Monday, 30 March 2009

What to do with an Epipen

Subtitled What NOT to do with an Epipen...

I am really really allergic to bee stings. I am one of the few people in the country who have to carry TWO Epipens to keep my heart kicking along until the Ambulance gets to me. I have had a couple of cardiac arrests after bee stings, and it isnt a good thing. Admittedly there is also a fair amount of naturally produced adrenaline after I look down and see the back half of a bee hanging off some part of me...

I got a script for a new Epipen the other week because the old one had reached it's Use By date but hadn't needed to be used (whew). I told The Sweetheart it would be A Good Idea if he actually knew what one was like to use.
He read the instructions about removing the grey cap, to press the black end against the thigh (unkindly simulated by rather squishy aged lemon) and then give it a good whack.
I don't know what he was thinking cos he didnt actually follow the directions as they were written and as he had read them out to me. He put his thumb over the black end and savaged the lemon. Unfortunately, he injected enough adrenaline into the ball of his right thumb normally needed to get my heart started.

Not good. Within a few minutes his pulse went from 50 to 100 bpm and he went very pale and shaky - but that might have been the thought of the needle. Blokes are like that.
After ringing my GP who advised getting him pretty quickly to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for observation I took him the 40 kms into Melbourne. In 20 mins... A lot of that was through a frustratingly long 80 kph construction zone on the Calder Freeway, too.

The staff were lovely, they told him they see a lot of accidentally self-injected adrenaline so he wasn't the first idiot (he thought he was). Kept an eye on his blackening thumb for about 2 hours and it looks more like a bruise than necrosis so they sent us home. His pulse rate is almost back to normal and he has stopped being so cranky. I dont get like that after I have adrenaline. I am so grateful to be still alive I don't stop talking apparently.

I keep telling him it was better he learned the hard way to do it the right way than waste an Epipen when I am lying on the ground dying after a bee sting and there isnt enough adrenaline left to keep me alive...

He is still cranky.

4 comments:

Lynda B said...

Oh what a giggle I got from that story, sorry it had to be at Andrew's expense. But I am sure one day soon he will see the funny side of it too. Glad he is all ok!!

Lindi said...

Oooch! Poor guy. As you say, though, better to learn when it doesn't matter.

Not Waving but Drowning said...

Crikey, I bet both of you were worried,

GG

thaytan said...

hah. It's good there was no serious harm - much nicer to have an amusing anecdote.

Also, hi - you started blogging, and I didn't know! I've added it to my feeds, so I won't miss any :)