You don’t need it, until you really need it

I have talked many times about carrying both histamine and epinephrine with me whenever I leave the house.  Taking histamine tells my body that I already have enough and it keeps me from continuing to produce more thus slowing or stopping a reaction.   Epinephrine is a last-ditch medication when all else fails.  It makes my heart race and because it has been so long since I have even used it I am not sure if I would react to it.

This morning my daughter was running late so I needed to drop my granddaughter off at preschool.  Even though it is just a ten-minute drive across town each way, I grabbed my histamine from the refrigerator.  It is a force of habit.  I came home and immediately put it back in the refrigerator.

The morning was hectic with emails, projects, and laundry.  Before I knew it the clock showed 12:30 and I was supposed to meet a girlfriend at an outdoor café for lunch followed by a trip across town for my acupuncture appointment.  I grabbed my purse, my water, my Kindle (in case I had to wait a bit at my doctor appointment), and off I went.  Lunch was nice and I was lucky because it was a very slow day and there were only two or three tables outdoors occupied.

As I left for lunch, I promised my girlfriend that I would pick her up at her house after my doctor appointment and take her to pick up her car at the repair shop.  I arrived at my acupuncture appointment on time and was taken back quickly.  I didn’t even get a chance to read when my doctor walked in and started working with me.  All was well; I relaxed as the needles did their work on my body and rested.  The timer went off and one of the medical assistants came in and removed all the needles except those in my scalp and my face.  I continued to rest while I waited my turn for the doctor to come in, remove the needles and continue to work on me.

I was calmly laying on the table as she removed the needles and kept patting at the needle sites with cotton because they were bleeding a little.  Suddenly there was moisture on my head and I felt a tickle in my throat and then I smelled it.  I smelled alcohol!  She immediately wiped it off but there is nothing that can be done once it is on me and getting into my system via the needle puncture sites.

I thought I was doing okay until I got ready to sit up and put my shoes back on after she left the room.  The coughing started, the shaking started, the dizziness came on, and a headache started.  I grabbed my purse to fish for my histamine pouch.  It was not there!  I rarely use histamine because I work on keeping myself safe and away from unnecessary triggers.  I continued to fish through my purse and found my albuterol inhaler and took a puff of it to try to calm the coughing.  My epi-pen was in my purse but the reaction was not so bad that I wanted to risk trying epinephrine with the side effect of my heart racing and the risk that I could have a worse reaction to it.

My doctor came in and helped me into a room that was free of the alcohol chemical and I just sat and shook and coughed for about 30 minutes as I waited for the symptoms to ease enough to allow me to drive home.  I also had to phone my girlfriend and tell her that I couldn’t come by for a while because I was in the midst of a reaction.

My doctor felt so bad because she knows I have a sensitivity to alcohol.  It was just standard for her to do this and she did it without thinking.  I am sure this is a mistake that won’t be made again and I know she didn’t do it intentionally.  Still, I had a reaction.

The first thing I do when I leave home is grab my histamine and yet I haven’t had to use it in a very long time.  And the one time I forget, wham I get hit and don’t have it.   I am going to have to be more vigilant.  The problem lies when I get rushed and don’t think beyond where I need to be.


10 responses to “You don’t need it, until you really need it

  1. I am soooo sorry— most all of us have been there & done that & bought the t-shirt— BUT– I can’t use any chemical drugs at all of any kind!!! So when my throat starts swelling– I just try not to panic!!!!
    I am sorry this had to happen to you today— it probably counteracted part of your treatment today!!!

  2. Oh no! I’m sorry! But I’m glad you’re okay.

  3. How scary Kathryn! You haven’t needed to use it in so long who would’ve thought it! Hope you are ok.

    Many say to me why do I think ill have a severe reaction since its been “insert blank” (right now 2 months since my last severe reaction.) it’s difficult for people to grasp the number of unknown and known potential triggered and unpredictable reaction response

    I too am leery of using Epi.

  4. Those unexpected reactions are the worst. Glad you had a safe place to recover.

  5. I received a call last night from my doctor to make sure that I was okay. What a nice doctor.

  6. I’m so sorry. That is such a difficult thing.

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