Friday, October 16, 2009 cold and rainy Thursday evening...

I was the gym and I had been working out for a little over an hour when suddenly I started having an acute allergic reaction.
It started with a tickle under my tongue and then my scalp began to itch. Within minutes my tongue was swollen until I couldn't talk clearly and it was very difficult to swallow and my lips were swollen and numb.
I went to the ladies restroom and looked in the mirror. I had a red rash all over my body from head-to-toe.
I was really taken by surprise and wondered what in the world my body was doing.
I decided to try to go home and take some Benadryl or something. I went to the elevator and hit the down button. As I was waiting it was becoming harder to swallow. The thought crossed my mind: what if I am on the highway and I stop breathing?
I went to the front desk and told the girl, "Something’s wrong with me! I need help."
She said she would make me a smoothie..."it will really help- it has gluco-somthing-or-other in it..."
I paused and said, "No, I need you to call 911."
At this point I am a big baby.
She said "OK."

I felt like I was completely helpless- I couldn't fix whatever was wrong with me. I was trying not to panic- not sure how well I succeeded. I started praying. And then I started mentally (I think) saying my ABC's to try to focus my mind on something else. I have no idea where that idea came from. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.

I didn't have my cell phone with me because it was charging at home. I was driving our only vehicle and I didn't know how to tell Kirk what was going on. Earlier I had noticed our neighbor was also at the gym. I asked him to call Kirk and tell him what was going on.

The fire department showed up first and then the ambulance. As the medic dug around my forearm with the needle started the IV of Benadryl, he asked me how I was feeling.

I told them I felt like I was going to choke on my tongue.
He said, "I have scissors right here if that happens- we'll just cut that tongue out."

That struck me as humorous. Have you ever laughed with a swollen tongue? It's not very satisfying...but it did help me to relax a little.

The Ambulance took me to the closest ER. Once in a room, I was hooked up to telemetry given steroids via IV.

Almost simultaneously a woman knocked on the door to get all my insurance information I told her I didn't have any insurance. She said- OK and left.

Next a man came in. He said he would help me fill out forms to see if I qualified for a discount on my bill.
He proceeds to ask me where I work, what I get paid, where my husband works, what he gets paid, how much I have in my checking account, how much I have in my savings account, where I worked previously, how much I got paid there, etc...It was a real eye opener...I was a little annoyed.

Now, not only was I worried about my health I was worried about a massive hospital bill!

After two hours- I was very sleepy, but the rash had pretty much completely cleared up and my tongue and lips were not nearly as swollen as they had been. Thank the Lord.

They don't know what caused it. The Doctor said that it could have been something I ate, drank, a medication I took, or a virus. He didn't feel that it was environmental. (Shoot- I guess I am not allergic to exercise after all....) Actually, I was worried that I had inhaled or absorbed too much cleaning solution at the gym- they have spray that you clean the machines with after you are done using it. I spray before and after because I don't want to take any chances with getting the flu. The Doctor didn't feel it was the cause. I hadn't eaten anything new- and I had eaten a full three hours before the reaction occurred. I took Ibuprofen at 4:00 pm for a headache- but I always take it is a mystery.

I hope that it doesn't ever happen again.

Poor Bill and Kirk finally found the correct St. Elizabeth's-I guess they had been to a couple different ER's looking for me. Kirk was completely taken by surprise at the events that had transpired and I think he was a little bit in shock.

The Doctor sent me home with prednisone 20mg to take by mouth every morning for 5 days. He also instructed me to take Benadryl every 6 hours.
I am having second thoughts about the prednisone...scary medication.

Random thoughts:

  • I am thankful for my health.

  • I hope that they let me back in gym...I am a little embarrassed...I do not like causing a scene

  • My doctor's name was Timothy Love...yep, I was treated by the Love Doctor...Doctuh Luv...

  • I really don't like to be out-of-control of my own body. I don't like feeling helpless. It is scary.

  • I have new respect for my tongue- it really means business.


Liz said...

I'm so glad you're all right!

Theresa said...

Thanks for the phone call!! So glad it turned out ok. (no more fresh pineapple for awhile) :)
Looking forward to seeing you all.

Misty said...

Yikes!! That is very scary! Glad you are okay. =)

JenofWA said...

Wow, what an experience! That sounds pretty scary.. but your humor makes me laugh :) I'm glad your home safe and sound.

Making Memories 1999 said...

Oh my goodness, what an experience!! So thankful that you are ok!

Andy said...


Jodi Marshall said...

Sheesh- look at the lengths a girl's gotta go to just have something to blog about....

Travis said...

Since you're ok...I cant stop laughing at the girl who offered you a smoothie when you asked for help.

*I developed an allergy to shellfish, which I discovered after an all you can eat shrimp deal somewhere. Scary when your throat starts to close up, right?

Jodi Marshall said...

amen brother...

David and Sarah Fry said...

you. are. hilarious.

David and Sarah Fry said...

I'm still laughing about the smoothie, too.

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