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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > How do you cope after you almost lose your child?      Home login  
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 SweetnessInFlorida
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 1
How do you cope after you almost lose your child?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
Me, my daughter and my son were all playing outside and my son went into anaphylactic shock, which has never happened before. His eyes swelled completely shit, he was screaming in pain, and his bronchial tissues swelled, obstructing his airway. He went unconscience in the car on the way to the hospital. His blood pressure dropped and his o2 saturation was 90% at the ER. he has been in the pediatrics ward, hooked up to breathing machines and IV's, and was sent home finally last night.

Both me and my daughter are traaumatised. I already lost my husband to death and almost lost my son. Both myself and my daughter are having nightmares, anxiety attacks, and crying fits. She is only 10 years old and witnessed everything from the onset of symnptoms to the mad rush in the ER wher ethey were sticking needles and tubes in him. I keep checking to see if he is breathing every 3 minutes, to the point where he tells me im bothering him. How do we get back to sosme kind of mental state resembling normal?
 Revilors
Joined: 10/9/2008
Msg: 2
How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/17/2010 9:08:12 PM

NEVER NEVER NEVER drive a sick kid to the hospital.
Call an ambulance. They are trained to care for such situations.
Would you be an utter mess if he died on the way there.


Well...let's not jump to this conclusion. In many and maybe even most cases...I would agree. But...if the ambulance starts at the hospital...and the hospital is say 10 minutes away...either way...you are ten minutes from care. The difference is that with the ambulance...you are at least 20 minutes from a doctor and fully equipped hospital. If he could have died on the way to the hospital...he could have died while waiting for the ambulance.

Never move an injured person. In this case, however..I think it was a good call. The best would be to call and meet them in transit. Bring someone along if possible to monitor breathing.

On topic...there is no doubt that he has been prescribed Epi pens. They are extremely effective and simple to administer.

First I would get educated from his physician. If you can get him to talk to you for ten minutes you will probably see that this event is much more of a blessing than tragedy. I don't mean that he became so ill...but more so that his sensitivity was uncovered at a time and place that he will recover. Almost all fatal occurrences are the very first one's...when there is no fast acting medicine or knowledge of the condition.

Then I would be sure that those he is around are educated as well. Teachers, your extended family and even his buddies. You can get a dummy pen for the purpose of instruction.

See if there is a support group for families in your situation.

Finally...count your blessings.

Edit:

IMO...there are two different types of people when it comes to crisis. The one's that duck and cover...and those that spring into action. There is no doubt in my mind that your actions cut 20 to 30 minutes off the time of your son getting "the right stuff". You most likely saved his life.

Showing that kind of strength puts no doubt in my mind that you will come to terms with this. I can tell you not to worry...but I have kids too. I will save my breath.
 SweetnessInFlorida
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 3
How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/17/2010 9:22:12 PM
We have no idea what caused his anaphylaxia. Most common causes are nuts;in particular peanuts, fish ( especially shellfish ), sesame seeds, dairy products, eggs, soy, wasp or bee stings, natural latex (rubber), penicillin and other drugs. He hadnt eaten anything that he hasnt eaten a million times before, doesnt take any medications, and no bite marks on his body, so the medical team was left scratching their heads on what caused him to be so violently ill.
Im having a contractor come into my house tomorrow to check for mold, as we have frequent storms ands hurricanes down in Florida, so cant hurt to check.
I bought an air purifier, and he was sent home with epi-pens, prednisolone, and benadryl.

Thanks Rose for the idea.

I drove him because the drive from my home to the ER takes about 5 minutes, and an amublance here takes longer than that. Perhaps not a good idea because i could have wrecked from driving under duress, but i got there quicker than an ambulance would have by a long shot.

Im waiting for my lovely auburn hair to go gray any minute.
 KarmicEvolution
Joined: 11/22/2008
Msg: 4
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 6:03:20 AM
Whoa! Thank god he's ok...

Have you thought about getting a high quality baby monitor? Possibly with two receivers, so you and your daughter can check in on his breathing without bugging the hell out of him?

Maybe get him some kind of panic button that sets off a noise incase he does feel something coming on and cant call out to you.

Of course those are mostly things to make you more comfortable but it might give you some peace of mind without smothering him.

This is all still fresh so it will get better. Im fairly sure youve said you are all in therapy from your husbands death, keep that up too.
 freetime2bme
Joined: 1/16/2006
Msg: 5
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 6:21:11 AM
"We have no idea what caused his anaphylaxia. " If the epi-pen is the same anaphylaxia kit injections I us to use they work like a charm. You still need to get him to the right doctor who can tell you why, so you can avoid that. Get a kit for your home, car, his school so you all ways have one with you. With the kits and when you know why, big problems can be avoided. Might not ever need a kit, but they need to be ready every time and they have to get changed out as requeied too. That is how you cope. Getting ready so if it happens again you can hit him with the epi-pen fast.
 KarmicEvolution
Joined: 11/22/2008
Msg: 6
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 6:23:31 AM

"We have no idea what caused his anaphylaxia. " If the epi-pen is the same anaphylaxia kit injections I us to use they work like a charm. You still need to get him to the right doctor who can tell you why, so you can avoid that. Get a kit for your home, car, his school so you all ways have one with you. With the kits and when you know why, big problems can be avoided. Might not ever need a kit, but they need to be ready every time and they have to get changed out as requeied too. That is how you cope. Getting ready so if it happens again you can hit him with the epi-pen fast.


And train your daughter to use it, as well as anyone else who might be alone with your son (depending on his age obviously but, friends, family, babysitters etc...). Your daughter might feel better if she doesnt feel helpless if it happens again.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 7
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 7:30:54 AM
Sweetness I am so glad to hear your little one is ok. I would definitely suggest family counseling or even a local support group for families of kids with allergies. It is important that you all as well as any caregiver knows how to use that EPI.
My son had an incident like this once and it was a bug bite under his arm. Thank god he was fine as well, but i always have benadryl on hand at home and in my car just in case. We did take him to an allergist to rule out anything else.
Best of luck to you all.
 myblueshadow
Joined: 11/11/2009
Msg: 8
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 8:01:31 AM
I am so sorry to hear that you've had this happen and happy to hear that he is ok.

First, realize that this is a normal reaction to a traumatic event. It will ease with time. For yourself focus on the fact that this is an anxiety reaction and talk yourself through it. Tell yourself that he is ok and that you are ok, and that the anxiety will pass. Deep breathing/relaxation exercises can help get your through the state of anxiety. Talking to someone can also help. I never discourage counseling, but even just talking to a friend about how frightening it was will be helpful. Allow yourself the time to heal!

For your daughter, talk to her about it. Allow her to talk about how she felt. Encourage her to express her fears and don't minimize them. Tell her that her brother is ok and that she is ok. Talk her through the anxiety like you would yourself. You can even teach her some of the deep breathing/relaxation exercises and do them with her.

How is your son coping?
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 9
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 8:05:48 AM
Baby girl, just take some time to breath. Sounds stupid but you really need to consciously relax and here's the thing. You need to get it together for her and you also need to recognize that the important part is that he is OKAY. You also learned some very valuable information so that you can be prepared if he has an allergic reaction in the future.

My daughter stopped breathing when she was 9 days old, thankfully we were already at the hospital because after waiting nearly 10 minutes for the ambulance, we drove ourselves. I know what it is like to be you. My youngest wound up in the hospital, not as dramatic but with a case of strep that could have killed him if he had not been hospitalized with IV fluids and antibiotics. Just to make me nuts the middle one took at least 10 years off my life when he was hit by a car at 2 and wound up with lacerations to the head, and we know how much head wounds bleed.

Each time one of these things happened I felt like I had been run over by a truck and like someone needed to pry me off the ceiling. What you feel is normal but you seriously need to make up your mind to not think about it when your mind starts going crazy running through the what ifs. You have your what ifs with Sal of the things that could have saved him and this is different, the what ifs are what could have happened if things occurred even a minute or two later than they did. As close as I came to dying, I know those what ifs as well and they can be scarier than the others.

You're going to be doing the breathing thing for a long time hon. My daughter after the youngest was born asked why I got nearly psychotic about any time the boys coughed or something. I don't think she realized how close she came to dying. Try to be conscious of it and taper it off as quickly as you can both for his sake and hers. He needs to be treated as much as possible when possible given his recovery as a normal boy. What led to this? Does he have asthma?

I had so many times after I was sick that I was overwhelmed and one time I remember actually starting to have a panic attack because I was looking at everything rather than handling things one at a time. I literally made myself sit there and breath, get my physical body under control because no way I was adding panic attacks to the stuff I was dealing with.

Your daughter needs to see you handling this competently. Your son needs to be treated normally because if he starts seeing this as something over which he has no control, he won't be able to be a normal boy and you don't want that for him. Educate yourself about what happened, if he has a condition, how to learn to live with that in the best way possible for him. Get your mind occupied with that and the rest will go away. Also, when you start going down crazy thoughts lane, stop, period. If you start thinking about what if I hadn't gotten him to the hospital but had waited...you just get your mind on something else because that is wasted energy you need for all three of you.

It happened, you were blessed to not lose your son, now your job is making sure that this doesn't negatively impact you in the short and long-term.
 packagedealx3
Joined: 2/4/2006
Msg: 10
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 8:22:19 AM
OK, just read your reposts. I would have driven him too. OP lives in an area where waiting for the ambulance would really have been a poor idea. I found myself in that situation with a friend's son and was torn for the same reasons though. My choice was based on this.

The school called us, now this kid was 13, and they are supposed to have the medical cards on a field trip. This boy has tumors in his brain and heart and his mother had knee surgery two days before, still in the hospital. Had they called me I could have gone directly to where they were and saved at least a half hour or 45 minutes.

So he can barely breath apparently at the mall and instead of calling me and telling me that, they call his mother and bring him back to the school. By the time I got to the school he wasn't pushing much air, and couldn't feel his feet. So do I wait for an ambulance that will take at minimum 10-15 minutes to get there or do I drive him to my house and give him a nebulizer treatment, or try to make the hospital that is at least 10 minutes away. I am a good in the crisis gal Rose because we have a fire house three blocks from mine, on the route to the hospital and with paramedics on hand. I hauled ass to the fire house but their training? The kid was pale, chest barely moving, lips white, and I had to tell them to give him a breathing treatment. This was caused by a developing case of strep that just went mental out of control. Now that I think about it, that was what landed mine in the hospital was he sick at all and did they check for those things?

You need to get him to an allergist to determine if he has an allergy. Some kids develop them so while you think he hasn't eaten anything that he hasn't had before he could have developed an allergy to something. In addition to what you've got already, buy a cool mist vaporizer and run it every night even when he is fine. I carry Vick's with me because when this happens, it will open their lungs up enough to allow an albuterol inhaler. Another thing that has helped and is also going to sound stupid is a cough medicine my pediatrician recommended several years ago. You would probably have to check with the doc because he is under four but Delsym is something we usually keep at least two bottles in the house. We keep them where my youngest spends the night frequently. They have a cat, taking a dose before he goes to sleep means no breathing difficulties and in addition to suppressing the cough well, it seems to help with any goup they have in their heads. It is also 12 hour so you don't have to keep redosing. When my youngest is a big chunky sounding in the morning but not too bad, he will take a dose and it seems to knock things out most of the time.

Everyone's advice on the epi kit is also good and I would include teaching him as soon as you and the doctors feel he is old enough. With my son's asthma, neither of them are more than borderline. Things are triggered by changes in the weather, that get their sinuses going. My pediatrician hasn't been helpful in this but I finally just started doing it because my asthma is the same as theirs. When they start getting that chunky stuff in the chest and I can tell it is not just going to go away, I will give them one prednisone pill. If they are still a little whacked the next morning they will take another one. As they have gotten older they occasionally ask for a pill and I don't worry that they don't need it. Prednisone is the most foul tasting prescription pill I have ever encountered and would prefer to avoid it like the plague. This has for the last five years or more knocked the stuff out of their systems, neither one has needed antibiotics. Before I took the bull by the horns with using the prednisone earlier, the doctors wouldn't prescribe it, they would wind up with gnarly upper respiratory infections (bad when my youngest does not respond well to oral antibiotics) and then require a 5 day taper pack of prednisone amounting to probably 10 more pills than the way I do it, and then the infection.

There is concern about the steroids with young children, duh, but the way most doctors prescribe it, the kids wind up taking more rather than less and probably more often. The vaporizers have helped TONS, they just don't have as much trouble as they did. I would keep Vick's in your vehicle, purse, one or two rooms of the house. Your goals is to not need the inhaler or the epi dose, so that's where you start, verify that he does or does not have any severe allergies to food or even spores. He could have inhaled something very tiny that he was highly allergic to and because it was in soft tissues, it just dispersed in a way it wouldn't had he touched it or something.

Now, depending on how he is after this, part of the hard thing is going to be getting him to realize how serious his condition is without preventing him from playing and being a kid. My mother thought I was horrible because I kept telling my middle son whom we figured out this was a problem by around 6 I think, that he could die. She was like you are going to scare him to death and I said that while that was unfortunate, someone that has asthma in the way he does is exactly the type of kid that will die from it. Hundreds do each year in the U.S. Someone that only rarely has to deal with this type of episode or any asthma-like event aren't prepared. My challenge and this will happen with you if this wasn't an isolated incident, is teaching him to listen to his body. My sons know now when they should not run in gym class and because they like sports and their PE teachers are not concerned they are trying to slough off, they allow him to sit or walk rather than run because they don't want him ill. It is hard to get them to stop and pay attention before they do something but within a short time they do "get" it and it is much easier to manage the condition. This may sound retarded but if you had stuck the jar of vicks in front of his mouth he would have been good in terms of pushing air until you got him to the hospital.

Sweetness, it is okay that your daughter has seen the post-crisis whigging, allowing our children to think that things don't rattle us doesn't prepare them for being an adult and can often indicate to the child however erroneously, that you do not care. So you have to balance showing them you are human with doing what they need you to do. Make up your mind to suck it up and be both parents. No doubt if Sal was there he would be holding you up and calming you down so you could just have a little nervous break and get through it all fine. I suspect if you let him, he is doing it right now, and maybe that is what you need to chill and do what you need to do for and with the kids.
 daydreamin_honey
Joined: 12/30/2008
Msg: 11
How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 10:28:46 AM

NEVER NEVER NEVER drive a sick kid to the hospital.
Call an ambulance. They are trained to care for such situations.
Would you be an utter mess if he died on the way there.

Not ALWAYS true. My mother lives in a very rural area that is hard to navigate if you're not familiar with it and when my son was hurt, it took my mom less than 15min to get him in the car and to the hospital where it would have taken an ambulance at least 30 min to get TO us, let alone get him TO the hospital.

My son was pushed over the edge of a storm shelter and fell 6ft onto the cement stairs. He had a skull fracture with air bubbles in his head, concussion and multiple contusions. I was 6mnths prego with baby sister and on bedrest so I was unable to do anything really FOR my son but be there. There is NOTHING worse than the feeling of utter helplessness when your child is sick/hurt and you can't fix it.
It's going to take time, quite a bit of time, for you to move past the shock of this incident. Just remember that he IS ok and still with you. Hug him every chance you get (and your other child as well). If you're church-going, see if your congregation has a support group of some sort. As for the panic attacks, you should see your doctor and maybe consider some medication for the time being.
Hang in there momma.
 sassy_1974
Joined: 12/24/2006
Msg: 12
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/18/2010 2:54:15 PM
You lost your husband to death, having had such a heart wrenching experience before..PLUS being a mum and being terrified of losing your child..its no wonder that your in a state of shock.
I came close to losing one of my children during child birth and went into shock after his birth..i cried for weeks..it would simply hit me at times. Not quite the same..but shock does that to you.
You go easy on yourself..
however hon, your times for crying and getting upset MUST be when your kids are asleep or away from you-its so much easier said than done, but your upset will hugely inflict on them and make them feel unsafe and insecure. Be positive around them..keep reminding them that your all ok-in the midst of a crisis your survived it and your son is ok.
Read other peoples similar experiences and talk to your friends and family about what happened and what scares you as much as possible.
You'll be fine..your son is fine and IF it happenes again your prepared.
((((hugz)))) xx

rossjackson1985, that coment was not needed. It goes without saying that she's happy her son is alive..but having already lost a husband and being so close to losing a child-her feelings are perfectly understandable. A little compassion goes along way.
 hewy76
Joined: 9/22/2009
Msg: 13
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How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/19/2010 3:40:17 PM
i cant tell you but my brother would. he lost his son and he had a very bad time. he was drinking and trying to hurt himself. but i know its not almost loose your child i rather say it to get it off my chest.
 SweetnessInFlorida
Joined: 6/26/2008
Msg: 14
How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 2/24/2010 6:52:44 AM
Thank you for the well-wishes everyone.
My sweet prince is back in pre-k class today.
He has been a bit lethargic during the week (from medications), but started perking up bigtime yesterday, and has been giggling and running and playing and being a normal fun-loving rowdy boy.
He talks about what happened-and pouts about the IV that was put i his arm more than anything else.
We still dont know what caused the anaphylaxis, but an allergist will be coming down from Miami to test him.
Im well prepared with epi-pens at the ready, and ready to use em.

My daughter is kinda wierd about it, she has been super clingy and affectionate than usual latel (not a bad thing, just that her normal personality is kind of the "cool and aloof "type moreso than a super open and affectionate one, but she has been laying inn my lap like a baby all the time 24-7.

Me, im having a hard time sleeping, trying a melatonin supplement and tylenol pm's so i can just relax and fall asleep without having flashbacks of when his airway was swelling shut and i thought he might die.

So im doing so-so i guess, but he thankfully is doing good.
 MySpoonIsTooBig!
Joined: 2/20/2010
Msg: 15
How do you cope after you almost lose your child?
Posted: 3/5/2010 8:16:45 PM
Being better prepared in the future is obviously the most pro-active way for you to cope with nearly losing them, so I'd suggest doing as much research as you can into the problem. Nobody deals well with uncertainty & the more you know, the less fearful you'll become.

Bottom line, though, is that the fear is still raw & very real for you, & it'll just take time for that to ease up. In the meantime, whenever that anxiety rears up again, the important thing is to remind yourself that he DID come out OK in the end.
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