Gayle Rigione, Allergy Force
Epinephrine & Carry Complacency
Winter break. New Hampshire. A family ski trip. We were capping off a sunny day on the slopes with dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.
“Mom, I think there was egg in my dessert. I need Benadryl. Now. I’m afraid.” My son was ghostly pale and his mouth was itching. He revisited his dinner. Violently. On the side of the road.
I was afraid.
We’d trusted a server at a restaurant to read an ingredients label correctly and he got it wrong. He overlooked ‘egg’. My ANA egg allergic college sophomore had just polished off the rare dessert treat at the end of what had otherwise been a great meal.
Misplaced trust. Our mistake.
Our son hadn't taken his epinephrine auto-injector to the restaurant that night. It had been too bulky to fit in his jeans so we were unprepared for the rapid downward spiral of the allergic reaction. It had been so long since he’d made a food allergy misstep.
We’d become complacent. Another mistake.
This was the first time in his life that my son actually wanted to administer epinephrine for a reaction. His fear was palpable. The fear was on many levels. With the EAI back at the hotel -- would we get to it in time? The thought of the bulky shot with the big needle was scary -- would it hurt? A lot? Would we use it correctly? Or fumble it because our hands were shaking, wasting the precious dose? Would we make it to the ER?
The fear was paralyzing.
Yes, auto injectors can be bulky and inconvenient to carry. But they can save your life. And someday, we believe, there will be smaller, equally efficient auto injectors on the market. How great will it be to attach a flash drive-sized EAI onto a belt loop or key ring or phone case you always have with you?
Never be complacent about carrying your EAI— always keep it within arms reach.
You may need it. You just never know.
About the Author: Gayle Rigione is CEO and Co-founder of Allergy Force, the food allergy app. She’s also an allergy mom. She’s lived the heart stopping moments when her son ate the wrong thing, second guessed reactions and spent the night in the ER. These experiences inspire her to create tools for people with food allergies that make life safer, easier. Whatever you do, do it with a full heart. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat
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Photo Credit: Thank you to Wix for use of the post image