Nothing Says “Road Trip” Like Anaphylaxis

Think I’m spotty now? You should have seen me before the epinephrine

Ho-leeee crap. I’ve momentarily suspended my hatred of the “multiple vowel-typing in order to convey appropriate drawing-out of syllable for dramatic effect” blogging practice in order to convey just how stunned I still am by the events that transpired yesterday afternoon.

Remember how excited I was for this weekend?

It was a fantastic weekend, overall. I made homemade fortune cookies for Sasha Feroce’s Asian-themed dinner party, which were totally a hit, our drive to Austin on Sunday was quick and relatively painless, and seeing my brother and his wife after WAY too freaking long was just beyond wonderful.

Some trip highlights:

 These are the best, best, best, best, BEST tacos I have ever eaten. I only got one, which was a huge mistake.
I should have had seventeen. 
Also, they make the best queso in existence. I became a total savage under the influence of this queso. I literally had to restrain myself from snapping at my sister-in-law’s hand every time she dipped her chip in the queso. I wanted to drink it. The heavens parted, the angels sang, I ate indelicately, and it was glorious. 
My dad got an awesome deal on a 2 bedroom suite at the Omni hotel in downtown Austin. It was unbelievable. The rooms were huge, there was a living room that was bigger than our entire apartment in Las Vegas, a full kitchen, jacuzzi tubs, an incredible view of Austin, and the hotel staff brought us warm cookies and milk at night. 
On Monday my sister-in-law had to work, but my brother met up with us and we spent the morning prowling through the shops on South Congress Street. I could have spent days there! The shops were incredible, full of fun, weird and unique items, the pizza at Homeslice was so good that we literally had to wrestle the leftovers out of Liam’s chubby fist, and everyone in Austin has somehow developed the ability to park backward. 
That last part was weird. 
After we put the littles down for naps, my little brother and I took Sienna to 
Opa where she drank Italian soda and Hudson and I drank Irish coffees. It was pouring outside, and the place was so warm and cozy, so we just hung out for almost two hours catching up. 
I miss my brother a lot. 
After that we went to Book People, Macy’s (to get the girls dresses for the Nutcracker this weekend), and then we had Thai takeout in the hotel room. 
All in all, it was an amazing trip. 
We got up early yesterday and made a quick stop at the French cafe where my brother works
Everything was divine. Divine, I tell you. 
and then headed back to Dallas. 
The trip was pretty uneventful, even though the traffic was horrible. We stopped in Waco at Starbucks and my mom and I got Passion Tea Lemonades. The kids were getting a little hungry right as we passed through Hillsboro, so I opened up some Cheez-its and my mom started dishing them out. Liam and Charlotte went to town on them, and after a few minutes Liam started pointing at my tea and grunting. (What can I say? He’s basically a Neanderthal.)
It’s caffeine free and I never get artificial sweeteners, so I figured we were safe enough. I gave him a drink. He really liked it and gulped down quite a bit. 
About ten minutes later he began to get very restless. He was tossing and turning in his carseat, scratching frantically at his throat, and then he began to scream. 
This was no normal “I am stuck in a carseat and I don’t want to be” scream. He was clearly distressed about something. I unbuckled him (sue me) and pulled him into my lap, trying to comfort him.
About this time, my mom noticed that his face was really red and blotchy. I shrugged it off at first, thinking it was just a result of his crying, but then I noticed that his ears were bright red. I looked a little closer and saw some red bumps beginning to appear around his neck. 
Slightly alarmed, I started to pull his clothes off. At this point he was truly agitated and pawing desperately at his neck. By the time I had managed to pull his clothes off, his entire torso and face had erupted in bright red, angry-looking welts. Hs face was swollen and shiny.  His eyes were beginning to get puffy. He started coughing a little, and when he stopped I could hear him wheezing. 
I looked up at the front seat, where my mother had already assessed the severity of the situation. My dad was on the phone with 911, trying to find a place to meet an ambulance. 
The next twelve minutes were the longest minutes of my life. I tried to soothe Liam while also trying to ascertain just how serious things were getting. I watched as his eyes went from puffy to swollen shut, praying with one part of my brain while trying not to think of the desperate reality of our situation. If he stopped breathing, if his throat swelled shut, there would be literally nothing I could do. 
I tried to distract him, tried to keep him relaxed, tried to keep myself from panicking, all while thinking that hospitals should be required by law to be located every five square miles. With some peripheral vision and peripheral mommy sense, I registered that Sienna was very pale and panicked beside me. Once, when Liam’s coughing fit ended in a bout of retching, despite my best attempts at control I let out a stifled little whimper of panic and fear. 
Finally, finally, we pulled off the highway and into a Love’s, and I heard the blissful sounds of an ambulance hurtling toward us on the highway. 
Twenty minutes later, we pulled into Cook’s Children’s in Fort Worth. They gave him epinephrine, steroids and Benadryl and kept us there for observation for eight hours. During those eight hours I talked with a very wonderful and thorough doctor about the ins and outs of allergic reactions, learned to use an Epi pen, and got quizzed on how to read a nutrition label*. 
Liam’s swelling went down almost immediately after the epinephrine shot. His breathing normalized pretty quickly and in fact had already begun to improve in the ambulance. By the time they released us, he had only a few random spots, but the poor little guy has scratches and scabs around his throat and neck from where he scratched himself so hard in distress that he broke the skin. 
The Ogre’s flight got in about 9:45, right about the time the hospital released us. My dad and I left the hospital, picked up the girls from my mom, and then he followed me to the Ogre’s parents house to get the Ogre. I was so dead on my feet by this point that he was really concerned I might fall asleep at the wheel. 
But we made it safely, the Ogre let me sleep in until 8 glorious 30 this morning, and aside from being much clingier than usual, Liam seems to have recovered from the trauma of yesterday not too much worse for the wear. 
I cannot say the same about myself. This is one of those motherhood experiences that will actually have to be processed, slowly, over a period of days and possibly with the aid of a few glasses of wine and much telling and re-telling. 
And chocolate. 
In the meantime, though, Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have the grocery store to brave and stuffing to make. If I don’t make it back on the computer, Happy Thanksgiving! I wish you all perfectly roasted, non-dry turkeys, savory and delicious stuffing, tart and delightful cranberry sauce, creamy mashed potatoes, and sinfully delicious pumpkin pies. 
*I kid you not. Apparently it’s part of this inane “Get Moving” or whatever campaign. It seems that most parents don’t realize that you have to read the “serving size” and “servings per portion” numbers, and instead just read the “calories per serving” number as if that’s the number of calories in a given container. This frightens me. Isn’t reading comprehension one of those things that people learn in, like elementary school? 
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