• George VanHaaften

My First Anaphylactic Reaction

This oast month I had my very first anaphylactic reaction at age 16. I had obviously heard stories of friends with food allergies using their epinephrine auto-injector and I had practiced using it in fruits when they expired but I had never actually thought I would ever have to use it on myself. Here's how it went down.


I live in Michigan so we are slowly opening up everything given what's going on right now in the world. So my brother plays for a travel baseball team and they had a game. So while my Mom, Dad, and brother were at the game I stayed home with my youngest brother. I ate my dinner about ten minutes after my family left the house and wanted some salad dressing for my salad. So I looked in my pantry and saw a brand that I had had many times before but it was a different variation of dressing that had eggs in it. I wrongly assumed it was safe and ate it. Shortly after I got an itchy mouth and went back to check the bottle, finding out that there was in fact egg in it. So I called my Mom and took some Benedryl because I only initially had one symptom. Then my mom came home and at about the same time, my stomach started to get uncomfortable. Because it was my second system that had a symptom, my mom instructed that I should take my Auvi-Q, but I wasn't sold. Because I had never taken it, I worried that I wasn't taking it at the right, so after a little bit of debating, I took it and got in the car to head to the hospital.


When we got to the hospital at about 5:45 p.m., there was no wait in the ER so we checked in and went right to the back. The adrenaline from the Auvi-Q was really pumping and I was really shaking and it was hard to talk, but after talking to about 3 doctors and/or physicians assistants, I got hooked up to an IV and was in the ER being monitored from 4-6 hours.


As crazy and fast as the whole experience went by, I am really glad that my first time using the epinephrine went the way it went. I now know I am comfortable using my Auvi-Q and I know when to use it. Trust me, stabbing something into the side of your leg is scary but, having an allergic reaction that can lead to loss of breathing and death is even scarier.

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