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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Holy Anaphylaxis, Batman!

As Scooter will undoubtedly tell anyone who asks, I should know better than to take a new medication without another adult around. (I think he thinks "ever," but come on, that's kind of unreasonable.) So Monday, when I was home with Eryn, we stopped at Target on our way to the park for the usual Target stuff and some Dayquil for me - I've been a walking cold virus for a week and I know that stuff works for me, and I don't react to it. It was all gone - the liquid, the capsules, everything. Damn it. So I picked up another, had a fleeting thought about the bizarre reaction I had to another OTC cold medicine a few years ago (and dismissed it. I was miserable! I needed cold medicine! I can be such a baby...) Anyway. Took the stuff, felt better within an hour, no ill effects. Sweet. Safe, right?

Took another dose before bed - no problem. Tuesday morning, I was getting ready for work and noticed while drying my hair that the back of my head felt strangely itchy. Whatever...I was focused on the new client I was meeting first thing, and on getting Eryn to school. I felt fine...well, except for the stuffed nose, headache, and coughing, but that wasn't new. Popped another dose. An hour later, I was sitting with said new client and noticed that each time I took in a breath to speak, I wheezed. This time I paid attention - really, this was odd - but automatically assumed it was related to being, as I said, a walking cold virus, and figured it would clear. I kept coughing, didn't I? Surely that would clear whatever gunk was in my way. Then, at dinner with M, the back of my head got itchy again. Really itchy, in fact, before she arrived, and then it seemed to settle down. I'd seen mosquitoes in our back yard the night before - that was it. Another dose before bed. Small hives on my forehead and wrists, but I didn't feel weird. Still not making the connection, Scooter and I thought: huh, that doesn't seem like a seasonal allergy symptom. Did I eat anything funny? Nevermind, go to sleep.

Next morning (yesterday), I had a few small hives on my wrists and some around my collarbone, but the others were gone. My cold felt mildly better, so I didn't take the medicine. I did first call Cookie Queen's clinic (it's close, I like Dr. Jason) and inquire about an appointment, but everyone was booked. So was my regular doc, so I blew it off. (Genius!) Instead, I dropped Eryn off and went to the duplex to work on scrubbing out whatever it is the former tenants ground into the grout on the kitchen floor. That was it. Exercise sent what was clearly a reaction into high gear, and I was a mess of hives and itchiness. I went home, thought about it, double checked what I already knew about anaphylaxis, sent Scooter an email telling him I was reacting but fine (sent him a pretty picture of hives). Then my throat/chest started to feel tight, and I called Cookie Queen's nurse triage line. That went something like this:

Nurse: Go to the ER. Don't drive yourself.
PTW: Really?
Nurse: Yes. Go.
PTW. Oh, hell.
Nurse: You're having trouble breathing, you need to be in the hospital.
PTW: I'm only having a little trouble breathing.
Nurse: Go to the ER.
PTW: Aw, hell.
Nurse: What is your name?

Sigh. I don't think I was making lots of sense.

So, called Scooter, he left work, I went to the neighbor's while I waited, and we hit Ridges for a lovely IV cocktail of adrenaline, benadryl (hate that stuff, makes me twitchy), and some other crap. Oh, wait, the adrenaline was an injection into my abdomen. That was fun. Two hours later I was the right color again and less itchy and swollen (plus breathing properly), and they sent me home with instructions that actually warned me to "avoid" the medication I had taken.

I blame the duplex :)


Anonymous Cookie Queen said...

I spoke with the nurse you talked to - she was very happy that you did go to the ER and are okay. She did say she laughed a little after she hung up due to your "Oh hells". :-)

May 25, 2006 8:36 AM  
Blogger LissyJo said...

What the hell is wrong with you?? Did you *at least* get an epipen prescription? I'm glad you have a patent airway and are feeling better.

May 25, 2006 11:06 AM  
Blogger ptw said...

No, I didn't. I thought it was weird the ER doc didn't prescribe one. I plan to call my regular doc and ask her for one.

And, what? I had perfectly good explanations for what was happening. It wasn't like I was trying to pretend nothing was happening...

May 25, 2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger Steve Eck said...

Wow, that's kind of scary. Especially since I can totally see myself blowing off the symptoms in the same way.

May 31, 2006 7:55 PM  

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