Burt’s Bees and My Overactive Imagination

Tonight, my cousin told me that she thought something was wrong with her two-year-old son’s bedroom.  He seems to have fits of coughing when he sleeps in there, but seems much better when he’s in other rooms.  She’s having her air ducts cleaned again and will be turning his room inside out – also again – all in hopes of eliminating whatever it is that may be causing him to cough.  The poor little man has already spent a couple of days in the hospital due to respiratory problems, and we’re all praying that he doesn’t have asthma.  Of course, asthma is completely controllable, but it’s not something you want to deal with if you don’t have to.

My cousin is dealing with a real health issue with her son.  This morning, I manufactured a health problem for mine.  I was eating breakfast with my youngest, Johsua the three-year-old, and he asked for a piece of my English muffin.  I gave it to him, and then panicked.  The muffin had peanut butter on it.  Our eldest, Jalen, had a reaction to peanut butter when he was about two, and we’ve never given it to him again.  Our pediatrician said we’d need an allergy test to confirm whether he is indeed allergic, but in the meantime (for the past four years – lol), we’ve just avoided giving him anything that might have peanuts in it.  Joshua has had peanut butter before, but because I’m cautious about giving Jalen, I’ve not given it to Joshua on a regular basis.  For some reason this morning, after giving him the muffin, I had this crazy worry that he was allergic to peanut butter and he would immediately go into anaphylactic shock.  I sat frozen in my chair looking at him to see what would happen.  He ate it fine, then started telling me his mouth was hurting him.  I nearly passed out.  I might have just killed my child.

What does anaphylactic shock look like??  I have no idea!!!

“What do you mean???  How is it hurting???  Where is it hurting???  Are you okay?”  I ask.

“No!!” he says.  “It’s hurting.”

“Where??? Where???”  I’m trying not to yell, expecting him to pass out at any minute, wondering if I have enough time to call 9-1-1 and do whatever they say.  “Why did I give him the stupid English muffin?” I’m berating myself.

He points to his top lip.  “Here, mommy; it’s hurting here.  Please put some lips on it.”

I stop in mid-craze.  “Lips” is his phrase for chapstick.  The boy isn’t in danger of imminent death; he simply wants his dose of Burt’s Bees.  I look at him as I reach for my purse and get the chapstick, still not quite sure whether he’s going to keel over from shock from the peanut butter, or if I’ve worked myself into a frenzy for nothing.  I apply the lip balm.  He beams and says, “I’m all better now, mommy.”

Great.  Burt’s Bees to the rescue!  Who knew that’s all you needed to stop a peanut allergy?

You gotta love moms – the sane ones like my cousin, who deal real illnesses with their children, and the crazy ones like me.  If I seriously thought that the peanut butter would cause a problem for Joshua, even though it hadn’t in the past, I just shouldn’t have given it to him, right?  Why give it to him, and then wonder if it was a bad thing to do????  I guess I’m just more nervous about peanut butter than I’d realized.  Everything probably would have been fine, had he not chosen that particular moment to decide his mouth was hurting.  He sent my heart rate soaring, all for some Burt’s Bees.  Ah well – as Reader’s Digest says – all in a day’s work.  I’ll make the appointment to get both of them tested.

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