Today at work everyone in my department was supposed to bring in whatever they thought would be good on top of ice cream. Since people at work know about my food allergies they were nice enough to let me go first. I wasn't really hungry when the ice cream was served but the raspberries were luscious looking in the cut glass dish my coworker had brought. There was only half an hour left to my day when I walked past the long counter of ice cream toppings.
On my way back to my desk I ate about ten or twelve M&M candies. Halfway down the hall my throat started hurting. By the time I used my Epi-Pen I was having trouble breathing. On the way to the emergency room I was thinking; if I start crying my body will get less air than its getting now. At the hospital the staff responsive, quick and informative.
When I questioned the need for an IV they told me they'd love to help me save money but this was something I had to have.
The next day my boss told me to take the day off. The Human Resources manager told me I should focus on my health. She also told me I should buy a book, a new purse and to start asking for whatever help I need. She informed me that I was in crisis mode. Those were words I didn't want to hear which are usually the words I need to be hearing. The new purse is going back, I thought it would work but once I got home I found it wouldn't hold everything I need to carry.
Thursday morning I woke up, ate a bowl of wheat-free cereal and realized I couldn't breathe. At the emergency room I had another round of histamine blocking medications. Later on I met with an allergist I had seen before. During my appointment he told me I shouldn't have eaten the M&M's. I have a walnut allergy which is what he thinks triggered the initial reaction. When I told him about visiting the emergency room he said they hadn't done anything. He questioned whether I had an actual allergic reaction or came in to have a panic attack treated.
After that appointment I went down to see if I could talk to the physician who had treated me earlier that morning.
When I had first seen him I had asked if he thought this was all in my head. I hadn't been wheezing but my chest had felt as if it was being squeezed. He told me that given my past history coming in was the right thing to do. His exact words were "I'm glad you're here." Later he confirmed that my treatment plan was based on signs and symptoms he observed which were consistent with an allergic reaction.
People at my new job have really been awesome about everything. When I called my boss to let him know I wouldn't be in he told me not to worry about it. He said that from his point of view he thought I was doing a good job and I was bringing some good things to the table.
When I was at work yesterday some of the women I work with told me they liked working with me which was really nice to hear. I think a supervisor of mine wanted to talk to me but didn't really know what to say or how to say it.
Right now I'm working on a game plan for my life. Recently I picked up a personal trainer. That's been good for me and I think that one of the reasons I did as well as I did after the reaction is because my lungs are stronger now. Yoga is another thing on my agenda, I'm looking into swimming lessons and I'm going make an appointment to see a registered dietitian so I have a better game plan for giving my body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Recently I've had to listen to some hard truths about myself, hopefully I'll be able to grow from those words of wisdom. To close I'd like to reiterate something I was recently told: What you need is out there. You have to believe that and you have to ask for it because no one else is going to live your life for you. People don't know how they can help or that you need help until you let them know. They may not be able to give you what you think you need but your part of the equation is the request for help.