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Food Allergies: Do You Carry An EpiPen? [Poll]

Flickr.com, gregfriese

My doctor once remarked that I was “allergic to the planet Earth.” I have severe environmental allergies and food allergies. During the spring my life is hell. But by far the most frightening thing I’m allergic to is peanuts. One wrong snack and I’m dead.

It comes up more often than you would think. Even this morning one of our sales team brought in cookies for everyone and we had to figure out if any contained peanuts. And I don’t carry an EpiPen. I’m actually not sure why to be honest, I just never have.

Peanut allergies are common, especially in children. They can be mild, or as in my case, lead to a severe anaphylaxis that can be life threatening. The Mayo Clinic reports that peanut allergies are one of the most common triggers for anaphylaxis and always require the use of an EpiPen and a trip to the emergency room. Here are the symptoms:

  • Constriction of airways
  • Swelling of your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • A severe drop in blood pressure (shock)
  • Rapid pulse
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

I’ve gone in to anaphylaxis twice in my life. Once when I was very little and my grandmother handed me a spoonful of peanut butter (she didn’t know I was allergic), and the other time when I was exposed to a weed killing chemical that nearly killed me. And yet I don’t even recall a doctor ever even offering to get me a prescription for an EpiPen–and my allergies are so bad that I require injections.

Do you have someone in your life with severe allergies, and if so do you keep an EpiPen with you?

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