neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

real life Tuesday

The professional organizer was here again, and we recycled about eight bags of papers and magazines.  After she left, I settled down to watch AWZ.  Mom started calling and calling for me from the bottom of the stairs, apparently from right when she got home.  I could barely hear her, since I had my earbuds in.  "I'll talk to you later," I said.  She kept calling.  "Is it an emergency?"

"Yes," she said.  I went to the top of the stairs.  "I don't feel good, and my chest is tight."

"Take some Benedryl," was my immediate instruction.

I came downstairs, and Mom's face was alarmingly red.  "I feel flushed, and I'm getting very congested."  I went back upstairs to look for more Benedryl (diphenhydramine), since the bottle on the kitchen table only had one left.  Mom gave me directions as to where it might be.  I found an empty box for it, then a bottle with a few capsules left.

When I came back downstairs, Mom said, "I got my allergy shot, but I didn't wait around at the allergist's to see if I'd have a reaction."  I hadn't even known that she'd gotten her allergy shot when she told me she wasn't feeling good.  My first thought was that she was having an allergic reaction to something.  She took the Benedryl.

I called the allergist, and described her symptoms to the nurse.  Mom was sounding extremely congested by then, and her face was still very red.  "Do you have a rescue inhaler?" the nurse, J., asked.

"Not one for her."

"Do you have an epi-pen?" J. asked.

"No.  She just took two Benedryl."

J. said, "She needs to either come back to the office or go to the emergency room so she can get a shot of adrenaline.  Call me back if you decide to come back to the office."  It would have been twenty minutes' drive either way, longer with rush hour traffic.  After some relatively quick waffling, Mom decided to go back to the allergist's office, and called them to say so.

I was worried about what I could possibly do if Mom's breathing got much worse as I was driving down winding country roads, but partway there, Mom said she was starting to feel better.  She didn't sound as congested.  By the time we got pretty close to the allergist's, Mom was doing a lot better.  "That Benedryl is miraculous," she said.  It was just doing what it was made to do.

We went into the allergist's office.  "E. is here!" I said.  They took her right back.  After a bit, the nurse came back and said her breathing and air flow were great.  It had been half an hour since she took the Benedryl, so it was fully working by then.  Mom didn't get an adrenaline shot after all.  The allergist gave her another sort of pill and several samples of it, a rescue inhaler, and a prescription for an epi-pen.  An epi-pen has an emergency shot of ephinephrine in it, in case someone is going into anaphylactic shock. 

I'd called Dad, and left a message on his cell phone.  Mom called him again as we were leaving the allergist's.  "Emilie insists that we go straight to the pharmacy and have the epi-pen prescription filled," she told Dad.  Damn right I did, and I was the driver.  We picked up some dinner while we were waiting for the prescription.  Mom got her epi-pen, and we headed home to have dinner.  It was a more exciting evening than I thought I would have.

Dad said he'd decided to go to Aunt A.'s burial after all, and had taken tomorrow off work.  I had said I'd drive, but was afraid to go without a navigator.  Dad knows where the cemetery is and has a great sense of direction.  Mom said that she would go too, if we were going.  Dad said he wanted to stop at a museum for model trains (Northlands?) on the way.  "The way there, or the way back?" I asked.

"It's on the right side of the road on the way back," Dad replied.  I wouldn't have really wanted to stop and see model trains on my way to a funeral.  You never know with Dad, though.  So our plan is to leave here relatively early tomorrow to go to northern New Jersey.  We'll see if Mom has any more issues between now and then.  I feel kind of tired, and I'm not even the one who took the Benedryl.

Tags: family, medical, travel

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