Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Epi Pens and Fear

I am terrified of the EpiPen.  The only thing that terrifies me more than an EpiPen is a Twinject.  Why?  It is impossible to tell which end to use and then you have to take it apart for the second dose.  If you're in a panic because your child is going into anaphylactic shock and you're not sure which end is pointed at your child - you might inject yourself.  Not that I've done that or anything (it was Prince Charming who did........his thumb hurt for weeks)!

Ok, so the EpiPen scares me.  It can mean only one thing - that my child can't breathe.  I am scared of everything the EpiPen represents.

There are few things worse than seeing your child struggling to breathe.  I know the Epi is life-saving, but who wants to stab their kid in the thigh for ten seconds while holding them down? 

To be honest, I'll do anything to avoid using the Epi.  I have steroid cream and Benadryl tablets.  I always try those first and then I sit and wait for them to start working.  Using the Epi means an automatic trip to the ER and that is an all-day ordeal with steroids, IV's, and argumentative doctors.  Even though our doctor has encouraged us to use the Epi whenever we feel it's necessary.  If in doubt, use the Epi she says.  But I don't want to!  I don't want to ever admit to myself that the reaction necessitates the use of the Epi.  

I don't ever leave our house with Bee unless the Epi is along.  The few times I've forgotten, I've turned right around and headed home, heart pounding the entire way.  I check and double check to make sure it's with us.  I've gotten downright paranoid about it.  Every time we're out as a family I end up asking my husband, "Do you have the Epi?" about a hundred times.  And every time my heart stops until he says yes.  I can't stand living in this type of fear. 

But I think I fear the Epi most because it's a reminder.  Everywhere we go I have our bright pink Epi bag tagging along.  I'm never free from it.  Sometimes I live in denial that we even need an Epi.  Surely Bee's allergies aren't that bad, right?  Do I have to cart our meds everywhere we go?  Seeing our little medicine bag snaps me right out of my denial every time.  I don't want the Epi to be necessary.  I remember life before this kind of fear; I want that life back. 

I'm terrified of the EpiPen but I am more terrified of being without it if we need it.  It's become a very unwanted part of our lives and each time I see our bright pink Epi bag attached to our diaper bag, my heart breaks a little bit.  I think of Bee and how I want her life to be free from the constant fear and worry, but that's not possible with the Epi as a glaring reminder that there might be a time her little life depends on that EpiPen. 


Cristi said...

I agree with being more terrified to be without the epi-pen than afraid of using it. I'm actually not afraid of the epi-pen at all, but rather I'm sad that my son will always have the responsibility of keeping himself safe and doing all he can to prevent a reaction. He was sitting a few pews in front of me at church and I noticed the bright yellow tops of his epi-pens sticking up out of his back pocket. I'm proud that he remembered them, but sad that he has to.

PS -- We used to have the Twinjects. They didn't inject out of both ends. The initial shot worked more or less the same as an epi-pen. The difference was that it had a second dose that could be manually injected if necessary.

Lexi said...

It is a huge responsibility. Right now, we're the ones who keep up with the EpiPens but I worry about the day when she'll be in charge of it. I hate that our life depends on having them with us. It's scary!
And on the Twinjects-I think I was thinking about how you have to take them apart. I could never tell which end did what. Our dr at the time was not very helpful and educating parents was not a high priority. We were totally unprepared for her first reaction. Our dr now is very good with making sure we know what we're doing. I'm still not comfortable with the EpiPen and I probably never will be-but I do know how it works at least. I hope we don't ever have to use it again!

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