Friday, July 10, 2015

Time to Reset the Counter

You know how workplaces often have a sign on the foreman's door that says "Welcome to our company! It has been ______ days since the last accident." Sometimes it feels like we need one in our apartment.
Welcome to the Boka's!
It has been _____ days since our last date night!

As you may remember, we jokingly like to refer to our ER visits as date nights. Anyway, I unfortunately must announce that our previous record of approximately 6 weeks has come to an end. We are now on day 2 post-date night.

On the bright side, at least we didn't get to the ER, have them ask what caused this episode of anaphylaxis, and have to fumble through our words explaining that it was idiopathic and we had no idea. This time I had a "normal" anaphylactic reaction. 

I'm allergic to milk. We've known that for years, but I've never needed to use my Epi pen for it before. I'm very careful whenever we go out to friends' houses or restaurants and never eat anything I'm not sure about. Even at home, Nick and I are super careful about making sure we don't mix silverware or baking sheets...but not drinking glasses...

After drinking almost and entire glass of water, I started to feel really bad. I knew something was wrong, and I think at that point even had an idea I might need my Epi pen, but didn't know why. I was trying to put some medication down my J tube and had asked Nick for some warm water to flush my tube with when he made the discovery. Turns out there had been a ring of milk residue on the bottom of the glass that I had been drinking out of.

I quickly finished taking my meds hoping that would delay my reaction, and we immediately headed to the ER. Usually we go to an ER that is about 20-25 minutes away, but this time we went to one that is only 10-15 minutes. About 5 minutes into our drive, I started wheezing and could feel my throat getting tight. I reached for my Epi pen, took off the safety (yep, just like a gun, has a safety =P), and froze.

I know how to use the Epi pen. I've practiced with the fake, no-needle ones that come in the package. I'm not scared of it...but I froze. I couldn't do it.

Thankfully Nick is very skilled at driving and stabbing me at the same time, and he quickly gave it to me. But that was a terrifying moment when for whatever reason I felt like I couldn't have given it to myself had my life depended on it (cause it did).

Nick had called ahead (it's like making a reservation at a restaurant, see, it really is like a date!) so the doctors were ready for us when we got there. The nurses started working on getting an IV as soon as we arrived, and the one nurse was great and doing her best to work around the tremors that I get from the Epi pen. 

However, there is always SOMEONE who doesn't get it...and I didn't even have really unusual stuff going on! One nurse kept telling me I needed to stop shaking and hold still so she could get an IV started....when I'm pumped full of epinephrine...yeah, that wasn't happening. She was getting so irritated at me and telling me I could control the shaking if I wanted to...because apparently I enjoy getting stabbed 4+ times because my veins keep blowing the IVs...at least the other nurse got it...

So we reset our counter. How many days since the ER? Only 2, but hopefully we will be able to go even longer than 6 weeks this time!

If anyone has any tips on being able to use the Epi pen on myself, please let me know! I don't know what happened...I know how to use it, and I'm not scared of it, but in the moment I froze...anyone have a similar experience or can offer suggestions??





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