2 weeks, 2 ambulances in 2 countries :(

Posted on: Mon, 01/19/2004 - 9:06pm
helenmc's picture
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 09:00

It now two days after arriving home Sunday from 3 weeks touring in New Zealand.

We mostly had a great time, but I am feeling a bit shell shocked today as I had to administer an EpiPen to Helen on the last plane we flew on (a reasonably small Dash-8 communter turbo prop, for what its worth) when we were about 6 minutes out of Canberra.

We also had an 'episode' 2 weeks ago 30 minutes drive out of a small town called Hokitika on the west coast of the South Island of NZ. We raced back to town after calling 111 (NZ's 911 or 000) and met an ambulance at the town sqaure clock [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

That was a real reaction, from salt and vinegar chips. They are safe here, and Helen didnlt check the packet beofre eating them in NZ. They made her mouth feel "funny" and she read the label closely: "...and will contain traces of peanuts,...". A stupid mistake to take a comfort zone to another country, but I think an understandable one.

I feel so rung out - Helen's OK and has bounced back from it all reasonably well.

Sunday's event was actually a panic attack, which looks and feels like anaphylaxis (difficulty breathing, hot/cold feelings, tingling and her fingers eventualy went numb, which was when I jabbed her)...

I'd say her system could detect peanutty smells on the plane (they weren't served as it was a morning flight, but there would be plenty of residue) and went into overdrive. Or maybe its just a purely psychological event (that she has no awareness or contol over) associated with flying, after the real anaphylaxis on the way back from the US two years ago.

Paramedics met us on the tarmac and took her away, but they could see it was panic and not anaphylaxis straight away - her fingers were bunched up tight (she couldn't move them) and apparently that's the classic sign. They said for me to get our bags and meet them in front of the terminal, as there was no rush. In the mean time they were pretty brutal to her - telling her there was nothing wrong (not to be mean, they wanted her to genuinely believe it so she'd calm down and get better). They were really polite to me [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Eventually she'd calmed down and we went home (they offered a ride to hospital, but its always so noisy and I thought it would good for her to get some sleep).

The aircraft crew were fantastic, and the pilots really threw the plane around to get it down quickly. And the airline actually called at about 8.00 Sunday night to see how she was, which I thought was lovely. She feels so embarasssed over it all, but it really wasn't something she set out to do or had any control over.

We visited our GP today and see if she can find a way to stay calm on planes (either through medication or hypnosis or whatever). We got a referall to see a psycharist in two weeks time. We're hoping to use a mixture of counselling/meditation/hypnosis/whatever and maybe drugs to resolve the problem, but not for her to have to use drugs everyday - maybe just before flying?

The rotten part of it she loves the travel and flying part of flying, and has a ticket to Washington & San Francisco in March. We just have to convince her sub conscious to like being on planes!

Sorry to go on, but it's nice to write to you guys who've been here before. Its so nice to be home where we feel comfortable and safe - but its still hard to fall asleep at night [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Geoff (Helen's hubby)

(edited for typos)

[This message has been edited by helenmc (edited January 20, 2004).]

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