Health Scare & Not Prepared

What a WAKE-UP CALL we had this past weekend!

Have you ever heard the story of David and Goliath? In this story my husband is the big strong giant, stomping around having a good old time with our sweet little ones and friends at a harmless football tailgate.

“Who’s David, then?” you ask.  An ant......literally an ANT. Matt started feeling funny and weak, ultimately finding himself back-down on the hot concrete in the hot September 95 degree weather.  After checking around, he sure enough found THE BITE.  Just one.

He was down for the count.

This is a terrifying situation for our family. For some people with bad allergies, when they’re exposed to something they’re allergic to, they can experience a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.  This is the case for my husband and his little friend, Mr. Ant. As a result, his immune system releases chemicals that flood the body, at times which have led to anaphylactic shock.  

Our friends were still around before the football game and flew into action. One ran to a nearby store for Benadryl.  Another jumped on his bike to get to an EpiPen.  The 3rd pulled our kids away from the situation and kept them busy.  The last got me on the phone and worked with police and EMS to get me through the sea of people and cars to my family.  

THEY knew what to do.  But did WE?!  

This isn’t the first time Matt has had a run-in with his nemesis.  After a past scare many years ago, he started to see a doctor about preventative methods to help suppress the effects of ant bites. They actually grind up little pieces of an ant and inject them into your body so you can develop a set of antibodies in case a real bite happens. We do believe he’s been bitten once while cutting grass since beginning his shots, and fortunately the effects were minor.  The shots worked so well for a couple of years that WE STOPPED DOING IT. 🤦

Not only did he let go of his side of the safety net....I did too. 😞 When I got the call this weekend, it took me a solid 20 minutes to turn the house upside-down trying to find our EpiPens. Those 20 minutes could have meant the difference between blacking out or staying conscious had Matt not had a friend in biking range with their child’s EpiPen.  My mind went into a state of shock, making it hard to focus on where our resources might be in the house. As a mother and wife, my job is to overprotect.  As a financial advisor, my job is to help families plan for both the best- and worst-case life scenarios.  In that moment as I tore my house up, I couldn’t help but feel like I was a failure.

Back on campus, a quick shot to the leg from the nearby friend’s EpiPen and Matt was thankfully on his road to recovery the next few hours.  I arrived after what felt like an eternity and friends carried him to the vehicle with my kiddos following along, none the wiser.

I can’t help but think of what might have happened if Matt would have scooped up our little ones and started walking to the game. He could have been in a crowd of people, loosing strength and loosing control of not just himself, but our children too.  Sure, I’m confident that there are good citizens that would have stopped and helped.  But how fast could they have reached EMS?  How fast could EMS get to him, and would they have a way to treat him?  Who would be caring for my children this whole time?  


Sometimes we spend so much effort focusing on BIG set of scares and dangers in life, like having that life insurance or saving extra dollars just in case we are blessed with an extra long life to pay for, that we forget about everyday little dangers that can bring us down when we’re not paying attention.  

We of course can’t live our lives stuck inside, scared of the world and everyday dangers.  But we can protect ourselves by taking preventative measures and having a solid plan in place if things go haywire.  For Matt, that means getting back to his docs and ground-up ant pieces.  For me, that means putting an emergency medical plan in place for my family.  For you, that means not postponing proper planning any longer, whether it’s medical, financial, or whatever!  

We just all need to do our part TODAY in case something unexpected happens tomorrow.

If you haven’t put a plan in place for your family, please take it from me – It’s not something you can throw together at moment’s notice and want to take bets on whether or not things might work out in your favor.  If that’s a medical emergency plan you want to formalize, turn to your doctor for guidance & best steps.  If that’s financial planning for your family’s future, you can turn to me for direction on first steps.  Call me anytime at 225-612-3820 or email me at

Written by:

Rachel Stewart

Financial Advisor