Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Close Call

Yesterday I got the day off from blogging and now I am happy to be back. Yesterday wasn't exactly the highlight of my ILC trip. Yesterday I spent most of my day in the emergency room going toe to toe with death. My day started off the same as usual with waking up, getting breakfast, and going to class. But my day didn't go the same as my other great days. When we got to class we did a quick project with foam and how it expands, then we went off to lunch. At lunch I decided that I wanted some fried fish and an oatmeal cookie. When I sat down I ate a piece of fried fish, and a piece of the oatmeal cookie that was smaller than a dime. Within thirty seconds my mouth started to feel funny and tingly, but for a second I thought it was the spiciness of the hot sauce. It wasn't, because I eat hot sauce on fish all of the and my mouth has never felt this way then I thought back to how my mouth felt three years ago in my last tree nut reaction, and I knew within seconds it had to be nut in the raisin oatmeal cookie. I flipped the cookie over and saw a slice of walnut on the back of the cookie, at this moment I felt the back of my throat with my tongue and I could feel the bumps in my mouth form within seconds of contact with the nuts.

With me knowing what was going on I raced up to my room to get some Benadryl, my EpiPen, and my inhaler. I got all of these things because I've had this experience before multiple times. With the Benadryl I would take one pill and the medicine would stop the effects of the encounter, with the inhaler I would use to prevent my wind passage from closing, and with the EpiPen I would stab myself in the leg if necessary. After taking the Benadryl in a matter of three minute of coming in to contact with the nut I was starting to feel better already, then I met one of the camp proctors and told him what happened after I called my mom. Then he told me let me know whatever else goes on to let him know. I was feeling better as the camp director and proctor watched over me for the next thirty minutes. Then after the camp director asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital anyway I answered yes. She went off to find someone to take me, and within two minutes of waiting I felt my stomach bubbling, and getting upset. 

I knew what was coming and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. I took off to the bathroom, and just as I got to the door I threw up in a mug that I was drinking warm water out of.  Then as I took a few more steps I threw up in the sink as it came out of my mouth and nose. Just as I finished the proctor walked in and seen me and told me to come with him as we ran to the office to get my health and insurance information. Even though I threw up you couldn't tell because I was spotless and had no clue on my face except for the fact my eyes were watering. At this point I knew what was going on, because this was the usual situation when I had an allergic reaction. This time the situation was a little different as I had a hard time breathing through my nose from the throw up. We rushed to the hospital a five minute drive away, and I had a feeling that this hospital didn't quite understand the severity of my allergy at first as I sat in the waiting room for about twenty minutes. Then once the doctor got my file she realized my situation was extremely dangerous.

In my mind I was calm, but just a little curious to what they were doing. The nurse stuck an IVY in my vain after having a hard time finding the big green vain on my arm. Then she pumped some more Benadryl into my blood, and some medicine to calm my stomach down. Then I was asked the question of what happened around ten times, then they asked me of my history, and I said I have been through this experience lots of times growing up and that this problem hasn't happened in three years. I was calm and still smiling as usual, with my voice being altered from the fact that I couldn't really breathe out my nose, and that my face felt really congested. Then the lady asked if I took my EpiPen yet, and I told her no because Benadryl has stopped the process in my past (Which it did.) The reason I was at the hospital was because I threw up and I couldn't breathe though my nose. Well the doctor yelled out inject the pen, and I looked at the nurse with a face of curiosity as she announced how do I do this, while there were gigantic instructions on the side.

The nurse stabbed me with the pen, but she did it wrong. I knew this because the instructions said hold the needle in the leg for ten seconds as the fluid was released, but the nurse poked me for a less than a second and I didn't feel the needle go all the way in. I knew from experience that when you use the pen the needle is about an inch and a half long, but after she used it there were no second chances. By the time they were done injecting me with the pen the medics were there. They put me on a stretcher and ran me to the emergency children's hospital, because I am only fifteen. After they asked me the same questions again we were in the new room. In the new room a group of doctors and nurses surrounded me as they all checked my pulse and breathing, and asked me the same question thirty more times. By then the two people who had originally took me to the hospital had to leave, and now a new group of three were there to watch over. One was Mr. Mannix, who had to miss a Tennessee college trip because of my encounter, but he was fine with it and all he wanted was for me to get better as he eased the situation with conversation. Another was a proctor named Dennis who watched over me all night with another Vanderbilt office worker named Tamra. They were there with me for the rest of the night as I was asked the same question over and over again by doctors and nurses. I didn't really get upset, but they got a little agitated with the same questions being asked over and over again. The questions were asked so many times that they could have answered for me they said. 

After being fine for a couple of hours they were worried about my second reaction, and I was kind of skeptical of what they said because I have never experienced a post reaction before. So as the time rolled around for me to be released at 5:00 PM my symptoms flared up again, and this time worse than ever as my throat started to close again and I broke out in hives. I have never broken out in hives all over my body when in this situation, but this was crazy. After the doctors received word about this they decided to keep me over night as they rushed to give me more IVY and stabbed me with another pen. This time I knew the pen was used the right way as I felt the needle slide deep into my leg muscle, which didn't feel bad or cause a reaction. But on the needles journey out I jerked my leg in a reaction to the lady squirting the liquid as she was pulling the needle out. The people watching me kind of chuckled at me as I looked with a disturbed face. After the action was done and I was drugged to capacity I felt the Benadryl kicking in as I could barely keep my eyes open to answer the doctor's repeated questions. When I went to sleep and then awakened I found that my phone was filled with concerned missed calls and texts, but thanks to Mr. Mannix he kept everyone in the loop. As I drifted on and off to sleep I asked the doctor why did I have a post reaction this time, and the doctor said that the reactions worsen every time that I come in contact with this allergy. I guess it didn't help my case seeing that I haven't had an allergic reaction in three years. After seeing me do better they moved me to a room on the eighth floor where I would be spending the rest of the night.

As the night progressed I began to feel better to the where the only thing wrong with me was my throat being soar from throwing up. This hospital was the best hospital I have ever been to with all of the things accessible to overnight patients. They had room service unlimited ice cream access across the hall, free rent able DVDs, and a teen game room. After I ate my personal pizza meal I went down to the second floor to rent some DVDs that I know I wouldn't watch and to get some more food. When I got down there I saw my house group by surprise and they all said hi, asked their questions, and hoped I felt better. I even got a get well soon burger from Wendy's. After everyone left I got an apple pie from Taco Bell then headed back upstairs to call family, friends, and concerned people. When I finished I said by to Mr. Mannix as he left at 11:00 PM to get some sleep for his college trip to Alabama, but he made it clear to call him if anything happened. After he left I was sleep until the morning time around 7:00 AM, when the nurses awoke me for a checkup. Everything was fine with me and the only thing we had to wait on was for my release to be cleared by the doctor and to get my prescriptions filled. This release time went from 8:00 AM to around 1:40 PM as they gradually moved the time back. While they were stalling I caught the next sleep train to dream world. Then when I was finally released from the hospital I said my byes and thank you, and headed back to the campus to get ready for class around 1:50 PM. I went to my room and was dressed and out the shower ready to go by 2:30 PM. I didn't get picked up from the office to go to class by my TA until around 3:20 PM. When I got back to class I got all of my get well soon cards that were hilarious with all of the nut jokes. After a little while class was over I said thank you to the class and we all piled in the elevator as I accidentally butt dialed the emergency people. When I answered I said I pressed the button with my butt and they hung up as the class laughed at me. 

When I got back to my dorm I had dance practice as I was lost from missing yesterday's class. The class laughed at me as they said they would teach me the new line dances tomorrow, even though I picked up on some of the easy steps. When this class was over I got all dressed up for the formal casual dinner at the dean's house. This was fun, but I was a little concerned with the outside dinner as the rain and thunder began. Eventually it was quick to stop so we continued with our dinner. Then we went to go be college admission officers, which I found to be horrible because the person I wanted to admit was denied by everyone else in my group. This really upset me because in my eyes she had it all; good SAT scores; good grades; tragic death in her family that she found light out of; she wanted to make a difference; and she was involved in lots of extracurricular activities that she was a star in. Also she was highly recommended by teachers. This just taught me that college admission officers have the hardest job in the world as they can control a person's future. also I learned from the near death experience that people think it's funny to be allergic to nuts, and I learned that the south's oatmeal cookies are a lot different from California's.     

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