Our First EPIPEN Experience

How our family and my son handled our first time using the Epipen due to his food allergies and an adverse reaction.

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It happened; we knew it was a matter of time.

D-Man needed to use his EPIPEN.

It was a Monday morning I was coming downstairs to breakfast with my 2 year old. My husband, Mr. P, was sitting down to breakfast with D-Man. A few bites into his name brand cereal (we usually get the off brand alternative from ALDI’s, but this week I picked up the name brand. I checked the label, like I always do, nothing suspicious.)

D-Man complained of a sore throat and then vomited up the few bites he had, following that he continued to complain of a tight throat. My husband and I looked at each other we knew we had to administer the EPIPEN.

I went to the cabinet while hubby removed little brother from the room. I took down D-Man’s pajama bottoms and proceeded to hold him still. All the while trying to get him to talk so that I knew he could breathe. I had him say the alphabet. In the past he’s had vocal changes when he ate peanut butter an indication of swelling in his airway.


I was ready, but terrified, in my head saying “push it hard into his leg and keep it there for a count of 10.” Ready, set, SHIT! D-Man moved I didn’t hold him well enough, huge gash on his leg where the needle sliced him. Actively bleeding.shit.shit.shit.  Pull it together Kim. D-Man was screaming, saying “NO, NO, NO” as I got the second pen ready

I got a better hold of his terrified shaking body begging me to stop and jabbed him…hold one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Medicine in but horrified at what I had done to him. His sweet face looking up at me saying, “It hurts, it hurts,” with me just apologizing and holding him tightly.

I called to Mr. P to bring me a towel, and told him what happened. He came and saw what I did. He knew I felt horrible, holding our still cry-screaming 5 year old. Mr. P got me paper toweling and then I held it to his leg hugging D-Man on my lap.

The bleeding eventually stopped, and the ambulance arrived. The fire truck was first and my sweet little boy, said he wanted to see it, so I picked him up and moved into the front room. The firemen came in and began assessing the situation, applied gauze to his wound, better than paper toweling, and we could pull up D-Man’s pants.


The first of many tellings of the situation began, pulse ox probe was applied, his lungs were listened to, and skin was checked. All seemed fine, but we needed to go to the ER for observation. Mr. P would stay home with Big-C and I would ride with D-Man in the ambulance (he asked about ten times that I would go with him). Love this boy, after me totally gashing his leg and causing him pain he still wanted his mommy for his comfort and protection.

At this time I was helping Mr. P to answer questions like birth date and phone numbers, because sometimes we don’t think straight after the adrenaline of a situation. I also caught a glimpse of my neighbor coming over to check on us. I carried D-Man to the ambulance, he climbed in of his own accord and I watched from outside.


This is the point where I started to well up with tears. We were separated just for a moment and I let myself think about what had just happened…. pull it together Kim. I walked around the ambulance into the side door, by the time I got back next to my boy I had pulled it together. I did not let my mind yet go where it would scare D-Man with tears and fear.

Belted in next to D-Man, I’m making comments like “check out the fire truck behind us.” The drivers gave him a stuffed animal and hooked him up to a heart monitor. Then we proceeded to the Children’s Hospital, which we opted for over the local general hospital. D-Man’s records are there, allergist is there and lucky me I work there. While in the ambulance the EMT asked me about the details of the morning, questions of birth date, full name, and such.

surreal RIDE

Then I started doing the weird mom-tasks. It seemed insane to do these tasks as I’m riding in an ambulance with my son who just had a potential life threatening experience. I called the absent line of D-Man’s school and I texted Mr. P about getting Big-C to an appointment to get measured for new splints (check the SMO story if you are not sure what this is).

Once we got to the ER height and weight were taken and we had two nurses who helped us. I knew both of them and also knew that they would treat us well. Then the wait started. Again luckily Mr. P had quickly grabbed our charged iPad and snacks for both D-Man and myself. Unluckily I did not have a chance to brush my teeth, drink coffee, or apply any kind of face. I know totally minor things; also my phone only had about a 30% of battery life left.D-Man at ER

Let’s just say that my son got more screen time on this day then he ever got before…and I didn’t care. We sat in the ER room getting visits about every hour checking on us and telling our story to both nurses, a resident and the ER attending. Mr. P showed up with Big-C following his SMO appointment to drive us home. Our wound was dressed, our follow up information was set and we stopped at the pharmacy to refill our EPIPEN prescription.


All of this happened before lunch, once home D-Man had a surprise waiting for him on his bed, a new LEGO set. Thanks Mr. P, we love you daddy. As I was getting lunch ready, I lost it trying to silently sob into the sink. Our son in the other room asking daddy, why mommy was crying.

I contacted our allergist and retold the EPIPEN story again and got his recommendations on what to do for the next day.

I also contacted the company about the cereal. Questioning the ingredients, cross contamination, facility environment. The lady continued to say how sorry she was that something had happened to our son, and wanted my information. Sorry lady too pissed to tell you that. The cereal is manufactured on a dedicated line, but also in that building tree nuts are used. The company legally does not need to report that, but if it would mention it on their packaging I would not have bought this and we would not have eaten it. The cereal was Fruity Pebbles.

We don’t know for sure that it was the tree nuts or some other ingredient that D-Man may now be allergic to. That’s a problem with food allergies, a lot of it is a guessing game of what could it be.

Our day went on and I got a nice long walk in with my two boys where we ended up at the local playground. So happy that it was able to end this way instead of the alternative.D-Man playground

If you would like to know more about D-Man then follow this link to his allergy story.

7 Replies to “Our First EPIPEN Experience”

  1. Oh Kim!!!! Sending you all the love. xxoo

    1. Thanks Jess glad it’s over with, now I just want his leg to heal.

  2. Hi,
    I am so sorry about your child’s medical struggles. I am a teacher. I have had the training in how to administer the EpiPen, but it was long ago. I tried to take precautions when my students are allergic to nuts.
    Congratulations on being Danny Ray’s featured blogger. I was his featured blogger too.
    Maybe you can check out my blog if you needed a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about.

    1. Thanks Janice, luckily we’ve been pretty safe. Thanks for letting me know about Danny Ray….I’ve been mommy-ing and not blogging for the past couple days. I’ll have to go check his site out! I will check out your blog!

    2. I checked out your blog, especially liked the get 2000 subscribers post. I will come back when I have more time to network and research right now I am actually waiting for paint to dry! cheers!

  3. Wow, that was scary! I can’t even imagine what it would be like to deal with such situations. You’re a brave, strong mom.
    Found your post through Danny’s featured bloggers, and happy I did 🙂

    -Fabi at My Heart Of Mexico

    1. Yes it was scary, but now I know what I have to do if needed. So glad you found us too!

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