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Justin & Anaphylaxis

I almost lost the love of my life this week. No, really. I know it’s like “Okay is this chick for real? ANOTHER catastrophe?”

Yep. They aren’t writing our movie script yet, but damn, they should. Anyway, onto the actual story.

The loss of our child imprinted in me, just how fragile life is, and that the worst really can happen. I’ve spent every day since subconsciously fearful of the mortality of everyone I love, because of it. But when my dad called me Monday morning, the worst case scenario is not where my mind went as I answered. Until my dad literally said it. “Jordan. I got a call from Justin’s crew. He was swarmed by bees. I guess he’s unconscious. He’s being taken to the hospital in an ambulance. That’s all I know, I’m on my way”

My head started spinning, and I instantly welled up with tears. Swarmed. My husband, who is allergic to bees. I called the hospital they were taking him to, but was told I couldn’t even enter a waiting room. “No visitors, Covid-19….” blah blah blah. Let me be clear, I understand and support the reasoning/necessity behind the current rules at hospitals during this pandemic, safety is paramount. But, I won’t pretend that my mind didn’t do a tail spin not being able to be with him.

I asked to wait on hold until someone could update me, and after 5 agonizing minutes, a very kind nurse who’s name I don’t remember told me that he had been brought in, was still unconscious, and that I should call back in a half hour in hopes they could get him stablized by then. Thankfully my mom and my brother came to the house to be with me and the kids.

About an hour later I finally got to talk to Justin for a brief 3 minutes. He could barely speak a coherent sentence, and was drifting in and out of conciousness, but he was alive. He was given epi in the ambulance and again in the ER, plus steroids and an IV. Around 6:30 in the evening, my dad brought him home. He has some residual swelling in his hands, and has been very itchy, but he’s recovering well.

His account of what happened is terrifying. He was away from his crew and swarmed by hornets. He was stung repeatedly on his hands, legs, and torso. He ran to the truck for cover, but he was alone and didn’t have an epi pen with him. He sat down and started losing consciousness. He had lost all eyesight, and couldn’t move his arms or legs. He managed to knock his phone out of his pocket and tell Siri to call someone on his crew before he passed out. His crew member got to him, and a guy from the building nearby called 911. He doesn’t remember anything after passing out, until the steroids they gave him started to wake him up more.

When he walked in the door we just held each other and cried. I slept with my head on his chest that night so I could feel his heart beating.

Siri, and some amazing EMTs, saved my husbands life.

Let this please be an example. If you have a life threatening allergy, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have your epi pen WITH YOU.

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