That Girl and the Elephant

Posted on: 10 October, 12

I planned to write a post thanking everyone for the very sweet comments, then I had a very not ordinary day.

With as many times as I have been stuck, injections should be no big deal.  I was dreading Monday's hip injection because it would be deep into the joint, guided by xray.  I am surprised I don't glow at night considering how many xrays and scans I've had.  The doctor gives a great injection.  I barely felt the lidocaine.  The contrast dye only felt like deep pressure.  I did not even feel the Kenalog injection.  Done.  Whew.  As I was getting dressed, the injection site was a bit itchy.  I dropped my pants as everyone huddled around to look for redness and swelling.  Nothing much, so we decided a little Benadryl when I got home should do the trick.  Pull up my pants again and set out for the parking lot.  By the time I reached my car, my neck and face became itchy.  Hmmm…. not a good sign.  I scurried back to the procedure area and found the nurse.  By this time, I could not catch my breath, the room was spinning and my heart was racing. They immediately started an IV of Benadryl and gave me a shot of Epi.  Within minutes I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.  My breathing was compromised, heart rate was a roller coaster, and I was barely conscious.  I don't remember the ambulance ride in great detail, but I do remember hearing "push another amp of Epi" and "charge the paddles."  Those are not words you want to hear unless you are watching television.  

Clearly, it all ended well because I am here to type this today.  Apparently it got dicey along the way.  Once in the ER, it took a little while for my heart rate and breathing to stabilize.  I sat there for many hours as they pumped me full of more steroids.  There was talk of keeping me overnight, but I convinced to let me go with the promise to keep emergency meds on me at all times. 

Tuesday morning I woke up with an elephant on my chest.  Back to the doctor for more steroids.  A round of albuterol via nebulizer did the trick well enough for me to drive to the drug store for an shiny new inhaler and a bunch of prednisone.  The doctor handed me yet another epi pen to insure that I have one at all times.

The afternoon was a wild ride with five different steroids bouncing in my body.  Of course, I had to go into work.  Thank goodness the classes were reasonably well behaved because I was on a roller coaster.  Today was still like Mr Toad's Wild Ride.  A student was wearing Axe Body Spray which should be classified as a chemical weapon.  My elephant returned and I sucked on that inhaler like a scuba diver.  Of course, Axe boy needed lots of help with the assignment.  Then I had to sprint across campus to cover another class.  More sucking on the inhaler.  Finally, it was lunch time… when I accidentally doubled the dosage of prednisone. 
The inhaler plus prednisone is like drinking 53 gallons of espresso. 

I don't have to look at a clock to see when it is time to take the meds.  My elephant returns to remind me.  The doctor said it could several days for the reaction to fully resolve.  Exposure to anything that might be mildly irritating could throw me into another big reaction.  Axe Body Spray sort verified that point.  Then I have to taper off the meds slowly.  Living with me should be loads of fun. 

The irony of all this?  As I was signing the release forms, the doctor mentioned the possibility of allergic reaction, "but that is extremely rare."  Jokingly, I said, "well if it is going to happen to anyone, it will be me.  When it comes to medial anomalies, I am always that girl."  I guess this is one area when I am anything but ordinary. 


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