I had to use the Owl's epi pen a few days ago, for the first time. There were a couple of times in the past that I probably should have used it, but was too nervous and went to the ER instead. In light of all the news stories I seem to keep reading about kids who died because they didn't get epinephrine in time, I felt more confident about administering it this time around, and I am here to tell you, it is not hard at all.

The Owl was eating a favorite food that I believed to be safe, when he started to complain that it tasted bad. He gave some to me, and it tasted normal, so I questioned him a little more. He said his stomach was suddenly hurting, his neck was hurting, and his mouth was full of jelly. The combination of symptoms made me worried that it could progress quickly to something more serious, so I injected the epi pen into his thigh. It was exactly like using the trainer except for the fact that I had to keep my son from squirming away. He was screaming and mad at me, of course, but it was over quickly and we headed to the ER.

On the way to the ER, Herbie was crying hysterically that he didn't want his brother to die. While the Owl was just moaning and feeling sad about his shot, I was desperately trying to calm down Herbie. When we arrived, Herbie said he had terrible pain in his leg. He hopped on one leg through the parking lot, into the ER to the registration desk, to the triage nurse, and to the exam room where he collapsed in a chair. Wondering if I needed to have both my children examined, I questioned him about what exactly was hurting. He pointed to a spot on the outer thigh of his right leg where he said it hurt. The exact spot where I had injected the epinephrine on his brother. The pain seemed to subside when the doctor came in and evaluated the Owl, who got more medication, and by the time we left, he was fine.

The only way that I can think to explain it is an extreme case of empathy. His intense love for his brother gave him more intense empathy than I have ever experienced. Heartbreaking. Heartwarming. Amazing.

 


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