On April 12, 2013, Carter woke up with hives. He was on day seven of omnicef for an ear infection. At first I didn't think the two were related, because he had been taking the medicine for seven days. I thought if he was going to have a reaction it would have happened right away, but boy was I wrong.
I took him to the walk-in that originally gave him the omnicef for his ear infection. They said that he was reacting to the meds and these types of reactions can happen at any time. He said we should stop the omnicef, give him some benadryl, start him on a steroid, and begin giving him a z-pack because his ears were still infected.
We went home that evening and did as we were told. We thought he was getting better by late Friday night. Saturday morning was a whole different story though, he woke up with a swollen face. His hives were worse then they were the day before. I got nervous, but knew that we had directions from the doctor to continue the benadrly and steriods and things should get better.
Cory and Ethan left the house Saturday morning to go to a fishing seminar. We figured that Carter and I would be okay at home because we had the meds that we needed and I planned to watch his every move to make sure he was getting better. When Cory left the house with Ethan, Carter had a complete meltdown. I quickly put Carter in the bathtub to try and cheer him up. He loves bath time. I'm glad I did this because as soon as I stripped him down and put him in the tub, I noticed bruising spots along his spine and under his armpits. Fortunately, the bath time had him in good spirits, by once I saw the bruising I started to panic.
I dried him off while trying to remain calm. I called the walk-in and told them I was coming back with him and that he had bruising from the hives. I called Cory and told him the plan and Carter and I rushed out of the house. The walk-in doctor saw us right away and said we needed to go to the ER. I asked if I needed to drive to Children's or if the local ER would do? I was trying to remain calm, but wanted to know how serious this was. The doc said Children's would be best, but I had to promise not to speed. Ah... yeah...okay... have you seen my baby?!
I called Cory and we agreed that our local ER was closer and we should start there. Cory and Ethan were packing up at the fishing seminar and planned to meet Carter and I and the ER. By the time I got to the ER I was shacking and tears were running down my face. I ran in to the ER holding my almost two year old baby tightly in my arms. The ER nurses saw me and waved me in through the doors. They quickly walked us back to an ER room while asking our names and what was going on. Within two minutes we had a doctor and multiple nurses in the room hooking Carter up to an IV. They gave him a histamine blocker which helped to reduce his hives and bruising.
Can you see the bruising along his spine in the picture above? It was scary. We stayed at the hospital for a couple hours. Cory and Ethan got there shortly after they inserted Carter's IV. Carter was scared and in pain. They drew blood to check for organ damage from the severe reaction. Carter screamed like they were attacking him. He had no idea what was going on and I was doing all that I could to comfort him. He started to dose off after a while, but while he was sleeping the nurses came in and said they need more blood. They had to wake him to poke his little body once again. This time he panicked. They got done taking his blood, which took Cory and I holding him down with all of our might. When the nurses were done and we let go of him, he climbed off the table and crawled across the floor and hid under a chair. We tried to get him out from under the chair, but he was traumatized. He screamed. He screamed like I've never heard any of my kids scream before, as if someone were attacking him. Cory tried to get him out from under the chair, but even he failed. We decided to leave him on the floor and I sat down next to him. Any time I tried to touch him he started to scream even louder. My heart broke. I had no way to console him at that moment so I sat on the floor next to him and cried with him.
Time passed and he started to calm. I picked him up and held him tight for as long as he would let me. He asked to sit back on the bed. He was getting better. The meds were helping. We were on the right track. The test results came back normal. None of his organs were compromised. We were blessed. We were able to go home and continue on with the z-pack, benadryl, and steroids.
We thought the hospital trip made things better, but Sunday morning he woke up with a bright red face, swollen and bruised legs and feet, and swollen hands. I called the doctor and they said this is normal. Fortunately, things got better within the next couple of hours and that nasty swollen, bruised reaction never came back. This event was one of the scariest times of my life. I pray for all of you with allergies or with children that have severe allergies. They can come on in an instant.