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Deadly Reaction

on July 30, 2013
Pollen from a variety of common plants: sunflo...

Pollen from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory Ipomoea purpurea, hollyhock (Sildalcea malviflora), lily (Lilium auratum), primrose (Oenothera fruticosa) and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The image is magnified some x500, so the bean shaped grain in the bottom left corner is about 50 μm long. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sad story hitting the news today about a young girl who died from a bite of Rice Krispy Treats which was made with peanut butter. She was highly allergic to peanuts. Though she spit it out the toxin had already worked its way into her system. She went in to shock and died. We are hearing more and more about severe allergic reaction yet people still doubt the validity of them.

For years I have suffered from extreme allergies. Mine are more environmental in nature often not known until I am exposed to a chemical or something like large qualities of  mold. There were bullies in the workplace who enjoy “testing” my allergic reactions. I was made fun of when I reacted. It was embarrassing and I had large medical bills as a result of their amusement. I did report but when you work for the government in some places it isn’t taken too seriously until it is almost too late. My health will never be the same because of the abuse I suffered via the exposure due to the bullies in the workplace. Nothing much I can do because if you speak with legal folks, allergies and mold exposure, even with documentation, is difficult to fight in court unless you die from an exposure.

I do not know the details of rescue procedures for the little girl. Never without my Epi Pen now. Often when in a strange place I will tell someone who is not familiar with me I have a pen and where it is. I  wear a bracelet letting people know if I do go down due to a reaction I have a pen and other important information. When it got life threatening I began to take it very seriously. When the establishment would not hold people accountable for harassment and exposure I realized my life was endangered. It was up to me to make sure I was always ready. In my 40’s it meant a bit more to me than when I was in my teens and 20’s. Guess we think we can live forever when we are so young we are often careless. Know many children and teens over the years who refused to carry an Epi pen. It was difficult to find one near when things happened such as a bee sting. Over the years I have preached awareness and being proactive in regard to allergies.

I am highly allergic to an odorless substance, It is commonly used in every household and business. I get very little warning before reactions start. Sometimes my inhaler is enough other times it progresses to an emergency run to the hospital. People often tell me, if you cannot smell it you cannot be allergic to it. SO WRONG! It kills insects so why would you think it might not have the power to kill a person? Someone did spray my car for reasons I will not go into now. You do not understand fear until the moment you realize you are driving and an allergic reaction starts. Then, you realize someone had to have done this to you all-knowing it could kill you. A weapon few think about and one most medical people would not think to note as a cause unless the person survived to say it had happened on a smaller scale before. Like a simple Rice Krispy Treat at a party, allergies can be lethal. There was no malicious intent at the party when the little girl happened to bite into a treat. But we should always be alert of the remote possibility it could happen to an older person. We try our best to avoid allergens. I have yet to meet someone who enjoys an Epi stick, rounds of steroids and breathing treatments. Some reactions can cause other issues in the body lasting more than a few days. My reactions go into serious lung problems lasting up to a week with a hospital stay. Allergens can be lethal. The result of an exposure for some cannot be reversed even with an Epi Pen.

You might think it rude but ask guest if they have any known allergies. If you use strong chemicals or cleaning products in your home, make guest aware. Strong perfumes and body sprays can also effect people with allergies. If someone tells you they are allergic to something you are wearing do not get upset with them. Please understand there is a difference in not liking a scent than being allergic to one. You might save a life just by telling what is in the food you prepared or sprayed in the air. Please be considerate of those who might need to leave or move to a different area due to allergies. Again, they are not being rude just trying to save their life.

Allergies are disabling in certain situations. It doesn’t make the person any less of a being. Allergy medications can make a person groggy or a bit light in the head in nature. Do not hold this against them. Without the medication there might not be a tomorrow. Be alert to the needs of others. If you have a friend or family member with allergies, be aggressive in scouting out potential hazards. You might just save a life.

 

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