Monday, August 4, 2008

Anaphylaxis Adventure: Part 3

Tuesday (7/29)

This time, I only waited until 1:50am before dialing 119.  I debated just taking a cab back to Chilgok Catholic University Hospital, but decided to call the ambulance just to be safe, figuring that at the very least, they would have oxygen.

At the ER, I explained the situation with the pill pack, and that I hadn’t eaten any food (so I knew it wasn’t a food allergy).  They gave me another shot of Dex, Pen, and put me on a drip.  As soon as it started going in, I felt itchy and asthmatic.  It seemed an odd reaction, but I figured I was probably just anxious and needed to relax, so I sat there and let the drip finish.  I asked the doc (same one as the night before) for the name of the drip and if there was any possible way I could react to it.  "Melpros." he said.  "It's a NSAID (Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drug)" He said.  "Very Safe."

They discharged me around 8am.  All the cashier windows on the discharge floor were closed, but I rang the bell on the pharmacist’s hutch and a woman answered and handed me an envelope of drugs.  I asked her how much and she shook her head.  I figured that maybe I had won a free pass, but as I was walking home again, I got a call from the hospital with the only English words I heard were "money".  "Great" I figured "There's no way I'm walking all the way back there now." 

I got home and still wasn't feeling at all back to normal.  Just out of curiosity, I checked to see if there was any possibility of an allergic reaction to an NSAIDs... AS IT TURNS OUT... In individuals with asthma, approximately 10% may have their asthma symptoms worsened by NSAIDs and that NSAIDs are also a trigger for some patients with anaphylaxis... Lovely.  I turned around, got in a cab and went right on back, for my third hospital visit in two days.  They gave me another shot of Dexamethasone, Peniramin, Epi, and put me on a drip of Solondo (Prednisolone).  This time they also sent me up to consult with an internist for my "allergy problems".   

Total cost (including 2nd ambulance ride and 3rd ER stay) = $44.670

Cost for drugs (including an Advair wheel, albuterol inhaler, 2 days of prednisone and Allegra) = $17.90

Got home around 3:30pm.  Did not go into work. 

I spent Wednesday and Thursday in a petrified daze, because I still have no idea what set off the initial attack.  The burrito came from a virtually peanut-free western restaurant downtown AND I had eaten it before.  Very cautiously, I ate bananas, almonds, dried plums, a packet of plain oatmeal, broccoli, carrots, swiss chard, and some cheese.  I had yet to feel completely "back to normal" as I kept having these mini-attacks where my lips and tongue would start tingling, my throat would feel like it was swelling and my chest, constricting.  I was still taking the little packs of pills (which I had repeatedly confirmed were only Prednisone and Peniramin) and hope that I can chalk those attacks down to either anxiety or remnants of the NSAID in my system.      

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