neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

Saturday so far

Mom started using the blender first thing in the morning.  I registered a noise, but eventually it stopped, and I began to drift off again, which is when Mom woke me.  "What time is it?" I asked.

"9:00.  Dad's tongue is all swollen, and it's been like that for two hours.  He can't swallow, and he can barely talk."  I looked out the window.  It was snowing hard.

Dad was sitting at the kitchen table, looking at the epi-pen.  "Do you want to go to the bathroom first?" Mom asked.  I did.  When I came back, Mom said, "We called the allergist, and the doctor on call is supposed to get back to us.  I called the pharmacist, and L. said we could use my epi-pen on him."  Mom was apparently waiting for my supervision.

"I'm ge'ing bet'r," Dad slurred.  "Ish not sho swoll'n."

I looked at the directions on the pen.  "Go ahead," I said to Dad.  "Swing it into your thigh so the pen clicks."

Dad gave it a tentative swing.  No click.  He tried again a little harder, and we heard a click.  "Ow," Dad said.  Mom counted off the ten seconds you're supposed to hold it.

"Well, I'm going to take my bath now," Mom said.  I checked on Dad every so often, and then realized that Mom had been in the tub for an hour.  I said so.

"This is the only day I can really soak," she called back.  I fumed.

I had Dad stick out his tongue again.  It was still rather swollen after more than an hour, but he could talk more clearly.  "I'm fine.  It was getting better before I used the epi-pen," he semi-slurred.
"Let me know if your tongue starts getting swollen again.  If I'm asleep, wake me up."  He said he would.  I was too keyed up to go back to sleep.

Soon after, the parental units straggled downstairs.  Dad wanted to take his pills.  He said that maybe the reason for the allergic reaction was that he'd run out of his allergy pills.  I continued to fume.  He sipped some water, then started taking his pills.  "Take Benedryl," I said.  "It's a different kind of thing than the epinephrine."  He took one.  "Take two."  He resisted the idea, and went on to take the rest of his pills, choking on a couple.  One he spat out to try again a couple minutes later.

"The Benedryl was easier to swallow.  Those other ones just went down the wrong way."  He ate some yogurt.  I had breakfast.
"Don't try to shovel snow," I told him.  "Just read or watch TV.  Your system has had a shock."

"Yeah, the epinephrine."

"No, the anaphylactic shock."  I went up to take my shower.

Next I saw of Dad, he was lying in bed reading.  I had him stick out his tongue for me.  It was still sort of swollen, but he said it felt better, and he was talking almost normally.  "I had welts on my belly yesterday," he said.  He'd mentioned that, but blamed it on the pants he was wearing.  He's had dermatitis often enough that I could believe his skin would react to fabric.  Mom's very allergic to lanolin, which is in wool.  Having clothes with wool in them against her skin or using a lotion with lanolin gives her welts where the lanolin touches.  Yes, she's stopped using lotions with lanolin in them.  "Then the side of my tongue was just a little swollen when I went to bed," Dad continued.  "One time I had an allergic reaction, the swelling was moving all over my body," he said.  "My arms, my shoulders..."

"Let me know if your tongue swells again, or if you start to get welts again."

"You'll be the first to know," he said cheerfully, "...after Mom."

I found Mom in the computer room.  "If he starts to swell anywhere, send him to the ER," I told her.  Yes, I know it sounds kind of bad, but she took it as I meant it.

Dad continued to read, coughing every so often.  "Do you have an inhaler?" I asked.

"They're in my briefcase downstairs."

I said, "Next time you go downstairs, it wouldn't hurt to take one.  Proventil or something."

"Should I do a nebulizer treatment?" he asked.

"Do you have a nebulizer?"

"Nah, I was just kidding."  I think he did have a nebulizer at one point, actually.  We had one around the house for a couple of years.

"Dad coughing is nothing new or unusual," Mom observed a bit later.

"He's having a reaction every time he doesn't take his allergy pill.  It's suppressing a reaction to something.  Either it's something he's eating or he's become allergic to one of his pills," I theorized.

"He needs to go see the allergist Monday," Mom said.  "He should take a list of the pills he takes with him."  I agreed that those were good ideas.  As of several hours later, the allergist on call still hasn't called back.  It was lucky his tongue hadn't swollen so much as to seriously compromise his airway.  I would have called an ambulance if he hadn't been insisting he was better already before he used the epi-pen.  I still might if he gets any more allergic reaction to anything today. 


Tags: family, medical

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