It’s been one year since we were in the ambulance and to the hospital with Megan’s allergic reaction to kiwi. When I mentioned it to her on Saturday (the exact anniversary date), she was dismayed. In her eyes, remembering the date was the last thing she wanted to think about since she has no desire to ever go through that again.
Believe me, I have absolutely no desire to go through that again either. It was the first time she had a reaction in 9 years, the first time she was without us during a reaction, the first time she had to call 911 and the first time she had to self-inject the epi-pen. And not only did we need to deal with the medical emergency with her, we had to emotionally deal with her older sister who was traumatized by the incident and our friend’s son who had offered our daughter the drink that Megan reacted to even though it wasn’t his fault.
As much as I want to follow Megan’s advice and forget about that last reaction, I can’t, nor do I feel I should. I feel that we had gotten complacent because we had been so careful for so long and that was part of the reason why the reaction occurred. It’s not that we started cutting corners like eating food products that had “may contain” on them or that we stopped checking out ingredients in the grocery store.
The complacency was more about thinking that our “safe” places (as my girlfriend’s house where the reaction occurred normally is), were absolute and that all items provided in those safe places didn’t need another check. A simple check of the Koala brand lemonade spritzer would have quickly revealed that it was a kiwi-lemonade drink. But that didn’t happen.
So I need to remember and also climb down off of my high horse. Our allergist had been surprised that despite Megan’s extremely high test numbers, we had not had a reaction for so long. I wore it like a badge of honour (see how good I am with managing the food allergies). Now, I think that diligence is absolutely necessary but sometimes it’s also about being lucky.
So Rob and I are doing our best to manage the complacency that can creep back in when you don’t even know it. We will continue to remind our children, all family members and others that come in contact with our allergic child. But I’ll also cross my fingers and toes plus pick all of the four leaf clovers that I can find. Whatever it takes to get us through another year.