Sunday, August 7, 2011

An Interesting Experience.

Yesterday afternoon, I was out watering the garden, when I was stung at the base of my left thumb. I dropped the hose and ran inside to get anti-histamines - my husband had used them all. I quickly changed my clothes and drove to the drug store to purchase some. I took two while standing in the line to cash out, and hoped they would start working soon. As I was driving out of the parking lot of the store, I could feel the roof of my mouth, my tongue, and my throat beginning to go numb. I turned down the road towards the hospital, and prayed for calmness as I waited at red lights and the numbness in my mouth and throat progressed, and I began to feel as though I were wearing a too-tight shirt. (The literature about anaphylactic shock mentions "a feeling of impending doom" as a possible part of the reaction - I can now say I've experienced that.)

I parked in the Emergency parking lot, and walked quickly into the hospital, not stopping to get a parking ticket for my car. I was taken into the back, an IV port put into my right hand, and a large syringe of medication was shot into me - epinephrine. This is a horrid sensation; I felt the rush of coolness go up my arm,  into my heart, and suddenly that felt as though it were going to pound itself out of my chest. I also felt distinctly light-headed and strange. I had three seperate injections before the numbness in my mouth, and tightness in my chest began to go away, and after another long period of observation, I was released.

I walked outside to find a ticket on my windshield, with a notice on the back from the parking company, that if it had been a medical emergency, I could call and speak to one of their representatives about possibly having the ticket cancelled.

The doctor at the hospital gave me a prescription for 2 Epipens, and suggested that I carry them at all times.

The moral of this story is: Check the expiry date of your emergency epinephrine injector regularly, and, if you realise it is out of date, go and get a new one immediately! Don't throw the old one out, and forget to get a new one for 3-4 days - it's the laws of life that you will then get stung, experience a serious reaction, and put your life in jeopardy.

Today, I'm feeling as though I've had a narrow escape for my foolishness.


  1. I am glad to hear you made it to the hospital in time !

  2. Thank goodness you are okay. We have four epipens here. Lots of snakes and other critters that can sting or bite. Glad that you got help quickly.

  3. Talk about your wakeup call. Glad to hear it ended well! Stay well.