Well, that was a day.
This morning I loaded Connor up bright and early and we headed down to the hospital for his first appointment. Because he's back in school, I'm trying to stack his appointments on the same day so he doesn't have to miss more days than necessary. His earliest appointment today was with the GI doc, and it went very well. All of his appointments went very well, actually. It was in between the appointments that we had issues.
So the GI doctor said that Connor's g-tube site looks fantastic and that we don't need to move up a size. We don't have to see him again for another twelve months, which I'm always pretty excited to hear!
We got out of the GI clinic around 11:00am, and Connor's next appointment (with cardiology) was scheduled for 1:00pm. I had a couple things I needed to pick up for the house, so I figured I'd swing by the PX (the supermarket on post), buy the necessary items and eat lunch there before returning to the hospital. As I was loading Connor in the car I noticed he had a small bright red patch on his left arm, but I didn't think too much of it.
We got to the PX and I was standing in the diaper aisle when I looked down and noticed that the red mark seemed to have spread down a good portion of his arm. I lifted up his shirt and his upper arm and shoulder were sporting huge, palm sized blotches. Hives. I immediately wheeled over to the medication aisle to see if we could pick up some children's Benadryl, but they were out. So we left the PX and headed back towards the hospital to see if they could give us some, as the hives were spreading at a rather alarming rate.
As you all know, Connor is very allergic to lavender. He doesn't have a reaction to it if he smells it, but if it gets on his skin he usually breaks out in some form of hives. Evidently somebody in the doctor's office at some point (I'm thinking probably a patient, as the medical personnel normally don't use scented products for exactly this reason) used a lavender product and it somehow made its way into contact with Connor's skin. Maybe they sat in the chair we were in and put on lotion with lavender in it, or used lavender soap, or something of that nature. At any rate, Connor usually just breaks out in a red rash in the immediate area of the contact, but it doesn't spread out much more than that. Of course, the more times he comes into contact with lavender, the stronger the reaction grows, so apparently the confined-to-one-area thing has changed. Either that or he's developing some new mysterious allergy. Whee.
Normally I actually carry Benadryl with me because of his allergy, but took it out of Connor's wheelchair when he went to school yesterday since leaving easily accessible bottles of medication around in a room full of children is a bad idea. While I'd replaced his epi pen and Diastat, the Benadryl hadn't made it back into the chair because (ha ha) we've only had to use it a handful of times over the years.
It took me about ten minutes to get Connor back into the hospital, and by the time I wheeled back into the GI clinic the hives had completely covered both arms, had spread themselves across his chest and back, and were starting to pop up on his face. I wheeled him up to the nurse, said "I think he came into contact with lavender somewhere in here," and he took one look at Connor, and then turned around and half-ran through the staff door. The GI doctor came out almost immediately, said "Whoa," and immediately agreed that some Benadryl was an order.
Another nurse came out with a full bottle and a medication syringe a couple minutes later, and we dosed him up in the waiting room. Then we hung out in the waiting room for about twenty minutes until it became clear he wasn't going to need the epi pen too. The Benadryl ended up working really well and it only took about three hours for his hives to disappear completely. I'm very glad that the Benadryl was so effective so quickly, and that we didn't end up needing to use the epi pen. That was my first adrenaline rush for the day.
Then I scarfed down a sandwich from the coffee shop downstairs and hauled my grumpy, spotty, half-sedated kid over to cardiology, where they took a look at his heart, declared it to be functioning well, and told us they'd see us next year. We headed out to the parking lot, where unfortunately due to the hot weather Connor ended up overheating while I was strapping his wheelchair into the car and I had to strip off all his clothing, aim all the air conditioner at him while it was going full blast and sponge him down with my bottled water until he no longer looked like a boiled lobster and quit acting like he was going to have a seizure at any minute.
By that point we were both more than ready to go home, but we weren't finished yet. We went to physical therapy, which went well despite the fact that Connor was understandably rather tired and didn't really want to do anything. We also had a consult with the local orthopedic expert and determined that Connor really needs a new wheelchair, as the one he currently isn't giving him enough support and is probably making his scoliosis worse. And then we dropped by the prosthetic place where Connor is getting his knee extension braces from and discovered that they'd accidentally only ordered one instead of two.
And then we went home and collapsed. Connor fell asleep practically as we were walking in the door; he went to bed at 5:30. I ordered a pizza as there was absolutely no way I was cooking tonight, and now I'm ready for bed too, as I'm kind of dead on my feet. And also I'm exhausted all over again just typing this-- it was that kind of day.
2 months ago