Like that title? I speak the truth. I told you awhile ago that I’d write the story about how I nearly killed my little brother right before Christmas. Well, here it goes:
We have always known he was allergic to peanuts – since he was a wee bitty kid. Brendan (now 17-years-old) carries around what we call, an “allergy bag.” In it is his Epi Pen, Benadryl and an inhaler (and I think a medical I.D.). The allergy bag doesn’t leave his sight. He takes it to school, hockey practice, on dates, trips to the store, etc.
He carries it everywhere, because he has no idea when he’s going to encounter peanuts. In grade school, he even sat at a special table because classmates brought in foods with peanuts. Have you guys ever watched Freaks and Geeks? In this episode, the “mean kids” put peanuts in Bill’s sandwich because they thought he was faking his allergy. Well, this is Brendan’s biggest fear. And it proves how potent food allergies really are:
Pretty scary stuff, huh? Until I went to college, I didn’t remember what peanuts tasted like. Ever since we discovered he was allergic, we avoided peanuts at all costs. We didn’t even indulge when we were away from him – because if we got it on our hands, coats or purses and brought it home, it could be dangerous for him.
So we all know how dangerous peanuts are, but we weren’t sure about all the other nuts. He loves pistachios and has eaten almonds before – but he was on the fence about pecans. I spent a few hours at my grandma’s house the Wednesday before Christmas baking cookies. Almost every cookie we made had pecans. Both my parents worked and Brendan had finals, so I wanted to bring home a plate of cookies for them to try. A few cookies were pecan-free, so we assumed Brendan would just try those.
We were standing in the living room and Brendan said, “I want to try pecans – I really don’t think I’m allergic.” My mom and I agreed, so I gave him the Butterball cookie (basically dough + pecans). Almost immediately, he complained that he had trouble swallowing.
We went into panic-mode.
He took two Benadryl and my mom called the doctor’s exchange number. The nurse told my mom to have Brendan give himself the Epi Pen.
He had never had to use his Epi Pen before.
Mom hung up with the nurse and called 911. 911 was on their way, and Brendan was having trouble stabbing himself (wouldn’t you?!). We all went around saying we would do it, but realized Brendan needed to learn to do it himself because he’s going away to college next year.
1. 2. 3. Stab.
He said it didn’t even hurt (whaaaaa?! I’d be crying).
So we waited for EMS to arrive. They came and said he was doing fine, but suggested we go to the ER because it’s common to have a second reaction.
Off we went to the hospital and we spent the next few hours with the doctor monitoring him. He still had trouble swallowing, so the doctor gave him a steroid to help. Finally, he was fine.
Our family is officially a “no nut family.”
Whew. Worst sister of the year award? I humbly accept.
I’m so thankful he reacted so quickly before things got really bad. He ended up being just fine. 🙂
And that’s the story!
So enough with the depressing stuff, I’m off to make a killer shrimp scampi dinner, take Gracie for a walk and watch UC’s basketball game with Kev. 🙂 🙂
A few people have asked about posting my dad’s chicken wing recipe, cookie recipes and training Gracie, so I promise I’ll have plenty of recipes and other topics coming soon!