I was at the library listening to a presentation and overheard the woman behind me telling a friend that her daughter had an allergic reaction that day and had been in the emergency room.
I turned around and told her I didn't mean to be creepy and listen in on her conversation, but that my son had also experienced anaphylaxis, and it can be really scary as a parent to watch it.
She said, "Oh, it wasn't anaphylaxis. Her throat was just closing off, she was just having an allergic reaction." I said, "that IS anaphylaxis!!! You know she can have a re-bound effect, right?" (Even after you are treated for anaphylaxis, you can experience a "re-bound" - the symptoms can come back.)
I told the woman that she better check in on her daughter! An hour later, she tapped me on the shoulder and said, my daughter just sent a text and said it feels like her airway is closing off again. I think she saw the look of shock on my face, and I told her she needed to get her daughter to the emergency room - FAST!!
She said that her daughter was older and could drive herself. I told her, "not if she stops breathing!" I knew that death can happen in as little as 30 minutes. That scary fact has always stuck with me.
The National Institutes of Health lists symptoms of anaphylaxis:
- Skin—itching, hives, redness, swelling
- Nose—sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose
- Mouth—itching, swelling of the lips or tongue
- Throat—itching, tightness, difficulty swallowing, swelling of the back of the throat
- Chest—shortness of breath, cough, wheeze, chest pain, tightness
- Heart—weak pulse, passing out, shock
- Gastrointestinal (GI) tract—vomiting, diarrhea, cramps
- Nervous system—dizziness or fainting
I would also wear an alert bracelet. There are cute bracelets for kids. And there are a lot of companies that make allergy alert jewelry for adults too. You can do an internet search and find a LOT of options - bracelets, necklaces, stickers, etc.
Remember, anaphylaxis is a medical emergency! Get help fast!!