Sunday, March 17, 2013


Well, today Bryan preached on providence, and I lived it out.  Since my story today is too ridiculously covered in God's grace not to share, here you go.

I ate a banana last night while Bryan and I were watching a movie.  Suddenly, the roof of my mouth started burning and itching, and I felt my forearms break out in hives.  Realizing that the banana was setting off an allergic reaction, I took two Benadryl, and everything calmed down as expected.  I'd never had an allergic reaction to anything I had eaten before, but I had some pretty strange reactions to latex in nursing school that always seemed to pop up when I was under a lot of stress.  Maybe, the banana is related to that allergy?  A quick search on Google seems to indicate so.

I went to bed as normal.  When I woke up this morning, I made a strawberry protein mix smoothie while I was getting everyone ready for church and drank it as I cleaned up the kitchen.  Within thirty minutes or so, I was in the bathroom really sick.  I put Pax down for a nap.  Bryan and Abby left early for church, and I jumped in the shower to shake feeling awful.  By the time I got out of the shower, my face and arms were covered in hives, and I took two more Benadryl.   I called Bryan to let him know what was going on, and I kept getting ready for church thinking that the Benadryl would stop whatever had started.  I pulled out an old epipen just in case, but I seriously doubted I needed it.  I had never used one before.  While I was drying my hair, I started to feel like my throat was tightening, and I began to feel a little anxious.  I tried to rationalize it away thinking that maybe I was psyching myself out.

When it kept getting worse, I walked into the kitchen and opened the freezer to let the cool air blow into my face.  It helped.  I realized I was indeed having an anaphylactic reaction to something I had eaten, and I grabbed my epipen.  Pax woke up at the same time from his nap and was in his crib crying for me.  I stuck myself and felt almost instant relief.  At this point, the symptoms were so strong that I didn't even notice the prick of the needle.  I just knew I could breathe again, and I thanked God for the relief.  I called Bryan and told him I needed a ride to the ER but that I was fine now.  Of course, all of this happened minutes before the church service was starting.  Since I felt good enough to let the church schedule run as usual, I told Bryan to stay and preach.  The epinephrine was working.  I grabbed Pax, loaded his diaper bag with adrenaline shaking hands, and waited outside for our church friends to take us to the ER.

By the time I got to the ER, I felt pretty normal.  I was just jittery from the epi pen and a little shaken up that I had second guessed myself over something so serious.  If I had passed out, I could have died.  The ER doctor confirmed that I had had an anaphylactic reaction to something I had eaten, and I was given oral steroids to try to prevent another delayed reaction.  I now have two more epi pens to tote with me everywhere I go from now on.  Believe you me, we will be like peas in a pod.

I didn't know that Bryan was preaching on providence today until we talked about everything that had happened tonight.

What you don't know is that a medication leaked in our medicine cabinet a couple of weeks ago, and I almost threw away my epipen, because it had expired six years ago.  I didn't, because I decided an expired epipen might be a good thing to have around just in case.  I figured it would probably still work.  It did.

Though the half hour before a service starts is crunch time, Bryan had just happened to check his phone again, so he got the message that I needed help asap.  If he hadn't, my story may have played out differently.

I'm a registered nurse by training, and my experiences with latex reactions during nursing school prepped me to know how to recognize and respond to an anaphylactic reaction.  It saved my life today.

God's fingerprints are covering this whole scenario, and it's by His grace that I am alive and writing this blog tonight.  I am very thankful that God is in control of everything from the frustrating reactions I had years ago to the simple decisions I have made this month without much thought.  God is good.  It looks like He is going to let me hang around a little while longer and tell you how very good He is.

Talk about a grace kissed life.  I have it.

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