Yesterday I mentioned on my Facebook page about something scary I experienced last week. Most people close to me know all about, in fact news travels fast when you have multiple Whatsapp groups. This experience was anaphylactic shock. I’m not going to lie it was one of the most terrifying things I’ve experienced in my life and I felt it was important to share on my blog. This is not an attempt to spook anyone, merely to inform and educate. This post will be relatively serious considering the nature, however I will try to keep it lighthearted as that is my nature.
This is what they said I looked like! Image source : http://animalia-life.com/
Anaphylaxis is a serve allergic reaction to something. Common causes of it include shellfish, nuts, bee stings and in my case, penicillin. Monday of last week I felt really ill, I had a chest infection. I’m prone to them and it’s not unusual for me to take antibiotics for it. I got a prescription from my doctor for a round of penicillin, which I have taken numerous times in the past. My plan was to take them for a few days and feel back to normal for a wedding I was attending last Friday. That was the plan.
Tuesday evening came and to be honest the chesty cough was bad, but in general I felt fine so had been to work and was going about my daily business. I was heading into town and as I was leaving my mother asked me “Did you take your antibiotic?”. My response was a little like Kevin and Perry, “Fine! I’ll take it now. Jeez mom I’m 27 years of age!” So I took one and ten minutes later I hopped in the car and headed off on my merry way. That’s when the reaction began.
- Just as I left the house I sneezed like I’ve never sneezed before in my life, it took the wind out of me. I remember thinking what the hell was that about but drove off without a second thought.
- By the time I got to the end of my driveway I felt very flushed and hot. I’m too young to be going through the change I thought to myself and pulled out onto the main road.
- As I got the “band bends” of the Moycullen road (approx. 4 minutes from my house) I was finding lights very bright an in general just feeling very unwell.
- When I reached Kelehan’s pub (approx. 5 minutes from my house) I looked at my hands, they were like balloons, quite comical actually, except I wasn’t laughing.
- A the Westwood hotel (approx.. 7 minutes from my house), this was when the panic started to kick in and the first time in my life I thought I was going to die. Up to this point I kept telling myself “I’m fine, you’re over-reacting calm down you drama queen!”. However, this is when the “Fight or flight” theory comes into play. I was ready to fight and no drug was going to kill me.
- I called my boyfriend but at this point I was struggling to breathe and could barely speak. I managed to say “I think I’m having an allergic reaction”.
- He stayed on the phone knowing that there was no time to call an ambulance I only had one option that was to drive myself to the hospital as quickly as possible.
- I drove like a bat out of hell and abandoned my car outside, got a handy little spot in the taxi bay.
- When I arrived at the A&E check in I guess you call it (I know it’s not a hotel but like you know what I mean) there was a couple chatting away to the woman behind the glass. I felt like shouting “This isn’t the bloody post office”, but unfortunately I couldn’t shout, it would have been a faint whisper and probably more creepy than sarcastic.
- I moved pasted them and banged on the glass. They took one look at me and shouted “get to the nurse now.”
- The nurse helped take off my jumper and what I saw was skin that looked like it had been burnt with boiling water or a few too many trips to the sunbed.
- I was brought into the resuscitation room and instantly set up on an ECG and IV. The doctor stabbed me in the arm with a shot of adrenaline. This was the second time I thought I was going to die. My whole body began to shake uncontrollably, the shock to my system was intense. A part of me secretly wished it had been a bit more Uma Therman Pulp Fiction, but thankfully I wasn’t unconscious.
- When my boyfriend arrived at the hospital he was told “she’s ok for now and the doctor will let you know when she’s ok”. He truly thought I was gone, considering the room I was in. When they eventually let him in I was starting to feel a bit better but I must have looked shocking because his face looked worse than mine! He stood at the end of my bed not knowing if I was responding or not. I looked at him and said “what are you doing down there? Come up here to me!”
I was kept in overnight for observation. They told me 10 more minutes and I would have been brown bread. It really didn’t register in me until about 2 days later, I felt completely overwhelmed. 3 days later I had the wedding of 2 close friends and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to attend, I was told not to exert myself too much. That night at the wedding I danced more than I’ve ever danced before, I had more fun than I could have imagined, I took in every moment of the day.
What this has taught me is that life is very fickle. 10pm I was leaving my house without a care in the world and at 10.15 I was being injected with Adrenaline and an array of other drugs to save my life. Try and enjoy every moment. Stop living for the weekend, end of the day, the summer, Christmas, live for every moment, because you don’t know when it will be your last. Enjoy the fresh air, take every opportunity to smile and especially to make someone else laugh. Enjoy the people who care about you, realise how much they do care and appreciate them everyday.
Oh he's not going to like this one :) . Image source : www pinterest.com
Cheesiest post ever…I’ll be back to my typical humorous crap next week.
Over and out. MOD X :)