A Year After Anaphylaxis

Early last week, I felt like I was forgetting someone’s birthday. Life is still so busy that getting a text out would have to make it to a to-do list in order to get sent, but first I’d have to know whose day it was.

 

Today, I remembered: it wasn’t a birthday I was forgetting, but the anniversary of Jacob’s first anaphylactic reaction.

 

I’d already gotten him a new EpiPen, Jr. to replace the one that would expire this month. It’s not that I wanted to celebrate this date. But it’s seared in my mind. Every time a bill or insurance letter arrived with that date in the months following, I went back to the experience of waking up to John telling me something was wrong. To calling 9-1-1. To riding in the ambulance. To seeing the hives over so much of Jacob’s little body. And finally, to watching him come back to himself after the drugs had worked for a few hours. To seeing him singing and playing and ready to go home for a nap.

 

Thank God we haven’t had another reaction to that degree in this year. We’ve just learned that Jacob does have some environmental allergies and we’ve found an easy, over-the-counter way to treat those. In better news, we’ve also learned that he is not allergic to fish (“I can eat FISH!”), and per his test last year, we finally gave him a walnut and didn’t see any reaction (he tested allergic to tree nuts, but somehow not walnuts).

 

We pray that Jacob’s allergies will resolve (that’s allergy-talk for “go away”). At our most recent visit to the allergist, the doctor said most kids’ allergies resolve by the time they’re five. So maybe we just have two more years of this lifestyle. But maybe not.

 

Either way, we have a happy and otherwise healthy little boy who brings so many people so much joy. I’ve been spending a lot of time recently wishing my family and I didn’t have to face the challenges set before us. But everyone has something to work through, and every obstacle is an opportunity to become a stronger person by putting faith and trust in God.

 

And Zyrtec. And antibacterial wipes. And swearing off dairy.

 

Moral of the story, one of the scariest days of our lives is behind us. It’s important to remember it and be aware of the real dangers of Jacob’s allergies. But it’s also necessary to recognize all that he can do, experience, and eat, and all that we are blessed with by having him in or lives.

 

The Chinese version of Jacob means, “blessed in a hundred corners.” A hundred, at least! I’d say even more.

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