Don’t EVER leave doc’s office early after allergy shots!

Seriously. Don’t even think about it.

For those of you that have uncontrollable allergies, sometimes allergy medicine isn’t enough. You have to have allergy shots. If you want to know more about allergy shots, you can read the post, “When Allergy Medicine Isn’t working

Everyone gets their own vial of serum for allergy shots. After the scratch test, they will add allergens to your serum (of whatever you are allergic to – cats, dogs, flowers, trees, grass, dust, etc.). So sometimes that little innocent looking bottle can be a ticking time bomb. When you start shots, they will explain that you are going to be getting shots of what you are allergic to, but in TINY little doses. The idea behind it is that your body will build up a tolerance to those allergens.

But, as the allergy and asthma body is know to do, it can over-react. And you can have a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. (anaphylactic shock).

Think it won’t happen to you? Ya, neither did I!

At the time it happened, both my sons were on their 5-year course of allergy shots. Middle son was in the hospital with pneumonia (again.) But, I still have 2 other kids that need me, so Hubby and I switched places. He stayed at the hospital with Middle Son while I took Older Son for allergy shots. And as it was a Friday night, that meant pizza and video night at our house.

Only this week was going to be pizza and video night at the hospital.

I can fit it all in, right? I’m a super mom. So, off we went to Asthma Doc’s office for shots. Daughter was with us too (the youngest is always dragged around to her brother’s activities. Poor thing.) So, as Older Son is getting shots, we told Shot Nurse that Middle Son was in the hospital with pneumonia again, so we weren’t going to stay after shots “this one time.” We were going to grab a pizza and head back to the hospital. Her answer still rings in my ears, “Oh you guys will be fine. What are the odds that anything will happen?”

Well, our odds suck.

I had only driven about 100 yards when Older Son said “Mom, I think something is wrong.” A quick look in the rearview mirror almost caused me to drive off the road. He looked bad. I mean really bad. His face was bright red, and his eyes were glassy and bulging. His neck was also red and bulging and veins on his neck were sticking out. And he was coughing. He was scared. And so was I. I flipped a U in the road as I was on speed dial with the office. I told them Older Son was having an allergic reaction. Shot Nurse was calm, told me to be careful driving back and she would have the epinephrine ready.

Yeah, be calm. Right.

We made it back to the parking lot and made a mad dash for Asthma Doc’s office and burst through the door. She calmly led all 3 of us back to the treatment room. She gave Older Son epinephrine and started a breathing treatment of albuterol. She was calm and reassuring as she explained what was happening and how she was going to treat it. (This was obviously NOT her first rodeo.) She did explain that you can have a rebound effect (another episode of anaphylaxis).

She stayed with us for 2 hours, long after the office had closed. She wanted to make sure that Older Son was stable. Asthma Doc had left a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector and told us to stop at the pharmacy BEFORE we went back to the hospital and keep the injector with us at all times. Meantime, Hubby is wondering where we are and calls my cell, “Hey, are you guys still coming back with pizza?” I sputter “Can’t talk, Older Son is having anaphylaxis!” Hubby starts to say, “Wait. What???” Before I hang up and listen to what Shot Nurse was explaining.

So, after he is stable, we head to the pharmacy. We tell them what happened as I am still in shock. So in shock that I don’t realize that daughter left her beloved stuffed Kitty at the pharmacy. So we drive back to the hospital, still in shock. No pizza. No stuffed animal to comfort Daughter after what she witnessed. And grateful that Older Son is still alive. I explain to Hubby and Pediatric Nurse what just happened, and she assured us that if Older Son has a reaction, the Emergency Department is close by and can treat him.

So, if you are thinking of leaving allergy shots WITHOUT waiting the required 30 minutes “just this one time.”

Don’t. Even. Think. About. It.

(This happened over 10 years ago, and my heart is pounding as I am typing this and remembering everything that happened. That’s how traumatic it was.)

Please don’t take a chance.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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