The Daily post – Allergic
“Mommy, a bee stung my finger and it hurts.” I heard her sad little voice over the phone.
Hailey had been away at horse camp for less than twenty-fours and this was the second time she’d called. The first was the night before just before bed. One of the other campers had been homesick and her tears caused the rest of the girls, aged seven to nine, to call home. This was after all Hailey’s first experience with the week-long summer camp about a half-hour drive away.
“I’m sorry honey, but you’ll be fine. You’ve been stung before, you aren’t allergic. I’m sure Mrs. Moore will put something on it.” I said. I wasn’t worried in the least.
“Yes, I have ice on it right now, it helps a little.” Hailey sniffed.
“Are you okay now?” I asked.
“Are you having fun?”
“Yes.” Hailey’s voice perked up. “We had breakfast and then played tag. We’re going to ride later.”
“Oh good. You’re going to have a fun time this week.” We spoke for a few more seconds and then said our goodbyes.
After about ten minutes, the phone rang again. This time it was Mrs. Moore. She told me that Hailey had started to itch a little. She told me she believed Hailey had been stung by a honey bee as she had been under an apple tree. Mrs. Moore, being allergic to bees herself, had removed the stinger carefully and had been keeping an eye on her, but now she thought that we should come and get her and take her to the hospital, just in case. Other than the itching, Hailey had no other allergy symptoms.
My husband and I jumped into our car and headed out to the horse camp. My stomach knotted and it was difficult not to worry. We’d already lost an infant daughter four years earlier and the pain of that day came rushing back. The half-hour drive was unbearable.
We pulled into the laneway and before we could even get out of the car, one of the riding instructors informed us that Mr. and Mrs. Moore had decided to take Hailey to the hospital.
My heart raced as we drove as quickly as possible down the back roads the half-hour or more to the hospital. Once again, memories of losing our other daughter came back.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore met us in the emergency room when we arrived. They had only been at the hospital for about five minutes and Hailey was already in an examining room. We thanked them and a nurse led us to the room.
Relief washed over me when I saw Hailey, despite her puffy eyes and the redness that covered her from head to toe. We hugged her immediately. Seconds later, her room was a buzz of activity.
The doctor assessed Hailey and asked us a few questions. She was indeed having an allergic reaction to the sting and they needed to act quickly before any more symptoms appeared.
“What are you doing?” Seven-year-old Hailey demanded as the doctor sat on a stool beside the bed and began wiping the inside of her left arm with an alcohol swab.
“We need to put an IV in your arm,” he said as a nurse wheeled over a pole with an IV bag hanging from the top. “It’ll just be a quick little poke and then it’ll be over.”
“Hold on, just give me a second to calm down,” Hailey said in all seriousness. She took a few deep breaths. “Okay.”
The doctor glanced up at me and I shrugged. He inserted the IV needle into brave Hailey’s arm and taped it into place. Then he rose from the chair.
I held my daughters hand and squeezed it. The doctor returned a few seconds later with a syringe in his hand.
“What are you doing?” Hailey demanded again. She’d seen the needle before I had.
“You need a shot of adrenaline,” the doctor said.
“Just give me a second to calm down,” Hailey said again.
The doctor looked at Hailey. “You don’t have a second to calm down.” And with that he swabbed her shoulder and quickly injected the adrenaline.
The doctor looked at my husband and I told us that the adrenaline would make her sleepy and that we would be staying until all symptoms of her reaction were gone.
At ten o’clock that night we left with Hailey and a prescription for an epi-pen, which we got filled that night at a twenty-four hour pharmacy. We brought Hailey home and the next day, at her insistence, took her back up to finish the week at horse-camp.
Based on a true story.
Names have been changed – my daughter’s, because she wouldn’t want her name mentioned (she’s 25 now) and Mr. and Mrs. Moore because I can’t remember their actual names (not that I would have posted it anyway).
Yes, my daughter really did tell the doctor to let her calm down – twice. The doctor allowed her to the first time but not the second.