Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Long Flight: Three Kids and a Cat

We are home in Michigan and my brain is slowly decompressing after traveling cross country on a plane with our wild little bunch.

The flight from Sacramento to Las Vegas went smoothly. However the three and a half hour flight from Las Vegas to Detroit had me wishing for a parachute and a way to exit the aircraft.

It was that bad.

Words like "Stop elbowing your brother in the head" and "No! He's finally asleep!  Don't touch his feet!" were bandied about, along with "stop pinching me... why are you clawing my arm?" to a certain smiling two year old who left tiny nail marks up the inside of my arm.  The phrase"please, just go to sleep" was frequently heard being directed towards the baby who wanted to be held in a standing position so that he could survey the plane and who began to fuss every five minutes because he was really, really tired, but just didn't want to sleep.

Those three and a half hours felt like the longest of my life.  And that was before the allergic reaction started.

Let me begin by saying:  What is going on?!?!?!  Why are my children all suddenly developing allergies?


This is insane!!!!

While we were on the trip we discovered that Sadie has developed an allergy to cats.  She lived with cats for the first two years of her life not problem, but now?  Allergic.  No big deal though, right?  I mean, it bothered her when she touched the cats and she was on benadryl twenty four hours a day at Nani and Grumpa's, but as long as she took her "purple kitty vitamin" (her words) she was okay.  We also found out that she's very allergic to the detergent they use at two hotels that we stayed at while on the trip... but that's another story.

We got on the plane in Las Vegas and I saw a cute tiny short haired kitten and it didn't even enter into my mind that there might be a problem.  I mean, it was a big old Southwest plane and it wasn't like the cat was going to be sitting near us (in the end, when the problems began and I looked around it was four rows back and on the opposite side of the plane, although with the re-circulating air I don't think moving would have helped).

Midway through the flight Sadie began sniffling and sneezing.  Perfume?  I thought at first.  Maybe it's perfume.  I couldn't smell anything.  Paul and Mae and I all have hayfever-ish allergies and we were all fine.  We sat and the attack got worse.  Every breath was a huge sniffling effort.

I pulled out the epi-pen/ inhaler/ benadryl bag and gave her a diphenhyramine melt.  She took it and struggled through another forty five minutes.  I looked at the back of the box.  6 year old are permitted two.  I glanced at my 48 lb almost-five-year old, who was okay-ed for benadryl by doctors after the ER car seat allergy visit of the summer of 2012 and gave her another melt.  She's bigger than many six year olds and she was really struggling.  And I didn't think the inhaler would help with all the mucus in her chest.  Ten minutes later she could breath and was passed out against my arm clutching her baby doll.

We survived.  But oh my goodness.  My brain isn't quite up for any other posts just yet.  It still feels like mush.

I've emailed Southwest to ask them if, in the future, there's any way we can ensure a cat free flight when booking.  Although right now the idea of flying again isn't something I'm planning on doing anytime soon.

Thank goodness we're back on the solid ground!


  1. And here I was thinking Mae was the cat you were referring to with the scratches on your arm! So glad you are all back safely. I hope you at least get a "we'll make every effort" email from Southwest. :)

  2. As someone who is very, very allergic to cats, you have my deepest sympathies! That flight sounds awful! :(

  3. I'm amazed they allow cats in the passenger cabin on flights. Pleasantly amazed, as I always thought it was odd animals were placed in cargo compartments (cruel, actually), but amazed none the less.

  4. Geez - that's so scary!!! I'm glad it worked out, too, but sheesh.

    And then to have Southwest basically write you off... ouch.

    I've always had such great experiences with them (even with Vincent!). I'm so sorry you guys didn't have the same! :(


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