Thursday morning I got up as usual, took my thyroid medication and my antibiotic (treatment for an intestinal infection), showered, dressed and caught the train to the city. Half way into the city my hands started to turn red and itch. I must be coming onto money I thought and smiled to myself as I scratched my hands.
The itching became more incessant and my palms continued to redden. Mmmmnot good. Then I noticed my neck and face starting to itch. At this point I thought I might be having a reaction, but was still uncertain. My face started to feel hot and I turned off my ipod as my anxiety levels increased.
Obviously, I am well versed in the potential issues of an allergic reaction, but I was confused, embarrassed by my location and unsure as to what to do.
I reached out to the guy next to me (the train was fairly empty). I asked him if my face was red a blotchy, he looked at me like I was a loony, said no, and proceed to ignore me. Great. That felt good. Maybe not try that again.
I pulled my mirror out of my handbag and saw welts on my face. I rolled up my sleeves and saw the welts on my arms and insides of my elbows. Good god. What to do now? Breathing ok. No wheezing. Just high anxiety. Hang tight nearly in the city.
I hopped off at Spencer St Station, or Southern Cross as its now known and called my hubby. He told me not to risk it and get to a hospital. It was before 7am and no Dr or chamist was open. I asked a guard at the station where the nearest hospital was, he couldn’t get away fast enough. No hospital near by – so I called an ambulance.
I wandered down to the front of the station to wait. Fortunately, there was a couple of people handing out flowers to promote Melbourne. I told them I was having a reaction and could they watch out for the ambulance and keep an eye on me. They were great, the girl got me a cup of water, which really helped as my mouth was dry and pasty from the reaction.
The ambulance came in 10 minutes or so. By that time the reaction had plateaued, although they pointed out the rash was all down my chest , which I hadn’t noticed.
They checked my breathing and blood pressure, all good. I certainly felt better knowing I was with people who could help if required. They drove past a couple of chemists so I could buy antihistamine – but nothing was open. Fortunately, one of my colleagues was already in the office, so the ambo dropped my off there. After an hour or so, you would never know I’d had a reaction, except for the scratch marks on my arms.
I called the Dr and went for a visit. She thought the antibiotic was the culprit. And it turns out that it was.
It was a scary experience, being alone and unsure what to do. Something I hope not to go through again. I doubt my anxiety would have been as high if I had not experienced Bella’s food allergies. It will certainly make me more cautious about how I take medication in the future, especially antibiotics.
Seems genes may play a part in allergies……