The Time I Almost Killed My Child


I had been waiting on eggshells for this day to come. I’d been waiting since our son, Rory, was 6 months old and diagnosed with a peanut allergy. He was now 3, and I was still waiting. Until… I almost killed my child.

It was a Monday after work and I was shopping at Whole Foods in the gluten-free cookie area.  My husband and I were due to go out of town that Friday and my mom was flying in to take care of the kids.  I remember that I was exhausted.  I remember picking up a box of vanilla gluten-free cookies, flipping it over, and reading the ingredients.  The front of the box screamed “gluten-free!” and “soy-free!” and it appeared to be a company that cared about allergens in food.  The cookies had cream inside, which Rory had never had before and I thought would be a special treat for his grandmother to give him.  As I was walking away I noticed that the same cookies came in chocolate.  I grabbed a second box and threw them in the cart.

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I did not read the ingredients in the chocolate.

Fast forward two days, 8 p.m. My two-year-old was up past her bedtime when Rory saw the box of cookies in the pantry.  He asked if he could have one and I said yes.  They came in a two-pack.  He said he wanted two because they came as two and I said, “So do my babies.  One for you, one for Moo.”  Emily was in a bad mood, took a tiny nibble and didn’t want it.  Rory snatched up the extra, so excited about eating a cookie with cream.  I took Emily to bed almost immediately so I was not in the room when Rory told his father, “This cream is spicy.”

Forty minutes later Rory was watching cartoons on a computer in our bed.  He came to the top of the stairs to call down to us that he was itchy.  I took one look at him and nearly fainted.  The back of one knee looked like it had been attacked by fire ants.  I said to Andy, “Think.  Help me think.  What is new?  What did we just introduce to him?” and I remembered: the cookies.

I ran to the pantry, grabbed the box, and looked at the back.  There were 12 ingredients and hazelnuts were the 10th one. I knew in that moment that I’d never seen this list of ingredients.  I hadn’t even read the box.

We quickly double-dosed him with Benadryl and coated the hives in Benadryl cream.  Residue from the cookies must have been on his hands and he touched the back of his knee.  We threw him in the shower and washed his hair and skin.  I sat with him bundled up in a towel on my lap and apologized over and over; telling him Mommy fed him a bad cookie on accident. I was so sorry and it would never happen again.

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My son breaks my heart into a thousand pieces sometimes. He said, “Mommy, I think I’m going to be OK with that cookie.”

His eyes were bloodshot so I put an antihistamine drop in them.  I asked if he could breathe and he said yes.  I asked him to take a deep breath and he did.  I asked him to show me his tongue and he did.  It looked fine.  My dinner was waiting downstairs, so Andy stayed in our bed to keep an eye on him as he watched cartoons.

I was downstairs eating when he started to cough. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I listened.  Cough.  Cough.  Cough cough.  Cough cough.  Cough cough cough.  Cough cough cough cough cough–


“What?  I’m here with him.”

“But he’s coughing!”

“I know!”

I ran up the stairs.  They were sitting in the dark.  I flipped the lights on.  His eyes were swelling.  He was still coughing.

“We have to call 911,″ I said.  “Let’s find an EpiPen and call 911.  Bring him downstairs.”

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Backstory:  We got an EpiPen prescription for Rory in 2011 when he was skin tested at an allergist.  The allergist had sent us home without the prescription despite his maximum allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and cats, and serious allergies to egg, wheat, melon, grass, ragweed, and mold.  The mothers on the allergy board of BabyCenter insisted that I call the doctor’s office the next day.  When I did, I was told that it was the doctor’s policy to not prescribe anything of any kind for a patient unless that patient was going to sign up for a treatment plan.  I shouted, “Exactly what treatment plan does this doctor want a 16-month-old baby with a nut allergy to sign up for?”  Many threats later, the prescription was called into our pharmacy, which we then renewed through another doctor every year since.

Rory was naked under a towel but Andy snatched him up and we went downstairs. I found the EpiPen.  I found Andy’s phone.

“Let’s put him the car,” Andy said.

“No.  We don’t have time for that.”  I didn’t even know how to get to a hospital; we had only lived there two months.  I dialed 911.

“911, What’s your emergency?”

My voice went shaky as the gravity of the moment hit me.  “I need to know whether I have to use an EpiPen on my child,” I told the operator.  She wanted my address, wanted my phone number, wanted to know how old he is and whether we needed an ambulance.  “YES I NEED AN AMBULANCE BUT DO I NEED TO USE THIS EPIPEN ON MY CHILD?” I pleaded.

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“Ma’am, I can’t tell you that.  You need to calm down.  You need to do what your doctor would want you to do in this situation.”

Rory was now coughing to the point he was going to vomit.

“She would want me to use the EpiPen.”

“Then you need to do that, ma’am.  Stay on the phone with me.  Do not hang up.”

I told Andy, “She says we need to do it.  Do we really need to do this?  What if he’s going to be OK without it?”  I was afraid of the side effects of epinephrine.  I was afraid of the pain.  I was afraid of being the one to cause the pain.

Three firefighters came running up my stairs into the living room as we were getting clothes on Rory.

One firefighter pulled out a stethoscope and listened to his lungs.  He was wheezing.

“You’ve got to use the EpiPen,” he said.

Two paramedics ran up the stairs to my living room.  One was a female.  She was so warm, so caring.

She took my hands in hers.  “Mama, you’ve got to use this EpiPen,” she said.  “It has to be you.  You are scared and you need to do this because there will be a next time and next time you might not be where we could reach you. You have to learn to do this tonight.”

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A police officer ran up the stairs into my living room.  There were now nine people in my tiny living room.

Rory was gagging.  I read the directions on the EpiPen for the 10th time.

A firefighter reached out his huge hands on Rory’s tiny thighs.  The paramedic held his torso.

I said, “One, two, three”  and tried to inject the EpiPen into his thigh.  I didn’t work.  I tried again.  It didn’t work.  I looked at the woman helplessly.  She took it from me, looked at it, and handed it to another paramedic.  He retracted the tip to reveal the needle and said there was no ejection; it would eject with the force of me hitting him with it.

Jesus.  I knew that.  The pharmacist just told me about the redesign in January.  Thank God all of these people were here to help me think.

Now I was on autopilot.  “One.  Two.  Three.”  Slam.

Rory howled like I’d stabbed him with a knife.

“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.”  I pulled it out, threw it, and he leapt into my arms.  I was crushed.  I wrapped my arms around his skinny body and said I was sorry a dozen times.  This was worse than the time he tumbled out of his stroller onto the sidewalk when he was two weeks old.  This was worse than when he saw me give the dog away.  I was the worst mother of all time.

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“Mommy, I don’t want another one of those!” he begged.  I promised him there would be no more of those, ever.

Andy came into his line of sight and Rory leapt from my arms to his.  The paramedics asked which hospital we wanted him taken to.  They asked if I could tell that his cough was not as tight now.  No, I could not tell.  The swelling was going down in his eyes, they said.  I could not tell.  He looked like he’d been in a fight.

“Do you like teddy bears, little guy?” they asked.  He nodded.  My sweet child.

They packed up the EpiPen and the box of cookies.  They packed Rory up into the ambulance.  They strapped him into a seat and handed him a bear, which he took and hugged.  Andy got in beside him.  I stood at the back of the truck peering in the windows on my tiptoes, crying.  No one knew I was there.  They drove away and I came back in the house, sat on the stairs and cried.  I called my mom.

What if, what if, what if?  What if we were gone to California and Rory asked my mom for those cookies and this whole thing happened on her watch, alone?  What would she have done?  How far would it have gone?  What if he’d fallen asleep before it set in?  What if he wasn’t coughing?  What if she didn’t hear him?  What if he suffocated from anaphylaxis in his sleep?

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Andy texted at midnight to say that they were staying until morning. I finally fell asleep and woke at 4 a.m., then relived the entire thing all over again.

Emily and I picked them up at seven in the morning.  I called to let Andy know that we were outside of the emergency room.  A moment later the double doors opened and out walked my husband with my tiny, beat-up child beside him.  I drove them home.

Andy said that the cookies were on a shelf in their hospital room and that as they were getting ready to leave Rory asked, “Hey Daddy, can I have those cookies?”

As I got Rory out of the car he said, “Mommy, I want to go to the spiral slide.”

“Sure Bub, anything you want.  Daddy will take you to the spiral slide.”

He gave me a stern look and said, “Mommy, you hurt me with that EpiPen.”  A knife to my heart; I can’t believe he even knew the name “EpiPen” now.

Three hours later they went to the spiral slide and Rory wanted to go to school.  Andy didn’t ask me what I thought–   I would have voted against it.  The kid was just in the ER for crying out loud.  Ultimately, due to the remaining events of the day, I was glad that I did not get a vote.

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I spent the entire morning holed up in my office, trying not to cry, talking to the moms on the BabyCenter food allergy board.  Two of them pointed me to the same website, Kids With Food Allergies.  One of them said, “You have to read the After The EpiPen section.”

I try, these days, to listen to the universe speak to me.  I knew I needed to follow up on what they were saying.  I loaded the site and saw the anaphylaxis section.  I clicked, but the site wanted me to register to use it.  Forget that, I closed it out.  I’m not going to register to use a website.  A minute later I remembered the universe, went back again and registered.

I read the section.  There were hundreds of stories over the last several years about EpiPen experiences but the one my eye went right to said, “Every time the medicine wore off the allergic reaction came back.”

What the what?  The reaction can come back when the steroid and epinephrine wear off.  It can be worse or it can be different, and the doctor didn’t tell Andy that.  I picked up the phone to call him.

“The reaction can come back.  He can relapse when the meds wear off.”

“Tell the school,” he said.  “You have to warn them.”

I composed an email to the director explaining what I’d just read.  I assured her it was not the norm.  I told her the signs of anaphylaxis that we’d observed the night before so she would be on high alert.  I explained that the EpiPen had been redesigned.  It was intuitive to try to eject it but it doesn’t work that way anymore.  Andy had already given him a dose of Benadryl but I asked her to dose him again right then.  She said she couldn’t give Benadryl without doctor orders if symptoms were not present–  it was state law.  I had Andy fax the doctor orders over.  She called me to say that they were not signed.  She could not allow it.  Rory was about to go down for a nap.  She assured me he was acting normally and that she would keep an eye on him.

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At 2:30 the school called to say that Rory was awfully itchy.  Andy took off immediately to go get him.

Minutes later I was in the ladies room washing my hands, reaching for a paper towel.  The assistant burst through the bathroom door and said, “Robyn, your son had another episode.  His school is on the phone.”  I ran.  The receptionist transferred the call up to the closest desk.

They had EpiPen’d him again.  The paramedic got on the phone.  They wanted to know where to take him.  “Take him right back to Children’s Hospital,” I said.  His tongue was swollen.

I ran to the car.  I called Andy to change directions.  “Go to Children’s,” I said.  “He’s in an ambulance.”

We raced.

I called the school again.  Was he stable?  Was he speaking?  Did he seem like he was going to be ok?

A wreck on the highway held me up 10 minutes, of all the days.  I called my brother and wailed.  I was going to kill my child.  This was entirely my fault.  He was going to die from this.  For a second I pictured our family without my son in it.  My heart.

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I pulled up to the ER and parked.  The ER doors were at 2 o’clock.  An ambulance pulled up to the emergency entrance at 10 o’clock.  I looked back and forth between the doors as I approached the building.

My child is in that ambulance, I thought.  Nonsense.  He had to be here already with how long it took me to get here.  My child is in that ambulance.  No, that’s not possible.  Regardless, I began to sprint across the parking lot in high heels toward the ambulance as a paramedic walked around its corner with Rory in his arms, hugging another bear.

“That must be your mommy,” he said.

Rory recoiled.  “I want Daddy.”

I laughed through my tears.  “Well, Bub, you’re going to have to settle for chopped liver right now.”

The paramedics told the ER nurse that Rory was exposed to a food allergen for a second time.  I had to interrupt and assure them that was impossible.  It seems that on the ambulance ride Rory told the paramedics he “…found a bad cookie in Daddy’s car and ate it,” and they believed him.

Andy arrived and the school director was in the lobby waiting to hear that Rory was going to be okay.  I went to speak with her and what she said has me firmly convinced that she saved his life.  He’d woken from his nap with itchy ankles, at which time they called me and I said Andy was on his way.  She dosed him with Benadryl and watched him.  He asked for help in putting away his nap mat because other children were still sleeping on the floor.  He then began to tell her about how he flew around outside, and how much he loved paper clips.

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She knows my child.  He doesn’t speak nonsense.  This was not like him.  She grabbed the list of anaphylactic symptoms.  Euphoria and confusion were at the top–  I didn’t even know this.  Andy would not have known this.  She pulled him into her office with the EpiPen and asked if he was alright.  He began to cough.  His eyes immediately swelled out and blackened.  She pulled him into a hug and slammed the pen into his thigh.

Within seconds the swelling was gone.  He was normal.  He was able to speak to her.

What if he’d been at home?  How far would it have gone?  What if he’d been asleep?  What if he died?

Rory was admitted for 24 hours.  The next morning I dropped off my mother to relieve Andy.  I was telling Rory that I had to go to work and he held up two wrists with a most serious little face, flashed his hospital bands and sang out, “Power to the rescue rings!”

hospital-power-rings (1)

After a very rough weekend, it was Monday evening before Rory was off the steroids and back to his semi-sweet self.  He was back in our bed, watching cartoons, when I went up to fetch a blanket.  He said, “Hey, come here. I’m gonna give you a kiss.”  I leaned in for a smooch and he said, “I wuv you.”

I melted.  He couldn’t have known how much his mother needed to hear those words.

It’s going to be a long time before I’m over this, if ever, really.  I spent the next week feeling like I had post traumatic stress disorder and I was the one that caused the trauma.  Don’t tell me I saved his life.  Don’t tell me I did the right thing at the right time with the EpiPen and the ambulance.  I can’t even hear those words.  The truth is that I was tired and I didn’t read the ingredients on a box of cookies and I damn near killed my child.  That’s a fact.  This is going to take a while.

About the writer

Robyn divides her time between wondering where those 30 points of IQ snuck off to after the birth of her first child and silently judging parents who let their kids eat red dye #40.

From Around the Web


Hannah 1 week ago

I’m 18 and had an allergic reaction this summer. We waited to inject the epipen, because I’ve always just thrown up and it’s been okay. This time, though, I had hives from my face to my thighs and was extremely itchy. I was taken to the hospital and had to get epinephrine, but I had a second reaction as well.

They told me you always inject the epi pen right after knowing you have had something (in my case, nuts). It will not hurt you to have the epipen injection in the long run and I always thought my case was less severe, but I don’t take chances now!

Mary 2 weeks ago

I have severe food allergies myself. I prefer to use Auvi-Q. It is easier to use and has audio directions for use. I have a 3 year old niece who knows how to use it and can follow the directions.

You can get a coupon to cover your copays at

If you prefer the epi-pen there’s a coupon for that at

Always inject first then call 911!

Carry 2 injectors if your allergies are severe just in case it takes the ambulance more than 20 minutes to reach you. After 20 minutes you can lapse back into anaphylaxis.

sharon 3 weeks ago

all of that big long diatribe because her child with severe allergies,had an epipen which she had to threaten the doctor in order to get-and she didn’t know where it was.Sheese.

Sharon 3 weeks ago

all of that big long diatribe because she had an Epipen which she had to threaten the doctor to order,then didn’t even know where it was-and her child with all of those allergies,some serious and possibly fatal-all I can say is: sheese.

Jennifer 3 weeks ago

I’m in complete agreement with Lisa and Danielle. I’m a mother of a child with severe peanut and tree nut allergy. The only thing I’d add is, perhaps if she had paid more attention to the doctor, she’d have known not to call 911 first. You inject first, ALWAYS. THEN call 911, and for the love of Pete, know where the epi-pens are, don’t put yourself in the position to have to go hunt for them. This post made my blood boil on so many levels. It is a miracle that the child is alive, given the failure of both his parents, on multiple levels.

Meridith Anderson 3 weeks ago

THANK YOU for sharing your story! My son has same peanut/nut allergy and has had one scary reaction in 5 years. You are human and this could have happened to any mom, dad, teacher, grandparent. I’m so thankful your little boy is okay.

Paige 3 weeks ago

my daughter has severe treenut allergies. I don’t know that I knew all of the info about afterwards. So thank you for sharing your story. As hard as it was, thank you. You may have saved my child’s life now too. So while you beat yourself up over it, I will consider you my hero.

Stacy 3 weeks ago

I’m sitting in an allergy office at this moment with my son that has peanut and tree nut allergies. He’s doing an oral food challenge to hazelnut today. This is his last one we’re testing. He’s passed some, failed two, and not doing the OFC to a few due to his blood test numbers. He used to be allergic to milk too. As of July 8th he is free from that allergy. How? Because of a phenomenal doctor that does oral immunotherapy to foods. We’re doing these challenges to determine which nuts we want to do the immunotherapy to. As we did the OIT to milk we got to witness others doing peanuts. It was amazing to see these kids that couldn’t even be near nuts now consuming them. Please, to give you and your child freedom and safety, look up Rocky Mountain Allergy with Doctor Douglas Jones. People have come here from Australia and Hawaii for this treatment. He has a YouTube video to give more info on the treatment. No one should have to live with this.

GM 3 weeks ago

Good news! There is a treatment and my daughters are living proof that it works! It’s called Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) and you can find out more about it here

My twin daughters have had a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts since they were babies. We have lived in fear of a similar scenario for 16 years, have carried the epipens everywhere we go, had lengthy talks with waiters, chefs, other moms, school teachers, friends etc. and have had many accidents along the way, regardless of how careful we were. Last year, I found out about Dr. Jones at Rocky Mountain Allergy and the oral immunotherapy treatment he’s engineered, and found out that people were relocating their families from different states and even different countries to give their allergic kids a chance to go through this treatment and be cured. We signed up immediately and after 8 months of treatment, I am happy to report that my children are no longer allergic to peanuts! They actually must eat a minimum of 8 peanuts a day now to maintain their immunity, when a peanut particle would have killed them 8 months ago. It’s an amazing feeling to no longer live in fear and I hope you will be able to say the same thing soon too. Sending you hugs and best wishes. There is hope on the horizon! ♥

Valerie 3 weeks ago

Like so many people below I cried for you too. with serious food allergies it may happen again. it has happened to me because I was too tired or lazy to read labels….BTW I’m the one with food allergies

Amira 4 weeks ago

I am so sorry you went through this , I am literally in tears for you and your family – and you have a very brave sweet little son with a big heart. I honestly wish all you health. Hugs :**

Jess 4 weeks ago

I am literally crying over your post – this has to be my absolute worst nightmare – hugs and love to you mama and that sweet baby boy!

Nicole 4 weeks ago

I am quietly crying as I read your story. My 16 year old has a peanut / tree nut allergy and I have tried to kill her several times in the past 16 years. Fortunately for us she itches and swells but has not had full blown anaphalaxis YET. So sorry mama

Erica 4 weeks ago

My son had a (LUCKILY!) false positive skin test reading for peanut allergy…..the doctor told us that she was QUITE SURE he DID NOT have the allergy, but to keep him away from products containing nuts until we had him blood tested so we could be sure either way.
My mother (who is ALWAYS OVER-TALKING me, and ABSENTLY listening) took him to my grandmother’s house and proceeded to let him eat peanut M&Ms!!!! My sister casually mentioned it to me (“Oh my nephew has practically eaten the whole bowl of peanut M&Ms”) and I FLIPPED OUT!!
My mom was all nonchalant about her POTENTIALLY DEADLY mistake. I STILL THANK GOD TO THIS DAY that the allergist was right, and his reading was false. Mamas with peanut allergy babies, I salute you, I truly do!! ❤️

Regine 4 weeks ago

My husband’s little cousin is allergic to nuts. I once forgot and made a chocolate cake with nutella n strawberris. I told his mom but she still gave him some.
Lucky he only broke out in rashes but since then i watch what i coom when he’s around eith a hawk’s eye

Catharine 4 weeks ago

Been there. Felt the blind panic followed by the horrific guilt. Tears in my eyes as I read your story. I gave my son a burrito from Whole Foods. I didn’t ask. There are chopped PEANUTS in their cilantro rice! He could have died. You’re not alone, I hope you find comfort in that.

Donna 4 weeks ago

I know the feeling my son is severely allergic to peanuts and nuts when he was in kindergarten he was sitting next to someone who was eating peanut butter…no one noticed him until he got back to the classroom and the teacher noticed his eyes were swollen but instead of taking him to the nurse herself she sent him down with another student when they were there the nurse had to call me to see if she should give him Zyrtec or the epipen I was in shock I could not believe a school nurse didn’t know what to do if you have think about it give it but anyway I ended up in the emergency room for 2 hours monitoring him the nurse gave him the Zyrtec she didn’t think he was that bad needless to say the school nurse and teachers and staff all got a good education on the use of a epipen and the severity of allergies and also a peanut free table has been assigned in the cafeteria

Cassie 4 weeks ago

I’m not going to tell you that you saved his life. I will keep it to myself. I can only imagine how you feel. In response to Amber’s post, my kids don’t have allergies and peanut butter is a favorite food in our house. It’s worth the “hassle” to not have peanuts or peanut butter at school if it keeps another child safe. It IS our responsibility as a community. SMH

Amber 1 month ago

I just had a “friendly” debate on facebook (ok not so friendly) about how its a community responsibility to make sure children with allergies to food or any allergies that could result in anaphylaxis, are cared for. Their really selfish views were that of we make schools a but free zone where will it end. So in order to not inconvenience them they would opt to risk another’s life. This just solidifies my point in my mind. Thank you for your highly educational experience. I am sorry you had to go through this.

JoAnne 1 month ago

Reading this was very difficult, because the story is so very familiar. I’m going to go hug my little guy now, and thank God again for the EpiPens we had ready to go. (Incidentally, the first time I had to use an EpiPen, I accidentally sliced my son’s leg pretty deep because I didn’t know how to hold him down and he yanked his leg out of the way. He’s got a pretty BA scar now. That time, my grandmother had given him some cake containing nuts. The second time was my “bad cookie” moment, which I will never forget.

AL 1 month ago

You need to rethink allergists. The first thing they taught us about the epi pen was that you will need two, and the rebound could be worse than the initial reaction. This is why they come in “twin packs.” There should also be a practice epi pen that comes with them. Use it. Make babysitters, grandparents, any caregivers use it. Be the annoying mom about it. It is worth it.

GiGiMarie 1 month ago

Nobody is perfect. Hindsight is 20/20. These are cliche’s for a reason; they are true, and have been true for ages.
My son has allergies. I have spaced out and given him something without thinking. He survived to the age of 27. He lives on his own. He ate Black Forest cake because someone called it German Chocolate by mistake. He noticed it had the wrong frosting, but ate it anyway. He is allergic to cherries. Stuff Happens.

Danielle 1 month ago

I completely agree Lisa. I am so glad this little boy is ok but so much of what this mom said/did infuriated me. I can’t say what I would do in an emergency situation like this- people can freeze up and not think clearly but if your child has a severe allergy why would you not take the time to learn how to use his epi-pen????? I did daycare for a 2 year old with a nut allergy and you bet your ass I practiced with the practice epi-pen his parents provided for me and read and reread the list of reactions I had posted on my fridge. Urggg mistakes happen and I can see how in a moment of forgetfulness she forgot to read the ingredients on a box of cookies but all of her reactions that followed were just lack of being prepared or taking her sons allergy seriously.

Lisa 1 month ago

I’m sorry, but everyone is sympathizing with this mother and her actions before, during and after her son’s allergic reaction are just unfathomable to me. I know reactions to allergies can be horrifying and scary for parents having to make life saving decisions in the middle of the reaction, I’ve been there. But, this mother insisted that she new better than the allergist who diagnosed her son and refused to sign up for a treatment plan in order to receive the prescription for the Epi-pen. She obviously would not be signing up her 16 month old son, she would be signing herself up to learn how to manage and treat her son’s allergies and learn how to use the Epi-pen! So she screamed at the office staff and threatened them until they gave her the prescription and then she went to another doctor who would just fill it for her, apparently.

Then when the time came to use the pen she had to find it and wasn’t sure if, when or how to use it. She panicked and waited for the paramedics to come. She’d apparently never been shown, or never learned how to use the pen. She didn’t learn until after the fact what all of the symptoms were or what the after effects might be. She was so adamant that the doctor just give her the pen and then didn’t take the time to learn to use it? You can still learn all of these things and panic in the moment, but she had an opportunity to learn how to manage her son’s condition and lessen her panic and she refused. She almost didn’t even read a recommended website about her son’s condition because she’d have to register for it. Then when she did register and read that there could be life threatening symptoms when the shot wore off she EMAILED the school’s director to let her know. Basically saying…”My son might die, hope you get this email!” So many of the things this mom did just drove me nuts. She let her son go to the hospital with her husband while she went to bed and then stopped by the ER doors to pick them up in the morning. She never spoke to a doctor to learn more or how to follow up, just asked her husband what the doctor said. Then she went to work both times her son spent the night and then a 24-hour period in the hospital. Maybe she had to or she would lose her job, she doesn’t say, but I wouldn’t be able to leave my child’s side after a near-death experience and I’d want to know every treatment they were receiving and hear what the doctor’s had to say.

Sorry for the rant. Forgetting to read the ingredients and giving her son a cookie was not her biggest mistake here. Anyone can slip up there, you can’t prevent every little thing. She could have saved herself a lot of stress and her son a lot of trauma by actually listening to a doctor who’s trained in her child’s condition and learn how to manage and treat it. And then preventing a re-occurrence by being an active, not passive, participant after the fact. Maybe that’s the message she’s trying to convey but that’s not the message I’m getting.

Unimpressed 1 month ago

Yawn…more mommy drivel…melodrama at its worst

Jenna 1 month ago

mama- you have to give yourself a break. I understand you feel guilt but your son is fine! He’s lucky to have such an attentive mom. The more you second guess yourself the worse it’s going to get for you. You did the right thing and made sure your son got proper treatment. We all have things in our past that we could have done better… That’s how we learn.

MamaJ 1 month ago

This was by far the most boring thing I have ever read on SM.

Brandy 1 month ago

I am so happy Rory is ok. I experienced a similar situation when my daughter was 18 months. A group of us are trying to increase food allergy awareness and co-sponsoring the FARE WALK for FOOD ALLERGY on Sunday September 20th in Baltimore -Druid Hill Park. Was wondering if you would give us a shout out on your blog?

Stephanie 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing!

Kim 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing this. We all make mistakes, even parents of kids with food allergies. I appreciate your reminder to be careful, your story will probably help prevent one of us from forgetting.

karen jeffers 1 month ago

my daughter was allergic to wasp and I didn’t know. she got stung I gave her the medicine and her shot plus a double load of Benadryl ( thank got for this medicine)I got her to the hospital , thank God because I listened to the doctors and my own common sense.

Roz 1 month ago

Hi there,
I am a kid with allergies (or I was, I am 18 now so i am technically not a kid). I have had anaphylaxis allergies since a very young age just like your son. I know that there is nothing that I can say that will make you feel better but I just thought I would tell you that. as a kid who watched their parents deal with food allergies, you are doing fine. You just made a mistake. My once once accidentally poured milk on my cereal (and dairy is one of my worse allergies). I forgave her just like you need to forgive yourself. I guess that’s it. I just wanted to you to know that dealing with allergies is something that is really difficult for everybody and we all screw up sometimes.

Michele 1 month ago

I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I did the SAME EXACT THING with those stupid baby food pouches…shopping with both toddlers, exhausted, tossed one in the cart that had “yogurt” in it (why is yogurt in non-refrigerated babyhood pouches?), and sent my kid to the hospital for 2 days, had to do the epi for the first time. I cried about it for weeks. Thanks for putting your story out there.

APL 1 month ago

Oy. I just cried my way through this. We never had to use our epipens, but both of my girls were milk allergic, and one also egg allergic, for the first 2(ish) years of their lives. The real stressor was we weren’t sure exactly the extent of the allergy, and each exposure can produce a more severe reaction. I lived in fear of having to use the epipen or not having it with me when i needed it, or using it incorrectly, etc. It definitely was like living through some kind of trauma, and we never even had to experience full blown anaphylaxis. My heart just breaks for you. I feel like there but for the grace of God, you know? Everyone with food allergic kids walks that fine line of trying to live with enough of a carefree spirit you don’t dampen their childhood, while also being the crazy, diligent mom who everyone thinks is overreacting about everything. It’s utterly exhausting. Baby #3 is now almost here, and the thing I worry about most is having to venture back into the world of food allergies. After all, we’ve been lucky so far and our kids have outgrown them. What if this time we don’t? Just know you’re not alone. And those of us who have lived with food allergies and kids understand exactly how this happens and the potential aftermath. You’ll get through it and you’ll now be more prepared for when/if it happens again. Bless you. Wish I could just give you a big hug and cry with you.

Brandy 1 month ago

I’ve been right there in your shoes. My son is almost 13 and we’ve had to Epi-pen him on two separate occasions – both of which were 100% my fault. It’s the worst feeling in the world and one you’ll never forget. I’m so sorry you had to experience it.

Lezley 1 month ago

& through it you learned things you never knew that may save his life in the future. The lord works in mysterious ways…

Jamie 1 month ago

I cried basically through your whole story. I had to read it then stop & go back bc i would have been hysterical! My 4 yr old daughter is anaphylaxis to milk, whey, casein & beef. She went into anaphylaxis shock when she was 1.5 yrs old (she was under care of a sitter we trusted), but 2.5 yrs later i still relive the what ifs & everything we could have done different. We rushed her to the ER. The dr said we should have called 911. I pulled over on side of road & injected the epi pen bc that is when her symptoms started. It was my worst nightmare. My words will not release your pain, but know there are so many of us parents who feel your pain, grief, worrying etc. My daughter is about to enter nursery school next week. This will be the 1st time my husband & i have allowed anyone besides us & her sitter (besides family) take care of her. I have been having anxiety for about a week now. I hope you know that your story is like therapy for me, it reminds me i am not alone. And neither are you!

Chris 1 month ago

Thank you for posting your story. It is horrifying for a parent. Both of my children 15 and 12 have severe food allergies. As parents, it is up to us to teach and stay on task. We are not perfect. We all make mistakes. It just sucks because in our world, we cannot afford to make mistakes. If and when we do, the after effects are more then we can bare. BUT.. you have over come this. You DID do the right things. You stayed vigilant.That is the lesson you learned and have shared with all of us. We always have to stay vigilant. And thanks to you.. it puts it all back into perspective. Thank God your son is ok… thank God you were smart enough to do what needed to be done. You have lived thru every food allergy parents worse nightmare and shared your story. Thank you for doing this. It takes a lot of courage to share. But in the end, he is safe. Thanks to you being proactive, having all the necessities that are needed for your children. Everything was ok. God Bless!

Coleen 1 month ago

I have an allergy to something, and went into anaphylactic shock while I was being tested . I was so allergic to many things, the allergist could not diagnose the allergy that did this. He thought it might be latex, but he said it was too dangerous to re-test me. So, I have learned to inform all medical about this , and watch for anything with latex., or hazel nuts, fish, and wheat. I feel for mothers that their child is so allergic. Watch out for foods that may be processed where peanuts may have contaminated the site! I am glad to see the Emergency paramedic gave the child a teddy bear. Where I live now, we are making bears for many emergency vehicles to give to children in trauma! Praying for all the mothers of little children!

Marjorie 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing your story. I have multiple allergic reactions myself, two of which are anaphylaxis (avocado and dragon fruit) which are fairly easy to avoid. It is important to know that the signs of anaphylaxis in children can be quite different than adults. By educating your school director and sharing that information you not only helped save your sons life, but other children’s as well. My heart breaks for you and I pray for you and your family.

Britney 1 month ago

I believe with my whole heart that things like this happen for a reason. Not because you are a bad mother or because you didnt care enough to read the ingredients on the second package of cookies. YOU did not almost kill your child. His allergy did. And anyone in his life could make a mistake like that without even thinking…
I believe maybe this event happened so that you could get to THIS point. Where you are more knowledgable, you are more confident in using the epipen. I loved what Kristen wrote. It was an experience to awaken everyone around him… Because you can’t protect him yourself ALL the time.
You kept saying what if? What if?
Well what if you hadn’t just gone through it and the teacher wasn’t on high alert? It helped the main people in his life to GAIN more knowledge about the severity of it and the importance to stay calm and know what to do….
Please remember Robyn, I know as a mother the fear that gripped your heart and the guilt that fills your mind… But this could have been an experience that actually saves his life from a future attack. YOU are not perfect, YOU did everything RIGHT.
YOU saved his life.

JB 1 month ago

How come nobody is ever asking why the number of peanut allergies and others have skyrocketed. This wasn’t an issue 25 years ago.

Kristine laterra 1 month ago

Bless your sweet little mamas heart!! So sorry you had to go through this.

Michell 1 month ago

Robyn, please read Kristen’s post! And then read it again and print it. I will never forget my daughter’s first anaphylactic episode. And it occurred when she was 21, while she was peforming in a college play, while I was watching! Somehow, without any of us being aware of it, she developed a severe allergy to her favorite food, shrimp. She now carries an epipen with her everywhere and is very careful about eating out in restaurants. Life threatening allergies can strike at any age. Keep that pen with you at all times. Best of wishes with you.

Joni Berry 1 month ago

First of all I too wonder where those IQ points went! And I have three grown children! Also, bless you for sharing your story. My daughter is allergic to bee stings and now that she is all grown up I still worry about her having her EpiPen, using it correctly, being ok. Bless you mom!

Anonymous 1 month ago

I started to cry while reading this. I can only imagine what you went through and the guilt feelings you have.

MsQuietRiot 1 month ago

Thank you for this post. This article was very informative. My 4 month old son was recently diagnosed with multiple food allergies. We just had his initial appointment with his allergist and nobody mentioned that the symptoms can return after the meds wear off.

Patricia 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope one day you heal from this trauma. My younger daughter was diagnosed with a severe egg white allergy at a young age, so I get it. She has since outgrown it, but we’ve had some pretty scary moments ourselves (which is why we do virtual public school for her, and maybe why I’m a helicopter mom.) Hugs, mama.

Marsha 1 month ago

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. But as mothers, we are connected. Reading this, I felt your pain in my heart and in my soul. I cannot tell you how to feel better. What I can tell you is I’m sure that you will never make the same mistake again. I’m so sorry you all had to go through this.

Kristen 1 month ago

Robyn, I am sorry for your experience. I have a child with life-threatening food allergies, so I totally get it. In my child’s five-and-a-half years I’ve had to give the Epi-Pen at least three times (the first when she was only 13-months old) and witnessed doctors give it to her an additional three times during failed food challenges.

I disagree that you almost killed your child when you forgot to read the ingredients on the cookies. It was a mistake and it happens. Even when we are ridiculously careful sometime exposures happen, whether by our own or someone else’s mistake. Please don’t beat yourself up.

Unfortunately, though, I do think that you almost killed your child because you were afraid to use the Epi-Pen and, as it seems, were not prepared to use it. Please do not fear the Epi-Pen. Do not feel guilt over using the Epi-Pen. Like I said, exposures happen, it doesn’t matter how or whose fault, but when they happen the Epi-Pen is your “knight in shining armour”. The Epi-Pen will most likely save the day! The Epi-Pen should be used at the first sign of anaphylaxis. If your child begins to cough (ESPECIALLY if there are any other signs of a reaction; rash, itching, swelling anywhere on the face, upset stomach, etc.) give the Epi-Pen immediately and get them to the ER. DO NOT WAIT!!! If a child has been exposed to an allergen and they begin coughing they are having an anaphylactic reaction. Every minute you wait to administer the Epi-Pen is another minute closer to him not being able to breath. And if you wait too long the Epi-Pen may not work.

It is also important that you not fear the Epi-Pen for your son’s sake. For right now he needs to see you be calm and use the Epi-Pen like it is no big deal. He needs to learn from you that these situations are serious and require a prompt response, but are manageable when you stay calm. If he gets worked up the reaction will accelerate. For the future, this is even more important. Whether we like it or not these kiddos are growing fast, and before we know it there will most likely be a time when they need to give themselves their Epi-Pen. If that time comes, it is of paramount importance that they stay calm and act quickly. Your son needs you to teach him not to fear the Epi-Pen but to know in a dire situation it will save his life.

I recommend talking to your son about his allergies now; it is never too early to start. Make sure he knows to what he is allergic and that he is able to communicate his allergies to other people. Make sure he knows not to take food from anyone other than you or your husband (or whatever other adults you specify) and not to share food with other children. Talk to him about how he feels when he has a reaction. Ask your doctor to prescribe the Epi-Pen Jr. two pack. It comes with a training device. After you familiarize yourself with it, show your son how to use it. Talk to him about what it does and why he needs it. Practice on him and let him practice on himself and on you. Then, as long as you are not concerned that the blue safety seal will be a choking hazard, give it to him to keep with his play doctor kit. Include your husband, too, and siblings as appropriate. The object is to get everyone comfortable with the Epi-Pen. Unfortunately, chances are you are going to have to use it again. Next time you’ll be prepared and you can write the story of how you saved your son’s life like a pro! Nothing gets rid of that mommy guilt faster than being their hero!

Yes 1 month ago


Vanessa 1 month ago

My son was diagnosed recently with peanut allergy. Thank you for your story because I never knew that after using the epi-pen the symptoms could return. Hope to never need it.

Carrie 1 month ago

This is a great article that shows us parents with kids who do not have food allergies why we cannot bring food with nuts in it to various places. I always knew why, but now I REALLY know why and how serious it really is.

Linda 1 month ago

Have a nut allergy child myself so I can relate.

Would just like to say please, change the picture that accompanies this story. As all parents of nut allergy children surely knows Oreos are one of the very few chocolate tasting cookies that are actually safe!!! Go Oreos!!

Anonymous 1 month ago

This is an insanely long drawn out story

Marcy 1 month ago

Oh boy, have we been through this. My son 6 is anaphylactic to nuts. My stomach hurts after reading your story as I remember our story. you are a good mama!

Rachell 1 month ago

I am in absolute tears reading this. PTSD is the best way to frame the emotions and thoughts that go along with what happens after your child has an allergic reaction. Since my son was dx with multiple severe food allergies and multiple environmental allergy I’ve lived everyday afraid for years now. I’m so glad your son is OK, thank you for your transparency and for letting me know that I am not alone.

Tammy 1 month ago

Thank you so much for this post. It helps let go of some of my guilt. I wish there was a handbook for this! I am a mother of 6 and with allergy baby i feel like a brand new mom! Thank you much!

Julie 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing! So glad he’s okay! We had to use our son’s epi-pen while we were in a foreign country last year… I deployed the pen, and hope I don’t have to do it again anytime soon. The same thoughts ran through my mind then. Still do. PTSD, girl. You are NOT alone, and you’ll get through this. Sending you good thoughts from Illinois.

tracy 1 month ago

i was your child. i have made it through to adulthood with one time anaphylaxis leading to cardiac arrest, that is almost dying. my mother made many mistakes about food in the house, i had on average 2 epi-pen usages per year from 2 yrs old to 18 years old. i wish you all the luck with your young one.

Diana 1 month ago

Oh Robyn, this Gramma’s heart hurts for you…And understands. My story is a bit different…it was 1998…my son was 15 and newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We were in daily contact with the diabetes education counselor (DEC) to discuss blood sugar levels, answer questions, adjust insulin amount, etc. Well, my son was at the Carrier Dome here in Syracuse for the National Field Band Championship. He was a percussionist in Liverpool High School Marching Band. I administered his evening insulin, told him good luck as the band went to a parking lot a few miles away to practice. As we were finding our seats in the Dome, I ran into his DEC, as her son was competing as well. I told her what his blood sugars were running as we were a bit concerned about how the stress of completing would affect him. I told her how much insulin I had given him 25 minutes early. Her shocked expression stopped my heart. “Diana, how much insulin did you give him”? I wanted to vomit!! We quickly realized that I had given him his morning dose instead of the evening dose….almost double the amount!! She said, “You need to find him and start feeding him NOW. His blood sugars are going to start to drop quickly”. The panic I felt trying to get to him will never be forgotten. We spent the ENTIRE night testing his blood sugars every 1/2 hour, and feeding him!
Here we are, 16 years later. He’s a healthy man, married, with a little girl of his own.
I teared up as I read your post, recalling that horror of knowing how close I came to killing my son. I want to assure you that feeling of despair will subside as the years go by and you will have the ability to laugh about it…..especially when one of his Marching Band buddies runs into me and says, “I remember when you tried to kill Bruce!”

Dani 1 month ago

I could not describe it any better. It was as if you were telling my story for me. Thank you for sharing.

Wild70schild 1 month ago

That was one of the best things I have read in a very long time, and I’m always reading stuff on Facebook. ..that had me on the edge of my seat hanging on every word I read…thank you for such a well written peice. And I’m glad your son is ok…and in time you will heal too!:)

Commenter 482 1 month ago

TLDR: My son had two allergic reactions that we eventually treated in the way his doctor recommended. It was stressful but he’s fine now.

Melanie 1 month ago

The story CLEARLY states that her son also suffers from gluten, egg, soy, and various other allergies. Completely read through an article BEFORE you comment; you only make yourself look like a moron!!

If everyone knew how to react, there would be no need for medical responders. I pray you never run into an emergency. I am sure you could not handle the guilt of failure

Kat 1 month ago

I do not even have a child with food allergies, and I still cried reading this. Love to you, sweet momma. I cannot imagine.

Margie Strickland 1 month ago

Thank God your precious baby is okay. Don’t relive that day – just learn from it and move forward – which it sounds like that is what you are doing. Hopefully by you sharing your experience it will make other parents and caregivers realize the importance of having a plan and feeling comfortable with it.

Jenn 1 month ago

Agreed w/Nicole. Chill out Brigitte. When your child is having an anaphylactic reaction, you can only HOPE you stay calm. So many emotions going on. I’ve run through the EPI Pen drill myself so many times. Although I feel confident to use it in my current state, all my thought process might get tossed out the window during an attack.

Robyn – many hugs. I would feel exactly the same as you. Thank you for sharing. This is a reminder about how important it is to check labels on every item your child consumes. It can be such a quick mistake. Although, I know you feel like sh… for what happened to your son, feel good about the positive aftermath for both your son and others who have read your story. <3

Nicole 1 month ago

Wow.Brigitte.just wow. The poor woman was in a panic. Your mind goes blank. Give her a break.

anonymous 1 month ago

it is just an epipen…

Brigitte 1 month ago

Food allergies are terrible and life threatening but this woman sounds like an idiot. Not because she didn’t read the label but because she didn’t know where a hospital was, had to ask before using the Epi-pen and then didn’t know how to use it. And what does buying gluten free and soy free have to do with nuts?!

Brittany 1 month ago

I just want to thank you for writing this story with honesty and bravery. My kids do not have food allergies, but I take them very seriously. I didn’t know a lot of little factoids that you shared. I’m sharing this so that others can learn from your experience with your son. Again, thank you for writing this, as painful as it must have been. Take comfort in knowing that you may be the reason that someone’s kid doesn’t die from a food allergy.

TracyD 1 month ago

I have been exactly where you were! My daughter, 11 months old with one bite of peanut butter sandwich. A second incident with a bite of scrambled eggs. My husband gave her the Epi pen that time. I can remember both of these times as if they happened yesterday. I can tell you it gets easier. It really
does. My best advice is to get a 504 care plan when he enrolls in public school. It is your best bet at keeping him safe. In it make sure you have a meeting with every one of his teachers and detail his reaction as well as every precaution that needs to be taken in any area of the school.
This will get easier although, like my daughter he will probably have his allergy for the rest of his life. Read every thing, every time. And check any fast food before you take a bite. We accidentally got the wrong order at a Taco Bell once and my daughter took a bite. We realized in seconds whatever sauce they had used contained egg.
It’s always an accident. Cross contamination is the scariest part. Good luck to you. It will get easier. I feel for you! Hugs!

Cinnamon Little 1 month ago

I have been your very shoes! Except it was peanuts for my son. So scary! Thankfully he’s a healthy adult now. I taught him to be careful, read labels and ask lots of questions at restaurants or in other people’s homes. It’s a way of life for him. Glad it turned out well. Prayers and hugs for all.

Cassie 1 month ago

Gut wrenching! Cried reading this feeling so badly for you. We are all in a hurry & doing the best we can. My 2 yr old was cleared of his nut allergy today & we are so relieved. I have been terrified of an event like this. Take care!!

Erin 1 month ago

Thank you for writing this. I’m so sorry your family went through this. I hope you find comfort in knowing how much this article will help other families.

Marcey 1 month ago

My heart is with you….we’ve been very blessed with only one reaction between our 2 sons (both of my boys have food allergies), but it doesn’t mean I don’t live in fear on a daily basis. I’m getting ready to send my little one to Kindergarten (in addition to peanut/tree nut like his big bro, he’s also allergic to dairy and egg). I felt every emotion you had as I read your post….and my heart ached for you. Warmest hugs to you as you move forward and hold on to every little kiss you can get!!

Judy Schwartz Haley 1 month ago

Carry on, Mama. You’re doing fine. This is a scary world, and you have a particularly scary situation. Thanks to that paramedic, you know exactly what to do next time, and you know you can do it.

Crystal 1 month ago

Mistakes happen and your child is safe. Please focus on that. Forgive yourself because your son did. My oldest son has a peanut allergy and it is absolutely terrifying to see your child struggle to just live. We all make mistakes because we are human. Double check labels because the ingredients do change sometimes and continue to be the best advocate that you can be for your son. Hugs to you!

CKD 1 month ago

Sooo scary!!! Glad it worked out :(. Very well written article

Mindy Keane 1 month ago

Praise God! That was the Holy Spirit nudging you not the universe! So happy to hear your son is gonna be okay! God bless you!

Amira 1 month ago

We are in the same boat! I always loved reading but now I can relate to you even more. Sending love!

Mary Stubblefield 1 month ago

I am in tears reading this…I know how you feel. My son has a peanut allergy as well as others and I still remember feeling this way after his 1st exposure (when we didn’t know he was allergic) to peanut butter and having to call 911…I had a angel on my shoulder as you need when you were reading the after the fact article. Thank you for sharing.

Michele Kikgore 1 month ago

wow, so sorry for what you all went through.We have allergies in our family also. So glad it turned out o.k. Many quick thinking people involved!

Sally Nystrom 1 month ago

I am so sorry for your experience, and thankful that your Rory made it through due to everyone’s smart and fast reactions. As an Aunt of a child with allergies, I am so appreciative of you sharing your experience, as you are helping us become more educated and thoughtful.

Robyn– the author 1 month ago

Thank you, mamas, for your supportive comments on this every time it reruns. I want everyone to know that Rory went into anaphylactic shock two more times after this (2013). Once in 2014 from touching toys that had peanut butter residue on them at school, then rubbing his eyes. His school director recognized him losing blood pressure and saved him. Again in 2015 when I let him eat a simple cookie after being assured of the ingredients. I watched him for 45 minutes straight and anaphylaxis set in, starting with his eyes. I chased him down and epi’d him right through his jeans. I have yet to get over this but I am overwhelmed by hearing stories of how this event has changed minds and hearts about peanut butter, allergies, and allergic children. I can’t believe how many people have told me that my story saved their child’s life. This month Rory is getting a service dog trained to recognize peanut. This dog will be his bomb dog and will protect him for the next decade, God willing. Rory is doing awesome and turns 6 years old this month. :)

Nicole 1 month ago

When my daughter was little, we found out the hard way that she could drink orange juice. When she drank it the first time, she threw up everywhere. We just thought she was getting the flu because I just got over it. She didn’t like the taste of oj. So we didn’t make her drink it. She could eat oranges. So it didn’t occur to us until she was almost 6. She started drinking oj with her grandma. But instead of throwing up it now messed up the stomach acid. She complained one night about her chest crying she said ‘mommy my heart feels like its going to pop’ I didn’t understand. But her pediatrician said take her to the er. Being July 4th and all the playing she did, the Dr said it was chest wall pain and gave her bed rest. The next morning it was worse. So we took her to the children’s hospital. They ran tests and asked us all kinds of questions. When it occurred to me..oj! So I told them. They ran more tests and found out her allergy to oj was the way its processed… The acid was backing up into her heart. They gave her meds and advised no more oj or juice like it. Idk if she could drink it now, they said she would out grow it. But just like me, she doesn’t even want to try it.

Lori stelly 1 month ago


Reem 1 month ago

I’m sorry for the pain, guilt and anxiety you’re feeling.
But I’m not sorry you had to go through that.
Don’t blame yourself and don’t think that this was a mistake. It was bound to happen at some point in his life with that severe an allergy. Be grateful it happened when you were with him, at home, aware and able to react.
Imagine if it had happened for the first time at school. Would they have known to start monitoring after the cough?
I believe everything happens for a reason and that the reason for thi is not your, it’s because you needed to be there for the first time and know what to do.
Neither my kids have that severe an allergy but I went into anaphylaxis a few months ago (allergy unknown) and I came out of it thankful that I wasn’t home alone, my husband was with me and my kids were asleep and did not witness it.
Sending you good thoughts.

Angela 1 month ago

Thank you so much for your bravery in writing and sharing this so that we may all learn from your experience. So happy that your little baby is OK!! Bless you all!

Elizabeth 1 month ago

My lil Aria has food allergies and we found out through an ana episode. It absolutely shakes you to the core. Momma, you are not alone. You made a mistake, and you know what, it will be okay <3

Chelsea 1 month ago

I almost never comment, and maybe this perspective is in one of the 452 comments before me, but I felt like I had to share…

The best analogy I’ve ever heard for how disasters happen is that all the holes line up in a stack of swiss cheese. It’s not just one mistake, but a series of mistakes and circumstances that allows something to slip through.

As the mom, you are the top slice of cheese. You don’t want to think that anything can get through, but you know it’s possible so you have built up a whole stack of backup cheese slices – you fought for the Epi, you joined the allergy group, you have a good relationship with your son’s school. A lot of people fool themselves into thinking that there aren’t any holes in their cheese and wouldn’t do those things.

This slipped through your cheese-hole. And then it got through the Epi’s, and the hospital’s, too, since they didn’t warn you about the Epi potentially wearing off. But it didn’t get through the allergy group’s, and it didn’t get through the school’s. A few cheese holes lined up, but not all of them.

You’re not a bad mom because something slipped through; you’re human. You ARE a good mom because you made sure that there were enough slices of cheese that it was almost impossible for something to get all the way through.

Kristel 1 month ago

Hugs to you mama. I’m so so sorry you had to go through that!

Sarah 1 month ago

that must have been such a hard article to write, reliving it all again.
I am sure every allergy mum lives in fear, whether allergies are full blown ana or not, and at some point we are all going to make a mistake, lets just hope we all know how to deal with it if/when it happens.
I won’t say well done for knowing what to do as like you said you still feel it was you that put him there, in need of the treatment.
But hopefully one day soon you will be able to forgive yourself for what was unfortunately just an accident

Juel 1 month ago

I understand your pain and the inability to accept that this was not your fault. The first time my son reacted to peanuts was right after I gave him a PB sandwich. I asked the Dr. if it was OK to try the PB and he said to go for it. There was no one in our immediate family that had food allergies, so he believed it was low risk. Unfortunately, Ian swelled up with one of the worst case of hives I’ve ever seen. We dosed him with Benadryl and watched him like a hawk. I felt awful. I was a horrible Mom. Thank god his reaction did not progress to anaphylaxis, but he was prescribed an EpiPen the very next day. We were warned that his next reaction could be worse. It’s been several years since that day and he is growing out of his allergy. Even with the decreasing threat, we try to read labels and tell friends. It’s a constant background worry.

Heather 1 month ago

I did this on my son’s 8th birthday. Quite a present, right?!? Grabbed the wrong box of cookie mix off that shelf at Whole Foods (one with wheat instead of the GF version) and that was it. He’s bi-phasic anaphylactic to wheat and, consequently, began his 9th year in the hospital. He’s 17 now and I STILL relive that moment. I also remember bringing him home the next day and, as we were walking up the stairs to his bedroom, him patting me on the back and telling me not to worry because “everyone makes mistakes.” That got me crying all over again. Please take my boy’s wisdom to heart — we ALL make mistakes. Thanks for sharing.

Bern 1 month ago

My daughter carries an epidemic for a rye grass allergy. We thankfully haven’t had to use it in the 4 years since she was prescribed it. They expire. Because if your story, when this one expires I’m going to test it on an orange so I know how to use it. I am scared I would panic if she needed it. This way I can “practice”

Melissa 1 month ago

Thanks you for this story. You are a warrior mother, I am so happy you son is ok. I have two children, nether of them have allergies, so I have never been exposed to this. I can say in the past I haven’t had much compassion in regards to nut allergies. I do not send my kids to school with nut products. I never understood the fear of having a child with such an allergy. This story has changed me, it has made me a note caring, compassion person. As well as more aware of my surroundings. Having a heart and why its so important to really recognize the safety of children everywhere. Thank you

Cheryl 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing this. My son has a peanut allergy and I have been lucky so far. However, I did set off his sesame allergy by not reading ingredients. Luckily that allergy is not as severe but was still frightening. Hearing a detailed mother’s story is so helpful to me.


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