Over the past weeks and months GT has gradually expanded his food palate, eating more and more solid foods. So, we’ve been experimenting with new foods and combinations. There hasn’t been any adverse reactions or strong dislikes. Well, except for peaches, he’s not really a fan of peaches. Anyways, we’ve pretty much stuck to the general rule of thumb of waiting three days after trying a new food to see if he has any reaction to it. But, as evident by this posts title, that has changed.
It started out a normal; wake up, play, eat, change diaper, play, eat, nap…repeat. On a recent trip to the grocery store we decided to try some pre-packaged dinners in an attempt to save time as two working parents. For dinner we had selected a chicken, rice, peas, and carrots meal. Things he has eaten individual with no evident side effects. There was a thin sauce, but it appeared to be mostly water or broth. We heated the dinner according to the manufacturer’s instructions, no problem. We stirred, portioned it out for GT, and let it cool a few minutes, no problem. Mom started to feed him, while I worked in the kitchen, no problem. And, just like any child he wanted to feed himself, so he started to dig in, no problem. Hopefully, just like other children he would then smear more than eat the food all over his face, the beginnings of the problem. Within minutes Mom noticed that he started to develop welts on his hands and face. Wherever he had come in contact to the pre-packaged dinner had started to swell, which included his fingers, cheeks, pretty much his whole face, and some spots on his chest.
We cleared his tray, wiped him and everything down, but he still kept swelling up. Mom grabbed the boy, I grabbed the keys, and we both
ran out the door. As I hit the accelerator, he starts to moan and cry. As the adrenaline punched in I found us traveling fast, very fast down the interstate to the hospital. We made it to the ER and GT was still moaning and crying. And now the hurry up and wait set in, but luckily we were pushed to top of the queue because of his age and symptoms. As we sat in the waiting room, he began to perk up a little bit because he had an audience to entertain. After a short stay in the waiting room, then the triage room, and then an actually room, the seemingly Doogie Howser aged doctor strode in. We explained what had happened, and he explained that allergic reactions range from mild symptoms all the way to anaphylaxis (worst of the worst). He continued that since GT wasn’t having any difficulty breathing and vitals were okay, that this appeared to just be a mild, surficial reaction to something in the meal.
After confirming that Dr. Howser wasn’t kidding, he prescribed another miracle of modern pharmaceuticals, Children’s Benadryl. Seriously? My kid has a slight resemblance to the Stay Puff Marshmallow Boy and we get Benadryl? Please keep in mind that I’m not a doctor, and I’m not advocating dosing your baby with drugs without the consent of doctor. And, I’m glad we went to the ER even though the reaction was “mild” because we learned a valuable lessons, doctors are getting younger and younger. No seriously, it’s not worth risking your child’s health. Then the doctor shared another lesson with us, apparently Benadryl can have two totally different effects on kids: 1) knocks them out like most people, or 2) it hits them like caffeine and wires them for hours. Thankfully, GT falls into the first effect.
So after few doses and lots of rest, the swelling went down and by the next afternoon he was pretty much back to normal. While writing this I’ve been having an internal conflict as to whether or not I would mention the brand of pre-packaged dinners. After seeing my child’s face again from that fateful night…suck it Hormel and your Compleats Meals. I’ve narrowed it down to likely one of the preservative chemicals used in the meal.
Thanks for the taking time to read this, I hope it helps.