphylactic reaction, it’s easy to become complacent.

Yesterday, I had a wake up call.

On the weekend when I got groceries, Evan asked for a box of “S’more” pop tarts as a treat.  Since fruit pop tarts are one of the “safe” commercial treats that Olivia can have, I said “sure” then came home,  put them away and didn’t think about them again.

Late in the afternoon yesterday, Olivia came into the living room where I was with one of the new pop tarts in hand; Sarah had climbed up and gotten one down for each of them.  Olivia had about two bites and something made me go check the ingredients on the box.  Fourth ingredient from the end – dried egg white!!

I panicked.  I grabbed the epi-pen bag and made Olivia sit on my lap so I could watch her.  I called my mother and told her I needed her to come over because if I was going to have to give her the epi-pen, I wanted someone to be with me.  She reminded me that Olivia had eaten 1/16 of an egg baked in cookies before she started to react during her baked-in egg challenge and she felt Olivia would be fine.  After all, how much egg would there be in just two bites?

As it turns out, she was fine.  She developed a few hives around her collarbone, by her ears and her cheeks got red, but I gave her some Reactine and other than some eczema she’s fine this morning.

As for the epi-pens, Deborah brought us a brand new un-expired one last night!

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