Tonight after dinner, Ella started coughing like crazy. Then she started wheezing. Then I started freaking out. All we'd eaten for dinner was spaghetti (at home, and I never keep anything in the house that even has a "may contain" warning). So it couldn't be a peanut reaction.
Or could it?
There was no swelling, or hives, or vomiting, or anything else similar to her last reaction. But then again, peanut reactions are unpredictable and not necessarily the same every time. And she was definitely having trouble breathing. So what to do? EpiPen? 9-1-1?
We decided to go to the clinic. We would have gone to the ER, but the clinic is literally right around the corner, so we knew a doctor would be able to see her much sooner there. So I stayed at home (to take care of her little brother, who was still finishing his green beans), and daddy took Ella to the doctor. And I continued to freak out.
An agonizing 30 minutes later, they came home. Turns out it wasn't a peanut reaction. The doctor told us that true allergic reactions rarely involve only breathing symptoms - there are almost always skin symptoms, too, like hives or swelling.
What happened to Ella was, however, something. She was definitely have trouble breathing, so the doctor put her on a ventilator to help her breathe, with a steroid to open up her airways, and she was fine after that.
So, what was the problem? Well, it could have been a freak one-time thing, but there's also a chance that she has developed asthma. We won't really know until it happens again. IF it happens again. We're believing it won't. Because the problem with a diagnosis of both anaphylaxis and asthma is that you are at a greater risk for a severe allergic reaction and even death. And I'm not sure I could handle any more anxiety than I already have...