Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Adrenaline dose for the day

This morning, I went in for my regular twice a week visit to the allergist for injections. On either Monday or Tuesday, I get 3 shots; then on Thursday or Friday, I get 1 shot. So today I got 3 shots. Nothing out of the usual...

After I got the shots, I went to sit in the waiting room and started to do a crossword puzzle. Within minutes, I started coughing and got really phlegmy. I didn't think anything of it. But it was constant for minutes. My palms itched a bit..I thought it might be dry skin.

Cindy, the nurse came and asked me if I was okay. I said that I felt fine. She asked if I had the coughs and phlegmy throat before the shots. I said no. So she took me to the back of the office and into a patient room.

That was the beginning of a bad allergic reaction (and the reason why they make you wait 30 minutes in the lobby). Usually, I have a local reaction where the area around the injection shot swells up. Today, I had a systemic reaction where it reacts within the body.

Cindy took my blood pressure and pulse, then called Dr. Otto in. Dr. Otto ordered an adrenaline (epinephrine) shot. First thing that came to my mind was that scene from Pulp Fiction where they give it straight to the heart..I'm like..um...shit...what have I gotten myself in to? But luckily, they injected it in the back of my right arm, the same arm that gets 2 injections..so the count is up today with 4 injections!

They stayed with me in the room for observation. My hands started to itch even more. Cindy checked my local reactions. As the shot began to kick in, my hands trembled. I felt uneasy. Kind of like I was having a panic attack. My heart fluttered. My hands trembled more. I could not control them. It is the most unnerving feeling not being in control of your body. The fact that I was fully aware of what was going on drove me nuts. Having to sit there, with the extremely fast adrenaline rush...They observed me for about an hour until the jitteryness subsided enough so that I could drive to work.

Apparently, she said that if I had waited longer, my body could have gotten worse (anaphylaxis to anaphylactic shock). Cindy said it was a rare occurence in the clinic, but boy it must have been my lucky day.

The epinephrine shot is supposed to help counter the effects of the anaphylactic symptoms by opening up the airways and getting the heart to pump harder to get the blood flowing better. Dr. Otto said that it used to be used commonly to treat asthma.

When they released me, I still felt a bit jittery, but not as bad as the climax of the adrenaline high. I got in my car and drove on to work. I could tell that I wasn't quite normal, though. I had a harder time focusing on the way to work (luckily, it's not that far from my allergist). And when I got to work, I was still riding the high side of the effects.

Once I got to work, I took a Prednisone that the doctor had given me. The Prednisone would also help counter the effects of the anaphylaxis as well.

What goes up, must come down...

The coming down from the adrenaline shot was just as bad as the climax. I felt like my body had been on a roller coaster ride. So high, to so low. I felt like I had taken 20 downers with a glass of beer. My face felt like it was melting down...meaning, it was difficult to even smile. The fatigue set in. And the clumsiness was definitely there, too. I was hammering a ring on the mandrel, and kept missing the mandrel. Yup, I'd stay away from the torches today...

I ended up leaving work around 3:30, since the thought of sitting in traffic for an hour while battling my fatigue from the downside of the drug effects scared me to death. I just hit the freeway and the tollway and was home. Good thing, because I could tell that it was harder to focus (and it's a 20 mile commute). I got home, let the dogs out and back in, then curled up on the couch with my Beagle cuddled up to me and watched a bit of tv in the dark.

The coming down part lasted for way too long...it wasn't til about 7pm that I finally felt much more like myself again...

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Blogger Dixie said...

That sounds really awful! I hope you are feeling better.

10:05 AM  

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