Have You Administered EPI To Yourself?

36 replies [Last post]
By ajgauthier on Fri, 11-03-06, 04:03

hiya - you definitely have to somewhat swing and jab/hold. If you just hold and push hard enough, it could trigger the autoinjector...but swing and jab/hold definitely triggers the autoinjector mechanism. And...what you *really* feel is the whole pen hitting your leg and not concentrating on/waiting for that large needle to pierce through pants/skin.

They come with a trainer, and once you get an expired epi you can get a feel for it by jabbing in an orange.

EDITED TO ADD:

By 'swing and jab/hold' I mean "swinging" from only a foot or so away from your thigh muscle. You have to be accurate...no wild swinging (like if you held your arm out parallel to the ground, then swung an arc down to your own thigh)

Adrienne

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30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

[This message has been edited by ajgauthier (edited November 02, 2006).]

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By saknjmom on Fri, 11-03-06, 14:20

(edited) do you have an epi pen trainer? I just sent two extras to Canada. I may have one more.
Also, when you refill, ask your doctor to prescribe the twin pack. It comes with a trainer.
Yes, the thought of giving it to yourself is a bit anxiety producing. I was taking infertility shots awhile ago and DH was out of town for one night. The needle is tiny, need to receive shot in lower part of belly. I thought I could do it. Could not do it. Had to call neighbor who is a nurse at 830 and ask her to give it to me.
since the needle is not showing, I could do the epi, especially to save my life!! That's good motivation.

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By Jana R on Fri, 11-03-06, 15:18

If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check out [url="http://www.epipen.com/"]http://www.epipen.com/[/url]
It will answer a lot of your questions - there's even a "how to use" demonstration.

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Jana

[url="http://www.seattlefoodallergy.org"]www.seattlefoodallergy.org[/url]

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By saknjmom on Fri, 11-03-06, 16:02

(edited), there is a training pen that does not have a needle. It looks exactly like the epi pen. You can use it over and over to train people and to practice with.
This way, you don't have to wait for one to expire and it's handy to show others how to use it.
one comes with the twin pack...did you fill two separate single prescriptions or did you get a box with two epi pens? The key is to ask the dr to prescribe twin pack so you'll get two epis, one copay and trainer.
if you want a trainer, I'll send the extra if I can find it.

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By ajgauthier on Fri, 11-03-06, 18:37

...remember, if you need to push it into your own thigh (push as opposed to swing/jab/hold) it will be much more difficult than your experience of pushing it into a potato or even an orange. Our thighs aren't 'hard surfaces' like a potato/fruit.

I just tried pushing the trainer into my thigh to get it to 'pop' --- took some effort, and I think I will get a bruise!

So, I still think a small swing/jab/hold is the best way to go b/c the force of it hitting your thigh on impact triggers the needle.

The trainer is great...when you get one in your next epi-pack you can play around with it.

Make sure to specifically ask for "Epipen 2-Pak", that's the one with the 2 pens and the trainer for 1 co-pay.

Adrienne

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30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

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By krasota on Fri, 11-03-06, 18:47

I've administered it to my husband. I just used a firm jab/hold and it was fine. Bruised, of course.

the times I needed it, I couldn't find it. I made do with inhaled epi.

ygg

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By KaraLH on Fri, 11-03-06, 19:24

I have never needed an epi-pen for myself,(although I think I should have one for my antibiotic allergies) but we have the Jr. for my daughter. Thanks for this discussion because someone my husband knows had a trainer and gave it to us this week. It works pretty much like we thought but it definetly takes a slight motion to be sure it engages. It's a great learning tool.
One thing though, we got a twin pack (x2) for our daughter but niether pack had a trainer. Is it just the adult twin packs that come with trainers??
Also, does anyone know if there is a difference in force between the reg and Jr. pens? I would assume they work with the same amount of force. But I guess I should never assume. I also assumed that when the allergist showed us how to use the pen it was a Jr. trainer. Maybe that doesn't make any difference???

and by the way, I hope you never have to administer epi to yourself!!

Kara

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By Momcat on Sat, 11-04-06, 00:28

Quote:Originally posted by KaraLH:
[b]One thing though, we got a twin pack (x2) for our daughter but niether pack had a trainer. Is it just the adult twin packs that come with trainers??
Also, does anyone know if there is a difference in force between the reg and Jr. pens? I would assume they work with the same amount of force.Kara[/b]

The twin pack has 2 epipens and 1 trainer all in one big box. If the pharmacy is giving you two epipens in separate boxes and calling it a "twinpack" that's not really the same thing.

The trainer looks the same for epipen and epi jr. The trainer is a little harder to trigger than the real thing.

As far as I know, the only difference between Epi and Epi Jr. is the concentration of epinephrine in the saline solution inside. The amount of liquid in the syringe is the same, it is just less concentrated in the Jr. The pens are different colors, but the mechanism, needle and everything else is the same, I believe.

Cathy

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Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 1/2 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

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By krasota on Sat, 11-04-06, 02:39

It's called a 2-Pak

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By KaraLH on Sat, 11-04-06, 03:14

Well, that is what our trainer looks like that we got from our friend. However, that is not what our twin pak looks like!! Our prescription indeed was just two epi-pens in seperate boxes. At least we get two for one co-pay! Maybe they don't call it a twin pak! I assumed, (once again) that since we got two in one prescription that was considered a twin pak. Oh well, we have our pens and our trainer now. That's what is important.
Thanks for the comparison of the reg and Jr. epi's.

Kara
Ok, I read a little closer. It's actually called a 2-pak. OK, so I guess what I got could be considered a twinpak because there were two. I guess that would be the difference then. Thanks!

[This message has been edited by KaraLH (edited November 03, 2006).]

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chocolate
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By saknjmom on Sat, 11-04-06, 13:40

Sorry, I was calling it a twin pack. It is 2 pack.
One box, two epis and one trainer. Sometimes the pharmacies do not have it ordered in this way and they just give you two epi pens. I went through that once.

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By McCobbre on Sat, 11-04-06, 14:30

I've given it to myself for a SF reaction. I'd recommend trying an expired Epi on a grapefruit--and the trainer of course.

I get bruised every single time I train someone to use it for DS (I bruise easily). I just consider it part of the deal. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I definitely had to work a little to get it in during my reaction--had to jab. But it didn't really hurt. There's a thread about this somewhere from the last year--not about the jabbing, but about how it feels. I'll try to find it.

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By Adele on Sat, 11-04-06, 20:21

Has anyone here given EPI through jeans?

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By McCobbre on Sun, 11-05-06, 01:38

Only through panty hose. Killed 'em.

Just happy I thought to pull my skirt up. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Nutternomore on Sun, 11-05-06, 05:04

Quote:Originally posted by Adele:
[b]Has anyone here given EPI through jeans? [/b]

No, but Dey (manufacturers of Epi-Pen) will tell you that the needle will pierce right through jeans...

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By Adele on Sun, 11-05-06, 06:03

My allergist's nurse used a trainer to demonstrate how to use an epi-pen. She said, 'don't do this through jeans'.

I remember reading here about the needle bending on someone's epi-pen.

The fear of having a reaction in public (a restaurant) is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow, but the thought of revealing my dimpled thighs to the world is enough to keep me from ever eating anything in public.

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By Peg541 on Sun, 11-05-06, 06:35

My son has used his epi pen thru his jeans. I taught him to avoid the seam. The first two times he used it went fine, the third he went into the mens room and I guess removed his jeans.

I went nuts and reminded him to not go off on his own during a reaction. He knows not to do that but was a bit freaked out.

Peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By Adele on Sun, 11-05-06, 14:24

Thanks for the information Peg. This is good to know - and I'll remember your warning about the seam.
Adele

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By Peg541 on Sun, 11-05-06, 16:36

Adele there are jeans and then there are jeans. The ones that stand up by themselves? I would not try to inject thru, but the nice soft stone washed ones you've been wearing for years? Yes.

My son is mostly a Docker guy anyway.

All in all if I had PA and found myself having an ingestion reaction I'd whip my pants down and inject the epi even if I were in Macy's window.

I thought my son would find it less horrifying if he could inject thru his clothes. I'd hate to have him at some event filled with women and he's afraid to use his epi or they will see his underwear.

Remember we started out when he was 5. He's 22 now and in college so I imagine dropping his pants in a room full of coeds works fine for him right now.

Peg

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Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By Adele on Sun, 11-05-06, 16:50

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b] He's 22 now and in college so I imagine dropping his pants in a room full of coeds works fine for him right now.

Peg[/b]

Ahhhh - youth. I remember!

I just bought a new pair of jeans a few days ago. The main reason I didn't buy Levi brand is because the denim was too heavy. I bought a pair with softer, lighter denim just because I knew an epi needle would go through it.

Gads, what a way to choose a pair of pants!

(edited), I was taught to swing the epi-pen towards the outside of my thigh. If you keep your arm straight, it will hit about mid-thigh. Don't inject on the front - just the side. The needle is short so you won't hit bone there.

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By Peg541 on Sun, 11-05-06, 17:42

OK this is just my opinion.

I am not in favor of the swing and jab method of delivering an epi pen injection.

I think especially if you are going to do it thru clothes with a seam.

You are going to be anxious, I've seen that feeling of doom enought times to know that. Your aim could be off, you might only have one epi pen or need that second one while waiting for help to arrive. You don't want to miss with your first one and wonder if the dose will be delivered if you missed your mark.

My feeling is to do this in a calm manner, this will help you stay slow and steady getting things right the first time.

I taught my son to lay the epi pen exactly where he wants it injected, push, hear the click, count to 10 and remove the epi pen.

I hate the words "swing and jab" because they have a violent sound to them and you just don't know how much someone is going to swing.

I know someone here recently said she would rather swing because the wait for the needle to enter your skin seems awful to her.

This is not something you are hopefully going to get to do frequently (right?.) So I can't see anyone "getting better at it with practice."

I'd rather go for the more controlled calmer method and be sure every drop of the epi got delivered instead of wondering.

As a nurse I was able to train myself to get quieter and calmer in an emergency situation so I could react and get to work. That infuriates some people who would rather do the chicken running around thing but it certainly works for me.

I hope for my son as well.

And I think the swing and jab thing got started when soldiers were given some drug in an epi pen like apparatus to inject themselves in case of toxic gasses. I remember my brother had learned this while in the navy back in the 60's. If you are a soldier in a foxhole fighting for your life it seems more likely that swing and jab will work for you.

Us here injecting ourselves or our babies? I'd rather be controlled and calm.

Peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By ajgauthier on Sun, 11-05-06, 17:54

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]OK this is just my opinion.

I am not in favor of the swing and jab method of delivering an epi pen injection.

I think especially if you are going to do it thru clothes with a seam.

You are going to be anxious, I've seen that feeling of doom enought times to know that. Your aim could be off, you might only have one epi pen or need that second one while waiting for help to arrive. You don't want to miss with your first one and wonder if the dose will be delivered if you missed your mark.

My feeling is to do this in a calm manner, this will help you stay slow and steady getting things right the first time.

I taught my son to lay the epi pen exactly where he wants it injected, push, hear the click, count to 10 and remove the epi pen.

I hate the words "swing and jab" because they have a violent sound to them and you just don't know how much someone is going to swing.

I know someone here recently said she would rather swing because the wait for the needle to enter your skin seems awful to her.

This is not something you are hopefully going to get to do frequently (right?.) So I can't see anyone "getting better at it with practice."

I'd rather go for the more controlled calmer method and be sure every drop of the epi got delivered instead of wondering.

As a nurse I was able to train myself to get quieter and calmer in an emergency situation so I could react and get to work. That infuriates some people who would rather do the chicken running around thing but it certainly works for me.

I hope for my son as well.

And I think the swing and jab thing got started when soldiers were given some drug in an epi pen like apparatus to inject themselves in case of toxic gasses. I remember my brother had learned this while in the navy back in the 60's. If you are a soldier in a foxhole fighting for your life it seems more likely that swing and jab will work for you.

Us here injecting ourselves or our babies? I'd rather be controlled and calm.

Peg[/b]

When I think of 'swing & jab/hold' I'm *not* meaning to have your arm 3 feet away from your thigh muscle and swinging mack speed to jab it in.

When I learned/practiced, I was sitting in chair and held the pen about a foot away from my upper/outer thigh muscle. From there, I 'swing' down to where it needs to go and hold. I don't 'crank up the swing', it's a just a forceful downward motion.

For me, the holding and pressing hard doesn't work. I tried on an expired epi into an old fake-suede (throwing it away) pillow...couldn't get it to trigger.

So, just wanted to clarify what "swing and jab" means to me...it's not swinging away from 3 feet away.

Adrienne

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By Peg541 on Sun, 11-05-06, 19:20

Adrienne I can certainly see your point. I just worry that in the heat of a reaction, watching your child get worse and worse, I worry some parents might do a BIG jab.

Maybe I wish they could come up with less violent terms than swing and jab. Silly of me really.

As a matter of fact I had my daughter practice on an orange so she could be prepared if her brother ever needed her help. She was really reluctant and ended up going right through the orange.

All that pen needs is a bit of pressure to trigger and I guess that's why I object to the word jab.

Peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By amyd on Sun, 11-05-06, 19:25

Does anyone have contact info for Dey? I've been all over their website but can't find a phone number or email. My doctor prescribed 2 epipen jr for my son but we didn't get them as a twinpack... and then no trainer. I need to find a trainer. Thanks.

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Amy

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By KaraLH on Sun, 11-05-06, 19:38

Just a question for all of you. At what age do you (or doctor) teach a child to administer epi themselves? Just curious. I've got a 2.5 yo. Also, how do children usually react when told to do so?

Just curious,
Kara

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By Peg541 on Sun, 11-05-06, 22:29

I have trainers too if anyone needs one.
peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By ajgauthier on Sun, 11-05-06, 23:53

Quote:Originally posted by Peg541:
[b]Adrienne I can certainly see your point. I just worry that in the heat of a reaction, watching your child get worse and worse, I worry some parents might do a BIG jab.

Maybe I wish they could come up with less violent terms than swing and jab. Silly of me really.

As a matter of fact I had my daughter practice on an orange so she could be prepared if her brother ever needed her help. She was really reluctant and ended up going right through the orange.

All that pen needs is a bit of pressure to trigger and I guess that's why I object to the word jab.

Peg[/b]

and I can see your point [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

wow...right through the orange?

I guess most people think of scenes in movies/tv where they have the adrenaline shot going into someone's chest and they are straddling the person on the floor...holding the adrenaline shot in 2 hands above their head...then slamming it down into the person's chest!

Let's see ---- I guess I am more of a "swift shove" or "swift aimed forceful downward movement" --- like sticking a tack pin into a sheet rock wall...if you want it to go in one motion, you gotta be swift and forceful, but if you swing and jab too hard you'll push the tack too far into the wall and make a permanent mark.

A

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By Peg541 on Mon, 11-06-06, 01:43

She really went thru the orange into the counter. She was SO AGAINST trying it out and I persisted. My son was really angry at me saying I was being mean but I really felt I was just being persistent. I guess if both kids were angry then I WAS mean.

If she and he are alone and he reacts and can't do the epi too bad if they are angry at me. DD will now be able to do the epi and that's all I need. DS around a bunch of more years.
Peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By gvmom on Fri, 11-10-06, 18:26

You know, I rarely come into this forum, but happened in here today. I'm glad I did. Reading about the epi going through the orange into the counter got me thinking about how that would work on a kid. My son is 7 and due to weight just got shifted from an Epi Jr. to a regular Epipen. If the needle is long enough to go straight through an orange, where is it gonna go in a kids leg?

Peg, I saw that you said your son has had to use an Epi a few times, were any of those times when he was younger? If so, what happened?

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By Peg541 on Sat, 11-11-06, 00:48

Oh no the reason the epi went thru the orange was my DD was so reluctant to do it. She pushed so hard because she was so angry, the orange shifted and she injected the edge and kept pushing until it went thru totally.

Yes my son gave himself epi but not until his first reaction at 14. He's the kind of kid who believes in instructions and rules so he had the instr. down pat. He just did what he knew he had to.

He yelped "OW" but he just kept at it.

He was trained to use it since age 5 but never had a reaction till 14.

Peg

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Peggy

Son 22 Allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, tomatoes, soy, milk, oats, fish.

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By McCobbre on Sun, 11-12-06, 04:23

Thanks Peg for clarifying. I was a bit surprised. The Epi needles I've seen (including the one I used on myself) have been about an inch--or just under.

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By saknjmom on Sun, 11-12-06, 13:14

Amyd
i have one more extra trainer I will send to you, email me with your address.

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By gvmom on Sun, 11-12-06, 23:36

I am also glad for the clarification. I was kind of worried for a minute -- well, more than I normally am.

Also, my DS was asking about being on his own when he grew up last night. For some reason at 7, he was feeling a bit scared about what life was going to be like for him as an adult (you'd think that could wait a couple more years). Anyway, Peg, I told him about your DS. He seemed to find some comfort in the bits that I could remember about the things your son has done -- and especially that he grew up with PA and is now an adult, doing things on his own, including administering his own Epi when he needed it. It really saved me at bedtime! After that episode last night, it made me think that FA mentorship could be a really good thing!

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By McCobbre on Mon, 11-13-06, 01:43

This board has been a good resource for me countless times. And I've shown several things to DS. But I hadn't thought to talk to him about the adults who used to be kids with PA--like Peg's son or Adrienne. I don't know why. And it's not like Adrienne doesn't intentionally jump in with good examples for this.

Really good idea gvmom.

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By 16pamom on Sat, 07-07-07, 00:42

hi everyone
my daughter is 15 with mfa and she has administered it herself adn i have given it to her, she definately perfres someone else giving it to her, but she was at camp one summer and she sadi they were reading the directions as she is swelling, so she grabbed it and gave it to her self. i place on leg and hold frimly, i do not jab (not saying any way is right) the jab i think scares her, we always joke about a lady that gave her one nearly getting a running start.
Adele--- we have done through the jeans many times just watch the seam
staci (mom of kim)

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By nosoyforme on Mon, 08-20-07, 15:34

I had my first ana. shock this summer. I was vomiting, gasping for air, red face, hot, severe stomach cramps, extreme sense of dread etc. - I was petrified to use the pen. I was not in the condition to be the one to use it or not. My husband kept asking me if he should give my the pen. I kept saying no- I'll be fine up until he rushed me to the ER. Now I have said- do not ask the one having the shock. Just give it to me. I still don't know what I will do next time. I am just so afraid of it. I hope I will just use it. Never thought I would be afraid to use it but I was. I had a dream hat I was in ana. shock and I did use it- so I think I will have to just do it next time.

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Allergic to all soy, all nuts, peas, beans, sunflower. Started at age 40.

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By LisaM on Tue, 08-21-07, 00:51

I've given myself an epi on one . . or maybe two occasions.

I don't mind self-administring it as long as it is at the early stage of the reaction. I feel more comfortable giving myself the needle than having anyone else do it.

The one psychological hurdle I have to get over isn't so much giving myself the needle as making the decision that I need the Epi. I can remain calm as long as I tell myself I don't need it.

Sometimes I'm inclined to think maybe some of the symptoms are psychosomatic because that is more comforting. As soon as I administer the epi and have someone call 9-1-1 I get majorly stressed. I was traumatized once when I *didn't* have an epipen and almost got to the hospital too late.

The last time I administered the pen and spent some time in emergency, my symptoms went away very quickly. But the situation brought back bad memories and for a short period of time, I just wanted to hide in my room and not see anyone and also had to force myself to eat because eating made me feel like gagging. This only lasted a week . . .two weeks tops.

If on the other hand, I have a reaction to a non-nut allergen and have someone drive me to the hospital where we sit in the parking lot until Benadryl does its job, I don't get traumatized. I know that is *not* the way I should handle things, though.

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