Do You Ever Have Flashbacks to An Anaphylactic Reaction?

Posted on: Sat, 02/03/2001 - 5:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pDo you ever have flashbacks to an anaphylactic reaction? This has happened to me before and it just happened again now./p
pJesse has had two anaphylactic reactions. His second one, he almost died./p
pI know what the trigger was right now for the flashback. Jesse was 3-1/4 years old when he had that reaction. Every night, when he went to bed, I would lie on his bed and tell him a Thomas the Tank Engine story. He was always very involved in the story. For example, Sir Toppenhatt was always calling for Jesse to come to the Island of Sodor to fix one of the engines./p
pFor his birthday, we gave Jesse a copy of the video Thomas and the Magic Railway. I had just sat down for a minute. Then I remembered - when we were in emerg, still waiting to be moved to intensive care, I was holding his wee hand and telling him how Sir Toppenhatt had called and asked that Jesse please come and fix all forty bridges on the Island of Sodor and paint them. I remember asking him what colour he wanted to paint them, so he must have been somewhat "with it". He said orange./p
pI just asked him now if he remembered me telling him the story about his having to go to the Island of Sodor to paint the bridges orange (oh, the trains on the TV screen were going over the bridges) and he said yes. I asked him if he remembered WHERE I told him the story. He said no./p
pThen, of course, tears start streaming down my face and I figure it's time to come and ask the question - does anyone else have flashbacks like this?/p
pBest wishes! [img][/img]/p
p[This message has been edited by Cindy Spowart Cook (edited February 03, 2001).]/p

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 12:07pm
Kathy Spencer's picture
Joined: 08/17/2000 - 09:00

My son's two episodes of anaphylaxis are with me all the time. Some days are worse than others. I found out Friday morning that he had sneaked some candy from his sister's box of Cocoa Puffs the night before without reading the label or asking me about it. I was devastated to learn that he would take that risk, in spite of everything he knows about the allergy. I cried all the way to work and was too upset to be productive all day long. And the memories of the emergency care he has needed in the past, along with the "what ifs," have kept me upset all weekend.
He's 13, and now I need to do something different in my approach to help him learn how to stay alive, because he obviously doesn't "get it" now. What worked when he was little is not working in the presence of teenage rebellion.

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 4:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kathy, I'm actually crying after reading your post. I am so sorry. Then, I was thinking to-day, before I had a response to this question, was that a "proper" question to ask or was I potentially making someone have a flashback? That was not my intention.
I can pretty well tell from your response that your flashbacks don't have anything to do with my posting the question and I'm just so hoping that no one has a flashback to such a horrific event because I asked this question. I just wanted to know if anyone ever just sits there and something hits them like watching Thomas the Tank Engine on the TV crossing a bloody bridge and tears start streaming down their face like a demented lunatic.
Kathy, I'm wondering if it might be beneficial, if you haven't already done so, to post a question about PA Teenagers and How to Deal With Them? There is only one person I can think of that I read her posts often who has a teenage son, and that is Claire.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of other PA parents with children entering their teen years out there.
And I do apologize if you have already started a thread like that. It just seems SO far away for me, my little guy just turned 5, and yet, I also know, it will get here quick enough.
Kathy, you also know that people here will help you sort stuff out to try out with your son, because we all do care.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 10:54pm
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Kathy, my heart goes out to you, too. My daughter is only 6, but she is a very strong willed girl with a rebellious temperament. I know that we will be in for a very difficult time when she becomes an adolescent. I have noticed that FAAN does have materials geared towards teenagers. I don't know if you have already seen these or not, but maybe they could be helpful. Good luck, there are so many of us here who will be in your shoes soon. Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 2:54am
andy's picture
Joined: 04/26/2001 - 09:00

I have never had flashbacks, but I can tell you the specifics of every reaction I have had in my life. I think that is true with any illness a person has. I was in a life threatening situation from massive internal bleeding in June, 1998 from an ulcer that I did not even know I had and I can tell you everything that went on over a four hour period from the start to the ambulance to the ER. Thinking about the reactions do not bother me. In a funny way, they remind me to try to slow down and not get so wrapped up in the daily nonsence. Andy

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 4:47am
Michelle2's picture
Joined: 10/25/2000 - 09:00

Andy, thank you so much! You made my day!

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 6:54am
Frances's picture
Joined: 11/28/2000 - 09:00

Cindy--I'm sorry about the emotional pain of flashbacks but I think for some people it is just their way of dealing with a very difficult issue--that of having a child die. I think this whole PA thing ties very clearly into grief issues--not only the things we perceive as a loss for our children because of the allergy--but also, the ever present feeling that they could die. I try to laugh at myself--but there is this ever present vigilance. My husband and I were out at a big event and they had a wonderfully interesting buffet of fascinating appetizers-all I could see were dangerous and unknown foods. This is not a normal persons reaction--food isn't supposed to be that emotional and analytical--but for us, it is. Flashbacks seem like a normal outlet for very difficult and REAL feelings. These aren't feelings that a lot of people understand, and these aren't feelings we can talk about every day, and very often the level of these feelings precludes us from sharing very much about them with our PA children. We really can feel alone at times on this issue!

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 1:20pm
Kathy Spencer's picture
Joined: 08/17/2000 - 09:00

Thanks so much for the kind words and support, Cindy and Miriam. Cindy, your post did not make me dwell on scary flashbacks; I guess I just needed to blurt out what was on my mind and this thread seemed appropriate.
I have had Matthew read the FAAN material, especially the one for teenagers. He is pretty immature in many ways, and still wants to be childlike. I think he believes that, as long as I am in charge, everything will be okay, even if he sneaks food. We have been working really hard all his life to motivate him take each emotional developmental step (he never wanted to give up diapers, nursing, etc.), and the "taking responsibility for oneself" issue has been tough.
It truly was just yesterday when he got his "kaploma" from kindergarten, and this teenage stuff seemed so far away.
Tonight, I taught him how to cook hamburgers. I'm hoping that with new culinary skills, he will be prepared to feed himself safely. Every few days, I am going to supervise him in the kitchen.
Cindy, you're right -- I need to start a new thread on teenagers and PA. I need all the help I can get, and I know it's here for the asking.
Thanks again.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 1:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Kathy, I am sorry that my thread made a flashback (or more) come back to you. That was not my intention. But, in saying that, I am also glad that you were able to post what you did and hopefully find some support and way of dealing with your teenage son as far as his PA and taking it seriously (on his part).
Frances, your post was beautifully written and wanted to make me cry all over again.
I just wanted to know that I wasn't the only person that did strange things like this. I don't do it often, but sometimes I do.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

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