Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mama, Somethings's Wrong.......

before i start, i am writing this in a few parts,
to tell what happened, what we did and what we SHOULD have done
and hopefully pass on important info to help someone else.
i will describe our mistakes at the end...
and unfortunately, we made a few.
*******************************************
don't we all dread those nighttime phone calls?
especially when one of your chicks isn't safely home in the nest.

this past Saturday night was pretty typical.
we went to the beach earlier in the day so we were kinda wiped out.
you know how a day at the beach does that.
we had dinner and were just hanging out.
all except Taylor,
who went to dinner and to see a ballet performance
at a local high school with one of her best friends,
Alexis.

about 8:30 p.m,
my cell phone rang and i saw it was Taylor
because her little girl photo popped up on my screen.


my heart stopped a little when i heard fear in her voice.
"Mama, are you there?"
after i said yes, what's wrong,
she said something like "I don't know".
i asked her if she had been in a car accident.  she said no. 
i asked again what was wrong, where she was?
Taylor said she was in the parking lot at the school with Alexis.
then she said
"Mama, something's wrong with me".
actually, she was speaking in almost a whisper
immediately, i knew my biggest fear, ever since she was a little girl,
was happening.
i asked what she had for dinner.
she said they only had a salad and meatballs at an italian restaurant 
we often go to.
that was 3 hours ago and she felt fine all night.

until intermission when they came out to the bake sale.......
and she chose the one safe thing she could see,
that she often had eaten and made herself in the past.

MISTAKE # 1
she chose a rice krispie treat.
a rice krispie treat, usually harmless.
soon after returning to the auditorium,
she was itching and had stomach cramps.
she slipped out to the ladies room, thinking she would be sick.
she did not throw up, but by now she was shaky
 and looking kinda funny in the mirror.
i think this shocked her in more ways than one too, so she started looking up peanut allergies on her phone,
even though she knew the signs.
 it wasn't but a minute until she sent a text to Alexis,
asking her to come to the ladies room.
when Alexis didn't get there instantly (kinda desperate now)
Taylor sent another that read
"PLEASE HURRY!"
Alexis got there and they went outside to get air.
this is when she called home.

MISTAKE #2
i asked if she was having trouble breathing
and she said "a little",
that her stomach hurt and she was itchy and then
" i think maybe there was peanut butter in it".
she wouldn't know because she has never had it but she also knew 
something was very wrong.

MISTAKE #3

she sounded a little confused but not terribly out of breath,
 and since she and her friend were near the hospital where my husband works,
we told her to leave her car and have Alexis bring her to the ER,
where we would meet her.

we hopped in the car and my husband called and spoke to the ER dr.
to let him know she would be there in a few minutes.
when we arrived at the hospital, 
we saw them preparing to move Taylor into another room,
her friend Alexis by her side.
 the minute i saw Taylor, 
i knew for sure.
she was very hot to the touch,
shaky,
one red hive over her entire body... and i mean she was red and puffy.
itching like crazy,
sinuses congested,
and short of breath.

her BP was low and her heart rate had sped up.
even though i've been out of nursing 20 years,
i knew that's not good.
but for some reason, i was scary calm, the whole time.
go figure:)
so they gave her an epinephrine shot and started IV steroids.
the whole time, she was reassuring us:)
that's Taylor.

her dr. was wonderful!
he asked what she tasted in the rice krispie treat to make her throw it away.
she said "it TASTED like peanut butter SMELLS".
you read that right.
she hasn't tasted peanut butter since she was an infant,
but she knows how it smells.
hates how it smells.
avoids it at all costs.
but it snuck up on her.
she isn't sure how it tastes, except to say it tastes like it smells:)
and he explained that 
since she had not thrown up, the peanut product was still in 
her body and could react again when the epinephrine
 wore off and could even be worse.
so she had to stay awhile and be monitored,
which she didn't mind as she was sleepy anyway.
we agreed her dad would go home and Jordie and I would stay with Taylor.
(there was NO WAY her little sis was budging from that hospital:)

i don't think it was till the next morning that
any of us truly realized what a close call this was.
15 minutes more before getting help and who knows......
looking back, 
it could have been TRAGIC and there were things
 we could have done differently.
i want to tell you about that in case you are ever near someone
this happens to.
i know this is long, so very soon i'll share some really
 important info everyone should know.
EVERYONE.
it's that important.
life or death.
and no, i'm not being dramatic.
it's scary looking back.
God protected my little girl when none of us could.
i'm smart enough to know that......
but clearly,
not all that smart about peanut allergies.

so together, we'll get smarter:)

now, about those mistakes........
Mistake #1: 
~buying something that someone else had baked from home.
~buying something not labeled,
 ~buying something a mom made to raise money at a bake sale,
not knowing there was a child with life threatening
peanut allergies who would buy
her rice krispie treats.


a girl like Taylor, who knew how to make these treats
 and never suspected that anyone would put peanut butter in them. 
a girl who has always been so careful to ask how something is made,
if there are nuts,
a girl who let her guard down.
a girl who took a few pieces off of it and thought it tasted weird,
 so she threw the rest away.
(THANK GOODNESS)
a young girl who made one tiny mistake that
could have been fatal.
now if that isn't scary, i don't know what is.

Mistake #2:  
the minute we suspected it was a reaction to peanuts,
the first thing to do would have been to take her
epipen from her purse and give herself a shot of epinephrine.


that is how we always planned it. 
once her breathing was involved,
we are to skip right to that emergency shot of epinephrine.
but, we have gotten CARELESS.
Taylor forgot it when she hurriedly changed purses.
because she hasn't really had a reaction since she was little.......
and even then, it wasn't major.
a dose of Benadryl did the trick back then.
yep......i want you to know how STUPID we were.
and how it will never happen again!
(i hope there is never a need for a crash cart near my girls again:)

Mistake #3:
Taylor had the sense to call us,
and what did we say?
after finding out she was having signs of an anaphylactic reaction,
we told her to leave her car and go with Alexis to the hospital.
this was wrong for a few reasons.
1.  we should have said "call 911". i knew that. but didn't say it.
i really don't know why.
maybe i was hoping it wasn't bad, that it wasn't a peanut reaction.
who knows.
for sure, i don't know why i missed that one!
in this case, it's truly better to be safe than sorry.
the paramedics would have had an epi-pen.
2.  we put a terrible responsibility on her friend's shoulders.
what if Taylor passed out on the way?
what if she didn't make it to the hospital,
as has happened to others in the past?
what kind of guilt would her friend have carried her whole life,
because of our stupid mistake?
"oh, she's with Alexis.  She is a smart girl, very calm.....
she'll get Taylor to the hospital."
UGGGGHHHHHH.........
i will never believe i did that.
all's well that ends well, but...........
(all clear.....waiting to go home:)

it's really, really, really important to me that
i write these posts.
i never thought it would actually happen to us.
but it did.......
and what a scare!

you might know someone or maybe you have a child whose friend
has a peanut allergy.
it's nothing to mess around with.
i know parents get kinda crazy on both sides.
but bottom line,
if a child has a potentially fatal allergy,
that should trump everything.
including the treat you had planned for a class party.
i had a friend get irritated at us once when it was her daughter's
4th birthday and she couldn't bring her favorite peanut butter cookies
 to share with the class, because of Taylor.
oh. my. gosh.
 i still can't believe she had such a HISSY FIT!
i mean, the poor kid already can't eat half of her trick or treat candy.
no peanut butter cups or reeses pieces for her.
no pb&j sandwiches either.
EVER.
so deal with it, you know?
life is back to normal here.

i still have my little girl:)
you would never know we had such a scare.
Thank You God!

but in case anyone still doubts the seriousness of this food allergy,
let me tell you about these families who are not so
fortunate today.

 1.  the family of Emily Vonder Meulen,

who lost their 13 year old daughter 20 minutes after eating hidden
peanuts  in a chicken sandwich while shopping with her Mom.
here is a link for a Today show interview.

2. the family of 18 year old Laura Benson,

Laura died of a reaction to peanut butter in.....
RICE KRISPIE TREATS,
while serving with her church youth group on a spring break project
at church camp.
read her tragic, heartbreaking story here.

3.  last year, 7 year old Amarria Johnson died after ingesting a peanut.
this story is so tragic, like all the others.
read her story here.


 oh there are more.......
the high school boy who died after eating
 an ice cream cone from an ice cream shop.
the scoop had been contaminated with peanuts.

then there is the high school girl who died in Canada when her boyfriend
kissed her after he ate something with peanuts in it.
having a 17 year old girl,
THAT is scary!
Taylor basically knows that any guy who is interested in her
 is going to have to swear off peanut products.
same with her children someday.

these stories are so sad.......
and to think it only takes 1/1000
 of a peanut to cause a severe reaction.

i learned SO much through this.
actually, i thought i KNEW the facts already.
 not well enough, apparently:)
i just feel really compelled to pass on some of what i learned.
if this is of no interest to you,
i understand.
no, i take it back.
i don't understand:)
because we never know when this might come in handy.

each of these victims asked someone for help.
but did not receive it until too late.
if you read all the way to the end of this long post of mine,
thank you!
this was a scary moment in our lives.
to look at us now, you would never know anything happened.
but i think each of us is MUCH more aware of what could happen
and what we should do if it does.
especially Taylor,
who needed this as she prepares
to go out on her own in the future.
be back soon!
XOXOXOXO
Suzanne

Monday, May 28, 2012

remembering......

 Memorial Day......
a time for
 picnics
 family
 fun
the start of summer.
but especially,
it's a time to remember those who gave their lives
 for the rest of us.
and ALL of those who went on before us.
let's remember.





 i pray to talk with God.
but sometimes, i also wish this.......


 wishing you a BEAUTIFUL day REMEMBERING.
suzanne

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pink + Balloons + Sweets = PARTY TIME!!!

i feel SO lazy this morning.
in fact, i almost felt too lazy to do a post for pink saturday's 4th birthday.
now THAT is lazy, right?
then i remembered back 2 summers ago,
when i was diagnosed with MS.
it was Beverly and her pink posse to the rescue.....
praying for me, sending me encouraging notes,
checking in from time to time, 
simply giving me a boost when i needed it most.
SO
i decided to get off my lazy butt and take part in the
pink saturday party!!!

come on in.......let's get started:)
hop on your bicycle......and don't forget the balloons.
after all, what is a party without PINK balloons??? 


turn LEFT at the PRETTY PINK phone booth.....



proceed along the BEAUTIFUL PINK tree lined road.


my house will be the little white cottage at the end of the road......
you can't miss it because it's the only one with a
PINK door:)

just yell "HEY" if you need a hand with your PINK presents:)

gosh...it's great to have you here.
just wait and see,
there will be........

i should probably warn you.....
it's a bit of a zoo around here
with all my animals.
but they like PINK too so......


at least they followed the dress code.....
WEAR SOMETHING PINK:)


by the way,
thank you for the lovely flowers!


okay, enough talk!
please get yourself something yummy to eat.....










and if you brought your bikini,



grab a surfboard and hit the waves!


and then we can watch the sunset together.......


until next time.......
Suzanne


Thursday, May 24, 2012

i'm just crazy about mirrored furniture............

it seems as if mirrored furniture is all over the place these days.
and i LOVE it!
personally, i wouldn't want a whole room or anything.
but maybe some bedside stands,
a gorgeous armoire
or a pretty vanity might be just the ticket to get that
"Vintage/Glam" look.
(that's what i choose to call it.  others call it
that "old hollywood" style.)
whichever you choose, it can be SOOOOOO pretty.
here are some of my favorites.

a shabby chic/vintage/glam armoire.....


this one is truly RUSTIC CHIC.....and it's beautiful!

lovely little mirrored bedside stand......


not sure if this is an armoire or large mirror.....but i love it:)

now this says "old hollywood" to me.......

 this too......


 there area even mirrored beds.......
 very vintage, very glam!

 mirrored sink/vanity..........

a GORGEOUS mirrored dining room table.......

and this vanity/desk looks like it gets a lot of action:)

and this mirror......
i swear it would talk to me every morning if i had it.
venetian glass is STUNNING!
(i KNEW it would give me messages:)

how about you?
like the mirrored furniture you see out there?
well, i hope you have a
 beautiful, 
shabby chic
vintage
glam
rustic
old hollywood 
kinda day!
Suzanne
(P.S........i've noticed some VERY reasonable 
mirrored pieces at Pier 1)

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