Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Sweazy

Around midnight Thursday, Caleb fished our screaming daughter from her crib and flipped on the light, revealing her little body covered up with angry red hives.


We took a deep breath and ran through the calm, organized checklist we've adapted for Caleb since his own mysterious hive-riffic allergies appeared three years ago:

1. What did she eat?

M: Nothing new!
C: Nothing new?
M: Wait! What did she eat for breakfast? Did she have breakfast?

2. Was it a bug bite?

M: It has to be a bug bite.
C: It's not a bug bite.
M: It's a bug bite!
C: It's not a bug bite. I checked her sheets! (reveals sheets, mattress pad, pillows and cases flung around the room)
M: It totally could have bitten her and gone into hiding.
C: It's not a bug bite!

HIves are ickyness non grata in this household. After watching my husband's body turn bright red after taking a bite of beef short ribs, I look at hives as those great bulldozers of the flimsy walls we put up around us. They are the reason Caleb has to keep an epi pen close by in case he accidentally gets a piece of bacon in his baked beans and his throat decides to close up. They are a frightening reminder that no matter how many rules you follow, how many outlets you cover and lactose-free milk you provide, the very air you breathe could one day swallow you up in the hot, red welts that were currently snaking their way around my daughter's torso.

Oh yeah. After eliminating food and bugs as the culprit, we were going with "air."

Moments later, I'm on the phone with the pediatrician's emergency dispatcher, her voice thick with sleep.

And what is your name, ma'am?


Sw ---?


I'm sorry, ma'am. I'm having trouble hearing you. Could you spell it?

My daughter is gagging.

S-W-E-A- Z-Y

"C" as in car?

Motherfucker. Never in my life have I longed more for my old, boring name, the Anderson that forever offended me with its bland, vaguely Scandinavian blahness and belonged to my kindergarten teacher and my principal and that girl who played blind Mary on Little House on the Prairie and took up 12 solid pages in the phone book.

Why was I yelling Z! NO Z! Like motherfucking ZEBRA! when my daughter's esophagus could be swollen shut from hives?

Fortunately the gagging was just from the excessive crying. After the nurse established that I wasn't Melissa SWEACKY or SWYZXC or her flight confirmation code phoning her up to mess with her, she finally patched me through to the nurse who said pretty much what we expected.


We gave Harlow the instructed dosage and watched Wordworld on PBS until the hives magically disappeared.

And all was right with the world.

Until the air made them come back the next day.


Stacey Greenberg said...

omg poor baby! and now i feel guilty for laughing but the airplane confirmation code was too much!

Stephanie said...

Every time I am holding someone's hand through the magic of "C-H-O-C-K-L-E-Y," I vow to change back to Miller at the next opportunity.

So sorry about Harlow! Hives are rough. Did you ever figure out a cause?

Josh said...

terrific post.

Joe said...

1) Glad everyone is ok.

2) Shirley's allergy is seafood, and Nealy's are still being discovered. That's a hellish sensation.

3) Spanky? No, Sankey. Shanky? No, Ma'am; Sankey. Shanky? Shankley? Stankey? Sanka? NO, MA'AM - SANKEY. Could you spell that again for me?

Sure thing. E-A-T-M-E.

...And it always seems to happen at the most inopportune moment, doesn't it?