The EpiPen Saves The Day


The orange tip is extended to prevent anyone from getting an unexpected poke from the used EpiPen.

Charlie had an anaphylactic reaction on Sunday afternoon. He was playing in the back yard for more than an hour (with no food), when he suddenly developed a super-runny nose and hives on his face. By the time we reached the house to give him Benadryl, his face looked much worse, so we all piled in the car.

And then he started to cough.

Charlie coughing when he’s having a reaction is a miserable thing to hear. It’s the most futile, thick cough ever. Add that to the massive hives that popped up on his arms and wrists, and we knew the 10-minute drive to the hospital was going to be too long. We stopped the car, MK administered the EpiPen to Charlie, and we got going again. And then, as he always does after getting epi, Charlie started to look better. Within minutes, the cough disappeared entirely. His face started to look like his face again. And although the hives remained for quite a while, they were dramatically reduced in size just minutes after the shot. The ER kept us for  a couple hours, and then we were back to our house.

And now Charlie wakes up crying multiple times every night.

And Max is acting out and clearly stressed.

And we’re trying to figure what the hell caused Charlie to go ana in the middle of the yard. No food. So pollen? It was a very high pollen day, and it was windy. The doctor drew Charlie’s blood and is testing for pollen now. He also recommended that Charlie avoid the birch we planted in our yard a couple years ago. The beautiful river birch that Charlie, more than the rest of us, really loves. It will go to a new home.

So, now we’re trying to figure out this new, major wrinkle. Charlie’s upcoming peanut challenge for May has been pushed until after the summer.

* Interesting note: We had nine injectors (eight EpiPens and one Auvi-Q) on hand. Some in MK’s purse, three in a pack I carry on my belt, and some in a fanny pack we refer to as the “epi kit.” It’s always with us.


10 thoughts on “The EpiPen Saves The Day

  1. Have you considered that he had a delayed reaction to something he came into contact with earlier? The time Georgia had her worst reaction, we knew she ate something she had ana allergy to. After the ingestion, we were shocked that nothing happened at first, then it happened and the rest was a nightmare. It did not take an hour, but maybe 15 minutes. But the doc said that a reaction could be delayed for hours, depending on when the allergen enters the blood system. Usually its in the mouth, but some foods are absorbed in the stomach or intestines depending on what it is. OR was he out that morning where he might have gotten something on his hand or arm and later rubbed his eye or mouth with it? A shopping cart at the store? Bench at the park or any public place?

    I am sorry you guys had this experience. It makes me so worried for him and you.

    • That’s a good point. He might have gotten something on his hands at church, or lunch might have been cross-contaminated. All the food in our house is Charlie safe – as far as the ingredient labels go. But cross-contamination is always a risk. It could be that. It’ll be interesting to see what (if anything) the blood test turns up.

  2. Pingback: Food Allergy Challenge: Strawberries | Toxic Lasagna

  3. Scary! Having to use an Epi-Pen is always frightening but that must be even worse to not what caused his allergic reaction. I sure hope you’re able to get it figured out!


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