My first child was 9 months old and starting to try food off my plate. I had bought a healthy lunch from Capers on 4th Ave and then went shopping for my groceries. My baby went to sleep in her snuggly while shopping. I noticed her warm up and start sweating when I pulled her away from my chest for some fresh air I noticed her pale and a rash starting on her. Thinking that perhaps the flu was coming on I left my groceries in the basket and caught the bus home to Yaletown. Thankfully the bus didn't take long as by the time I arrived home and woke my husband who was working graveyard shifts, my daughter projectile vomited. I told him the story and he and I both felt we should take her to the ER. This being our first child we went to the closest hospital, VGH. They sent us away to Children's Hospital saying that she would get better care there. Unfortunately, it was now rush hour traffic and my daughter was going from bad to worse. She was crying so hard but then went limp and I could hear her wheezing. I started to panic and said to my husband to take the oncoming lane and starting honking to move other drivers. By the way this was 16 years ago and neither of us had a cell phone to call 911. By the time we arrived at Children's my daughter was blue and I really don't remember much about what happened after that but essentially the nurses seemed to recognize the signs of a anaphylaxis and gave her an epinephrine shot. I remember in moments she calmed down and the situation turned around positively after that. She was diagnosed through tests at Children's Hospital with a life threatening peanut allergy. I made myself an allergy expert after that event. Never left home with out my daughters Epi Pen. She never ate anything we couldn't ensure all the ingredients were peanut free and not contaminated. Until Children's Hospital challenged her allergy at age 12 when she miraculously showed a significant decrease in reaction to peanuts. The doctor declared that she no longer had a life threatening allergy and that she would no longer have to carry an Epi Pen. 12 years of awareness that something she could eat could cause her airway to shut. Peanuts are not a big part of her life now and rightfully so she associates bad things to even the word. Looking back I do wish we had insisted that my daughter be transported to Children's Hospital. The VGH ER just didn't seem to take us that seriously...or at least it felt that way. Thank goodness the nurses at Children's recognized the signs of anaphylaxis and acted quickly!
First experience with a Life Threatening Allergy