Patient Comments: Anaphylaxis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with anaphylaxis.

Comment from: Lisa, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

I had a severe allergic reaction to a medication 36 hours ago, hives everywhere on my body. I wonder if there still is a chance of anaphylactic shock.

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Comment from: OMalley1118, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I have never had any allergies until a month ago. I awoke at 3 am feeling as though I was on fire. My skin was bright red from my hair to my hips. My skin felt very tight. My face was swollen, with my eyes almost swollen shut. My throat felt heavy and tight, and I kept trying to clear it. I took Benadryl and had my husband drive me to the emergency room. I was given IV medications and sent home to follow up with an allergist. Since then, I have had 5 subsequent events of anaphylaxis. Allergy testing has not revealed anything definitive. I carry an EpiPen with me everywhere. I am frustrated and terrified. As a nurse, I understand just how serious this could prove one day. I wish I had an answer as to what the trigger is.

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Comment from: Cllayton, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I went into anaphylaxis shock in May of 2011. My hands and feet started to burn like when your hands get too cold. Then I had cramping in my bowels and the whites of my eyes turned red, hands and wrist began to swell, then my tongue started to swell to the point I could hardly talk. All this that happened, according to my doctors, was due to allergic reaction to pollens and animal dander. They tell me this is very rare.

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Comment from: Lizzy#1460, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I ate some broiled lobster tails and less than an hour later I was nauseated and dizzy and fainted on the way to the bathroom. I had tongue and facial swelling, vomiting and diarrhea. I was given Benadryl and an injection with steroids and medication for nausea.

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Comment from: living with it, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

I have been living with severe allergies all of my life. I have found it amazing what you can get used to. There is no telling when I will have a reaction. Luckily, as I have gotten older I am not allergic to as many foods as I once was. But I never let my guard down. I've simply been so terrified, after years and years of emergency room visits, and never knowing if the next will be my last. I'm currently only known to be severely allergic to fish and certain nuts. Until the age of 12/13, there were only about 10 to 15 foods that I could actually eat. I look back at my boyhood and wonder how I survived at all. I know my own parents wonder the same. I also know that I suffer from the mental trauma of dealing with this for so many years. I am extremely thankful that I am much better than that kid I once was. But to this day, I can't think of anything that is more frightening than the next time I have a reaction. I also developed asthma around the age of 6 and eczema, of course.

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Comment from: rleo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I have had four episodes of what I thought was anaphylaxis in the past month. Each time I had a pretty quick response to foods I had suspected were a problem before. I went to the doctor yesterday after an episode the night before and she didn't seem all that interested and asked me what I expected her to do at this point (after the worst was over). So, I don't even know if it was actually anaphylaxis. Here is what happened all four times: I suddenly felt like a had a huge lump in my throat (I described it as feeling like someone was pushing their knee into my throat), I felt like someone was sitting on my chest all three times and the last time I felt a sudden and severe pain between my shoulder blades that went through down into my stomach. I vomited repeatedly, I felt panicky, I had hives on my neck and chest, my ear canals itched like mad, and my scalp itched, I felt claustrophobic, and I guess lightheaded though I was so distracted by all the other symptoms that that didn't seem too bad. My doctor said if I had shortness of breath I should have gone to the doctor and I kind of got the feeling that she suspected a panic attack and that if I didn't die then it wasn't anaphylaxis. I don't believe it was a panic attack. I took several doses of Benadryl throughout the night. I just am unsure about the shortness of breath issue. I guess I did feel shortness of breath, but I wasn't gasping for breath. I didn't go to the emergency room because I can't afford it, but I think the doctor blew me off because I didn't call an ambulance or something.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Anaphylaxis - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis - Possible Causes Question: Do you know what caused your case of anaphylaxis? Please share your experience.
Anaphylaxis - Diagnosis Question: Discuss the events that led to a diagnosis of anaphylaxis. Did you end up in the ER?
Anaphylaxis - Prevention Question: If you've experienced anaphylaxis, how do you prevent another occurrence? Do you have an EpiPen?
Anaphylaxis - Treatment Question: What kind of treatment did you get for anaphylaxis?

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