Joy no matter what. A blog by Deanne Nelson.

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Just a touch of anaphylaxis. March 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — gdnelson5 @ 12:54 pm

It has been far too long since I have written and it feels good to get these fingers typing again. The topic that stirs my heart the most is the Lord God, and so I shall share one of the more recent testimonies of his faithfulness and goodness. I have come to a place a long time ago that I simply trust and believe in him no matter what. This life is hard, but God is abounding in goodness. This testimony is a reminder to see his light in the midst of trials. Without a test, there is no testimony.
A few months back my charming husband Grant gave me quite a scare. He has developed some allergies since we moved to NC and at times will come home from a run with swelling to his face, especially his eyes. It turns out that he is allergic to possibly every tree out here! The allergist said he would do better in a state like AZ…no kidding, that is what he said. He did not know we had moved here from that very state! Too late!…. And so one night Grant came home from work and said he was going out for a usual run. He had been on some maintenance meds and had not had swelling or problems in over a year. He happened to eat some peach yogurt before leaving but had eaten peaches many times before. He was not gone long before I heard him return and immediately start the shower in our bedroom. I could hear him but I was with the boys putting them to bed. As I wondered what he was doing already home, he called out to me. There was something strange in his voice. I was stunned as I encountered him in our hallway. His face was actively swelling before me with his left eye completely swollen shut and his right eye not far behind. His hands and feet were blazing red and he was itching all over. He was sweating profusely and short of breath. He was a hot mess. But what sent my heart into overdrive was what I heard coming from his throat…stridor. Stridor is a high pitched wheezing sound coming from the upper airway suggesting that there is much inflammation and swelling in there. If there is enough swelling, then the airway can completely close off, and quickly. What was happening to Grant was happening in seconds before my very eyes and I immediately started to sense a panic inside. If his airway closed, then he would die…right then and there. He had never had a reaction even close to this in severity before and the ER RN in me knew that this could quickly become fatal. It was an agonizing and helpless feeling. Feelings can many times get us into trouble, and if I had reacted on feelings alone, I would have become a useless heap of tears. I knew what had to be done to help him, but I did not have access to the right medications or means to help him. I of course initially planned to call 911 and as I headed for the phone my heart cried out…’Oh God, please help Grant…and me!’ The answer that came to my spirit was immediate. Instead of dialing 911 and having to speak to an operator, I knew I had to find some Epinephrine, and fast. The ambulance could take too many minutes from where we live and I felt a certain urge to seek the Epi right then and there. There was no question what instructions were being told to my heart. It was that clear to me in that moment. I ran outside and across the street. We have neighbors who have a young son with food allergies and sensitivities and my feet were flying there almost on instinct. It was around 8pm and I had no idea if they were home, let alone if they even had an Epi pen. As it would happen, the father Kevin was outside in his open garage. I am sure I came across as a lunatic, but somehow the words “EPI PEN” fumbled out of my mouth. At this his wife Jeannine came around the side door, heard those words, and went running. She resurfaced seconds later with an Epi pen in hand. Hallelujah! Of course it only took mere seconds for me to run back into my house, but the wave of thoughts and emotions that passed through my head in those moments was vivid. I started going back eighteen years…I have loved this man for eighteen years and we have been through major high points and valleys in our marriage, but in that moment there was one image that stuck out as if it was happening right then…- I thought of the first time I ever laid eyes on him. Ha. Of all we have been through, I thought of that fateful day back in 1995 when I entered the gym with my three inch high bangs and LA Gear tennis shoes. He walked by as I was on the stair climber and I had never seen anyone so beautiful before. He had muscles on top of muscles and his smile melted me. I only saw that smile because he seemed to know every girl in that gym by name and flashed a grin at them all. Oh yes, I deemed him a ‘player’ but wondered how amazing it would be just to sit across from him for one dinner and simply stare at him. I mustered up some courage and came up with a silly line to say to him at the water fountain, and the rest is our history…..
‘Please dear God, please rescue him because I cannot lose him like this.’…It was one of those prayers full of fear because in the midst of trouble, we can lose our confidence and faith. I could hear his breathing as I flew through the open front door. Our twelve year old daughter was standing beside him. There he sat full of sweat, swollen all over, and working to breath. He was as beautiful as ever. Both he and Grace were a bit shocked as I lunged the needle into his thigh, but a wife’s gotta do what a wife’s gotta do. It was literally about one minute in which Grant was having relief. His breathing started to stabilize and the stridor was much improved. I had breathing treatments, Benadryl, histamine blockers, and steroids ready to go….but that Epi was the critical link. Yes, Grant was turning around and doing very well. Our daughter was relieved to see it, but had no idea to the critical nature of what her dad had faced. Jeannine as well would later share with me that I was incredibly calm as I was standing in her driveway with my request that night. I thank God for his very clear direction and his overwhelming peace and assurance that overtook me. I am not able, but He most certainly is. ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’ Philippians 4:13.
I made Grant stay up for two hours that night as I watched him. He fell asleep immediately after that, but I stayed up for the duration. It all really hit me as he slept, and my tears were then flowing in buckets. I was so very grateful for every detail…for every piece of this scenario that was present for us to have a miraculous ending.
There are many agonizing and painful things that can happen in this life, and we are to trust God through them all. No circumstance will ever change the fact that God is for us and that Jesus Christ died in our place. In him, we can have eternal life, which puts the pains of this life into great perspective. Even if Grant had died that night, I would still have that assurance and hope. Nothing can or ever will take away from the gospel truth. And how could I ever fault a mighty God who gave me such a man to love in this life? Each day is a gift and we are not guaranteed or entitled to the next one. But I type this today with the joy and elation that my husband was divinely protected and is still here today, and hopefully for many more years to come. And yes, we now have many Epi pens at our disposal!….And we stay away from peaches as that appears to have been the culprit.
Just an added note.. Yesterday Grant was nagging on me about how I do not cook the stovetop the ‘right’ way. He of course was saying it in a very healthy state…no sweating, no swelling, no shortness of breath… I could only smile. Maybe I’ll get around to cleaning that stove the way he likes. I’ll add that to my non-urgent prayer list…..
Here are some pics… Grant in his normal state. Grant a couple hours after meds the night of his allergic reaction.Family1 047 GE DIGITAL CAMERA


One Response to “Just a touch of anaphylaxis.”

  1. Deanne, I haven’t heard this story, but what a scare! So glad that God directed you to that Epi pen!!! (Forget about peaches, though!)

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