In the eleven Father's Days we have celebrated since Susan was born, we have done many different things to mark the day -- some big and memorable, some...not so much. Over the years, with the busyness of our family, we have fallen into the tradition of making lists of what we wish for on our respective days (Mother's Day and Father's Day).
This year, my husband Paul had only one thing on his list: Practicing.
I wasn't sure what my husband meant by this -- maybe he wanted our girls to practice their instruments without us having to ask them. Maybe he wanted our son to do his thirty minutes of reading without complaint. Maybe...?
Because it was his ONLY request, and I wanted to be sure I got it right, I asked for clarification.
His answer brought the reality of our present lives into sharp focus. I want us all to practice with real Epi-Pens.
He wanted us all to practice administering an Epi-Pen.
We had plenty of expired and cold and/or heat exposed (and therefore no longer in circulation) Epi-Pens on hand, so, it was a very feasible request.
A few days before Father's Day, I bought one (poor) large (unsuspecting) orange and tucked it away, out of sight and far from the fruit bowl. (I didn't want anyone to accidentally eat my "victim"!)
Susan had a lazy morning while I finished packing her twin siblings for two weeks of Spanish immersion camp at Concordia in Bemidji, Minnesota. Since her updose to 45 mg on Monday, Susan has been inordinately tired, and we have tried to let her rest as much as she wants.
After brunch, we retired to our favorite warm-weather family spot: the giant green chaise lounge in our side yard. We had enough Epi-Pens for all of us, and, after Susan reviewed the basics (what better way to know something than to teach it?) of Epi-Pen administration, she went first, flawlessly injecting Victim Orange with an Epi-Pen. She even massaged the injection site when she was finished.
And then it was Carl's turn. Carl has specifically and repeatedly requested that we obtain an Auvi-Q (the new epinephrine auto-injector that provides audio and visual cues throughout the administration). Carl says he wants the Auvi-Q in case he is "ever alone with Susan." (I'm not sure when that would be...but, I hear his underlying concern.) The new Auvi-Qs are staggeringly expensive, but we feel having several of them around is worth the investment if it helps Carl feel more confident in his ability to help Susan.
And then it was Meg's turn...
Note the slightly satisfied smile on Meg's face.
And then it was Paul's turn. It turned out that Paul had a second wish -- NOT to be photographed...so, just use your imagination...(he did a great job!)
While we all hope Susan won't ever again need an Epi-Pen, being prepared and as comfortable as possible with the use of one is the best way to help keep her safe. We'll continue to practice regularly. Maybe we will even make it a Father's Day tradition...