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Old 01-25-2013, 02:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 158

Allergic reaction experiences?

Sooo.....I've managed to survive 29 years without ever having an allergic reaction to anything. I've never had any kind of rash, mild reaction, nothing!

Well, this morning I used the restroom a couple of times and felt like I REALLY needed to urinate, but then didn't do anything impressive.

It wasn't a big deal, but I thought I'd go ahead and take an antibiotic I had in the cabinet from a urinary tract infection I had a long time ago. According to the bottle, it was expired, but as a nurse I knew it would be okay because they have to put an unrealistic date on the bottle. I had taken several of the tablets (Ciprofloxacin) when I had an actual diagnosed UTI with no problem.

After I took a tablet, my face started itching within about 2 minutes. I thought it was weird, and I felt a bump, but brushed it off as a bug bite. Then, it started itching so bad that I had to use my sweater sleeve to get some good friction/relief! I noticed another bump...a big one! So, I got up to look in the mirror and my face... OH EM GEE! MY FACE! I had welts the size of marbles! Not just flat ones either, they were raised!

I thought, Okay....calm down. You're a nurse. You know what to do here. Benadryl! I didn't have any Benadryl. Should I hop in the car and go get some? What if I started having trouble breathing while I was driving? Oh my gosh....I had to take a shower! If I had to go to the ER because I stopped breathing, I could not go in there all smelly (and I was smelly)! I was trying not to panic because when I started to panic, it felt like I was having trouble breathing. I needed to know if I was actually breathing or not!

I woke my husband up, told him what I had taken, and that I was going to take a really quick shower so at least he'd know what was up incase things got worse instead of better.

Luckily....by the time I got out of the shower, things were about the same. My face looked INSANE, but hadn't gotten any worse. It turned out that I was going to live afterall! The welts slowly started to vanish, but I STILL (14 hours later?) have a raised area on the side of my face, but it has improved and I'm sure it will go away too. WHAT a scary experience!!

It's official. I have an allergy. Ok, so it's not that big of a deal. I'm actually grateful for the experience now that all is well. I'm a new nurse and even though I know how serious allergic reactions can be, I've always given people oral antibiotics without much thought. It's just not one of those medicines (like other meds that cause respiratory depression) that any of us typically worry about. Well, until now!

After today, I'm definitely going to be on higher alert even when giving out "routine" meds. I never in a million years thought I'd have an allergic reaction at this point in my life....to something I've taken in the past with no problem. I know what all the literature says, but there's nothing like a real life experience to open your eyes.

So, has anyone else ever had a sudden allergic reaction? How'd it turn out? Also, take this as a warning that even if you've taken a "simple" antibiotic in the past, at LEAST be sure to have access to a phone (and clean underwear on ) when starting a new round of antibiotics!
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