By Dr. Neetu Talreja
Well, most of you know that my daughter has food allergies. Yes, I am a food allergy mom. So I go through the epinephrine autoinjector training and the FARE action plan training to every friend, family or baby sitter watching my child every time I leave my child (more like a mom than an allergist - if you can believe it!).
Recently, I was trying to show a new nanny how to use Epipen/AuviQ. This practice has become so monotonous for me after doing it it almost 1000 times a year with patients. I presumed that I had a trainer device in my hand ( Auvi-Q trainer). But, it was actual Auvi-Q with active drug in it, and without even listening to the directions it was saying, I went on to give the drug intramuscularly to myself. Yes... you read it right. I gave the actual drug to myself!
For a second, I felt the needle stick and I was completely startled. Then, the allergist in me took over and I figured I will be okay. Plus it was a children's dose and not an adult dose. I did feel the chest pressure and palpitations for a while and felt a little agitated but drained at the same time. But all these symptoms went away slowly without affecting anything that I was supposed to do after. I trained the nanny and went on my way!
I was thankful that this did happen to me (not suggesting that you all should try it at all)- but just because, I can now understand my allergy patients so much better when I administer them epi or talk to the parents/patients about the stress associated with injecting and for that matter, even carrying this adrenaline injector with them at all times.
I appreciate each and every patient/child/parent who lives this life everyday carrying this autoinjector around and believing in it at time of emergency! Also, a big shout to those food allergy moms like me!