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Epi-pen: as horrible as I think or get over it?

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posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 11:52 AM
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After never having allergies for my entire life, at 28 I woke up to a swollen lip and hives everywhere. I booked it to my doctors office and she said it was likely an insect bite and gave me a shot of Benadryl. The swelling went down after about 20 minutes, but came back again and again the next few days. Eventually she booked me for allergy testing and gave me a prescription for an Epi-pen.

I thought I'd be proactive and watch a few videos of how to use it, but I stumbled across a slew of people actually injecting themselves, and they were all freaking out about it, which made me a bit anxious, even though I'm usually fairly calm and have worked in health care, and administered a few needles to others.

I'm not usually scared of needles, and if worse came to worse, of course I'd use it without hesitation...but the needle is...larger than most.

Has anyone been diagnosed with a severe allergy as an adult, and if so, have you had to use your Epi-pen? Was it as bad as you thought it would be? What's your allergy, and if it wasn't apparent at first, how long did it take to finally figure it out?




posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 11:56 AM
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The biggest thing to remember about the epi pen, is the box clearly says if you have to use it you need to get to the ER.

So, I always take benadryl and go to sleep.



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:00 PM
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Hahahah, you sound like me. I've been in a Benadryl haze for a week.

a reply to: Iamthatbish



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:01 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Seems to me that it does not matter a good God damn what it is like.

If the options are, turn yourself into a human pin cushion, or die of anaphylactic shock, you take the pin cushion, and you like it too!



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:03 PM
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I would, without a doubt, administer it to myself rather than die of anaphylactic shock. I'm just a lover of shared experiences.

a reply to: TrueBrit



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:04 PM
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Last week I had stress hives. Even my ears were itchy! That's torturus, you can't scratch ears only sort of rub them. It was horrible. Sleep was a miracle.



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:11 PM
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What amount of stress brought your stress hives on? My doctor asked me if I had been under a lot of stress. I do get anxious about some things, but I'm far from feeling "stressed" or ridden with anxiety.

a reply to: Iamthatbish


edit on 24-2-2015 by Atsbhct because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Don't worry. Seriously. When your throat is closing up and you know your life is on the line you will jab yourself and be happy doing it. It will be an instinctual response.

When my situation occurred I kept a bottle of Benadryl in my work desk, purse, car, home.

I woke up one day and had itchy hives all over. Scratched myself raw. Thought it was a specific food allergy but as time went on all of a sudden I was allergic to everything. And I mean everything. Saw an allergist and she said it was the usual allergens causing it. Then I ended up in emergency twice. You will know when your throat is closing up. Biggest signs to watch for are the facial swelling. Keep in mind, and this isn't to scare you, that if you have such swelling on your face and your throat is just right "there" as well that your throat could easily be next.

My symptoms were swollen eyes, lips. My eyes would swell up so bad that the skin would stretch and turn red and then when the swelling went down it would crack and then bleed. But the swelling would take forever, days and days to diminish. My chest and neck and face would turn red. But the hives were all over my body and huge. Absolutely insane.

Turned out it was my thyroid. Saw an allergist who said at the time that recent studies showed that a sudden allergy, especially at the age I was, meant my thyroid was under active. And even if the bloodwork came back within normal range that they were giving people like me a very low dosage of thyroid med (Synthroid). He gave it to me and within a few days the allergies all went away. Never had a problem again. So keep that in mind. The testing on my thyroid came back as inconclusive Hashimoto's disease. It's an auto immune disease and I've since heard many such same accounts.

You'll do fine with the epipen. Keep in mind that IF you have allergies to peanuts that they are used in so many things. I say this because it turned out to my biggest allergen. I've eaten peanuts all my life, like they're going out of style, and then one day had a Reese's chocolate cup for a snack and that's when I ended up in emergency. And then suddenly I had to watch everything that went in my mouth. Hives, itching, swelling is no biggie when one day you're aware your throat is closing up and what do you do, call 911 or ask a friend to drive you to emergency? You don't know how long you have.

You'll do fine. Keep a journal of all you eat and any responses. And get a blood test to check your thyroid, wouldn't hurt.




posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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Wow, thank you for the detailed response.

The last thing I ate before the dramatic lip swelling upon waking up was grapefruit juice. I've avoided it since, but the reactions still keep happening to different extents.

Thyroid problems run in my family, with some of my fathers sisters taking thyroid medication, and one of my mothers having had her thyroid removed. Two different thyroid issues, but definitely something to keep in mind.

a reply to: ccseagull



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Hmm, interesting. Do get your thyroid checked out. Since you have a family history of it (as do I) this is something you should have checked yearly.

I'll provide a link you can check out because this is vital for everyone to know: the thyroid reference range doctors use is something that many don't agree with. We are each separate human beings and not a car. Many doctors refuse to work with a patient that insists something is wrong with their thyroid because the blood work came back within range. There is a lot of argument about this.
thyroid.about.com...

Good luck! It could be merely you've developed allergies. But if it carries on for more than 6 weeks do get yourself checked out for thyroid/lupus and other auto immune issues. Normal allergies cause sniffling and itchy eyes, sometimes an itchy throat but not the kind of extreme reactions you are experiencing.

edit on 24/2/15 by ccseagull because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:38 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

I carry 2...pediatric and adult doses in my Med bag.

They are intended to go through jeans and layers of clothes.

You do not inject...you stab and they have an injector to continue.

As such...it only hurts a second and probably will be saving your life.

MS
EMT / ERT
edit on 07-31-2014 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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I like this quote: "You do not inject...you stab..." It sounds pretty hardcore.

Also, note to self: put on snow pants before stabbing.

a reply to: mysterioustranger



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 01:47 PM
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I took allergy shots for a brief time in college and had to carry one for a time. Never used it. The allergy shots got to where they made my leg swell up and get terribly itchy, so I kind of stopped.

I did use injectable Imitrex for quite a while. I think it's a completely different experience to an EpiPen. It's sub-Q for one thing. It always felt like injecting myself with liquid fire, and I fought it until my headaches were horribly bad before I'd go through with it. Even then, my husband (boyfriend then) would have to sit there over me and make me do it. He'd have done it for me, but I wouldn't let him.

I honestly still don't know why he bothered to stick with me through those years.



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 01:53 PM
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originally posted by: Atsbhct
I like this quote: "You do not inject...you stab..." It sounds pretty hardcore.

Also, note to self: put on snow pants before stabbing.

a reply to: mysterioustranger



That reminds me of the adrenaline shot scene in Pulp Fiction. I won't link it because of the language.

But yeah, stabbing triggers the needle to inject if I remember mine correctly. I always wondered just exactly what it would be like.



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 01:53 PM
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I have some family members with some pretty heavy food allergies so epi pens were a familiar site growing up.

As a certified EMT I've also been through training with them.

Benadryl is certainly a good drug for allergic reactions however you have to keep in mind that if you've gotten to the point where you need to use an epi-pen you probably would not be able to orally ingest benadryl anyway.

If you do use it, make sure to go to the hospital for observation. Allergic reactions can be unpredictable and when dealing with such a severe incident you don't know for sure that the symptoms won't start again. Also epinephrine is a pretty strong drug and you're going to want a thorough checkup anyway, including an EKG.

It's an auto injector and it's pretty damn strong so yeah it'll hurt but it's well worth the pain to ensure your airway is open.

Years ago when I was more involved with volunteering I used to assist in stocking and ordering so one of the interesting things we'd get to do is dispose of expired epi-pens. Fire an expired one into a potato or something, you'll be surprised at how much strength the mechanism has...



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 03:54 PM
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My infant son has severe allergies and we keep 2 small epi-pens on hand. I hope to never have to use them, but it's just a needle!

I once had a Cortisone injection into the ball of my foot and the huge long needle was inserted between my toes!!! Now that hurt!



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 05:53 PM
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I hope you never have to give him one, saving his life is the most important thing, but the thought of hurting a child is pretty hard to fathom for most people, even if it's to help them.

Cortisone sounds terrible :|.

a reply to: Battlefresh



posted on Feb, 24 2015 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: Atsbhct


I was prescribed and epi-pen but never needed it.
However I would not have hesitated to use it if needed.

I gave myself injections twice a week, of six different anti-allergy serums for about two years or so.
I figure it's the same thing, right???. poking yourself.

At least with the injections you got to choose the when and the where, sort of, on your body. for me it was top of my knees in the fleshy part.
With the epi-pen. you just hit you thigh and hold it there. One time, each incident.

Easy peezy actually. (plus that self preservation factor probably kicks in a little
)

Wouldn't ya think?



posted on Feb, 25 2015 @ 04:03 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

Ah

Man up grow up

You stick yourself into your leg, not like you are gonna stick yourself into neck or eye

Just man up



posted on Feb, 25 2015 @ 01:04 PM
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Unfortunately, I'm not a man, so manning up will prove to be impossible.

a reply to: LotToTell2



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