Thursday, December 8, 2011

ER in Korea

Nut allergies are everywhere in the United States. Classrooms ban peanut butter sandwiches or products made in plants that process nuts. Food labels state whether there are nuts in products. Moms carry Benadryl and Epipens in their purses, just in case their child accidentally eats something with peanuts.

Two of my children have peanut allergies. I read food labels. I carry Benadryl and an Epipen. I have also been to the emergency room with A3 (my youngest) two times. One of those times, I had to use the Epipen. His lips swelled up and his throat started to close up. It was a very scary situation.

Korea is different. Nut allergies are not common. It is a foreign concept to Koreans. Nuts are ground into so many things. We My husband had to read food labels. When we went to a restaurant, we my husband had to asks whether there were any nuts in the food. My in-laws had to read food labels. It was something they had never experienced.

Well, my husband bought some banana cream bread from a bakery. He ate one and couldn't finish the second one. Not knowing that it had been sprinkled with peanut powder, my mother-in-law gave it to A3. After a series of events, we ended up in a Korean emergency room at around 11:30 pm. To make a long story short, the doctor didn't know what to do. It was the first time he had encountered someone with nut allergies. He was intrigued that this kid from the states had nut allergies, of all things! He ended up giving A3 a steroid shot and we were sent home.

When we went to pay for the emergency room visit, the real shocker occurred. The bill came out to $70.00! My brother-in-law commented that it was really expensive. My husband and I laughed. We thought that it was really cheap!

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