Wednesday, April 08, 2009


1) Unscrew the green cap of the carrying case and remove unit.
2) Grasp unit with the black tip pointing downward.
3) Form fist around the unit (black tip down).
4) With your other hand, pull off the gray safety release.
5) Hold black tip near outer thigh.
6) Swing and jab firmly into outer thigh until it clicks so that unit is perpendicular to the thigh.
7) Hold firmly against thigh for approximately 10 seconds.
8) Remove unit from thigh and massage injection site for 10 seconds.
9) Call 911 and seek immediate medical attention.

These are the instructions for my son's EpiPen Jr.®.

After a harrowing experience at a local restaurant, I took him to his pediatrician. We had allergy testing done in November, and I was still trying to get the results. After telling the doctor about the experience at the restaurant, which included hives and shortness of breath, he asked his staff why we didn't have the results of the allergy testing. They called the lab, which I had asked them to do 4-5 times in the past 4 months, and got the results. We took these results and went to see the allergist, who also performed some skin testing.

Based on the results of the blood work, skin testing, and his history, my son has a few food allergies/sensitivities, some severe enough to necessitate the EpiPen®. They also require a change in his diet, and mine, as he is still nursing. I was already a label reader, and now my detective skills will be honed. And my cooking skills also. It is a lot to process all at once, and requires a lot of education, and research, especially because of how much we travel. Daunting, but I know that good things will come of this experience. And I'm an Ivy-League grad and earthy mama, I'm up to the challenge.

What is he allergic to? Peanuts. Moderate, but this is a common allergy. Eggs. His most severe. Milk. Less severe, but combined with the others we should be careful. And chicken. Yes, chicken. I wonder if it is because much of the commercially available chicken contains arsenic. Hm, I guess there wouldn't be any arsenic in what is used for allergy testing. I guess.

So, I have a nine month old, and an EpiPen®. Please forgive me if, in the future, I struggle with being overprotective. Forget visions of sugarplum fairies, I have visions of anaphylaxis dancing in my head.

1 comment:

Memeeflye said...

Food allergies ARE scary! Remember to alert EVERYONE who may care for him & tell them if you are ever admitted to the hospital. Fortunately there are some good cookbooks out there for folks with allergies.