Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reaction, part 1

Sometimes things happen that change us.  Life becomes before and after.  Getting married.  Having a baby.  Moving to a new city.  All these things delineate a life.   Last Saturday night, I had an event like that, at least that's how it feels right now. 

On Saturday, October 7, I was working an event at church called FamFest.  It's an awesome event a little like a fall carnival.  One of our children's ministers, Laci, and I were welcoming families and handing out ziploc bags for kids to collect tickets in.  I felt something get in my left eye.  I figured it was dirty and I actually commented to Laci that something had blown in.  After a minute, I went inside to rinse my eyes out.  As I left the bathroom, I felt my lip begin to tingle and swell.  When I got back to Laci she said I didn't look right.  Another friend, Amy, suggested I go inside and get some children's Benadryl.

Laci walked me in and I chugged the Benadryl.  I called Ryan, told him I'd had an allergic reaction to something and asked him to come get me.  As I sat there waiting for him, I felt my sinuses begin to close.  Laci came back to check on me. I told her I felt like things were closing.  She wanted to call an ambulance.  I didn't want to cause a fuss and disrupt the event.  I told her Ryan was on his way.  Thankfully, she overrode me and called 911.  Also, thankfully, the ambulance agreed to come to the car wash in front of the church instead into the event. 

Ryan arrived and called my cell asking where to go.  I told him to come to the car wash.  He asked who this was.  He didn't recognize my voice.  He pulled up and got out to check on me.  He said I looked like I'd been in a fight.  By this time my eyes were swollen shut.  Ryan had Sam with him to drive my truck home and B-man was riding along.  I didn't want the boys to see me so Ryan kind of shielded me. 

The ambulance arrived and the paramedics led me in - my eyes were completely closed.  They started an IV of Benadryl.  I asked if I could pass out.  The EMTs said no, put an oxygen mask on me and decided to give me the Epi pen.  They had been talking about taking me the ER in Sunnyvale.  After the Epi pen they decided to take me to Forney.  I was able to remind them that they told Ryan they were taking me to Sunnyvale.  They said they needed to call the Forney ER but then they would call Ryan.  By the time they got back to me to ask Ryan's number, they couldn't understand me so I 'spelled' out his number with my fingers. 

I don't remember being taken out of the ambulance into the ER.  I just remember Ryan coming in.  My eyes weren't open yet so I could hear people but I don't know who all was in and out.  After a while my right eye started to open and I could see Ryan.  The ER doc told me that I had an anaphylactic shock.  My vitals were stable and my lungs were clear.  My trouble breathing had been closed airway, not respiratory distress.  He said the children's Benadryl probably helped prevent that.  (they did get on to me for not knowing how much I took.  I just drank it - apparently Hitch style - I haven't seen Hitch yet) The doctor said he was going to send me home with some prescriptions, one of which was an Epi pen.  He said the second time this happens will be worse (oh joy). 

So, home we went.  Here are some pictures from that night.  It's gross - you've been warned.

for reference, this is how I looked at 3:15 Saturday afternoon
this is me in the ER - yes Ryan asked before he took this

here I am at home on my way to bed

That Saturday night was just the beginning of the journey.  Come back tomorrow to hear about the aftermath. 

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