We had a trip for allergies to the ER on Monday. We had had a good run. The last time this happened was when Nathan was 5 months old and had that super scary anaphylactic reaction to a tiny bit of whey. That was over 8 years ago.
We got home from VBS on Monday at lunch and Elizabeth said "Mom, my legs itch." I pulled up her skirt to check her upper thighs and they were just covered in hives. I thought it was bizarre, but then turned her around to check her back. Her entire back and bottom were covered with hives. I could see little hives popping up all over her chest and shoulders and they were kind of making their way up to her neck. I wasn't sure if I should Epi-pen her or not since she wasn't currently having breathing problems, but I also didn't want to NOT Epi and then have it get really bad. Since I didn't know what to do, I just called the professionals.
They were here in probably 3-4 minutes. Elizabeth was kind of freaking out because these huge welts were all over her body and she was itching like crazy. I took pictures that day, but they involved her underwear and her bare bottom so I didn't think I should post those here!
The paramedic said he wanted to take her to the hospital and get an IV started in the ambulance. Nathan and I couldn't fit, so we drove behind. I was amazingly not freaking out because I knew I had done the right thing and that she would be ok. We drove to the hospital and had to wait until they found out where she was and then Nathan and I were allowed back.
She was awake when we got there, but fell asleep shortly afterward due to all the benadryl in the IV in her arm. Her hives had completely disappeared at this point. Jeremy came over from work in uniform and managed to walk right in without any questions! Elizabeth woke up to see him. They observed her for awhile and then released her to go home. They gave us a prescription for prednisone and told us to get Zyrtec.
We were hoping things were going to be ok. However, when I put her to bed Monday night, a huge patch of hives had developed on her leg again. I gave her the benadryl and put her to bed. In the morning, I gave her all the medicines again and she seemed to be ok.
While at VBS again Tuesday morning, she came and found me and said she was super itchy again. I couldn't believe the hives all over her! This time, they were covering everywhere down to her feet. They kept spreading and moving and getting larger. I didn't know what to do so just left VBS and took her down to her allergist's office. They managed to get us in. We were told it was just the reaction still going on. She had been out in the sun and heat playing games and that caused it to take off again. They assured me at this point, the risk of anaphylaxis is super super low. Here are some of the pictures of the hives I took that day. They were all over her bottom and tummy too but I didn't put those pictures up.
Our best guess is that sunflower seeds caused the reaction. We know she is severely allergic to these but had never had a reaction to them other than the first time she tried Sunbutter when she was 16 months old and got hives around just her mouth. She is not around them much and luckily they are not in a lot of common kid snack foods. At VBS that day, sunflower seeds were one of the snacks. I made Elizabeth's snack personally so I know she didn't eat any, but we made 325 snacks that day (only 6 that didn't contain the sunflower seeds-and I made those carefully) . That means that 300+ other kids had sunflower seed residue on their hands. I can't believe a touch from someone's hand or using the same pencil as them would have caused a reaction this big, but we just can't imagine what else it would be! The doctor agreed it looked like an allergy and not a virus that causes hives.
Look at the size of these ones on her feet! She was miserably itchy!!
Her whole leg was covered. It was terrible.
Monday and Tuesday were horrible with the hives. Wednesday morning, she woke up fine and I gave her all the medicines again. It's Wednesday evening and we haven't seen another hive. I'll give her medicine at bedtime and then another round of all of it tomorrow morning. Hopefully that will be all it takes! This was horrible! No one slept, she was super cranky, horrible!