Did I miss a reaction? - long

Posted on: Thu, 05/18/2006 - 10:46pm
mommy2mandn's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

My son, age 6, is extremely sensitive to peanuts (and a whole list of other things). However, due to being over cautious, he's never had a reaction beyond wheezing or hives.

Yesterday was different.

First some background...

We'd gone to Petco to see the hamsters, normally one of his favorite activities. There was a worker cleaning out the cages of one of the animals - shoveling bedding off the cage, down through the air, and into a pile on the floor. Immediately, Bud wanted OUT of the place, odd, but I didn't think anything of it.

We go on one more errand. He's fine.

We get home. He's fine.

Two hours later, his eyes are red and slightly swollen. He's complaining that his feet hurt and his chest hurts. He's burning up - I take his temp - 103. His pulse is racing, and he's saying that it is hard to breathe.

I call in to the after hours clinic, saying that he's complaining of trouble breathing.

The nurse says strep is going around (which he's been exposed to), to give him Motrin, and call back in the morning.

I do that. Within 45 minutes, he seems more comfortable. Within an hour, he's pretty much himself.

He goes to bed. While watching ER, I start retracing my day, and I start putting his symptoms together. I'm wondering if he's reacting to being at the pet store.

An hour later, he's moaning in bed. We bring him down and put him in the master bed. His breathing sounds odd again. At midnight he vomits (but only once).

Now, he's very congested this morning. His breathing still sounds odd. But he has no temp.

I'm supposed to call my dr's office this morning. I need input as to whether this sounds like a reaction or not.


It is not our abilities who show us who we truly are....it is our choices."
Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 12:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

It could be. Though, I'm surprised that within an hour of taking Motrin he would seem better.
But, the midnight vomiting. My son is off to the allergist next month because of that. I suspect an allergy to certain animals, and the vomiting is always middle of the night when he and I are both asleep. It scares the heck out of me.
I'm also surprised a nurse (over the phone) would give that advice when a child is having trouble breathing. Every time I call tele-health (a gov't sponsored 24 hour call line) I'm told "go to emergency". I don't think they've EVER given me advice to follow at home.

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 1:08am
MimiM's picture
Joined: 10/10/2003 - 09:00

I wonder if he has a "bug" or something. Possibly strep or something viral. It's not uncommon to feel a little bit short of breath when ones temp is 103. Fevers also make one's heart rate increase significantly. The fact that the Motrin helped supports this. It's also not uncommon to have a vomitting episode when sick as well.
In my opinion, I doubt an allergic reaction. I feel that it's more likely that he's been sick. I hope he feels better soon!
I am not a pediatrician. I am a nurse though.
[This message has been edited by MimiM (edited May 19, 2006).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 2:25am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

My best non-medical Mommy-based guess would be a combination of things.
The sudden fever that responds to Motrin definitely sounds like a virus or bacterical infection.
The red, puffy eyes sounds like a possible reaction to airborne allergens (could be the bedding or pollen?).
The rapid breathing and vomiting could be either due to a bug/fever or an allergen, but unless he has a history of airborne systemic reactions (as opposed to the red eyes), I'd guess the bug.
Also, has he experienced viral-induced asthma? The combination of a virus, plus the bedding, plus any pollen you've been dealing with, could have triggered the congestion/tight chest he's been experiencing.
Hope this helps!

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 2:31am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

When my son was 2 or so he had a very very bad night with coughing, red face and wheezing. I steamed him and watched him.
We did not know at that point that he had PA and asthma. I thought it was croup. I should have called 911 but let my husband talk me out of it. Son did OK.
Now in retrospect I believe that was a reaction but I am searching my mind 19 years later and can't figure what he may have eaten.
I think your son was reacting. I would speak to the doctor today and maybe a bit of Benadryl a few times today for safe measure.
The big clue besides his symptoms would be his insistence that he not go in the place. He felt it, he knew. You might use that feeling to help him recognize another reaction in the future. One big symptom is a feeling of doom. I've seen it, it's real and they are correct.
He probably needs to be told he was correct. He knows himself best as young as he is. Thank him for helping. He's on the track to doing a nice job.

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 3:29am
mommy2mandn's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

Well, we just got back from the pediatrician. Really, we're not any closer to what went on yesterday than before.
Although, 2 strep tests later, we've pretty well ruled strep out. They're sending a culture off, but they think it is probably not strep.
Everything else points to an allergic reaction. She said his airway and everything was still slightly swollen. If he hadn't had the temp, she'd say that she thought it was definitely a reaction.
At this time, she's just not sure.
She's thinking it was a reaction coupled with a secondary infection.
In the future, we will head to the ER. My question is, how do I get a dr to take me seriously? The nurse said as long as Bud would take a deep breath when I asked him to, then he wasn't having breathing difficulty, so that wouldn't qualify as an emergency. His breathing sounded really labored though.
Any thoughts?

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 3:48am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

When you call 911 and when the EMT's arrive you say [b]anaphylaxis and peanuts[/b] they will understand.
When we first took our son to the ER for a reaction I used those two words and the doors opened and the halls parted like I was Moses.
The second and third time we were not as successful.
And that's why it is better to call 911 instead of driving yourself. The ambulance and stretcher gets thru those double doors much quicker than a panicky mother. That's only ONE Of the reasons you call 911.
You cannot do CPR while you are driving or stuck in traffic. You cannot predict traffic or construction. You need that ambulance and siren.
I do not agree with what that nurse told you. Make it simple on yourself. If you suspect your child is reacting, use Epi, Benadryl and call 911.

Posted on: Fri, 05/19/2006 - 7:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

CAN you get a fever from an allergic reaction? Because if not, I would say 'yes' something in the pet store bothered him...trust your child's instincts...and it may have been allergy related...but a virus as well seems likely because I've never heard of fever being a symptom of allergic reaction. Has anyone else? I'd really like to know because I would immediately discount vomiting with a fever as a virus!

Posted on: Sat, 05/20/2006 - 12:14am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]He felt it, he knew. You might use that feeling to help him recognize another reaction in the future. One big symptom is a feeling of doom. I've seen it, it's real and they are correct.
He probably needs to be told he was correct. He knows himself best as young as he is. Thank him for helping. He's on the track to doing a nice job.
Worth repeating. This advice sounds like a step toward empowering your child.
TJsmom, and mommy2mandn,
When I had my absolute worst ana. reaction my temperature soared. When my husband went to take me by the arm he pulled back - later he told me it was like touching a stove element. He didn't think a person could survive with their temp. as high as mine went. And it was strictly caused by the reaction, I was not otherwise ill.

Posted on: Sat, 05/20/2006 - 1:21am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I've seen this too... in the other direction, but still... thermal regulation problems can be a symptom of a major rxn. No doubt.
DD's last anaphylaxis, she was cold to the touch. Cold.
I also agree TOTALLY with what Peg and Annamarie have mentioned-- that feeling can be used as a marker for our children [i]if[/i] we teach them to pay attention to it.
Glad he's okay now.
(BTW, this is very similar to a the situation that triggered a rxn in my DD when she was 2. Bulk pn being dumped into a 55 gallon drum twenty feet away. )

Posted on: Sat, 05/20/2006 - 4:21am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

For his safety and to relieve your anxiety, you should take him to the doctor.
Follow your motherly instinct not a nurse's advice.


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