A Proverbs 20:24 Moment

I have just a couple more days before I am back at school and as always the Easter break went so so quickly. But I thought I’d log a moment where I had the opportunity to note just how great our God is.

Background: Before I had children you could class my stomach as the run of the mill rubbish tip – I consumed and enjoyed a variety of food and alcohol without any ill effects. But as soon as I fell pregnant with my dd I made the deliberate choice to cut out alcohol in line with doctors’ guidelines. I was an occasional “glass of wine on special occasions” kind of drinker so this was not a challenge to give up (despite being a teacher). The interesting part was the fact that I completely went off eating Pork, any crustacean be it crab meat (which I loved)/ shrimp/ prawns and any kind of fish. I couldn’t even bear to smell those food items being cooked – it use to make me feel physically sick. After I gave birth, I still could not get back into eating those foods and so to this day, I don’t cook any meals with them in. During my youngest’s pregnancy as well as the above, I also went off eating peanuts but my reaction to them was not as extreme during pregnancy as the other foods. I literally lost any interest in eating it.

So in both my kids’ cases they have been raised in a household where it has not been necessary to eat any of the above. My kids would ask me and I had to explain to them that it was not for any religious reasons at all – I just disliked the smell and taste of them and so I had (selfishly) taken the decision to just plain not buy them since it would be me having to cook and prepare them for dinner.

Fast forward 15 years later to two weeks ago. My ds saw me snacking on some non salted roasted peanuts and asked again why he could not eat any. Despite a “Mummy gut feeling not to” I logically thought that I had not any evidence that he might be allergic to nuts so I cautiously handed him one half of a nut. He wolfed it down and for the rest of day there was no incident or reaction. I had chided myself that my gut feeling had been wrong and perhaps I was over-reacting about the whole nut thing.

About 4 days later, we had Easter lunch with my mother and she offered me some nuts after the dinner (the kids had ice cream for dessert and mum felt bad that I had no pudding). In spite of my son having had his dinner plus dessert he again hovered next to me in the hope that he could eat some nuts. The same gut feeling returned but I ignored it only to the degree that I only offered him one nut (instead of half a nut). Within minutes of him eating that one sole nut, he began to cough violently as though his cold had come back with a vengeance. He then began to violently vomit. I grabbed hold of him and rushed him up to the bathroom by which time he complained of struggling to breath. He could still breathe except that he was wheezing. With eyes streaming, nose streaming and a wheezing almost asthmatic attack kind of breathing, I held onto him and prayed (see below). His breathing slowed as his body began to relax. He began to breath normally but still complained of a feeling in his throat that seemed to block his ability to breath fully.

Now I am logging this here for a couple of reasons:

  1. Even at this stage in my ignorance I did not realise that my son was having a violent reaction to consuming one tiny nut. So a heads up to us mums – if I was to live this over again, I would not hesitate but to ring 999. As it was I foolishly thought it was just a coughing fit linked to a head cold he was getting over.
  2. I was humbled by the fact that my son was so calm and had instructed me to pray over him. It never once entered my mind that I needed to pray over him. Lesson learnt – ring 999 and pray without hesitation, but it took a 6 year old to remind me in the moment.

I have never driven as fast as I did to get some anti-histamine medicine and give him a dose. By the time he had it (five to ten minutes later) he was already getting better. Mum suggested we stayed at hers for a few more hours and keep an eye on him before we decided to head on home. After 3 hours he was back to playing and his usual old self. That was two weeks ago and he has not had an episode since.

We have since had the doctor run some tests and we have now discovered that he is allergic to nuts, shell fish and dust mite (since I get a little OCD at seeing any accumulation of dust, this was a mega surprise to me because again we didn’t see any sign warning us of this). We now carry an epipen around with us and I am in the process of letting ds’s school know.

As far as being at home goes, our lives haven’t changed much at all – we are in a nut and shellfish free home and so groceries has not changed at all. But eating out has, going to school will change. My son groaned when I mentioned to him that it will be a good idea not to share his friend’s drink’s bottle just in case they have just eaten food that contains nuts – son’s response was a massive big protesting groan, so I guess for him this is quite a big adjustment now.

The bigger reminder for me – yet again – has been the learning curve linked to my faith. All these years of living as one who may have a family member with an allergy, made me remember Proverbs 20:24 which says:-

A person’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way?

 How was I to know that by developing an aversion to certain foods to the degree that I found it nauseating to smell them whilst cooking has meant that this lifestyle change is not a big deal in our home. When I didn’t even know that the Lord was ordering our lives for the better He did just that. I mean in everything!

Our steps are truly ordered by the Lord and it is to Him that I give my thanks.

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