Damn Nut Allergy

I was really hesitant about putting up this picture, but I thought maybe it could help someone who didn’t know what hives looked like or an allergic reaction looked like. Last night, I brought Marielle to the emergency room when we found her looking like this at 9:30:

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Her eyes were almost swollen shut and she had hives all over her body. She was talking and breathing fine, but complaining that her tummy hurt. She told us her tummy was bothering her, but we didn’t have any kids pepto or anything and thought we could give her a half of a tums to settle her stomach. We both went into her room and Jon picked her up and put her on his lap. Even though there was no light on, I could immediately tell that something was wrong with her eyes. I turned on the lamp and knew it was a tree nut reaction immediately. (We found out in February that she is allergic to tree nuts; pecans, cashews, hazelnuts – any nut that comes from a tree. Not peanuts, those grow in the ground, not the same thing.) I ran and got our epi-pen (I didn’t use it) and came back and asked Jon what he had put in our dinner. He used some pesto from a jar. I ran, got the jar and scanned the ingredients – cashew nuts and pine nuts. I was freaking out a just a little and knew I had to get her to the hospital. Of course, Aliza was sleeping so one of us had to stay, and one had to go. I hated to go by myself, but didn’t really have an option. I was totally scared the whole way there and tried to keep her talking and kept the light on so I could see her in my mirror. She had no clue what was going on. I told her we were going to the doctor and she understood that and kept repeating it over and over. She talked the whole way to the hospital and was really a trooper. I called my mom and she and my dad met me at the emergency room.

In the end, they gave her Benadryl for the itching and swelling, then the doctor we saw gave her a steroid also for swelling. We have an oral prescription for the steroid for the next 3 to 5 days, if we need it. She slept with us most of the night and then Jon put her in her bed. She is fine now. Her eyes were pretty puffy this morning, but it has gone down and should keep going down on the steroid.

It was a scary night and I hope this never happens again. We just need to stress to anyone that watches her, DON’T GIVE HER ANY NUTS!! Her first reaction to pecans was very mild, just a little rash on her tummy. This one was at the least, a MODERATE reaction, really probably close to severe, and next time, it could be anaphylactic shock (when her throat starts to close up and she can’t breathe). Let’s all pray that never happens…

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Here is a cute, normal picture to remind you of what she usually looks like. Cutie!!


  1. Poor baby girl. And poor mommy and daddy, too! I would have been in a complete panic. Sounds like you handled it really well!


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