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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 928
Location: Oakville, Ontario
I've often felt and heard others state "thank goodness I've never had to use the Epi-pen!" I wanted to comment that administering the Epi-pen is not something to fear - and I can now speak from experience! In the past 3 years, we have experienced several big allergic scares with our 3 year old son requiring ER, ambulance care, as well as many doses of Benadryl to combat his allergic reactions - I was always thankful that we never had to administer the Epi-pen. That changed in September 2005 when I had to administer the Epi-pen for the first time. My son was having a significant allergic reaction in the grocery store (from the grocery cart handle), and Benadryl was not alleviating the symptoms (I won't go into the details here as I have discussed them previously in another section on this forum). I was petrified to use it, but it honestly was not difficult, and my son's symptoms were considerably reduced within 5 minutes - it was really incredible! He still required the aid of an ambulance followed by treatment in the ER, but using the Epi-pen was surprisingly simple and quick. I would not hesitate to use it in future if required.

PLEASE - don't hesitiate to use the Epi-pen when it is needed!! It could save your life or the life of a loved one.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Thanks Julie. It does make me nervous to think of using it, probably because I have never had to. My allergist suggested benadryll if the reaction is on the outside, and epipen if it is on the inside...but my thinking is...if they have ingested it, I do not have X-ray glasses and cannot see the inside. The throat swelling, etc. is rather difficult to see until it is severly affecting them. My youngest daughters last reaction (first to chicken) I gave her benadyll when her face swelled, but wanted to use the epipen because I could not see what was happening inside her, but I thought that would be over reacting...now I would go for the epipen first...I mean it can't hurt so why not.

The fear of injecting my child with needles is also why I am now seriously considering not getting twinject, even though I was recently all for it. I think I would rather have two epipens than have to administer an actual needle.

Previously, I sort of thought that an epipen was something that you used if you absolutely had too. Now, I'm leaning towards using it earlier, rather than waiting to see if they are actually having a life threatening reaction.

My youngest has also had a shopping cart reaction...it really makes you realize how dirty they really are!!! It kind of makes you want to wipe off the handle before touching it (even though I do not put my kids in it ), or even take my kids shopping anymore.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Ontario
I have to agree with you Julie. We discovered that my now 2yr old daughter was allergic to peanuts when she was about 20mths. We were given an Rx for an EpiPen then. When she was 22mths she had an anaphylactic reaction to sesame (we didn't know at the time she was allergic to it) and we gave her Benedryl and shortly after the EpiPen. As odd as this may sound I think both my DH and I are glad that we've administered it now because it's not so scary and like you I would do it again without hesitation. Granted I never want to see my DD like that again though.

J


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
I think it's a fear of the unknown thing. Back when I was a less informed allergic person. I had a reaction, wasn't sure whether to use the Epi, sat with it in my hand, was really nervous about using it. Chickened out and opted for Benadryl - which I now know was the wrong choice given that I was had facial hives and some breathing difficulty.

I've since had other reactions and have "auto-injected" twice It was so easy, and the needle, while uncomfortable, really doesn't hurt much. What is great, though, is the immediate relief felt with the epinephrine. It's like somebody turned a switch and the symptoms immediately begin to abate.

For anybody who hasn't (fortunately) had to give an allergic child an auto-injection, I strongly suggest practising with an expired auto-injector on a grapefruit. You'll be prepared then, get over the fear of the unknown, and be calm in front of your child.


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