Sometimes LIFE gets in the way….

I’m sitting here — Sunday night, thinking that I should get a recipe up for you all to see. It’s a week full of giveaways and I want you to see some recipes mixed in and not just giveaways.

Truth of the matter is, I’m tired.

So let’s just chat.

Last night we had Lebanese carry-out for dinner. Leftovers of it, actually. Ben asked me if he could give N (my 15 month old son) some tahini to try. I said sure – and these were my actual words: “I don’t think sesame seed allergies are very common.”

Famous last words.

N tried less than a drop of it and spit it out. Turns out he isn’t a fan.

Five minutes later, he’s rubbing his eyes and hands

2 minutes after that, I notice some hives on his face. I get on the phone with the pharmacy to verify the dosage of children’s Benedryl before I give it to him (and yes, I know Benedryl is indicated for children over two, but he’s required it before and my pediatrician has approved it). From the other room, I hear my husband call my name and I come in, phone still to my ear (THANKS FOR PUTTING ME ON HOLD FORRRRRRREVER, CVS). I take one look at N and see that his eyes are incredibly puffy. I hang up the phone, pour 1/2 teaspoon of Benedryl down his throat, and tell Ben to take him to the ER right away.

I run back up to our living room, grab E, throw her in the car and get to the ER myself.

When I saw N there, I gasped. Loudly. His eyes were nearly swollen shut and he was almost unrecognizable. He was extremely lethargic and not at all acting like himself.

You guys. I hope I never, ever, ever have to see my son looking like this again.

It was a terrifying evening and I am so glad it is over and he is okay.

We spent about 3 hours in the hallway of the ER because they were so busy. N was a trooper and did so well. The doctors and nurses were amazing. I thank God that he’s okay. I always knew N would be the first of my kids to end up in the ER but I figured it would be for a broken bone.

They gave him a couple more medications and monitored him until he was out of the woods — I guess sometimes there is a rebound effect?

Anyways. No recipe today. I’d love to hear your experiences with food allergies though! Anyone know of someone with an allergy to sesame seeds? My daughter, E, is allergic to walnuts and possibly pecans and other nuts. But she’s never responded to them like N did last night.


(That photo is after he had been at the ER for three hours and was doing MUCH better — I wouldn’t have dreamed of taking a picture of him when we first got there. I don’t want to remember that, and I had better things to be doing than photographing my poor sick kiddo.)

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  6. So sorry you had to go through that, but glad he’s better!


  7. I am so glad your little one is OK! I have allergies to all tree nuts & sesame too. As you know, food allergies are tough, so I am sorry both your kids have them.

  8. Oh my gosh! I saw the title of this post and thought “oh yeah, I can totally relate to this right now.” I’ve been sick lately, and just overwhelmed, tired, uninspired, all of the things. But really, it’s nothing compared to what you went through with your son. So glad he’s OK. Can don’t beat yourself up when the blog has to take a backseat. I need to remember that myself sometimes.

    Can’t wait to meet you tomorrow, Rachel!

  9. Poor little guy! And poor you! No horrible allergies like that, but having a child with a chronic disease is no picnic. It really increases your prayer life, doesn’t it? I’m so thankful that he’s ok. All of these nut allergies are just odd–I don’t remember them being as prevalent years ago. I’m glad that they are becoming more aware of them. Let’s just hope and pray that it doesn’t happen again. Hope this week goes better for all of you.

  10. Poor baby! and poor you! how scaryyyy! I am terrified of my future children having food allergies-it’s so scary!

  11. I am so sorry that you have to go through this with N! I have a few food allergies, as do 3 of my 4 sons. The first one to react (Son #2) did so after I flippantly said that since my mom the ER Nurse was there, we could try to introduce peanut butter. He didn’t even eat it, because as soon as it touched his lip, the lip ballooned before our eyes! Ten years later and 3 more allergic kids, food allergies are a way of life. We are very diligent, but reactions do still happen from time to time. I admire you for being able to write about N’s reaction so soon afterward. After the first time I had to use an epi pen on my son, I held it together for two days afterward before completely falling apart. Anaphylactic reactions are SUPER scary! Hang in there, Sister!

    • It was therapeutic to write about it.It was such a scary experience, one I hope I’ll never have to go through again but am also sure I will. Thanks so much for your support. See you in a couple of days!!! :-D

  12. So glad he is doing much better. They can scare you half to death in just a second. They are tough but oh so fragile at the same time. Being a parent is the hardest thing you will ever do. Sounds like you are doing a great job.

  13. oh my goodness…so glad he is okay!!

  14. UGH. Rachel. Both my kids have a peanut allergy. BOTH. The odds of that are actually really low…so, I just got lucky. Yay! :/ How did I find out with #1? Went to a fish fry (and apparently everything was deep fried in peanut oil, I guess) – Haley was just under 3 at the time. She couldn’t breath. Ended up in emergency. The good news is that both of them can have any other kind of nut. The bad news is that peanuts are in everything.

    Now at 8, and Trevor almost 6, some things have gotten easier and some harder. Being in public school where it’s not peanut-free has me on high alert all the time. I’m so sorry. This just…stinks.

    • Oh my goodness, so scary. And both! Luckily peanut allergies are becoming more common so things are labeled well, but that doesn’t make it easier. My kids have to go and be weird and be allergic to walnuts and sesame seeds. ;)
      Even though these stories are all so scary, it’s nice to hear from other mommas who have been through it and are going through it. Thanks for sharing. xoxoxo

  15. Hi – I’m a newbie to your blog but felt compelled to comment on this post. First, so glad your little one is okay. Went through something similar (but far less severe) with my son after eating hummus at two years old. Sounds like you know the drill a bit, but turns out sesame allergies are extremely common, just not one of the top eight or so that require special allergy labeling on packages – be careful buying all crackers from now on! That was the trickiest one to avoid. Also watch out for hot dog and hamburger buns, especially from fast food places that you normally wouldn’t even think of. Might also want to avoid Asian take-out because of the oil.

    You can buy single dose (1t) Benadryl squeeze packets that you can carry in your purse for emergencies and also meltaway tabs in case his throat were to close and he couldn’t swallow the former. Also, you’ll probably want to get a prescription for pediatric EpiPens from your pediatrician/allergist. The experience you’ve described would have warranted using them – basically, hives plus any other symptom (swelling, nausea, lethargy, etc.) means use an EpiPen and call an ambulance. You don’t want to drive yourself in case he were to go into anaphaphylaxis on the way and require tubing. Not something you want to mess around with. :( Best of luck!!

    • Hi Erin,
      Thanks for your comment! I definitely always keep Benedryl in my diaper bag and will so even more now. Good to know about the single dose packets and melt-aways though, I can imagine they are great for travel carry-ons! We are making an appointment with an allergist asap to get this all figured out.
      Funny that you mentioned all that about sesame seeds — I did some reading yesterday and learned most of that. Interesting that warnings are required on labels in other countries but not the USA.

      And yeah..I realize looking back now that an ambulance may have been a better option. Live and learn. Thank God he’s okay.

  16. That sounds so scary! So sorry you had to go through this, Rachel… Happy to hear that your little guy is doing well! xoxo

  17. So glad to hear he’s okay now.

  18. Poor kiddo. I’m so glad he’s doing much better!! I can’t imagine having a food allergy especially having to find out that young. :( Just glad he’s okay!!

  19. oh so glad hes doing better and you were able to get him to the ER.

  20. I am so glad he is ok and so sorry that you all had to go through this.

  21. I’m so sorry that happened! So scary – our babies are so precious. You should take a couple more days off!

  22. Wow…so glad your little one is ok now…that had to be very scary for all of you…
    I’ve not had to deal with any food allergies. I think it was brave of you to share it with your readers..

  23. My 3 1/2 yr old grandson has many allergies including an allergy to sesame. It was discovered via a blood test. He also had skin testing on his back. They carry an epi pen with them at all times. Best advice is to see a pediatric allergist and get him tested. So sorry that you have to go through this but there is hope and treatment for allergies. Some kids will outgrow them. He’s a real cutie!

  24. That must of been so scary! Glad all is well now. One time when I was visiting my grandparents I ate a bunch of cherry tomatoes and broke out in hives. They didn’t seem to be concerned! I was young maybe 4 or 5. I still don’t eat them!

  25. Oh man, I am so sorry that happened, Rachel! How scary! My three-year-old is allergic to dairy and peanuts, but we are very fortunate that she’s never had a reaction that bad. She gets bad hives and sneezes like crazy, snot runs down her face, and she itches at her ears, but she’s never had swelling or any restriction of her airways. We give her Benadryl like you did, and that takes care of it. Her dairy allergy has gotten better; she can have little bits of cheese if it’s baked inside something (like a quiche), and I’ve read that 85% of kids outgrow dairy allergies by the age of 5. Not sure about the peanut allergy though. It’s still going strong. I hope N isn’t allergic to anything else; luckily sesame is pretty easy to avoid!

  26. Always reading food labels… Thankfully, you can make hummas w/o tahini …. testing for allergies in the future???

  27. I just got goose bumps, so scary, I can’t even imagine how freaked out I’d be!! Thanks for sharing the story Rachel, I know how crazy/busy/exhausting life can be, and I don’t even have any kids yet, and then to blog on top of it? Wow-you’re a wonderwoman :)

  28. Oh my goodness, I’m so glad he is OK now! Food allergies are so scary. I have a few and I know I gave my own mother a few heart attacks when I was little because of them — I can’t even imagine. Enjoy spending some extra time with your little ones this week!

  29. I am so happy he is OK. We haven’t dealt with a food allergy but we think Olivia might have asthma. She was having difficulty breathing a couple of months ago and after a trip to the ER and taking x-rays. They pre-diagnosed her. Scary thing to see your child hurt and there is no way for them to talk to us.

    • Oh man — I’m so scared my kids are going to have asthma because they both had really bad excema as babies and those two are often related. ER visits are terrible, aren’t they? So glad Livi was okay!

  30. I’m so so happy to hear he is OK. Thank goodness. Poor little one. And I can’t imagine how you two felt. Sorry. I haven’t heard of sesame allergies, didn’t even know they existed. My sister has a peanut allergy so we’ve always been careful in the house.

  31. :( So glad he’s o.k.!

  32. Thank goodness the little guy is okay! I don’t have much experience with food allergies but it sounds like a scary ordeal. I’m glad you’re giving yourself a break to be with your kiddos :)

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