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Food allergy lessons from Rudolph

It all started when my sister came to me saying she needed an ugly Christmas hat for her art class this week. We did a web search for ideas and stumbled across a Rudolph hat made using gloves for the antlers. A search in the coat closest revealed a pair of old blue gloves I don’t wear any more and a purple knitted hat my sister never wears. We grabbed the box of craft pom-poms and found a needle and thread and some stuffing.

As we started working on Rudolph we quickly concluded that a Rudolph with a purple face and blue swollen antlers was a sick Rudolph who was suffering from anaphylaxis.

I went downstairs to grab something and when I came back up I heard this automatic voice saying “place black end on outer thigh and press and hold for 5 seconds… *click* 5…4…3…2..1… Injection complete… This trainer can be reused…” Yup. My sister had found a trainer Auvi-Q on my floor (haven’t quite fully unpacked from the Teen Summit last month) and was “injecting” poor Rudolph.

We concluded that Rudolph must have rubbed his antlers on an almond tree, thus his antlers started to swell and turn blue, he broke out in hives (we added little red pom-poms) and then struggled to breathe so he turned purple. I started singing,

“Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, rubbed against an almond tree,
He started to break out in hives, and then he struggled to breathe…”

We were laughing as we worked and sang till all of a sudden my sister asked me,

“Why didn’t Rudolph get better when I injected him with the Auvi-Q (she used a trainer but pretended it was the real thing)? He’s still really purple.”

Folks, THIS is why I have the motto:

“Don’t wait till it’s too late: anaphylaxis doesn’t discriminate”

I explained to her that if you don’t use epinephrine fast enough then after you reach a certain point it is too late and doesn’t help. The sooner you use your EpiPen or Auvi-Q the better chances you have of staying alive.

Let me rephrase that. Yes, I know it can be scary and sometimes we don’t want to think about it. But yes, if you delay epinephrine, you are greatly increasing your chances of dying.

I know the excuses.
“But am I really bad *enough* to use the epinephrine?”
“If I use it then people are going to think I’m over reacting”
“I don’t want to be an inconvenience”
“Are the EMTs, doctors and nurses going to believe me?”

FORGET WHAT OTHERS MIGHT THINK!!! Just use the epinephrine and you can deal with the responses of those around you later when your body has stopped trying to kill itself! (And I’m preaching to the choir here)

So, let’s not be like Rudolph who rubbed up against an almond tree and then turned purple because he couldn’t breathe.



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