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20 - Anaphylaxis


RubyRosie

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TW -  I went to the ER with a bad reaction to a new med. It was really quick how it happened and I was mostly calm during it, but I am still just kinda processing it all. It's probably the closest I've been to death myself.

This is a copy/paste from my status update on my profile.

 
So, I had to go into the ER on Wednesday. I had a delayed onset allergic reaction to the humira shot from the week before.
 
The rest of this story is pretty bad, but I'll just leave it up to you to decide if you want to pause here and read more later or what. I don't want to add to your stress, but I also went thru a pretty big thing and I feel like I'm close enough to a lot of you that if we were in the same town I'd definitely have already called you yesterday to tell you what happened and that I'm ok. Tired and sore and frazzled, but ok.
 
So there you have it ('it' being your opportunity to read this sometime later if you want, or not at all, your choice).
 
 
 
So I had my first humira shot on Thursday the 18th of Feb. It wasn't so bad. Within a couple of days I noticed that my hands and feet were less swollen and painful. I could make a full tight fist with both hands by the end of the weekend. Shit was going good.
 
Then, 12 days later, at like midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning I noticed my belly was itchy and the place I had the shot was about 3in across and very pink. I took a pic of it, rubbed some benadryl gel on my belly and went back to bed.
 
On Tues all hell broke loose. I called the rheumatologist and then the pharmacist. Was told to start taking benadryl pills every 4 hours (not to exceed 400mg per day!), and watch for signs of airway constriction. Call 911 or go to the ER if that does happen.
 
Tuesday sucked. I was covered in hives practically all over. It was definitely more rash than non-rash skin by lunchtime Tuesday. I couldn't put anything on the broken out skin because I was told that it would be dangerous to add benadryl or cortisone on the rash and less effective to doit topically than orally, which was working more on my whole system. My cheeks were puffy. My shoulders were covered in red hives. 
 
Wed was rough. Everything was just so fucking itchy. More than half my body was covered in dark pink and red hives. By just before lunchtime my cheeks were red and swollen so I could feel my pulse in my face. And then at lunch I couldn't swollow right. This was the line I knew that I didn't want to cross.
 
I called my sis. She was on her way home. If she hadn't picked up my next call would have been to 911. But she picked up. It told her about my throat. I called to give the er a heads up that this was happening. So they'd know to expect us. It took like 10 min for her to get here and then we took off for the hosp. By the time we were a block away from the hosp I couldn't breathe through my nose. It would make a tiny squeek noise when I tried to close my mouth and exhale. So I opened my mouth wide and tried to take slow deep breaths. As my sister was pulling into the ambulance bay I could feel the choking feeling. It was hard to breathe through my mouth even.
 
The nurses met me with a wheelchair and the doc saw me like a minute laster. He went through the listen to my heart and breathing thing. got a wooden stick and loked in the back of my throat,Then started explaining that really the only treatment for this was an epipen, that's the treatment, in a kind of calm but explaining why this was necessary. He didn't have to talk me into it. I interrupted his explanation and said "I'm sold, let's do it" in a really shakey raspy voice. He said "what?" He nodded toward the nurse who took the cue to run out of the room. She said "she's in." as she headed to the door. He asked me about other meds, did I have recreational drug use, heart problems and looked at my throat again.
 
The nurse came back a few seconds later, she got my thigh alchoholed off and gave me the shot in my thigh. Then she started an iv, took blood for labs, and gave me some kind of iv med that was supposed to be an antihistamine and made my mouth taste like licking a cast iron pan.
 
Then thy asked me how to spell my name and all the questions for registering. Lol.
 
Ffwd almost 4½ hrs later and I'm well enough that they sent me home. Still covered in hot pink hives, but with a total of 2epipen injections and 2 liters of saline and IV meds for allergies and to stop nauseous feelings. I could breathe!
 
Yesterday I was pretty out of it. My sis stayed to help me. Today my hives are just faint pink color. Feeling shaky. But that's normal, at least that is what they told me. I'm seeing my regular dr next week.
 
I'm probably going to post a few pics on my blog. Nothing gruesome or genitals, but just a before the ER pic and a Friday morning pic.
The pics are added below.
 
 
I feel so fucking grateful to just be able to breathe. My throat is so sore. It feels like I was choked. The doc said it will feel like that for a while. Because I was choked. The tissue damage done by the anaphylaxis feels like an angry hand crushed my windpipe. I look in my mouth with a flashlight and a mirror and I can see the bruising in the back of my mouth. My eyelids are covered in tiny little dark purple pinprick bruises from the burst capillaries.
 
And I'm still in shock.
Thanks for reading this.
 
RR

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