Monday, April 22, 2013

Anaphylactic shock and allergic reactions

So, I had a really bad allergic reaction to a gummy vitamin back in January of this year.  As stupid as it sounds, yes, it was a gummy multivitamin that put me into anaphylactic shock.  Needless to say, that was the most embarrassing and scary experience of my life!  So, here's exactly what happened:

10:30am- I decided that I was going to start taking vitamins again to boost my health because that was my New Year's resolution, to have a healthier lifestyle.  I took two berry shaped gummy multivitamins because that was what the directions said to do.

10:45am- I drive to Pearlridge Macy's to give my cousin some boxes for her birthday party.  She then convinces me to go shopping with her and my aunts at Pearlridge.

10:50am- I walk around Macy's and start feeling itchy on my chest and stomach so I ask my cousin if we can go to the bathroom at the food court.  My skin was blotchy and then my face felt hot.  I looked in the mirror and my face was as red as a tomato!  Then I started getting worried because I had no Benadryl on me for the possible hives.  Next thing you know, I feel lightheaded.  We grabbed a water at Starbucks and head over to Macy's to meet up with my aunts.  We took the escalator up to the second floor and I sit down on a chair because I felt like I wanted to faint.  My heart was pounding so fast.  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.  I felt like I wanted to cry because I thought I was dying or something.  My aunts freak out and offer to bring me to the hospital.  As I was going down the escalator to the first floor, I barely made it to the bottom.  I had to sit down at the MAC counter because I could barely stand up.  Last I remember, I was holding onto my cousin and then blacked out.

My cousin said I fainted and turned white as a ghost.  She couldn't hold on to me because I fell off the chair and on top of her.  I was told that I was lying on the ground unconscious for almost 20 minutes.  My aunts were freaking out so the Macy's employees had to call an ambulance for me.  It was such a surreal experience once I gained consciousness.  I could hear everyone around me, talking to me.  I wanted to answer back but I felt like I was outside of my own body.  My eyes were open but I couldn't see anything.  All I could hear was the beating of my heart.  Two nice ladies that were nurses were helping me when I fainted.  I wish I knew their names because I am thankful that they were trying to help me before the ambulance arrived.

When the paramedics arrived, they put so much things on me: oxygen tubes, heart monitor, something to check my blood pressure, and probably more.  They were asking me questions and I could barely speak.  All I could do was cry because I didn't know what was happening to me.  All I could think about was my little boy.  I prayed that I would be okay because I was the only parent that actually cared about him.

When I was in the ambulance, they gave me Benadryl, an Epipen, and fluids.  Or, that's what I think they gave me.  Everything was a blur.  The Epipen made me all cold and jittery.  The paramedic said that was normal.  After a few hours at the hospital, my breathing was fine, my skin was normal again, and I was able to talk.  I was definitely weak because of the anaphylactic shock that my body went through.

That was the first allergic reaction that caused me to go into shock.  Normally, I've eaten or drank certain things that make me break out into hives.  This time, it was more serious!  I went to the doctor and had several blood tests done.  I tested negative on everything.  I even saw an allergist and had blood work done. I was scheduled to have a skin test done but I guess I didn't get to do it early enough.

Just when I thought that I was good trying to avoid whatever could have possibly given me that allergic reaction, I had another allergic reaction this month in April, but this time from a Lemon Zest Luna Bar!  Really?  I took Benadryl but my asthma acted up so I had to go to the emergency room.  It wasn't as bad as the last reaction but I needed oxygen.  At this point, I'm beyond frustrated about whatever it is that I'm allergic to and I decided that anything in the "healthy vitamins and supplements" aisle would give me an bad allergic reaction.

I finally did the skin testing last week.  I was pricked 53 times with several things that people are most likely to be allergic to.  I was left with what looked like chickenpox organized in lines.  After all that testing, I found out that I wasn't allergic to anything that they tested on me!

It's the most frustrating thing knowing that I have a bad surprise waiting to happen and I don't know what to avoid.  I guess I'm just one of those people that have allergic reactions to something uncommon and I'll never find out until I react to it.  I hope that none of you go through what I went through.  It seriously felt like I was dying.

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