Mind full

It happened to me. A moment when my parenting skills could rightfully be questioned. I failed. And no amount of guilt has ever consumed me more.

My daughter has a peanut allergy. A serious one. But the severity wasn’t discovered until last week. Turns out she can’t even come into skin contact with peanuts or their residue. And I’m torn between a lack of knowledge and a degree of disregard. Did I know she’s allergic? Yes. But did I know it was by contact exposure? No. So I’m bordering a line of ignorance. The kids and I went to a friend’s house for a cooking party early in the week. Gatherings have never been a big concern after we learned of her allergy last Christmas. We are careful what we have around our house and we’re protective when we’re dining out. But until now, I’ve never bestowed any discretion with friends and family. Admittedly, the easiest ones to caution and alert. Her exposure resulted in anaphylaxis and a violent shock that slowly took over on our way home. Regretfully, I did not stop to administer her Epi pen. Of course, in hindsight, I should have pulled over, given the shot and rushed her to the emergency room. But the idea of stabbing my little girl in the leg does not come with assurance. So instead, I broke speed laws and headed straight to the emergency room. The admitting nurse rushed us back immediately. At this time, her reaction had become more escalated. Her breathing was compromised, her blood pressure far too low and her poor little body was soon covered in a breakout of painful, itchy hives. I cannot believe I remained so composed. I struggle to believe it was either because I had no idea what was really going on or because my son was frightened for her life. And it became obvious that one of us needed to keep our head on straight. He was terrified she was dying and cried in tears of fear. Because oh my goodness, does this big brother love his little sister. So in between all the chaos, the shots, the oxygen tubes, the monitors, the bright lights and a little girl who was downright petrified; I also had to calm him down. Repeatedly. Because he was the kind of mess I felt like I should’ve been since I’m usually the family freak out. So I now question my own concern and why I had not reacted with more urgency.

Her conditioned worsened after a couple hours of emergency care so we were transported by ambulance to the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. More bright lights. More needles. More monitors. More people. And more exhaustion. Mind fullBut now she is well. And I imagine the memory is already a distant one for her. But I’ve been replaying it in my mind for the past few days. I’m left with some huge mom-guilt that I’m slowly trying to shed. I haven’t slept real well all week. And I’m kind of feeling like a bounty of nerves waiting to internally combust. My little girl suffered all because I made a mistake. I know. Mistakes happen. But what about the ones that don’t seem highly excusable? I echo these words to my son fairly frequently; use your head. Where was mine? How come I didn’t use my head? The million dollar question painstakingly wrapped around a big swift kick to my butt.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this past week; learning how to best control her environment. And it’s come down to this…I’m going to become a peanut ninja and I’m going to be obnoxious. Because I can justify annoyance. I can’t justify tragedy. Food allergies are legit. And it’s okay if you don’t understand. {I didn’t}. But it’s not okay to disregard. {I did}. So this is me. Exposed. Ashamed. And defeated. But changed. More educated. More responsible. More mindful. And absolutely empathetic to all those who’ve come before me. It’s scary and it’s real. But the lessons learned from unfortunate circumstances lend a lifebuoy across these murky waters. I am prepared and no longer naïve. But I am still an imperfect mom. And this isn’t the end.

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4 thoughts on “Mind full

  1. I’m in tears! I’m so sorry your family had to go through this tragedy! My heart goes out to her and you. I’m so very happy you both made it through and you are taking the time to educate yourself and others.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The mom guilt…very real. Know that you reacted in the exact manner you needed to in order to save her. You might have seemed calm but it’s what kept ALL of you alive on the drive there. Totally sympathize with your mom guilt, I think it’s in our DNA after a baby 🙂 Blessings for safe environment going forward.

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  3. So very sorry. I am glad she is okay. It’s okay Alison—forgive yourself. All of us moms have one time or another or will be some day where you are right now. YOU are a good mom. Guilt doesn’t move us forward. Take care. God bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

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