During errand time today, my cell phone rang and I saw our sitter, Storey's, number. Uh-oh. That is generally enough to make a Mama's heart stop.
When I answered the phone I heard wailing in the background as an out-of-breath Storey said, "The children were playing in the backyard and stepped into a yellowjacket's nest. They started swarming. K, P & I were stung a few times."
Thankfully, I was less than 5 minutes from home. As I sped toward the house I realized I had no idea what to do about stings. There is no tobacco in our house. What else do you use? Think. This is basic Mom stuff. How can you not know this?
As I walked in the backdoor, K & P were sniffling, shirtless on the kitchen island with ice packs and red whelps. Poor K sustained all 3 stings on her face. P's stings were on his elbow and the palm of his hand. Storey's were on her arms.
Benadryl was adminstered all around, hydrocortisone was applied and everyone settled down to watch Little Mermaid and relax a bit. After an hour of no allergic reactions, I put them down for their naps. Half an hour into naptime P woke up SCREAMING. He was hysterical, coughing until he gagged, gulping and crying. Because he has battled reflux all his life, I immediately assumed he was just having a particularly painful episode. However, when I couldn't calm him down and he became belligerent, would not talk to me or make eye contact and his pupils looked dilated I became concerned. He isn't swelling, but this isn't normal. I don't want to overreact...but I don't want to underreact either.
I paged my husband, but he was operating so an OR nurse returned the call. I did not want to overreact, so I asked her to just have him call me after the case. A couple more minutes of the same abnormal behavior led me to call the pediatrician's office. Darn automated systems! When I finally reached a nurse, she suggested I bring him in quickly. Great! I am home alone with two other sleeping children. What am I going to do with them? It was 3:00, all my friends were undoubtably preoccupied in carline picking up their children from school. Overwhelm. Wailing child. Hot tears. I called my neighbor who was picking up one of her children 10 minutes away. She suggested I see if her housekeeper was still at her house to run over and sit until she could get here. Thank heavens for sweet Ms. Lou and precious Emmy!
I loaded up my little P and in a scene all too familiar to our family headed towards the ER with him. (I just tried to recall how many ER trips he has made. I can think of at least 7 in 3 1/2 years!) Thankfully, my husband called back just as I was heading out the door and agreed to meet me in the parking lot of the hospital between cases to check P out. An exam was conducted in the backseat of the car by a loving Daddy.
The verdict? Thankfully, no allergic reaction! Just the unfortunate combination of reflux pain, sting discomfort, grouchy three year old attitude, and a little Benadryl induced drunkeness. I brought him home and put him back to bed, hopeful he would only vaguely remember it all as a bad dream.
It is a blessing to already be laughing about our crazy afternoon. As my mother-in-law said tonight in an e-mail, no childhood is complete without stings. Here's to checking another milestone off the list. May the next one not be so dramatic!