Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal - or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation - just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.

And who knows? Maybe you'll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you'll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you'll enjoy re-reading it months--and years--down the road.

Today, a guest post from Lisa Chiu, writer, editor, and Literary Mama Marketing and Publicity Manager. The piece below was originally published on her blog on November 2, 2011.

My four-year-old son had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after eating a single peanut butter-filled pretzel nugget. It resulted in several hours at an urgent care center, an ambulance ride to an ER and an overnight stay at a hospital. We were discharged about 24 hours after we arrived at the urgent care facility.

Here's what went down:

Yesterday, Nolan was offered a few snacks, including the pretzel nugget, while I was preoccupied during a yoga class. I glanced over and nodded my approval but I did not inspect the snacks closely. It was only after Nolan said his lips were burning that I realized something was wrong. His lips had been chapped so at first I thought he had merely peeled off some loose skin that left his lip feeling raw. He said he didn't feel well, though, so I gave him some Benadryl and we drove home.

In the car, he threw up multiple times. At home, I gave him a bath and while cleaning up the vomit, I detected the smell of peanuts.

We have known since Nolan was nine months old that he has a serious peanut allergy. When he was a baby, my dad ate a peanut butter sandwich near him and it triggered a major allergic reaction. Nolan's entire body was covered in hives and his face turned red and puffy. Since then, we have maintained a nut-free household and carry Benadryl and epinephrine pens everywhere we go.

Read the rest of Lisa's post here.

Do you know someone with a food allergy? Lisa says:

You can't be too vigilant when it comes to food allergies.
Even though some nuts are OK for Nolan, we maintain a completely nut-free household. We used to miss peanut and almond butter, but we have learned to adjust.

Pack safe snacks and an allergy kit with you everywhere.
Always have an Epi-Pen, Benadryl/Zyrtec, and safe snacks on hand. Children are often offered candy and unfamiliar foods. Be safe by having your own stash of safe snacks available.

Don't hesitate to consult professional medical help.
Even though my son looked normal after taking Benadryl, his condition worsened suddenly and dramatically while we were at the urgent care center. There is a rebound effect that can take place and for us, we were lucky it happened where doctors and nurses could attend to us immediately.

Journal Entry: Have you made a trip to the emergency room? Describe the setting, the emotions, the words of comfort, the stress.

Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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