Can we get any weirder as a family?
Oh yes, we can! Let’s sum up how far from main stream American we are up to this point. We are a family of 5 (a little more than the average 2.2 kids). We primarily eat at home with home cooked meals due to our vegetarian and gluten-free diet. We choose home school our 3 children. A few of us have a rare bleeding disorder (and no, this has nothing to do with us being vegetarian).
And now, we get to add a new allergy-Bee venom, into the mix! It may not sound like a big deal (or I have never thought of it as a big deal when I heard others speak of their bee venom allergy), but I now know the seriousness of it.
On August 1st, we were on a walk through the park by our house. My daughter got stung by a bee. She gets stung often. I know that sounds odd, but she does. She loves bees. She has pet bumble bees each summer. Ok-back to the story. Well, since she has been stung many times before, I did not worry. In fact, I decided to continue to walk over to the ranger station to see if they had anything for the sting as I knew I did not have anything in the car. We walked about 5 minutes across the park.
She walked with us but was complaining the whole time and saying that she did not feel good and that she really wanted to sit down. We kept walking. When we got to the ranger station, there was no one there. My friend took my daughter into the bathroom to check her out because now my daughter was complaining that the bug was still biting her on her legs. At this point I knew we needed Benadryl and fast. I ran to my car and met them back at the ranger station. We immediately went to the urgent care. They watched her and prescribed an epinephrine shot to keep with us. Thankfully, she was fine.
The next week, we were visiting friends and she got stung again-four times! I gave her the Benadryl and got her in the car immediately. We drove toward the hospital that was closest (we were not close to any hospital or urgent care at this point). I did not have the epinephrine shot at this point because the pharmacy had to order it. Needless to say, I was silently freaking out.
Do remember my previous post about all the rain we have been having here in NC? Well, one of the main roads had a washout and this is where I was going (I had completely forgotten about the MAJOR sinkhole!). Thankfully, we lucked out again. She swelled but never went anaphylactic. So we turned around at the sinkhole and headed home since she was doing fine.
We are now 4 weeks later and just returning from the allergist. While we are there, the allergist is throwing out numbers-40% of kids have hay fever, 5% of kids have peanut allergies and .1% of kids have bee allergies (remember these are numbers verbally stated to me-I have not researched them up to this point). .1%! So in my mind I am thinking, ok-it is very unlikely that she is actually allergic to any of the bees. We go forth with the venom allergy testing.
12 pricks and 33 shots later, she has a nice swollen arm and a positive reaction. Now, remember that .1%, that is to be allergic to one type of bee. She was allergic to all 5 bee types tested! It is times like this that I realize just how lucky we have been. If you look through this blog, you will read all about our times outdoors hiking, camping, skiing, biking, etc.
Thus, I am dedicating this blog today to those with SERIOUS ALLERGIES! I now have a new respect for allergens and our bodies ability to fight them. If you happen to be around someone who has been stung, please be aware of the signs and symptoms of anaphylactic shock. (These are also important for those with food allergies too).
- severe itching of the eyes and/or face
- swallowing or breathing difficulties
- abdominal pain or cramps
- angioedema (similar to hives)
The amazing part is that the body can be desensitized to the bee venom. We will be taking this next step ASAP!